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Blog It Forward – Mickey Steiner


My name is Mickey Steiner, and I am the managing director of SAP Labs Israel – the development center of SAP in Israel.

I have been working at SAP for seven and a half years (the longest period I stayed with any single company), and even after such a relatively long time I am still excited about this great company (and I’ve been places in my multi-year career…). I thought many times “what is the secret sauce” – what makes SAP so special (and not just in my eyes – I heard this from many current and ex-employees), and my conclusion is simple – the human touch, the people, the culture.

In this long period we have been through many cycles, seen many ups and downs, and the company had its share of successes and failures. And at all those critical junctions there was always open and transparent communication, sharing (as much as possible) of the difficulties and challenges, and the guiding principle was always – let’s try to preserve the talent, let’s find new challenges for the employees. This culture of respect and recognition of the individual is the main strength of SAP, and carries us through many challenging periods, since indeed – being a software company – the main pillar of our success is our employees.

Gali blogged it forward to me, and asked me to answer the following three questions:

Fact about SAP Labs Israel the community might not be aware of:

From evidence gathered from our many guests, those who have traveled through the SAP world and been to many SAP locations – our cafeteria is by far one of the best ones in the company. The choice and variety, the tastes, the “presentation”, all get rave reviews from guests from the “global” regardless of their origin or seniority

Share one person who influenced me greatly and why:

I worked in a US company as a software development manager, and was promoted to report to the VP R&D (from the previous director of R&D). With the first dilemma I encountered I approached him for advice, and his answer was simply – “Mickey, your guess is as good as mine”. For the first time, with a completely new manager, I was given the freedom to use my intuition and experience and make my own decision. Looking back it was a turning point in my outlook and understanding of management, and I am trying to implement it in my own management style.

What is your favorite SAP event and why:

DKOM Israel of course, an even which is improving from year to year, gets great feedback from our developers, exposes all of us to the latest and greatest in SAP technologies and strategy, and lets out developers compete in the local demo jams. It is interesting, enriching, and fun. The demo-pods are a great way for us to experience and see real-life products; the interaction with the guests from all over the company is an excellent opportunity for networking and exchange of ideas.

I have chosen the following 4 people to ‘blog it forward’ to: Shai Shermister, Itamar Koren, Kirsten Sutton and Mario Herger.

I would ask that they please answer one or more of the following questions:

  • Share something interesting about your (SAP Lab) location
  • A hobby of yours now or when you were young
  • A favorite place that you traveled to or wish to go to

Please be sure to follow the Blog It Forward Chain to see where it will lead.

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  • Hi Mickey,

    Thanks a lot for joining BIF challenge. I totally agree that DKOM Israel is a very creative event with a lot of interesting interactions and speakers.

    Looking forward to other BIFers from Israel Labs:).


  • I am so glad you participated and anxiously await an invite to the SAP cafeteria there to see if the food is the most amazing....DKOM sounds good too.

    Yes, in 9th grade, my science teacher answered every question with "use your own good judgment" - I try to remember that everyday. 

  • Thanks, Mickey, for this great and inspiring blog post :-)!! Indeed it is people -- like you! -- and the culture they create that make SAP so special!


  • Hi Mickey,

    I can see and understand that you are great thinker. correct me If I am wrong?

    Nice blog and glad to read this blog. Keep up good work! 🙂

    All the best! Keep rocking!


    Hari Suseelan