This story occurs long time ago, around Spring 2004 when SAP NetWeaver was newborn and Shai Agassi was the President of the PTU (Product and Technology Unit)
At the same time, several changes occurs in the SAP Product Support Unit, new Global Support Centers in India and China were created, the “follow the sun” support become a reality, but we needed something on top, we require to optimize our Product Support infrastructure to be more efficient and to open a collaborative scenario with our entire ecosystem in parallel for what in that moment was known as “OSS”
Then, Shai ordered the following “All the NetWeaver documentation and how to’s documents will be now on published in a new online platform called SAP Developer Network”. More changes for all of us, but what is SDN? What can we do there? Is that a place where we can do something?… Several questions arrive but no answers.
It was then, when a evening call between Mark Finnern , Craig Cmehil and myself changed everything, we got a green light from Harald Hirsch and Mark Yolton with the chance to create a pilot project that in few months were so big that almost get out of our hands, it was a new world for all of us.
SDN (how it was called in that moment) was something dynamic and really fast, it was the right way to move from the reactive support to a new model that enable the knowledge sharing, the 1:N relation, it was the solution.
At that time we explored with 4 new forums, including SAP Financials and suddenly what starter as a “Developer Network” becomes the central knowledge area around all the SAP Products. Our team got engaged with SDN, initially 10 moderators working 20% time, in less than a year 50 moderators around 30% of productive time and that trend continues and for sure will grow up in the following years.
During the time I was in the leading team for the SAP Product Support – SCN integration (2004 – 2010) our collaboration was excellent, from SCN team I got not only colleagues, also very close friends, from SAP Mentors we got an extraordinary network that help us to explore the feeling from the users and consultants side, giving us an unique “Design Thinking” input with a high quality level.
This was a great success for SCN and for us, but until today it was an “untold story” because the Product Support guys are like the “Santa’s Elves”, means nobody outside really knows how it work, but all of you knows that at Christmas time, the presents will be under the tree.
Happy Birthday SDN (you will always be SDN for me) and thanks for all the opportunities given to all of us.