First of all, thank you very much for being outspoken and for the efforts taken to make your points very clear, often in a very detailed response, and in a very passionate way. I read and reflected on every single one of them. As one contributor commented, it feels like opening a can of worms, and indeed it was.
In my initial blog, it was not my intent to send a “mission accomplished” message. Though I realize now that the “marketing-speak” tone and language did exactly that. Using this language had the unintended consequence of not recognizing those people in the community who have been devoting significant time to helping improve things and who – rightfully so – think it is by far not finished. My sincere apologies for this. Believe me, there was no intent of cutting short a transformation still in progress and I personally appreciate the significant input of the community, the C5 and SAP Mentors.
My observation from SAPPHIRE 2012, from my interactions with customers and partners, and from looking at adoption measures in the past 6 months is a strong change from what I saw at the same time of year in 2011. Far from “undisputed” as far as the “how” goes, but significant change in perception of importance of enablement for innovation topics and certification, and the programs we have put in place to address this. This relates specifically to the enablement programs in place for HANA and other innovations, the partner program we have engaged in last year to ensure quality of capabilities, capacity and skills in the ecosystem – SAP Learning Hub being one of many items that resulted in a new offering – , and Certification, which is ten times more of an unsolicited topic of discussion than it was last year. And demand for it is significantly higher.
So the message was about increasing momentum but we also realize we are on a journey. It is now my challenge to deal with the complexity of finding an adequate format to address the many observations, perceptions, issues, and opinions raised by the community during the last week. We probably have gone beyond the point of making a “one-by-one, item-by item” response mode being feasible, so I am leaning towards a more personal format with SAP Mentors and the C5. While my team has been interacting with you quite intensively in the past, I myself have not and this will change. We will not only have the opportunity to discuss this in the Certification & Enablement Influence Council in June, but I will be reaching out as well for a personal conversation beforehand.