Transitions: Farewell as We Close One Chapter and Start The Next
Dear SCN members:
Since I know so many of you personally through interaction on SCN or social media, or at SAP TechEd or other SAP events, and I want to let you know that I’ve decided to move on from SAP to a new opportunity and a new set of adventures. Over the course of the past 8 years I’ve been proud to help lead and build and expand the SAP Community Network (SCN), the SAP TechEd conference series, SAP’s presence on Twitter and Facebook and other social media, digital marketing via SAP.com and its country websites, SAP’s Technology Standards & Business Standards and Open Source practices, and the establishment of the SAP EcoHub which was the predecessor and is now a core component of the combined and improved online SAP Store. I will transition out of SAP later this month.
However, I won’t be leaving all of this or all of you behind, and I believe that what I do leave is in better shape than when I ‘found’ it. SAP has been my professional home for the past 8 years where we’ve grown and evolved together, and in particular the SAP Community has been like an extended family that has produced real friendships with people who generously share their ideas, opinions, talents, collaboration, and support. The SAP Mentor connections are even more special, deeper, and stronger within the larger context of the community. I have abiding respect for SAP’s leadership, deep appreciation for what I’ve learned and gained here at SAP, strong bonds with colleagues across the company and especially in the Marketing & Communications leadership team, and positive connections with SCN members from our customer and partner companies literally around the world. I hope that many of those connections will continue to be healthy, and that some might even grow stronger over time as we enter a different phase.
I am both excited for all of the new things to look forward to ahead, and in a bit of mourning for what I will leave behind. The people connections will be the toughest to leave day-to-day … but I hope and expect to stay connected to SAP and to you through SCN.
My experience with SAP and SCN has been rich and rewarding.
- When I started here, SCN was still a small, narrow, fledgling SDN (SAP Developer Network) that was striving to reach 200,000 members by the end of the year (2005); now it’s routine to have 2 million individual visitors per month — and the depth and breadth of what we’ve built together is staggering and a best-practice for other companies to envy and emulate.
- Also during that time, we’ve built and expanded SAP TechEd events to a new level of professionalism, value, and quirky fun with renowned guest speakers, enlightening keynotes, expert hands-on and classroom technical training, world-class concerts, and a vibrant show floor.
- Social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all the rest didn’t yet exist when I started on the SAP journey (at the time, “web 2.0” was a futuristic concept), and those are now embedded in our team and in our everyday actions as individuals and as a company.
- The SAP EcoHub is now a foundational piece of the SAP Store.
- Technology Standards, Business Standards, and Open Source policies are embedded in other parts of the company.
- Some members of our team have gone on to form new groups within SAP IT and remain together and still support SCN years later.
- The SAP websites — SAP.com and its 70 country sites in 40 languages — have joined the fold and have evolved and are getting more social/community embedded.
There have been a lot of changes and progress during my time here with you. I hope and expect that there will be much more after I’m gone. I do believe I’m leaving a lasting legacy at SAP, and an imprint on your professional lives, just as the interactions with you have forever changed my work and my career and my life for the better. I’ll enjoy following your exploits and the progress of SAP and its community for years to come. My expectation is that there will be many changes and improvements ahead under the new guidance of a fresh leader of SCN, and theSAP Mentors, and SAP TechEd, and SAP.com, and SAP in social media — but I also expect I’ll be able to look back and see a faint shadow of my enduring fingerprints on the original version of each of these.
In case you wonder, I’m off to see if I can help create some magic at Cisco (a great SAP partner!). I’ll lead the digital team there, which includes Cisco.com, the employee intranet, social media, Cisco TV, and more. It’s another great company, with a highly respected executive team including a CMO from whom I will learn, talented colleagues, a strong team apparently in pursuit of leadership, a healthy company culture, opportunities for growth and appreciation and rewards, and many of the other attributes we all look for to gain fulfillment from our work. I already feel needed, wanted, welcomed, appreciated, and valued — and I haven’t even started yet! — so that’s a great early sign.
I will be at SAP until July 19th to help ensure a smooth transition, and then I start fresh in August in the new role. After that date, you’ll still find me on SCN, although in a different capacity. We can also stay connected on Twitter and on LinkedIn.
Please know that I treasure our time together, appreciate your expertise and professionalism and contributions and collaborative achievements, and I deeply value your friendship and support of SCN and SAP and of the DiSCo (SAP Digital / Social / Community) team and of me personally. My time at SAP has been some of the most rewarding of my career and my life. You played a big role in that, and I’m forever grateful. Thank you. I hope we will stay connected and in touch.
And with that I’ll leave you with comments I saw recently in a blog on ‘personal leadership’ which speaks to how we need to take ownership and responsibility for our own careers and lives:
personal leadership “…is the ability to direct your own life and to lead yourself in the direction that you would like your life to take. The ability to define what you want out of life and how you are going to get there… leading, directing, and taking action… living each day to its fullest… with accountability to yourself and to others… It means that you have made a conscious decision to use the special, specific and unique talents that you have been given to reach further, higher, deeper, wider, to reach your goals… that you have determined the course you need to pursue, and that you are the master of your life…”
I wish you great personal rewards and professional success, and hope to see you on the road ahead.