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In this blog, I will share my SCN story. The title refers to the neologism coopetition, which is coined to describe cooperative competition. Basically, that is what SCN is all about for me. I cooperate with competitors on SCN. Why? For me there are two main reasons:

  • Me Myself and I
  • The Upward Spiral

Why do I call myself Elvez on SCN? My SCN journey started 10 years ago at SDN. No it was not the SAP Developer Network, it was the Sun Developer Network. I really liked the Sun Developer Network and when the SAP Developer Network started, I instantly joined the community. Without further reflection I used my Sun Developer Network name Elvez. Today, I would probably have used my real name instead.

Lets have a closer look at the main reasons why I cooperate with competitors on SCN.

Me Myself and I

Besides my more ideological upward spiral idea, there are a number of egocentric reasons that I am an active contributor on SCN.

  • SAP news. SCN is an excellent place for getting the latest SAP news within various areas. Often I work in a narrow part of SAP and it is difficult to get an overview of what is going on in other areas. Visiting SCN daily helps me getting a wide range of SAP news.
  • SAP OSS. Before posting an OSS message, I always check SCN first. This has often helped me finding a solution without contacting SAP OSS. However, just as often it justifies that I post my OSS message. For example, if a question is not answered on SCN there is a good chance that the problem is not related to my configuration or coding.
  • Knowledge database. Whenever I face a peculiar problem, I post it as a question on SCN. If the problem is solved, then I carefully document the solution. Now I have a searchable log of problems I have faced so far.
  • Quality assurance. By writing blogs, wiki, forum contents I give the real SAP experts out there an opportunity to comment my statements. If no negative comments are made, then I can be pretty sure that the solution I have proposed is ok.
  • Help others. Nothing is more rewarding than helping others. Besides solving a problem for others, I become more experienced.
  • Help me. I post all types of questions on SCN. However, I have learned that specific questions have better responses. Posting questions on SCN helps me speed up my SAP delivery.
  • Getting started with new SAP areas. SCN is the best place to discover new SAP areas.

The Upward Spiral

Imagine the upward spiral. Helping others on SCN will lead to better SAP implementations. Better SAP implementations will lead to happy customers. Happy customers will buy more SAP software. Buying more SAP software will lead to more SAP implementations. SAP implementations will lead to more knowledge. More knowledge can be used for helping others on SCN, which will lead to better SAP implementations and so on.

Now imagine the downward spiral. Not helping others on SCN will lead to less good SAP implementations. Less good SAP implementations will lead to unhappy customers. Unhappy customers will not buy SAP software. No SAP software, no SAP jobs.

Summarized, you benefit from cooperating with competitors on SCN. Competitors is not your enemy, bad implementations are.

“You may say that I’m a dreamer … but I’m not the only one … I hope someday you’ll join us …” (Imagine, John Lennon)
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  1. Michael Schwandt
    I like your post very much, as you describe the ideal of a community. It seems you already have crossed the chasm where contribution and benefit seems to be perfectly balanced, and you do not need additional carrots 🙂 like points and # of followers,…

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