The best way to become active in any community is to reach out. We can influence others to participate in the community by being individuals with good intentions. Whether we are reaching out and asking for support, or we are giving assistance by being approachable and friendly, a community will grow in a positive way. Someone once told me that we’ll know when our service in any community is needed, because someone will approach us, or we will see or hear someone in need of volunteers, or help. That is our cue to step forward.
There were three reasons for wanting to be a part of SAP TechEd Up Close; extra visibility, networking, and a desire to give back to SCN what they give to all of its members. It just felt like the right thing to do. SAP always treats its partners and customers with an incredible flourish of food, educational sessions, expert lounges, and interactive stations throughout the venue at teched. Up Close participants received much more. Being served Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries backstage during the One Republic Meet and Greet was not only unique, but was both a satisfying and surreal experience.
In return, we were filmed going into, coming out of, and also during sessions that were on our agenda. We would say a few honest comments about a Keynote speaker, an educational session, or perhaps an interactive station that we would visit at the venue. After the first shoot, It was quite painless actually. And never really amounted to more than about 30-45 minutes a day total. The rest was left up to the film editors who worked late each night by making us all look good. The camera crew encouraged us to be ourselves, and we all felt a special relationship with them by the end of the week. The film editing crew had great skills that resulted in defining the diverse personalities that each Up Close participant was chosen for.
Nothing can match having that temporary rock star status, and the feeling seemed to be quite mutual among all of us who were waiting in the rear of the stage in anticipation of the band’s arrival on Thursday night. Not only were the Up Close participants made to feel welcomed, and respected, they were also fortunate enough to have some informal discussions with SAP Leadership. Mark Yolton and Chip Rodgers were as friendly and easy to talk to as anyone else at the conference. Also, getting some extra attention in having some personal demos performed, like the new SCN Jive platform, being released in December, was terrific.
I truly hope that SCN will continue this event at future SAP TechEds. It raises SCN awareness by allowing customers, partners, consultants, and companies to see what we saw. The experience is beneficial to both SCN and its participants. For this participant, the experience was humbling and gratifying.
Thank-You Philippe Rosset, an incredibly hard worker and a sincere gentleman. Thanks to Chip Rodgers, who has a natural ability in making people feel comfortable and accepted. Thank-You Idit Herzog for your soft-spoken leadership traits, especially in communicating with me, and others. Thank-You Marilyn Pratt, not only for your never-ending support and hard work in The SAP Community Network, but also for your community advocacy that symbolizes what SCN is al about. I also want to thank all of the very cool SAP Mentors who have raised my awareness about who they are, and what they do, and want to learn more about what it takes to be one. And finally some Thanks to some special people Sylvia Santelli, Natascha Thomson, and Tridip Chakraborthy, for having such great senses of humor, and for their collaborating, responding and joking with me weeks before we ever met!
Sincerely, Tom Matys
2011 SCNotty Award Winner
2011 SAP TechEd CloseUp