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Introduction

Reading a book, watching a movie or thinking about whatever comes up in your mind can trigger ideas and cause action. I was reading the book the power of pull and the word that caught my attention was serendipity. Wikipedia describes serendipity as “when someone finds something they weren’t expecting to find”. After reading only the first seventeen pages of the book I put the book aside and started writing this blog.

How I got started in SAP

I graduated as an IT Bachelor and I was planning to become a developer. After doing an internship at Kaneka, they recommended me to a SAP consulting company. The general manager of Core Consulting showed me what SAP was about. I had seen that SAP offers ERP solutions but that was all I knew up front.

After he was done showing me the presentation it instantly hit me: “I have to go do SAP”. The position wasn’t development though instead it was system administration. I only had some experience working with Microsoft server so I was eagerly awaiting to get started in SAP. I hadn’t seen the contract yet but I said “It will be fine, I’ll start” a pretty bold statement looking back but also a good decision.

A big thanks to Kaneka for recommending me and believing in me back then and still today (I take care of their SAP systems nowadays). A special thanks here also to the general manager of Core Consulting and the company owners for believing in me strongly in the past and still today.

Gathering knowledge

When I got started I ended up in a decent sized SAP Administration team at a large customer (Interbrew back then, Inbev nowadays). My colleagues took up the role of mentors. I learned a lot from them on a short timeframe. I was also very hyper and eager to learn. I was so active soon concerns were raised that I would burn out because there was so much coming at me. Of course that didn’t happen else I would be writing this blog.

A big thanks to all my mentors and the management for training me, being concerned about me, believing in me, fuelling me and providing the necessary means to become a better me.

Becoming active on SCN

Each year me and my little family (girlfriend and two kids) set out with our friends to spend a week together. No internet, no Facebook, no twitter, it’s just us and our friends for one week in a house we rent somewhere. Last year we went to Bruges and we had an amazing time, great city, great people and spending quality time together. There I stumbled upon a book of Seth Godin and that book inspired me to step up and become active on SCN after a few years of passive use.

After posting a few blogs, Marilyn Pratt mailed me and fuelled me to keep going. It was around the same time I found out about the SAP mentor initiative. It was pretty much clear to me they are an amazing group of special persons and personalities. A little bit like X-Men with those blue shirts they wear. I always loved watching X-Men, a story about persons who are considered different because they have a gift although they are the same as everyone else. Everyone is an X-Men in his/her own way, everyone is gifted.

A big thanks to my family and friends for spending quality time with me and listening to my chatter about SAP. A big thanks to Seth Godin and Marylin Pratt for inspiring me to step up and do something.

Being an active community member on SCN

I love being active on SCN, it is definitely one of best if not the best community in the enterprise software realm. Being able to participate, discuss, learn and connect is great and provides inspiration and energy to keep going. Through serendipity I got connected to amazing people, too many to list but you all know who you are. Everyone I connect with on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Mail, Skype and other channels.

A big thanks to the SCN team for creating and maintaining an amazing community and to all the active community members. The number of active community members keeps increasing which is great. A special mention is in order for Natascha Thomson who has been a source of inspiration and guidance for me as well. You are truly amazing!

Not your grandfather’s SAP

I have no idea to be honest how much SAP has changed over the last decade because I’ve only been working in SAP for about five years now but in those five years I have witnessed change. Although it might sometimes look like I’m giving SAP a hard time (sometimes I do by the way) I’m grateful that I started working in SAP and I still am proud to be a SAP Technical Consultant. Here is one for the competition: look at your own products first before taking a swing at SAP. Not every customer of Workday is happy as you can witness on youtube.

Let’s face it, SAP has created some amazing pieces of software. The core of SAP and things like the Transport Management System are very neat and clever and have been around for years, still standing strong. Comments coming from active community members and SAP Mentors are not aimed at pulling SAP down. The goal is to provide feedback to SAP to encourage them to continue making great products so we can keep on going as well. The day we stop commenting and providing feedback, that’s the day SAP has to start worrying.

A big thanks to SAP for creating some amazing pieces of software and providing me a challenging work experience. Not only challenging but also rewarding. I’m glad I can provide the needful for my children and give them a head start towards a good life. Thanks to my parents for all the hard work they have done to make sure I could study.

Outro

I should do this more often, thank my parents, family, friends and connections for helping me be a better me. Sometimes we forget to be humble and grateful and we need to be reminded of it. Both are great values which matter and mean something. I’m not making this up, this is real, this is coming from my heart, this flows through me. Thank you! Damn this feels good.

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17 Comments

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Michelle

      Thank you! You are also one of the persons who influence me. I love how active you are in this community, commenting, thinking, collaborating and connecting.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    It is the way learning seems to work here.  You Tom, now inspire many others.  I’m sure of it.  With your expertise in content (featured on the BPX homepage in your blog about Solman for example: Impression of Solution Manager 7.1 by the devil (and angels view) . With your humor (found on the SCNotties Wiki for Madrid page
    I’m very moved by people that know how to acknowledge others and it is a great reminder for all of us to pay it backward as well as forward.  My gratitude list is great: my SCN community, colleagues, mentors, teachers, manager to name a few groups professionally and academically.  Thanks for joining their league.
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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Marilyn

      Thank you and thanks for your comment and encouraging / inspiring words. I’m  honored to be part of the list.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author

      Hi Naresh

      Thanks for your comment and it is really nice to see you put the “thanks” to practice right away.

      Best regards

      Tom

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  2. Suseelan Hari

    Hi Tom,

    We need to Thank you first for posting this wonderful Blog!

    Fanastic Job! Keep posting and sharing like this.

    Its quite interesting one!

    Regards,

    Hari Suseelan

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author

      Hi Diwa

      Thanks for the comment. True, I would say community really, the platform is a technical enabler but it’s really the people behind SCN who are so amazing. Without them ,the platform is worthless.

      Best regards

      Tom

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