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So you may think that the Mentors hide in their tall glass towers and prevaricate and pontificate about all things industrial, professional and technological but we actually like to support the community and go out to bat for users and customers where ever we can.

To that end there has been some feedback over the years that SAP Mentors at events are cliquey and tend to hang around with each other wearing blue shirts and not reach out to anyone.

I tend to think that is not the truth but in order to promote awareness in the community of the SAP Mentors some of us decided that it could be a good idea to have a ‘mobile app’ so that you could find out about the mentors and to some extent what they are up to.

We were putting our heads together and came up with a few features:

. a little bit of this

. a little bit of that

. some secret source  err sauce

. a hint of thyme

. salt and pepper to taste

Now there will be nothing that you couldn’t find out yourself with a little bit of research and link following on SCN and other sites but this app will attempt to bring it all for you so that you can find out about the SAP Mentors.

The reason I haven’t detailed what we are thinking is because I want to know what you are thinking or more correctly if there was a mobile app for for the Mentors what would you expect. The last thing that I would want for such an exercise is that we produce something with a big Ta-Dah and the community collectively rolls their eyes and says what a “waste of time that was”.

So over to you: Think about what you know about the Mentors and how an app might help you find out more about the Mentors.

There are no limits at this stage, no bad ideas or black hat thinking – everything is a possibility.

Looking forward to hearing about what you would like in such an app.

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20 Comments

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  1. Luke Marson

    Great idea! I have some suggestions:

    • It would be good for SAP Mentors to be contactable/reachable via the app. For example, someone can check a category and then message one or more SAP Mentors in that category (e.g. HANA or HCM).
    • At events, it would be good if SAP Mentors could flag when they are available and where they are, so people can find them in person.
    • It could list the SAP Mentor blogs marked with the #sapmentor hashtag
    • It could list events SAP Mentors are attending, such as HR2014, SAPPHIRENOW, Mastering SAP, or SIT, etc
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    1. Nigel James Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Luke Marson That’s the sort of thing we are looking for.

      The contactable bit could have some privacy concerns but it is certainly a possiblity

      I like the events thoughts and the blogs ideas.

      Who’s next? What other ideas are out there?

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      1. Jim Spath

        The contactable bit could have some privacy concerns but it is certainly a possibility

        I have mixed feelings about this app (and the one before this one that included my contact information, without permission…).  I’m generally open about which events I attend, and where I’ll be during those events.

        I mainly struggle with what this tool would provide that SCN, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook don’t provide about Mentors.  What I saw on the prior app was stale data (grabbed at a point in time and slowly degrading), and not much else.

        The other concern is who would be the audience?  If it’s other Mentors, trying to synch up, that’s one thing. But if it’s the general public, wouldn’t a widget on SCN be more friendly than an app (oh, yeah, need one for iOS, one for Droids, maybe another for Windows mobile)?

        I’m not trying to throw a spanner in the works, just trying to see what market research was done to decide what this app is for.

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        1. Nigel James Post author

          Thanks for your thoughts Jim. This is why I wrote this blog. We are trying to make the mentors more discoverable and findable for awareness reasons.

          The aim is not just for the Mentors but for the benefit of people who are seeing mentors at different events.

          Perhaps we should just point them to this page?

          http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-43477

          But if there was  searchable list by area or event or interest area then that could be a good thing? If it was only showing information from SCN that you have already agreed to share that gets around your permission issue.

          Love to hear your more of your thoughts. Keep those spanners coming.

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        2. Nigel James Post author

          I also note you share a few emails and phone numbers on your SCN profile. If you were concerned about privacy then wouldn’t you remove those?

          Just a thought,

          Nigel

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      2. Jon Reed

        Building on Luke’s comment and also to an extent Jim’s, I think that the special part of this app would indeed be the ability to contact Mentors on the communication platforms of their choice, along with the ability to sort by event.

        That’s where mobile apps excel, on the ground at events. If you could quickly search for Mentors expert in an area like HCM, see which ones are at the show you are at, and contact them according to their preferences, that’s slick. I realize those are advanced features, likely not for the first go-round, but if it’s basically a directory of Mentors, as Jim points out, we already kind of have that on SCN or could fine tune it.

        A couple of points: One if that Mark Finnern has urged us to think in terms of re-usability. In other words, we can hopefully build an app that can be used for other community groups and projects.

        Second, on privacy, that is easily dealt with by allowing Mentors to input only the contact data they want to share.

        It would be cool to have more of this on SCN also, we have a Mentor page and a Mentor space but could probably improve the ease of contacting and interacfing.

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        1. Nigel James Post author

          Thanks for this Jon.

          I see the app as a hub for content making it easy for people to see what the mentors are up to at events and by location or expertise.

          Re privacy if you have put fields in as public on your scn profile it is available for the app also.  This makes it easy for people to maintain and update.

          I agree that it would be great to have more of this form SCN.

          Cheers,

          Nigel

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    2. Kumud Singh

      I too was thinking on similar lines. It is at events like TechEd that people would have better opportunities to engage with Mentors and I myself have seen and felt that. Engaging certainly depends on the wish of Mentor and we have to always remember that information flow happens in both directions. So my idea would be like:

      • If in the app, there could be a feature available which highlights that Mentor has marked to be available (along with the location) to engage with people on general lines, that would be good. I think the app would be best put to use in such events. I am not sure if that would need integration with Agenda builder of the Mentor as there could be onspot changes! This could have much better impacts if done in a meaningful way. Thanks!

      Regards,

      Kumud 

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  2. Sam Anish

    Hi Nigel,

    An SAP Mentor Mobil app !

    Appreciate the idea.

    I’ve got few things in mind –

    1. A common news space where SAP mentors can post hot activities in their domain. This could keep members of all communities updated with information from different domains irrespective of their own.

    2. Not many members are aware of the idea place in SCN. If SAP mentors are coming up with a mobile app, its an obvious assumption that any SAP community member would want it in his device. A link of the ideaplace somewhere in the app would promote community involvement in the ideaplace.

    An idea centre ideal to the SAP mentor app is not a bad idea by itself I guess !

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    1. Nigel James Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Sam Anish – is 1. what you find on linked in these days? posts or links from thought leaders and to some extent twitter and facebook (instagram etc etc etc)

      Keep the ideas coming.

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      1. Sam Anish

        Hi Nigel,

        I would like to quote your words here. . .

        . . . Now there will be nothing that you couldn’t find out yourself with a little bit of research and link following on SCN and other sites but this app will attempt to bring it all for you so that you can find out about the SAP Mentors.”

        Yes indeed, the social networking sites bring to us all the updates we need right from what’s in a mentor’s mind to where his mind is (twitter, linkedin & FB) ! But they do not provide many a chance for the members & customers to  interact with the mentors. If the app developed could bridge this communication gap, I believe that might fulfill to some extent the reason why its developed in the first place.

        Suggestion :

        let’s say a content (blog,topic,news etc) is posted/listed in the app, Mentors interested to engage with the members/customers about that particular content should be able to tag their names to the content. These names are to be made visible to the members alongside the mode of communication the mentor prefers (via comments/mobile/email etc). This would not only provide the members & customers a chance to engage with the mentors but also the assurance all their valid queries & comments will be responded to/ acknowledged by a mentor.

        Regards,

        Sam Anish

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        1. Nigel James Post author

          I think what you are describing is SCN and beyond the scope of what we are thinking for this mobile app.

          Thanks – appreciate the feedback.

          Nigel

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    1. Luke Marson

      For me, the regular use would come from fresh content by SAP Mentors (e.g. blogs, tweets, etc). Also, maybe content from non-Mentors recommended by SAP Mentors.

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  3. Kavindra Joshi

    After gamification started and moderation went off , the communities are flooded with blogs , may be moderators could pick up some blogs on a monthly basis on their relevant areas and there is a could blogs by topics areas.

    ~Kavindra

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  4. Arun Bala

    Worked my $0.02 on such idea some time back. It’s a kiosk based proof-of-concept. Sadly, this version in my Git is for Macs. The contents are a RIA application framework, w/gateway consumption http://goo.gl/aOdrdR Needless to say, you can always ‘fork’, except the scrapping; REST-based OData, which may require a little Py knowledge. If you want a Win version, this needs an Intel PC for DMG conversion. For privacy issues, we can only oblige by sticking to conventional ways to extract public data. A wiki scrapping using SPARQL could help, but any future changes in wiki has to ensure same data discipline. Happy forking {-; Regards, AB

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  5. Anjali Pandey

    Hi Nigel,

    The idea of launching a mobile app is really great and thanks for providing us an opportunity to share our thoughts.

    I also want to share my point of view. I am a 4 years experienced SAP consultant (started my SAP career as a fresher without prior knowledge and experience in SAP 🙂   and still learning) and working in a support project. We keep on getting issues to work on and we have to resolve them within a defined SLA. Sometimes, we face situations or issues where we really seek for immediate help or idea or some guidance to resolve the issues.

    As you have mentioned that there is nothing that we couldn’t find with a bit of research.

    But still, to handle such situations and being an end user of this app, I would expect to get help from this app at the quickest pace.

    So, want do you think in this perspective.

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    1. Simon Kemp

      Thanks for pointing that out Custodio, I hadn’t seen that. I have a prototype SAP Mentor app working, I will reach out to Tobias Hofmann and get his feed back based on what he’s done. My portuguese is terrible so will need him to translate. I am most interested in what value this sort of app brings to people and really identifying who the target users are – that is what I’ve been struggling with.

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