George Pedone, The “Consummate Team Player”, Discusses His Career and Passion for SAP
George Pedone, the lead for MCC Integration in CoE, is no stranger to handling stressful situations- a skill that translates well to his work facilitating global production down on a daily basis. The Back Office of CoE NA handles 2,100 critical production downs monthly. When it comes to situations like this where a calm, methodical mind is needed to rectify a critical situation, George is your guy. According to Joyce Murr, Director of ES Delivery, “When “hair is on fire”, George remains calm and in turn, calms others. He methodically asks the questions necessary to gather information and assess the situation efficiently and effectively.” His calm, friendly demeanor, coupled with his strong technical skills, and team player mentally, makes George uniquely qualified to handle the daily challenges that come with working in the BackOffice.
What is you background with regards to your career at SAP?
I’ve been with SAP for more than 12 years. Before that I worked as an end user for a customer, WITCO Chemical. Then I joined SAP as a Go-Live angel to the CoE and I’ve been here ever since.
You are currently the lead for MCC Integration. Can you tell me a little bit about what you and your colleagues do?
We are responsible for global, critical production down issues within not only the MaxAttention space, but true critical production downs globally. We’re responsible for not only technically working the issues but facilitating all the issues as DEAs. You have to work all the technical issues until everything is back up and running and provide action plans and paths forward.
It seems like a high stress job. What kind of person does it take for this role?
It is very high stress because people don’t go to the back office just to call and say hello. Things that come to us are production down issues which are very critical so the type of person that is in there needs to be very knowledgeable not only technically but also have the ability to speak at the CIO all the way down the ladder and provide status updates to board level people, so it is really stressful. I’ve heard it is one of the most stressful jobs in CoE.
What are some achievements that you are most proud of?
It’s hard to pick just one because we deal with around 2,100 production downs each month. To have customers, both external and internal, them take time to acknowledge the work that I’ve done whether it be helping close deals, resolving production downs or getting projects back on track, is a truly rewarding experience. What I’m most proud of it the team that’s in the back office. They are the best of best technically within SAP globally. For the team that we have to recognize me for the work that I do is truly humbling. I get more out of having those people recognize me; Chris Lukens, Heidi von Briel, Bharathi, Naveen- for them to say what I do is really important, that is what I’m most proud of.
Aside from having the most technically skilled team, you also have to be good communicators.
You have to balance your technical ability with your communication skills. When I’m onboarding people the first thing I tell them is to stay calm and not lose your cool during any production down. The way I put it is if you are in a car accident and the EMTs run up to and say “Oh my god!” you aren’t going to feel good. You have to go in saying, I’m going to solve it and fix it and give a good solid action plan to address this and get the skills together. We have to be able to articulate that. Communication is very important, as much so as the technical skills.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The thing I enjoy most about my job is my team, but also I see the deeper value with working and helping to a fault. Advancing the customer and solving customer issues is always my first priority, so I guess my enjoyment is more customer based. I feel SAP sees more value with me solving or driving multiple issues than me having one or two customers where. I can make a huge impact on 2,200 customers a month as opposed to 2 customers for 6 months.
What motivates you to be successful?
I’ve got a vested interest in SAP, not only the company but my team and the customers. I truly believe to help simplify and provide one support for our customers helping them run better is something to be proud of. When we do what we do for our customers, I see the benefit. When we do come up short I do feel the pain and try to come up with ways so we never repeat that again. I want to overall benefit SAP, my customers, and my team.