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Recently, I wound up in the middle of a discussion on my Twitter Feed about “Building a BPX Business Case” for SAP TechEd. What began as a conversation with one “BPXer” trying to understand the value of TechEd became a bigger story. I wound up doing a podcast on the value of SAP TechED for BPXers on my JonERP.com web site, but I  want to share this podcast with the SCN community also. I am planning to write a longer piece on this topic shortly, so I’d love your input in the blog comments here:

How valuable do you think TechEd is for a BPXer?

And how do you make a business case to attend TechEd to an employer, especially now, when budgets are tight and companies expect an ROI for every pencil they purchase?

The individual who inspired this podcast has a happy ending to her SAP TechEd story: she was able to make her case to her employer based on some of the tips she and I discussed, and she’ll be in Phoenix in October!

As for this podcast, what we have here is a fifteen minute conversation where I interview Marco ten Vaanholt, VP of the SAP Community Network and the Global Head of the SAP BPX and Business Objects Communities, on how individuals (and project teams) can make a “BPX business case” for SAP TechEd. (Follow Marco on Twitter, and follow SAP TechEd on Twitter). 

I think I managed to get the Quicktime player version of this to work, if for any reason it doesn’t, you can download the podcast using the “download media” link on the right hand side:

(Trouble downloading? After I took this blog live, I had trouble listening to the SCN version of the file…if for some reason it’s not playing in its entirety for you, check out the version on JonERP.com in the meantime.)

Here’s a few highlights from the podcast timeline. If you want to see the full detailed podcast summary, check that out in my JonERP SAP podast directory.

:30 On Twitter, there was a buzz of conversation about whether TechEd is relevant to BPX skills. For the aspiring “BPXer,” often (though not always!) is there some value in attending a show called TechEd?

2:01 In many cases, budgets are tight, and companies only have a budget for a limited amount of TechEd “seats.” How can an individual with BPX interests make that case?

4:14 Connectivity is a major theme – it’s not just about educating yourself and bringing the knowledge back – it’s about connecting with peers in your industry, building a network that you can turn to after TechEd to help your project out. You can interact with experts during their TechEd sessions and build a stronger network. This is key to the “TechEd Business Case.”

6:15 Jon asks Marco if you can get insight into BPM at TechEd. The answer is yes – there is actually a BPM track at TechEd where you can go to a number of BPM sessions.

8:45 The “one foot in business, one foot in IT” BPX model pays off for BPXers. Often, the best approach is familiarizing yourself with the technical implications of these new tools, which can make you a more valuable member of your project team.

10:15 The ability to converse with “techies” and benefit from their insights does make a difference. Marco’s personal experience validates this. He comes from the business side himself, but the efforts he has made to understand the technical side has helped him considerably in his own work.

11:42 The podcast focus shifts from the individual to the project manager who may be grappling with who to send to TechEd.

14:10 Down the road, the most active participants in the community can become TechEd speakers or SAP Mentors, and get even closer relationships with SAP product managers and sharing their knowledge.

15:19 Marco closes by inviting those who need any further help making a business case for TechEd or who have other questions to contact him directly

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