When you’re working day-to-day, just living life and doing your best to make a positive impact on the people and the world around you, you don’t always notice the big momentous decisions, actions, or pivots until they’ve come and gone, and you have a chance to reflect back on the little moments that mean so much in retrospect and in the grand scheme of life, work, career, family, friendships.
As the SAP Community Network (SCN) turns 10-years-old, it’s a perfect time to reflect.
When I went to work at SAP 8 years ago in 2005 with the task to build up the still-new SDN into a strong community, I was excited and thrilled at the possibilities, but didn’t then know what a transformational role it would play in my career and in my life.
Sure, SDN — which evolved to include BPX, and BOC, and UAC, and then re-booted itself to SCN — grew and morphed and achieved great success by many measures.
- It helped SAP customers to more efficiently and effectively implement, operate, and optimize SAP products and technologies.
- Yes, it allowed individual members to learn, grow their careers, and shine on a big virtual stage.
- Certainly, SAP benefitted from internal efficiencies, and emboldened advocates, and improved loyalties, and faster product/solution adoption in the market.
- Of course, SAP partners gained access to ready-made markets, gained expertise, trained their people, found solutions, and built reputations for quality.
- Yep, SAP TechEd added an extremely valuable in-person element to the virtual nature of the online community, in order to build stronger bonds between members, and to share in ways not possible online.
- The SAP EcoHub added a commerce capability to buy / sell / rate / review adjacent partner solutions.
- SAP’s social media footprint on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Slideshare, and Google+ enabled greater reach and an immediacy not inherent in SCN blogs and discussions and wiki’s and documents and videos.
- The SAP.com website opened-up SCN to a different more business-y audience to broaden its awareness and heighten its impact.
Those benefits to many constituents and stakeholders are well understood.
For me, the greatest impact of SCN has been through the relationships it afforded me to form and build. I’ve had the great pleasure of working with an extraordinary team of consummate professionals who helped build and run the community, with many supportive visionary colleagues across SAP, for some excellent bosses I’ve learned from, at an intriguing and successful company. I’ve met literally thousands of interesting people who are members of the community, forged stronger ties with some of the most active top contributors and SAP Mentors, had the chance to proudly share our successes with envious colleagues at other companies, the media, analysts, and other firms.
I know that SCN has changed many lives, because I’ve heard the stories from so many of you. It’s changed my life, too, for the better, and in so many ways.
I am forever grateful to SAP and to SCN for affording me the opportunity for this adventure. And I am especially thankful to you — the SCN members and my team at SAP — who were part of this journey with me. It’s been a great pleasure to work and interact with you as colleagues on a journey of exploration, innovation, and value creation.
And you know what’s the best? … the busier and more focused we were on creating value for each other, the more we gained tremendous value and benefits ourselves. That spirit of altruism which focuses on helping others, but which then creates value for everyone involved, is the ‘secret sauce’ of SCN. I’m proud to have been part of this with all of you!
Happy 10th birthday to the SAP Community Network!