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Author's profile photo Former Member

The Good People

Earlier this week I wrote a blog where I was having a gripe about being ignored and frustrated. Thankfully enough kind people commented and made me feel a little bit easier. Thanks to all of you.

As it is Friday, I thought let’s finish the week on a brighter note and talk about more positive things. Rather than concentrate on the software side of the business I thought I might comment on a couple of people that make life in the SAP world a bit more bearable when you don’t get the work you were chasing or the configuration and design don’t want to work together. An organization is made up of people and sometimes the individual who gives more than what would normally be expected should get some credit.

When our company first became an SAP Services Partner we were given exceptional service and assistance by Crystal Xiang as our initial partner services advisor. If we needed to find out about any new SAP strategy or solution, Crystal would organize a meeting with the appropriate group. She always followed up on any matter until we were able to say the objective had been realized. I expect she is doing extremely well in her new role and hopefully is truly appreciated by her management. David Zeng, our current PSA, had big shoes to fill but is rapidly approaching the same level of service.

Closer to home, we have Jarmo Rasi, who works for SAP Australia based in Sydney. I’m never too sure what his title is but he works in the Centre of Excellence in the HCM space. Similar to Crystal he assists in putting us in contact with the right people or provides information that is relevant to what we do. All we need to do is phone or email Jarmo and the answer/assistance will not be far away. He is a keen golfer and next time he is in Brisbane we must have a game.

My experience with SAP Client Partners has been mixed. In some instances we compete for tenders and some CP’s don’t take losing well. Others are available for open and honest discussions on the happenings in the market and such discussions are welcomed. One of these latter ones is David Watson from the Brisbane office. Faced with the onerous task of dealing with Queensland Health after the disaster that was the payroll implementation, he is still able to smile and I look forward to the coffees we have together, sharing what we are able to, so that better outcomes may result for our clients.

Moving away from SAP for a moment, I would also like to mention George Chondros, Director of Sales ANZ, and Ron Shpilman, Senior Solution Consultant, both with ClickSoftWare. When it was announced that SAP were to become a reseller of the product, I scrambled onto a plane to Melbourne to meet the new kids on the block. It was refreshing to speak with a couple of people who were open and willing to provide assistance in understanding their product and market. We have not been involved in any ClickSoftWare deals but whenever our paths cross at a conference it is always good to say hello. They were just nice people.

Finally the people who I haven’t met but I seem to be learning more about each day. The ones I stalk on SCN and Twitter. The insightful information provided by Jon Reed, Dave Howlett, Luke Marson, Chris Paine and Jarret Pazahanick is most helpful. It is amazing how they all share information, ideas and criticisms and seem to engage with each other on a regular basis. Maybe I am missing something here in Australia (or maybe only Brisbane) but other consulting firms are seen as “the enemy” and not to be given more than a cursory hello when crossing paths. Perhaps I am just out of the “in-group”. Maybe just not liked and the others are all talking. It would seem beneficial if we could get that same willingness to have open discussions about the products that do provide our livelihood, share ideas and ultimately determine the best way to service our market. We did try with one of the other consulting firms but they weren’t interested. The Tier 1 companies are more willing to engage with an organization our size.  

I better stop now as the end of my last paragraph looked like it was heading into negative territory again and this blog is about the good things and the people that make work more enjoyable. Maybe others can also write something about people that make their day better…..

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      Author's profile photo J. Pazahanick
      J. Pazahanick

      Thanks for the mention Paul as very much appreciated.  You bring up a great point about information sharing and competition and it is one that took me awhile to get my head around as I spent many years "hoarding" information as saw it as a competitive advantage. Luckily about 3 years ago the light bulb went off thanks to SAP Mentor Christopher Solomon as sharing information has been a real win/win and I would highly encourage others to do it. It is no surprise that "information" and "knowledge transfer" were two items on my top 5 Valuable Lessons to Make the Most of your SAP Career

      It is important to note that folks like Steve Bogner & Martin Gillet were way ahead of the game on sharing SAP HCM information as Steve was doing it on his blog pre 2000 and Martin on the IT Toolbox which shows you what visionaries and also how old both are 😆

      Keep up the blogs as I think something covering AU Payroll would have some interest as very little has ever been written on SCN on it.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon

      Uh oh! So I am the one to blame for opening Pandora's Box!!!! hahahaha

      Glad I was there to help motivate/inspire you. Glad even more to see all you have done since you "took the ball and ran with it"! Keep it coming and keep paying it forward as well!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Paul,

      I really enjoyed your blog, thanks!

      As a relatively new addition to the world of SAP I have found the support provided from the SAP ‘lifers’ invaluable. The nature of information sharing in communities such as this (and twitter) has enable me to contribute back into the community sooner than I would have done if I had just kept hitting wall after wall! So everyones a winner right?


      Will Jackson


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Paul - Nice post and thanks Jarret for pointing it out. I've been doing a lot of work with the Business One sec ion of the SAP User Group recently and getting them involved in sharing of ideas and information. It goes against everything we were taught in business 1.01 many years ago but I think we got through to them that sharing ideas on business, tech and best practice is actually beneficial to everyone. The company who stays insular and closed will not survive in this modern world.

      Author's profile photo Luke Marson
      Luke Marson

      Hi Paul,

      Good blog and thanks for the mention, even if you did spell my surname horribly wrong 😉 . Don't worry, it's not a new one to add to the collection of mis-spellings 🙂 .

      I'm glad that people like Jarret, Jon, Dennis and I are helping. I'm glad to be able to provide information that wasn't around when I started and give some support to someone that appreciates it. It's better to have a vibrant ecosystem than a collection of "secret experts", who quite often aren't the expert they think they are. The only way to validate expertise is to share it, which gives me a greater reward than hogging information.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Luke:

      Discovered the misspelling of your surname and corrected it earlier today. Otherwise you might be mistaken for Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers. 😉

      Author's profile photo Luke Marson
      Luke Marson

      Thanks Ray, although there are worse namesakes! 🙂