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It took me a while to be blogging again this year. I apologize for those people who read my blogs ( if I have any followers 🙂 ) In January I heard I would get additional new responsibilities; which meant I needed to spend some time understanding all the new areas. Additionally the CN management team had a kick off for 2009 in early February, so I wanted to make sure I could come to the table with at least some knowledge of my new business area responsibilities. Those people who have known me to be an advocate for the BPX communtiy, rest assured, my heart and soul is still with you all and I will maintain and continue my focus together with our wonderful BPX team this year and beyond!

Additionally I am now also the proud driver of the Business Objects Community ( although Kuhan Milroy, Jason Cao and Kirby Leong are really the big Kahunas for us !) I am also going to focus more on trying to create some more traction in emerging market communities together with the local teams in for instance China, Japan and Brazil. That does not mean you also will continue to hear more from me on enhancements to the platform, which also continues to reside in our team’s responsibilities ( look for more blogs from Scott Lawley, Adi Kleiman and Maya Bahar amongst others ) – By the way we have some really cool announcements this year that include the much needed improvements to search… we will let you know soon when that will be happening.

In the meantime work did not stop and our team was in full preparation for Business Suite 7. during November,December and January. And here is where I want to explain why number 7 is such a lucky number..

For the first time ever in history of the Communities; we were part of a major product launch like Business Suite 7. This meant we had to break through a whole set of “old school” processes and explain to many people in many organizations at SAP why communities needed to be part of the launch and post launch activities ( yes we did not manage to break through all ways SAP treats a traditional product launch ), but we came a long way and we should always be keen to also celebrate smaller successes !

For the first time ever SAP Mentors and SCN bloggers were part of the media launch.. This meant they were included in Q&A with Leo Apotheker and other executives; they blogged about their first hand thoughts and what was amazing and exciting to us was that on twitter during the media conference BS7 was one of the top 10 trending topics being discussed: http://twopular.com/trend/_bs7 and out of the 40 trendsetters, 15 were SAP Mentors ! http://twopular.com/trend/_bs7 ( Thanks Mark Finnern, Michael Bechauf, Mike Prosceno and others ! ).

We even had Andy Mulholland, the CTO of Cap Gemini writing a whole blog by himself on Suite 7 in his CTO Blog: http://www.capgemini.com/ctoblog/2009/02/sap_asap_with_business_suite_7.php

With a good quote on our BPX community approach : “Though all the details of exactly how to work with Business Suite 7 are not out yet, its got to be worth taking a closer look at. Even if it is SAP and you are not an SAP person! I am just waiting for the first blogs that start to explain the details! Best place to look for them is at: bpx.sap.com “

And that made me and others in our team smile.. now what is more important is that we are and are working hard to become even the better than the best place for Business Suite 7 information: it started with 14 deep dive blogs from knowledgeable partners, product managers and CN members over the last two days: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/weblogs/topic/109

But what we as a team together with our partners, SAP and our customers are commited to is to show the value of our Communities. We want  SCN (short for SAP Community Network)  be the place where individuals, prospects, customers and partners will go to find the real helpful information about Business Suite 7, besides the marketing information on SAP.com and the customer only information on service marketplace; it is our aim to let SCN is the place where people share real life experiences about Suite & with their peers. They tell the good, the bad, the ugly, the new findings, the surprises, how to upgrade, what works, what is difficult, standards related to the Suite, etc. Our hopes are that the Value scenarios and the related processes will be increasingly discussed during the year in our communities, expecially on BPX and people will at the end of 2009 understand better what they mean, how they can help and how they can solve problems and they link with how Suite 7 satisfies some if not all of the scenarios.

It is also our goal to give customers a voice; share their early experiences and become a place where there is honest and valuable conversation and collaboration.

The BPX collaboration and content team; including some partners, and Suite Solution Management are currently working on creating strawmans for several BPX wiki projects where we will try to collaborativelly work on di-secting the value scenarios, understand what they mean, how they can be implemented, what variations might exist in the industries; and other things that might be important to help customers understand the value and help them implement the suite 7 faster… So in hinsight I think for us and the community Business Suite 7 and the number 7 is more than just a lucky number.. it is the right number.

Hopefully you with me are all very excited about this year. Even in these tougher economic times there is room and opportunity for growth, sharing of knowledge and opportunity.  An example is that in many of the BPX forums over the past year(s) there still were a lot of technical disucssions. Some true functional and business process people might have been scared away by them, but with these value scenarios we believe we finally have a common language that we can gather the business process people around as well. If you have an interest to work with us on a particular scenario please let me and the team know !

Looking forward to hear from all of you in 2009.

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