How Do You Measure a Decade in the Life of a Community Manager?

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

Five hundred twenty five thousand  moments so dear.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure, measure a year?

Five hundred twenty five thousand  journeys to plan.

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter and strife.

Or so goes the song.

It’s been quite the journey:

  • 16 years of working for SAP = a little over 8.5 million minutes of being an SAP employee
  • 10 + years of working with the community = 5.25 million minutes of community management, engagement and facilitation

It’s been a privilege to work for and with this amazing company and community.

I’m delighted to share that I have decided to start a new chapter in my life and will be retiring from SAP at the end of March.

Some of the ways I intend to stay connected and active:

  • Continuing community mentorship and engagement
    (and hosting visitors!)
  • Taking a seat on an SCN advisory board
  • Following and enjoying old and new members here

Serving you and learning from you all has been one of the most rewarding seasons of my  life.

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157 Comments

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  1. Lukas Weigelt

    Arrrrrrgh. First Laure, now you 😥 . This is another heavy blow for the SAP community..

    Marilyn, I wish you all the best for your upcoming challenges and adventures. I’m very glad I got to meet you at TechEd Berlin, please retain your enthusiasm and your awesomeness!

    And don’t you dare leaving the SCN Forums, else I’ll send the monkeys! <.<

    Dammit. Now pass me that ice cream, Jelena ;_;

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  2. Cathy Cooper

    You are a one and only.  Not sure how many folk would use this oh-so-apt song for a farewell address.  🙂   Hidden depths, Marilyn!

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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author

      Blushing.  But thinking not so very hidden nor perhaps not so very deep.  Just honest gratitude…..and yes….love for the privilege of doing what I do.

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  3. Yariv Zur

    I Won’t say anything which can be construed as a goodbye, since this is just a new chapter and not the end of you being such an amazing inspiration. Best of luck in the new chapter and looking forward to many more joint escapades 🙂

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  4. Tom Cenens

    Hi Marilyn

    Thanks for everything you’ve already done for SAP, the SAP Community and many SAP Community Members.

    I don’t know if I would be where I am today if you hadn’t seen something in me, you’ve inspired me beyond imagination and I’m really thankful for that. So from the bottom of my heart “Thank you, you rock, you’re awesome!”.

    I’m really glad to read you’ll still be around and you’ll be guiding SAP in the future still.

    Big hug “which I hope to still deliver in real life 🙂 “.

    Tom

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  5. Matthias Steiner

    Dear Marilyn,

    it took me a while to digest the news and it will certainly take even more time for all of us to fully understand what it actually means that you won’t be there at the next event to surprise us with a new community event like ‘Embracing Inclusion To Drive Innovation‘  or Failfaire (just to name a few)…


    And while it is a big loss for the community here to see you part, you leave us grateful for all you have done over the years spreading your magic. I personally know more than a handful that consider themselves fortunate that you mentored them and I know I’ve been privileged ‘to got pulled aside‘ by you back in the days … and everything that followed.


    So – yes you can rightfully step back knowing that you raised so many who can take over the torch!

    On the bright side, I’m soo happy for you personally that you’ll get to spend more time with family and friends +  make new ‘evil plans’ to make this world a better place for all of us!

    Hugs,

    matthias

    PS: Rememer folks… #wwmpd

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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author

      Thanks for those hugs Matthias!

      Funny just looked at this picture of your visit to the mentor basement …errr….office.

      Love how you Collaborate!Matthias.jpg

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  6. Witalij Rudnicki

    Marilyn, thank you for everything you gave to the community, or better to say: to us – people, who had the privilege to meet with you on our paths. All the best and take care!

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  7. Matt Harding

    Hi Marilyn,

    Well looks like today (Australian time at least) is your last day of “paid” employment for SAP but definitely not your last day with the SAP community hence I wanted to give you an example of something to show you the impact you make across the globe every day (plus share this story with the community).

    Back in November I put together about 3 quarters of a song purely based on how I always say I want to make a difference, and how inspired I get when I see people like you (and my wife too) in helping people (though you were the trigger for the song – my wife has enough songs about her). e.g. Going out of their way to help potential strangers and getting joy from their: appreciation, happiness, slightly improved day, or whatever their reaction. 

    Unfortunately the song was in limbo as I then got very busy with work; but I still used the momentum of the song to make a new years resolution out of it (effectively going out of my way to find opportunities to help strangers who are not asking for help but need it if I can assess the situation quick enough).

    But then you announced your retirement from paid work at SAP and I knew I better finish something before your last day, so here we are.

    Titled “Make a Difference” with the very last line “And join the few who make a difference every day” directly referring to you as the inspiration to make this a better world.

    To download it, the song is here e.g. Track 12 which is the last (free) track on JECM Studio (not meant to be an advertisement for my hobby project album but couldn’t link directly to the song)..

    Consider it a song dedicated to you which will I’ll use to make me think WWMD every day at every opportunity.

    Anyway, I will congratulate you in person in Orlando, or if I something stops you going to Sappihire/ASUG, I’ll make time to drop in to the basement the weekend before!

    Have fun!

    Matt

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  8. Simha R. Magal

    Marilyn,

    You have made a difference in a lot of ways.  I especially want to thank you for your influence on students (and us professors!).

    I wish you all the best.

    Simha

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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author

      Thank you Simha.  You do “blessed” work in mentoring our future leadership a.k.a. students. I’ll be following your students trajectory.  You’ve polished some gems.

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  9. Mohamed Amer

    Marilyn – Whenever I have gone through changes in life, I’ve revisited Billy Joel’s “Say goodbye to Hollywood.”  While he laments how suddenly you can find all the friends you had are gone forever, I am thinking more along how lasting some relationships can be – those based on deep respect, common appreciation, shared values, and a passion for excellence.

    Wishing you fair winds and following seas Marilyn!  and yes, c u on SCN!

    “So many faces in and out of my life,

    Some will last

    Some will just be now and then

    Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes

    I’m afraid it’s time for goodbye again”

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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author

      Dear Mohamed,

      When I think of the executives who have boldly “leaned in” here and sometimes left titles at the door and merely rolled up sleeves to get stuff done, you come very much to mind. You’ve been a wonderful mentor (love the lyrics and yes they speak to me deeply)

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  10. James Oswald

    Just sent this in an email, but wanted to share.

    Just want to take a moment to say thanks. You’ve been nothing short of an inspiration to all of us in the community. I know you’ll say it wasn’t much, but I think that effortlessness in making others feel so engaged and included and necessary was really what made us all look up to you so much. You will be missed.

    Also, as a final SAP anecdote, when I went to update your contact info, it was the first time I realized I had inadvertently previously had your SAP email address listed as “Home”. Good luck in your next home as well.

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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author

      Dear Jamie,

      Yes the borders blurred sometimes (home and SAP and mentor basement).  Nice thing about this retirement, I don’t have to give back my access pass to the wonderful people who further enrich my life.  You know how people say “get a life”? Well its wonderful to really have one and still to have it enhanced by work connection who have somehow transformed to something deeper and more lasting. 

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  11. Mary Bazemore

    Wow, congratulations and enjoy!  Really hard to believe it has been 16 years and how much has changed during that time.  Have a really wonderful time on your next adventure!

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  12. Alvaro Tejada Galindo

    Marilyn! Sad to see you go…I know you since my early days on SCN and you have been always there not only for me but for everyone…you’re truly an inspiration and your presence will be missed for sure…

    All the best and please keep in touch 😉

    Greetings,

    Blag.

    Development Culture.

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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author

      Dear Blag,

      I’m thinking of your “Blag Picks” and your “Blag Pics” (comics) – looking forward to the next generation of dev culture.

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  13. Krysten Gentile

    Marilyn,

    I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such a poised, intelligent and empathetic professional. You have taught me so many things about Community and SAP. I can’t thank you enough. I also feel so lucky to be sitting here in the desk next you on your last day in NSQ. I am seriously considering having a cardboard cutout made  of you for the office. 😆 Best wishes for a fun-filled, relaxing retirement! Please send lots of selfies from Italy!Marilyn.PNG

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  14. Kerry Brown

    Marilyn, it makes me teary to read this…I can feel your infectious passion from here – your pure enthusiasm and graceful transparency.  You will leave a palpable void – that will not be easily filled and likely will take more than one, rather many.

    Your curiosity and explorative spirit have a new focus – what joy that will be!

    THANK YOU – for your tenacity, encouragement and commitment.

    Be well and bon voyage!

    Kerry

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  15. Somnath Manna

    Thank you for showing the way and supporting all along to this amazing Community. Lucky to have made the pilgrimage to Mentor Basement in 2010 – will always cherish.

    Hope to host you sometime in future should you travel to India (Bangalore).

    Best regards,

    Somnath

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  16. Prakhar Saxena

    Hi Marilyn,

    Its always our pleasure to meet and learn from you….even the last time in SAP TechED 2015 at Bangalore ….as you are always an inspiration for us.

    Please be in touch and take care.

    Thanks & Regards

    Prakhar Saxena

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