Steffi Warnecke 1.jpeg


This Member of the Month interview is probably the longest I’ve ever done – close to 2 hours! Steffi Warnecke and I had a lot to discuss. It was great to finally talk to a member who has become a familiar name in the community in the past year or so. It was nice to hear from Steffi that as an admin she understands what the SCN Team does, supporting this community, and the challenges we have. And of course one can learn a lot about what she does for a beer brewer and distributor, and what she thinks SCN newbies should do to be successful in their jobs and in the community.

I think many will appreciate that Steffi is taking this Member of the Month recognition seriously… So seriously that she got a hair appointment just in time for our call in order to shine a beautiful – updated – pink light on us! Now I see “la vie en rose” 🙂


(PS: I should get a badge for getting the most reluctant members to post their photo at least once on SCN… I’m up to 3 now. You know who you are 😉

But wait, I will never get such a badge because I’m the one (with a handful of others) who gets to decide what badges we introduce on SCN. Darn.)

Watch the video interview (10 minutes) here:

Hallo Steffi! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, who you work for, and other things you would like to share with the community (hobbies, fun facts)?

Hello Laure! I’m still nervous about this whole MotM-thing, so if I start to babble and repeat myself a lot, please forgive me.

I live in a small town near Frankfurt am Main, where I work for the Radeberger Gruppe KG. Yes, we make beer! And some other things, too. ^^

In our company I am part of the SAP-team. To be more specific I am responsible for the Portal systems, the IdM systems, the third-party wiki and a third-party module in the ERP that deals with contract management.  This module is the reason why I came to Frankfurt.  Before that I worked in Stuttgart as a system and network administrator for nearly ten years, also for a brewery. So you can say that I started in that industry and it looks like I’m going to stay there.

I had my first hands-on experience with SAP in late 2009, so in a way it’s less than many of the others here. Also, I’m one of those allrounders because I have too many topics to manage and I can’t get too deep into each one of them. But I try to learn something new every day, even if it’s just a small thing. 

If you read my BIF, you know that I’m a curious person who likes to read (in English and German), play videogames, hike, travel and who can spend a whole day in a museum. I also collect movies and TV series on DVD. And I’m not going anywhere without my MP3-player that holds all kinds of different music. And from my participation in SCN it should be obvious that I just loooove to discuss stuff.

To add something new: I’m a big fan of Wikipedia and go to their homepage at least once a week to look at the “On this day”-list and “Did you know?”. Those lead me to all kinds of interesting articles and topics, which I mostly read during my train ride to work and back. Also I love to click on the “Random article” link.

A fun fact: Well, in my last two years of school I had an IT class once a week. For the first year that meant learning how Word and Excel are used. Awesome! But in the last year, we learned Turbo Pascal and I just loved it! In a class I would program for 10 minutes and then the rest of the time I would focus on improving the format, and that was fun.

I was already interested in computers before and it came pretty natural to me, but until that class I never thought of trying to make it my job. Well, that changed and here I am now, happy as can be with that choice.

The funny thing is, though programming made me look for IT education, it’s the thing I like the least. I guess, all that Java, C and C++ I had to learn years ago (at the same time) confused me too much to like it. 😀 I got a hang of ABAP, I’m a good re-user of it.

I have to tell you that when I saw your SCN email address and the name of your company, I didn’t realize that you are working for a brewing company. How cool! German beer is so good! Does the company really own the brands Guinness, Kilkenny and Corona?
Oh no! But we are the only company that can sell them in Germany and do the marketing for them here etc. There are press releases for his, that can it explain much better than me. ^^

You sometimes post cryptic status updates on SCN, like this latest one. Are you doing this just to express yourself, or to have fun and see if anyone will ask what you mean?

Yes, those are absolutely to express myself! I guess they sometimes don’t make much sense to someone looking at them from the outside (meaning outside of my head ^^).  Mostly I’m telling the things that are not yetworking like they should. It’s like ranting and I guess rants are not always useful to others. Also I really like to play with words and that probably won’t help in the cryptic-department either. 😀

Note from Laure: Of course I wanted a translation for this particular status update, and Steffi was kind enough to explain it to me. She was at work and trying to program a calculation on a field: you have a date, and you add 3 months to it. The system was supposed to give the new date, 3 months later. There were some difficulties getting there, and that’s what led to this status update. Now we all know 🙂

And in one of these status updates you were telling us that you were about to go on vacation. What did you do?

I was in Iceland and came back not long ago. I specifically went there to see the landscape: it’s a volcanic island and there are also glaciers, it’s an interesting combination. I liked it, people were great, but I didn’t have the chance to hike a lot – we were on a bus a lot. So I have to go there again. I was happy to see the Northern lights.


In your Blog It Forward post, you seem to be a nice person with a good sense of humor. You say you like watching DVDs and I can imagine you have a big collection at home. Do you think you’ll ever go to the “cloud” and stream movies instead of buying and owning a DVD that uses up your space at home?

Thank you! 🙂

It’s like with books… I love to look at my shelves (that take up a whole wall) and see them standing there. I am not only a movie lover, but also a collector, so I like to have something physical – these are things that I earned, they are mine. And it was always a dream of mine to have a whole room just dedicated to books and films/TV series. Like a library, with a nice comfy armchair and everything!

Right now I’m halfway there, because one part of my living room is transformed into a separate space, surrounded by shelves with my books and DVDs in them.

Also with cloud and streaming you’re always a slave to having an internet connection going, and a good one too, so that you don’t watch “Buffering” instead of your favorite movie. I like to be independent in that, like I want to be with my video gaming. So I play that offline, too.

When did you become a member of SCN and what brought you to this community?

Let’s see… the date says “Jan 16, 2010”, so pretty much when I started with SAP I joined here. But it took me more than two years to really use it, because first I needed to build a base to know what I was looking for and second I needed to learn how to find something on SCN.

When I became part of the Portal team in my company I really started to use SCN and pretty much never stopped, especially now that I am an IdM administrator, too. Most of the time I use it to find information for myself, to solve errors and to find functions (because others asked for them) that I never knew I wanted, too!

How do you find the time to contribute on SCN?

By making time. ^^

I use public transportation from and to work and during the 45-minute ride I check my Activity stream on my iPad Mini and my notifications to see what’s up. At home I do the same and browse around, too. And when I’m stuck at work, SCN is the first thing that I chek. Either to look for a possible solution or at least a hint, or to get my mind to something else for a moment to then start fresh with the stubborn issue. Browsing through SCN clears my head, especially creating abuse reports. ^^

Can you tell me a bit about your work and expertise in IdM (Identity Management?) I know IdM because we’re using some systems here for SCN, but I’m interested in learning more about it – and maybe other use cases.

We use it to manage the users of our SAP systems (ERP, Portal) and are currently in the smack middle of the test phase to manage Active Directory (AD) users, too. So it’s pretty much standard stuff and nothing special.

My expertise in IdM is still growing as this is a big field. I started small with getting to know my way around the GUI and how to change existing masks, to control the access to the masks via business roles or SQL queries. Changing reports came next and then the creating started: Masks, reports, jobs that help clean up the data. Adding new repositories was the next big thing for me, after that it’supdating the IdM to a new Service Pack (SP) (since I missed the jump vom 7.1 to 7.2). Now I’m even comfortable changing the tasks of the framework around and adding new functionality, too.

For the AD implementation this has increased, because the sys-admins want a lot of functions in the IdM that they are used to through working with the AD directly. So now I’m working a lot on scripts and tasks, which is the reason for some of the cryptic status updates recently: because the results are not always what I need. But I’m not one to give up easily, so they have to give in eventually.

Of course the troubleshooting is a big part of my work, too, and I learn more and more with every problem that pops up.

In May 2013, just a few weeks after the launch of missions and badges (a.k.a. Gamification) on SCN you wrote a blog and told us how much you liked the concept of missions on SCN. Now, 9 months later, what do you think? Is it still exciting to you?
Yes, it is. The first “Oh, look, badges!” excitement is gone of course, but I still like the idea behind Gamification and it is a motivator for me, too. Not to the extend others seem to be motivated, but I like it when I see my points increase because I like to think they increase because I deserved that and someone appreciated my content. J
And who doesn’t like a new badge coming out of nowhere? I don’t keep tabs on “my” missions, but I do for my helpful and correct answers because seeing that orange and green makes me all warm inside. *g*


And do you have suggestions for new missions on SCN?

I added some ideas to Dick Hirsch’s document. Since then nothing new came to mind. 

If a new member came to you and asked for your advice on how to be an active and respected member of SCN, what would you say?

There is a lot of advice in this topic already available on SCN. For me it simply boils down to:

– Don’t be lazy.

– Search and learn. Search again if you didn’t find what you are looking for.

– Follow interesting people that are useful for your work or mind.

– Don’t be too shy to participate.

Also I like to point people to various tips on how to be successful on SCN, and one of them is this blog by Rob Burbank.

Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)? And for what reason?

It’s like being at the Oscars! The people I’m going to list helped me get to where I am today – doing this Member of the Month interview:

First of all, people in my spaces of interest where I hang out most of the time. They have helped me a lot there, directly commenting on my threads, and I follow their contributions in blogs and other ways.

SAP Portal: Simon Kemp

IdM: Matt Pollicove and Per Krabsetsve

And many other people that I follow  all over SCN because they have caught my eye in the past years, in a pretty good way. When I see them in my Activity stream I look at what they wrote. Period. I like how straightforward they are.

Jelena Perfiljeva

Marilyn Pratt

Tammy Powlas

Matthew Billingham

Jürgen L

Craig S

Julius von dem Bussche

Lukas Weigelt

Steve Rumsby

Thomas Zloch

Or course, there are more people that should be listed here and that I probably forgot, so SORRY to those! If I follow you, it DOES mean I love your stuff! ^^

Easy question: Mac/iOS or Windows? Or Android?

Windows. That was indeed easy. 😀

Are you on Twitter?

Nope.



Every month, a member of the SAP Community Network is recognized for exemplary behavior: sharing knowledge with peers, being helpful and taking on additional tasks to support community engagement. See the list of previous SCN Members of the Month.

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  1. Marilyn Pratt

    Wonderful interview. Wonderful choice. I appreciate Steffi Warnecke ‘s intelligence, expression and zany humor. We are lucky that she finds clever ways to make time to participate and share her insights, wit , and strong opinions!

    Well done Laure, not least of all for managing to put a face to a “colorful” pink heroine.

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      1. Marilyn Pratt

        uuh-ohh. Google “Man you Rock!” Bhanu Gupta (here we go again?)

        “Man, You Rock!” by Bhanu Gupta

        It’s nice to earn points and to know that I have really helped someone conquer a nerve-wracking issue. But it’s funny when I get a comment like, “Man, you rock!”, or a “You are the Man!” You see, I’m not a man. Read more.

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        1. Steffi Warnecke

          Oh, sadly the “Read more” – link (here in your post and in the wiki-page) is just calling the homepage of SCN. That would have been a great read I imagine. 🙂

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            1. Steffi Warnecke

              Thanks, Manish!

              I think Ameya Pimpalgaonkar makes a good point in his wiki answer to Bhanu’s problem, that since this is an international platform, the names can be pretty confusing and deceiving when it comes to giving a clue, if a member is male or female.

              BTW: I had the “Mr. Steffi” in SAP-support tickets, too. *g*

              But since I myself have also problems to get the gender from the (from my point of view) exotic names, I’m not at all offended (it’s a big word, but I can’t think of a “smaller” one) when somebody thinks I’m a man.

              As long as they don’t think that, when standing in front of me! Then… boy oh boy! 😀

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  2. Hemanth Kumar

    Great work Steffi. Good to see that you have come so far so fast…first hands-on in 2009 and SCN member of the month in 5 years….great work 🙂

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