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Mark Chalfen – Blog it forward

A big thank you to Brenton for handing over the BIF baton, I hope I take good care of it, as it has passed through many people’s hands over the last 12 months (check out Brenton’s BIF) . I believe the whole BIF campaign has helped widen the appeal of SCN and provide more warmth to the whole experience within the community.

About me..


I have been using SCN and SDN for the past 7 years. I spend most of my time in the Finance sections of SCN. Just over 3 years ago I was asked to become a Moderator for the Finance space and there aren’t many days that go by when I am not in SCN answering questions or moderating comments. Feel free to come and join us in the FSCM Space

By trade I am a SAP Finance Consultant, I spend most of my time looking at Business Suite systems however as SAP increases its footprint in the Finance space I find myself looking at other solutions as well. I am a true functional consultant and shy away from the more technical aspects of solution design and implementation. I work for the wonderful Bluefin Solutions, I have been there a while and enjoy the great spirit with the company.

I was born in London, and I live only a few miles away from where I grew up. I cannot profess to have experienced living in different locations, however I would like to do this one day. Whilst my passport might be littered with various stamps from around the world most have been acquired through work adventures or attending SAP conferences and the like. So I have been to plenty of places, but not really seen or experienced them.

I have got two kids who are growing all of the time, my son is now 9 and my daughter is 7. They are great fun and keep me young, most of the time I am the childish one. I am a big football fan (or soccer to my friends across the pond). If I am not watching it on TV, I am playing it or managing my son’s team which is full of stars of the future !!

kids photo.jpg

I live in a place called Elstree which is famous for its film studio. It is a far cry from Hollywood but the original Star Wars was filmed there as well as great British classics like the “Carry on” series from the 70’s. They still produce television there and the UK version of Big Brother is set a 3 only a few hundred meters away from my apartment.


Brenton kindly posed two “killer” questions for me to answer so here you go…


If you had to sum up where you think the future of technology and SAP is going in 2 sentences – what would they be?


OK – before I start with my two sentences I would like to add some context to the question as it is pretty open. I am going to comment about the next couple of years as I think that is probably as far as one can comment with any real sentiment in a fast moving industry.


I think SAP will be trying to tap into the consumer market via mobile and SAP HANA. The key to this is the majority usage of SAP HANA does not focus on using data from core ERP systems but other sources of data which should widen the reach of SAP to consumers who have never heard of SAP and dont
realise they are using it.

What in the SAP world (technology-wise) do you least like working with?

I could be a smart arse here and say that I dont really use the technology. I dont go and update or activate a BAdI or write lines of code to write a report. Any build activities I perform are normally constrained to the wonderful “SPRO”. So perhaps that is the area I least like working in as it is the only one I work in !! However on a more serious note tools such as SAP Fiori are targeted at improving the user experience for regular users, perhaps SAP could look to wave their magic Fiori wand over the old “SPRO” screen and make the life of the 100,000’s of functional consultants a little simpler and more enjoyable.


So that is me, and now I need to hand over the baton to anew group of SCN users. For those select individuals my questions to you are:


1 – What made you visit SCN or SDN for the first time?

2 – Who is the person that has made the biggest impact on your work career?

3 – Share with us an interest fact about the place you live?

4 – Where do you want to go on holiday next and what would you do there?

The guys to whom I am passing the BIF baton…

Eli Klovski – a man with over 20,000 SCN points 

Julien Delvat

Tristan Colgate

Katharina Reichert

Thanks for reading and I look forward to move BIF’s

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  • Hi Mark,

    Wow, I can’t believe it took this long for the BIF challenge to get to you – but that’s what keeps this thing growing. 

    Ha ha ha ha, I am thinking of the reaction in Walldorf from ‘wave their magic Fiori wand over the old “SPRO” screen’ – I would wish the same for many transactions that I use day-in, day-out.  

    But seriously?  Your children are adorable, and they must be very happy when Dad gets off the plane and comes home to play footie.  Sorry, I just can’t call it football. 

    You know what’s great about this blog?  It reminds me how many functional consultants there are out there.  This is not just a platform for geeks.

    Great job picking your BIFs too.  I need to know how Eli has earned all those points.

    Thank you xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct) for starting this!  

  • OMG!

    I was wondering when this is going to happen! Welcome!:)

    This BIF thing is very funny. It’s like it has a life of its own. The recent wave from India and other places is extra cool filled with a lot of beautiful pictures from around the world.

    Soon we will be celebrating a year for blog it forward and my wedding:). I don’t know what’s more exciting:).

    But let’s use this opportunity to start brainstorming ways to celebrate BIF anniversary. I thought of doing a quiz and also tag blog with country names that people can take a “real” world tour:). Or maybe add 15 seconds clips to be added to the existing blogs.

    I will be grateful for your thoughts.


    • Hi Moshe

      Thanks for all of your support within SCN, getting my space set up and letting me be a moderator.

      I have always supported BIF – and felt that this week was the right time for me to join the group.

      Big Mazel on your wedding – are you about to celebrate your first anniversary or get married this year – both are pretty exciting.

    • I like the idea of a quiz – questions with answers that can be found in the BIF collection. Great encouragement to go and read them all. I wonder if we could arrange for some points to be given to everyone who finds all the answers? This could turn into an annual “BIF challenge” πŸ™‚

  • Good to know about you Mark.

    I found some valuable information “

    I think SAP will be trying to tap into the consumer market via mobile and SAP HANA. The key to this is the majority usage of SAP HANA does not focus on using data from core ERP systems but other sources of data which should widen the reach of SAP to consumers who have never heard of SAP and dont

    realise they are using it.


    Midhun VP

    • This is the current picture. there are 10’s of thousands of ERP systems waiting to move to Suite on HANA so there may be a shift back to the core base. However SAP has moved into a new market by using SAP HANA on non SAP data.