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Turning a new page…

The last time I wrote a blog post like this was way back on July 20, 2005, (Day 1: Getting settled….) which went as follows…

So by now I’m sure a few have either heard or read Mark’s little Huge one for the SDN Community by now and for all of you that replied I just want to say THANK YOU your well wishes have helped a lot as I tried to traverse the vast SAP city here in Walldorf today.

It certainly has been a day, OK, they did take it easy on me with a lazy start, I managed to get my little photo ID, aren’t they always a pain? I mean you end up looking either goofy or like a criminal, this time I think goofy says it best.

That was followed by a short tour of the building and the main points of interest outside of the office such as bathroom, lunch area, coffee area (man they even have water without the bubbles that Germans love so much), the IT office and Secure ID people. All of which I would have never found without the help of one of SDN’s own, Kathy, so THANK YOU!!!!. She also showed me to where I will be working, which just happens to currently be a small chunk of her own desk. Gotta figure out the online ordering system tomorrow I think. In our office as well is Pranav and across the hall is Michael. Look at this the first day and I’ve already learned the SDN “behind” the scenes is larger than I could have first thought.

Now I’ve not had much of chance today to get to know everyone just yet nor have I had a chance to do more than get a laptop to use (online order system, must learn) and try to work my way into things. OK that’s not exactly true, my own laptop has already been ordered and should be here (they are taking very good care of me here) and I have a huge “to do” list from Mark, leave it to him to come into work call me and then start sending me mail after mail after mail. Oh and for those of you who have already emailed me about the sticky forum post I added that to my list as well so I’ll see what I can do help out.I’ve also found myself with a few more menu options as of late as well as 0 points. Apparently in the next couple of days my account will be all switched over and things will be back to normal, until then I need to start looking through some of these menu options, one says something about Weblog Applications. So if you have one and are awaiting approval, be sure you have followed all the SDN Weblogs: Making it easier… and that will help me to help you get approved faster!! Oh and just in case you are wondering since I am new to that part I will be following the guidelines strictly! So help me out!!

Now with TechEd coming up I think I’m going to find myself with my hands full but for those of you who already know me I’m sure we’ll still be seeing plenty of each other in the forums and I will be blogging about things that I learn as I go along as well as some of the new and exciting changes that are coming…

It was exciting then to write that post, I mean I was taking a huge step and joining the community I felt passionate about, so now to write a post telling everyone I am retiring is even harder. I’ve seen this community change, grow and evolve over the years and I’ve had the good fortune to be part of that on many levels and to see many of it’s members go from unknown people with a simple questions to become some of the most influential community influencers and some to even go on to become SAP Mentor Initiative. These years have been filled with joy, heartache, anger, frustration, change, lack of change, progress, success, failures, friendships, the not so friendly and of course throughout it all I would never have traded it for anything. I’ve tried my best to lead by example as the Community Manager and Community Evangelist for the SAP Developer Network and I hope I did well, when I did not I know I could count on each of you to tell me so.

I’ve had many a call, email, IM, tweet, and chat with thousands of you over the years – I know this because I would always get asked why my mobile bill was so high (each month) or when I would look at Skype and notice the numerous calls and the constant recharging of the my Skype Credit. Those are conversations that helped shape the community we are all a part of and regardless of where life takes you you can go knowing that each of you helped shape something wonderful and great and bigger than anyone can possibly imagine! Take pride in your work, strive to help others and if you get a few points in the process – smile and be happy.

It’s hard to believe so many years have already gone by, I still remember like it was yesterday when Mark Finnern started the point system way back in 2004 and the first time I went on stage which was Munich TechEd in 2004 as well.

2004 – 3491 points (Contest Year – 10285)

2005 – 10786 points (Contest Year – 7615)

2006 – 6512 points (Contest Year – 7586)

2007 – 10892 points (Contest Year – 10192)

2008 – 15105 points (Contest Year – 14679)

2009 – 10106 points (Contest Year – 6550 and counting…)

Since joining the SAP Community team I’ve written over 500 blogs (591 since joining SDN) not to mention the videos and podcasts both there and on my personal sites.

However, the points have always been just numbers the real fun has been what stands behind them – what I did to generate those numbers. That’s where the pride comes in, I’ve spent the last few weeks looking back over all of that content and all of those activities and it’s amazing how a person changes over time and yet still keeps the baseline motivation in place! That I could not have done without all of you!

I’m sure for many of you this will come as a surprise maybe a shock and or a handful I’m sure you’ll be happier than anything right now (we’re adults nothing is perfect and sometimes people just don’t agree) so with this post I am retiring as Community Manager and Community Evangelist for the SAP Developer Network and beginning a whole new adventure within SAP…

With all new things and changes come new opportunities and as many have seen SAP has been very focused on Open Source, Innovation and change and because of that focus a brand new opportunity has opened up for me – a new door has opened within the SAP organization and I have decided to step through it, well actually more like “jump” through it to take on this new challenge in this new era of SAP!

This week an announcement went out internally announcing the following…

Craig Cmehil transitions to the Standards Management and Strategy team, reporting to Claus von Riegen. While Craig will continue to cover TechEd programs such as Demo Jam and Hacker Night, he will put a strong focus on community initiatives such as open source and collaborative business process modeling in order to better utilize and address community momentum in support of SAP’s evolving product strategy.

It’s a very large step for me and will allow me to focus my energy and passion even more targeted to a specific area of technology that got me started in the SAP world to begin with, Open Source and the various ways our customers and partners are using our technology with other technologies to make their businesses run smarter, how collaboration and business process modeling are going to be shaping the future of enterprise business. With luck the work of giants such as friend and fellow Irregular Sig will come in handy.

I’m treading into territory that is both known and unknown to me and I am excited about the coming challenges and opportunity to bring all of this back into the SAP communities I know so well!

Cross Posted from Friday Morning Report.

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  • Congratulations on your new opportunity, Craig!  Life will be different for all of us now, I’m sure.  Your are an amazing role model.
    Keep us posted on your progress in 2010!


  • Wow, that is indeed shocking! But I’m very happy we will at least see you at demo jams and hacker nights. I am sure you will be successful in your new role and I hope you will be happy. Maybe you can cut back a little and still write 50 blog in the next couple of years.

    thanks for everything and best regards,

  • While it is a little bit of a sad moment for the community it is definitely a big gain for your new team to have you on board.

    Good luck with your new role and have fun,

  • The Community will definitely miss you !!!
    Congrats on your new opportunity and am looking forward to reading your blogs in your new role. All the best.

    -Kevin Hill

  • Hey Craig,

    Congratulations and all the best in your new role.

    Thank You for all your help, feedback, support and conversations we’ve had over the past few years. I specifically remember our little debate in Phoenix last year. 🙂

    In many ways, you incorporate what SDN is all about and in my view you and many others in the SDN team have made it what it is today: a thriving community!

    Once again all the best and looking forward to more chats at future TechEds or over the interwebs.

    Kind regards,

  • Cross congratulated from FMR and twitter.

    All the best in your new role and I am sure you will make it your own. That said you are not going anywhere so I am expecting to see great blogs on your what your are doing in your new role and how it will change our lives.



  • Craig, you’ve made your mark here but while I’m sure there will be some sadness on all sides, change and reinvention is just part of the natural rhythm of things – as it should be. Thanks for providing an example of how to move through it openly and I’m sure you’ll continue to be a big part of what many of us think is SAP when SAP is  at its best – the collaborative attitude, less polish more attitude, and yes, a bit of satirical humor to keep us all honest. Carry on.
  • Congrats and lots of luck in your new job. I’m sure we will still hear enough of you in the coming time.

    I am happy to read that you will continue your inspriring activities on stage at SAP TechEd. What is a SAP TechEd without Craig as showmaster live on stage during Demo Jam?

    Kind regards

  • Hi Craig,

    Awesome news. Congratulations on your new role.

    You have redefined SDN and am sure your innovative ideas will help redefine SAP in many more ways , in the years to come.

    Goood luck ..