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Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek

Blog It Forward – Twan van den Broek

Blog It Forward

Thank you Greg Chase for ‘BIFfing’ me in your Blog It Forward part. BIFfing, a term that for sure has got nothing to do with Back To The Future’s Biff Tannen, but is all about introducing yourself to the SCN community. An initiative started by xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct) that leads to a great, worthwhile reading, blog roll here on SCN.

Intro Twan

Van FS2012 BlixemQuizzz

Well then, here we go. A long, long time (1995) ago I started as an ABAP youngster in the SAP world. Originally I planned to become a logistics consultant, which would be in line with my business administration study. But I really enjoyed – and still do – being in the creative development world. Especially when SAP NetWeaver got introduced, the job got even more attractive. Currently I mostly act as solution architect for customers. Being involved in defining a flexible architecture for now and the future is a challenge that really makes my day. Talking to business representatives to understand their needs and translating that into solutions. My current weeks are filled with two customers that want to step into the world of Enterprise Mobility.

Greg about Twan

For the well awake reader you probably noticed that I didn’t write anything on Java. That’s because I don’t have any experience there. Sorry Greg, but I have to rectify that. But with all the SAP NetWeaver Cloud stuff I really think I need to get a crash course Java. Anyone any suggestions?

With all the new possibilities that are brought to our SAP lives, it is even more important to really understand what the business wishes are and to deliver these wishes fast – light speed fast. Since early 2009 I have worked with scrum within SAP projects and – allow me to say so – I am really enthusiastic on this topic. More experiences on scrum and SAP here on SCN and on my blog.

Twan about Twan

How to describe myself? I am a community guy. Within the company borders I try to bring together likewise minds to share knowledge and experience to come up with new ideas and innovations. If you ask about my passion – here you have it. Bring people together. Fortunately there are more people that think alike. That’s how I ended up within the SCN community. All the credits go to Marilyn Pratt for that. She reached out to me at SAP TechEd in 2007 and connected me to Richard Hirsch, as a result I got involved in a BPX community project. Dick, Owen and others simulated a project via collaboration tools as Messenger, SDN and Wiki’s.

Next were the community days as a prequel to SAP TechEd. Events that later got decoupled from SAP TechEd and renamed to SAP Inside Tracks. Great initiatives that I wanted to bring to the Netherlands as well. I started SAP Inside Track in the Netherlands in 2009. Last year this community event was attended by 75 enthusiasts. “Learn by sharing” is the main theme again at our 4th SAP Inside Track NL (#sitNL) where we gather around to share The SAP TechEd XPerience.

Enough for the business part. Who am I really? I am a proud father of 3 kids, 2 boys (1999, 2003) and a daughter (2006). And together with my wife I’m really happy to be able to raise a healthy family. I enjoy to make pictures and quite often I combine that with my SAP life as I bring my camera to all kind of SAP events 😉 .

Even at home I like to act as a community guy. Once a year we organize a 3 day festival for kids, teens and their parents. Dance, Sport, Quiz, Music and a lot of fun. During that weekend I really love to act as a DJ and host and you can see me using my presentation machine in a different way.

Van FS2012 Zeskamp Van FS2012 Vrijdag

We live in Eindhoven, which brings me to the next topic.

Fun facts Eindhoven

Eindhoven, a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. World famous for being the birthplace of Philips.


Also famous for a UFO like congress center, the Evoluon. Which actually started as a Philips museum in its first years.

And when you’re in the neighborhood this month, check the “Lichtjesroute“.


1. What do you do to build bridges


(A bridge near the Philips High Tech Campus that changes its colors at night)

Initially I wanted to answer: with Lego of course. But I guess Greg meant something different 😉

Bring in your expertise and reach out. In the fast changing business and IT world it is important to collaborate. You can only do so if you reach out to each other and combine your knowledge. Don’t throw requirements or wishes over the wall, but get together and work on the same goals. Needless to say that I recommend using scrum to facilitate the collaboration within your projects.

2. What is your philosophy of innovation and how do you help others to innovate

Innovation is not only done in a lab environment where new products are invented and brought to the market. Innovation is also the combination of existing solutions into a new one. People that look beyond borders, think out of the box, come up with innovative ideas. They see customers struggle in their daily life and come up with a solution to support them. That can be an SAP solution or they see a third party solution and come up with the idea to combine that with SAP.

Within a company you can only facilitate innovation by giving freedom to thoughts and activities. Not in a way that every Friday afternoon is reserved for innovation. No, if you have an idea, describe it on a one pager with expected deliverables and required time. And off you go, reserve time in your workweek, don’t visit your customer for 40 hours/week, but spend time on your own innovation project as well.

3. How will you leave the world a better place?

Respect! Only one word that can save a lot of lives here on our planet. Respect your fellow colleagues, customers, family members, neighbors, people from different countries with different religions or different thoughts.

Respect the one world we have and the people living on it. Don’t do anything with or to somebody else that you don’t want to happen to yourself.

Sounds very easy, but in practice very difficult – apparently. As a father I will be very happy when our kids show respect to others and when they are respected in return.

Next in the Blog It Forward line

  • Leo van Hengel, who is a real SAP NetWeaver wizard. There isn’t anything he can’t build, fix or connect together. Really happy that Leo and I got selected for this year’s SAP TechEd DemoJam with our Garbage Collector.
  • T. Castelijns, Ted, another colleague at Ciber who shares enthusiasm on portals and user interfaces. With the announcement of the Cloud Portal, you know what topic he sits on right now 🙂
  • John Astill, fellow SAP Mentor whom I met at last year’s InnoJam in Madrid. He won DemoJam 2011 in Madrid with Home Carbon Challenge, a unique green entry (John starts at 50:12). This year he coaches a team of middle school children and they came up with a Food Agent app, a food safety database.
  • Nigel James, fellow SAP Mentor who co-organized the first community day in London that wasn’t connected to SAP TechEd. Nigel gave me some very handy tips in setting up and organizing the first SAP Inside Track NL.
  • Darren Hague, fellow SAP Mentor who was the other co-organizer of the community day in London. Currently heavy involved in transforming a dinosaur into a spaceship.

Please answer the following questions

1. What is your philosophy of innovation and how do you help others to innovate

2. What is the project that you are most proud of in your SAP life

3. If you had plenty of time next to your SAP career, what other career would you like to start (or did you already start)

Thanks for making it to the end, again I really like to recommend the other blogs in this chain.

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      Excellent work,Twan

      Well done BIF

      Good luck with Demo Jam


      Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek
      Twan van den Broek
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Tammy

      Author's profile photo Jan Penninkhof
      Jan Penninkhof

      Very nice blog Twan. I think it got a little late though. 1:48am? 😉

      Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek
      Twan van den Broek
      Blog Post Author

      Eh, yep it got a bit late. Really wanted to finalize. But what about you - your reply is from 2:22 AM......

      Author's profile photo Jan Penninkhof
      Jan Penninkhof

      Couldn't sleep because of the anticipation of your blog 😉

      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt

      Hey Twan.  It's kind of you to credit me with linking you to the community.  I'm nothing if not a good recognizer of smart and talented people.  That's a fun thing to be because you feel good when others get to experience the goodness and smartness.  You've been a tremendous asset here and it will be fun to cheer you on during Demo Jam.  Of course you didn't mention did you that you've been on that stage before 😉

      I have a feeling it would be a blast to attend an SAP Inside Track event in the Netherlands.  Your are a small nation with big spirit and I guess one could say that about the Dutch community here on SCN....although proportionately you have a pretty large presence.

      See you at TechEd and hope you will have some "empathy" for our evening event which follows yours!  Good luck and good trucking.

      Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek
      Twan van den Broek
      Blog Post Author

      You are more than welcome at #sitNL. Even better: could I invite you to be keynote speaker at our #sitNL? That would be really awesome.

      At InnoJamNL I really had a good Design Thinking experience. Want to write that down soon. Looking forward to evening events at SAP TechEd!

      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt

      Goodness, I don't know that I would have the "power of pull" for a keynote, but I would definately consider getting myself over for an #sitNL event if you and your folks would have me. And if not physically present, I'd be glad to put our heads together to see if there are topics that we could gear for a local event that I might help support.  Glad you had a good DT experience in InnoJamNL.  Would love to hear more about it.

      Author's profile photo Fred Verheul
      Fred Verheul

      I wouldn't worry about having the "power of pull". If you don't have it, I wouldn't know who does. I think it's a great idea of Twan, and would consider myself lucky (as a participant) to receive a keynote from you.

      So please?! 🙂

      Author's profile photo Robin Van Het Hof
      Robin Van Het Hof

      +1 😉

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hey Twan,

      Thanks for "BIFfing" me, it's an honor!

      I guess I have some archives to go through to be able to answer your questions J


      Author's profile photo Leo van Hengel
      Leo van Hengel

      Thanks Twan for the blog it forward and compliments.

      Really excited and looking forward doing our DemoJam in Madrid!



      Author's profile photo Fred Verheul
      Fred Verheul

      Hi Twan,

      Good BIF! And I especially like the Blixembosch FS2012 pictures.

      I've read with much interest your thoughts on how to spur innovation, and by all the tweets I get to see, I think you've really done a great job on that at Ciber.

      And of course, like Marilyn Pratt said, we'll cheer for you and Leo van Hengel at Demojam Madrid!


      Author's profile photo Robin Van Het Hof
      Robin Van Het Hof

      Great blog Twan, I especially like your thoughts and philosophy on innovation (and in that extend, knowledge sharing)


      Author's profile photo Mark Teichmann
      Mark Teichmann

      Nice BIF!

      Regarding Java, a very valuable resource is 'Effective Java' by Joshua Bloch. It is not meant to start learning Java with but to use it as a reference for always doing things the right way.

      Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek
      Twan van den Broek
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Mark for the tip. Looks very serious, a 300+ pages book. Hope to find the time to study it. Hold on it was my own wish, I need to create some time to study 😛

      Kind regards


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Twan,

      Good Day!

      My Son like Truck very very much! Thanks for sharing video. 😉

      Thank you so much for sharing about you and your experience. It was very interesting and different to read you BIF. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing exceptional blog. Keep rocking and sharing new innovation and ideas. I love to read your blogs and happy to comment it.

      Have a nice day! 🙂


      Hari Suseelan

      Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek
      Twan van den Broek
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Hari, I had to promise the give the trucks back to the kids. But they were happy to loan it to me 😉

      Author's profile photo Srinivas Salpala
      Srinivas Salpala

      Hi Twan,

      Nice BIF.... Good to know more about you!

      BR, Srinivas Salpala

      Author's profile photo Diwa p
      Diwa p

      Hi Twan,

      Good to know about you great blog