Many people are interested to break into SAP or expand their knowledge of SAP into another level and that is what we as students of the BCO6181 subject at Victoria University are trying to do. The class focus has been to build hands-on experience with SAP technology and understanding the privileges that the SAP Community Network offers us. The students of BCO6181 are constantly surprised about the vast amounts of information available from people eager to share.
We were also lucky to be addressed by the following SCN contributors and thought leaders during our guest speaker sessions for the BCO6181 subject:-
- Alisdair Templeton (SAP Mentor)
- Sascha Wenninger (SAP Mentor and SCN Member of the Month)
- John Moy (SAP Mentor)
- Paul Hawking (SAP Mentor)
- Prasad Godbole
- Kaustubh Maithani
- Judy Cole;
- Michael Kirk;
- Andrew Stuart; and
- Kanella Hatzicostas
Our BCO6181 lecturer Tony De Thomasis, instructed us to utilise various social networking tools available on the internet to build our knowledge and social connections. As students we are becoming more and more aware that the art of networking is a crucial skill when advancing from a professional standpoint be that in the search of an SAP position or in the transformation from one career to another. In a relatively short period of 13 weeks, we have been able to broaden our professional networks significantly by becoming proactive with LinkedIn, SCN, Streamwork and Twitter. Our networks are experiencing geometric expansion in line with our ability to find valuable professional information. By no means can we classed as experts, but we have come a long way in such a short period of time. We are sure that failure to evolve and adopt the various new technologies available will ensure one’s extinction not dissimilar to the distinction between dinosaurs and reptiles.
The following list represents the tools that we believe are crucial in the transformation of the BCO6181 students from hermit to socialite in SAP world
1. Using the SAP Community Network (SCN) for knowledge transfer
SAP Community Network is an animated online social-media-based website for SAP users across a variety of roles from SAP experts to beginners. The features provided on this website include technical articles, white papers, how-to guides, software documentation & downloads, support notes, moderated forums, expert blogs, eLearning, virtual events, wikis across various industries and lines of business. The website is free to register and gives us a plethora of advantages in terms of unlimited learning potential, answers for any SAP questions you might have through discussion forums and solve challenges through tutorials.
SCN is a critical resource which is used by SAP students to broaden their knowledge to build networks and to begin their journey towards transforming ourselves and improving our SAP knowledge. Several of the BCO6181 students have used SCN knowledge to help build SAP technical expertise required for our subject assessment. The following examples were presented back to the BCO6181 class during our 6 minute hands-on challenge:
– Query Design using SQVI by Roshan De Silva
– SAP Web application using HTML5, JQuery and BRFPlus by Stevanic Artana
Several BCO6181 students also found SCN forum discussions useful in helping them to build SAP Crystal Dashboards for submission in the SAP University Dashboard Competition
2. Using the SAP Community Network (SCN) to build reputation
The SCN also encourages members to contribute knowledge back into the community for the consumption of others. Contributions can be made by following activities:
- Wiki Contributions;
- Review of a solution on EcoHub; and
- Participating in the annual SCN Survey.
These activities allow contributors to earn points. Furthermore, badges have been introduced to distinguish the different levels of active members. Contribution points help to build SCN reputation, and possibly provide an advantage when trying to break into the SAP job market as a graduate. One student, Syed Asghar Husain, has actively made the following contributions to share his knowledge about mobility and the SAP Sales and Distribution module.
3. Using LinkedIn to build a Social Network
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site and BCO6181 which can be useful to help find jobs, people, business opportunities and expanding your professional network. Students Ammar and Anu, have found that LinkedIn quickly allows users to upload their resume for submission to potential employers looking for junior SAP candidates for positions that they are trying to fill. A recent example was noted by Ammar who learned of an interviewer to be holding a printed version of the LinkedIn profile when meeting the candidate. Many of the questions that will be asked during the interview will be based on the information provided in the LinkedIn profile – so be careful not to overstate your expertise!
Ammar also has found that LinkedIn has been useful when connecting with SAP mentors. This has helped him to understand the information or opinions which have been shared online through LinkedIn and Twitter. Various SAP communities, SAP events, SAP mentors and the latest on-goings in the SAP world are also shared in various interest Groups on LinkedIn.
Anu found the LinkedIn company profile to be a valuable source of knowledge covering the latest updates about a company and information to help connect with employees of that company. This knowledge can be used by candidates during the interview process to demonstrate company knowledge by the candidate.
4. Using Streamwork as a group collaborative tool
SAP Streamwork is an online Cloud based collaboration software that helps users to bring together people and information. Users can quickly add information and methods in one environment, encouraging people to collaborate, comment, add information and share documents. The software also helped with our decision making by allowing us to access the most up to date information and facilitate discussions to achieve the best outcome.
Streamwork has been used heavily by BCO6181 students in our class activities. Most recently, we used Streamwork to design, build, author and moderate this SCN Weblog you are currently reading. Streamwork has provided us with methods to communicate with other students, divide tasks and assign tasks to each student. Due dates can be set for each task to ensure the project runs on schedule. Each student was required to submit their contribution on Streamwork and other students were invited to read, review or post comments to facilitate discussion. Streamwork also offers flexibility by providing contribution using word documents, simple text, pictures or graphs. We also found that Streamwork is integrated with Google Docs, Mindmeister.com and Box.Net so users can easily link existing documents into a Streamwork activity.
Overall, the Streamwork software has helped us to manage our project, collaborate data, facilitate discussion and accomplish our goals effectively.
5. Microblogging using Twitter
Twitter is an online microblogging site which is currently used by 140 Million users. With everybody from Britney Spears to Hasso Plattner now on Twitter, it is safe to say the 340 million Tweets per day make this social networking platform a mainstream source of knowledge. Many BCO6181 students, particularly Vipul, have found that Twitter has been useful in extending your professional network, exchanging opinions and making new contacts.
Vipul has found that by following several SAP thought leaders including the SAP Mentors and several industry analysts, he can access a constant stream of up to date SAP knowledge and trends before most other people. He was able to know about upcoming SAP events and which SAP recruiters were looking for hires. When researching a company before an interview, following the Tweets of existing employees provides an insight into the culture of the company. Other ways that Twitter can be used to extend your network, can be found in here.
With the help of the tools listed above, we now have been exposed to vast amounts of information and opinions from several SAP thought leaders. We have slowly built our SAP profile and we pride ourselves in now being contributing members of the SAP Community Network. We hope to further leverage these tools on regular basis. We look forward to new opportunities that these tools may bring upon us and hopefully, we can transform ourselves faster to become SAP socialites in our own area of expertise.
This SCN weblog has been collaborative effort between the following BCO6181 students:-
- Ama Karunaratne
- Ammar Mithaiwala
- Anu Salwan
- Peter Tsiakalakis
- Roshan De Silva
- Stevanic Artana
- Syed Asghar Husain
- Vipulkumar Rupareliya
Special thank you for Tony De Thomasis for his invaluable feedback for our blog post.