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Sven Ringling – SCN Member of the Month March 2015

Sven Ringling is the SCN Member of the Month for March 2015. Sven is a Director at iProCon UK, where he is a seasoned SAP HCM consultant. He is polished and witty, and draws on many years of international HR deployments to share advice, answer questions and write informative blogs on SCN.

I enjoyed our talk and hearing more about his travels, work experiences and perspective on consulting in today’s environment. Sven, if I ever find a box of time, I’ll be sure to share it πŸ˜‰

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, what kind of work you do, and other things you would like to share with the community (hobbies, fun facts)?

  • Live in London
  • Work with customers on implementation and improvement projects for their HR systems and build the SAP HCM and SuccessFactors team of iProCon UK. What I like most about my work is when I can help my team members to develop and surprise customers with better, unexpected solutions. I enjoy engaging with the community by public writing and speaking and at the moment, most of my evenings are spent preparing our HCM conference in London in May.


  Sven at MIC


  SAP ERP HCM Predictions from the experts

  • I love exploring the endless opportunities of London on my weekends, catching up with friends and travelling in the UK as well as abroad. I guess the closest thing to a hobby is History, which I love reading about or tracing its very steps in historical places.
  • Fun facts: As a student I used to earn some money as an equestrian instructor, which was a nice way of connecting what was my hobby back then with a job. Early in my first role as a SAP HR consultant, some senior colleagues asked me, why I had not pursued that equestrian career further and I said “I guess I thought I’d rather get a proper, respectable job” – at the time, I didn’t understand yet, why this answer made them split their sides laughing πŸ™‚


  View in London


  View in Genoa, Italy

What motivates you to share your expertise? And how do you find the time to contribute so actively on SCN?

  • I like engaging with others in the communities. I believe you can learn from questions just as much as from answers. I also feel that those lucky enough to have been at the right place at the right time and got a proper, well founded training have some responsibility to help avoid some of the worst of what’s happening out there. And I can only imagine from some questions, as well as answers, that some junior colleagues are really struggling in projects with no or little senior coaching.
  • Where do I find time? Good question. If you ever come a cross a large box of time sitting somewhere, let me know πŸ™‚

When did you become a member of SCN and which areas are you most active in?

You’ve written (and even been interviewed about by SAP Insider) about some of the ways on-premise resourcing models don’t work well for cloud projects. In that context, what advice would you give to up-and-coming SAP HCM consultants?
I guess for new consultants it’s not a problem to get into the cloud mindset from the start. However, they should make sure the company they start their career with does actually have the capabilities (and willingness) to work in a cloud model. Using full time resources and producing loads of change requests are strong indicators that they are not.

For experienced on-premise  consultants trying to switch, there are two important points to keep saying to yourself:

  • Your gut feeling does no longer apply for many things, because gut feeling is nothing more than the sum of experience from the past.  You need to challenge your most basic assumptions on how projects are run.
  • Accept that you are biased. The new model is taking revenue away from you. If it’s painful, it’s probably right for the customer.

I enjoyed reading about your love for London, and your volunteer work as a London Ambassador during the 2012 Olympics. Any hidden treasures in London that you would recommend to a tourist visit (that they might not hear about in a standard travel guide)?

  • A walk or bike ride along one of the canals is a perfect day out in Summer. You are likely to find hidden cafés, pubs or pop-up markets along the way.
  • Get lost somewhere off the usual streets or take a random bus and ride it to the final stop. We still discover the most amazing little gems that way.

Do you have any fun talents you’dlike to tell the community about? Jokes, songs, a dance?
I can pretend to be a Human Being. For 45 years, nobody has discovered that I’m actually a piece of ABAP code making me a clear winner of Alan Turing’s imitation game (aka Turing test). Sadly, I’m doing it so well, nobody believes me πŸ™

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

  • First of all, I do admire the whole team of moderators. Whilst other contributors can cherry pick, they have to deal with a lot of non-fun stuff seem to take it with admirable composure.
  • Luke Marson and Jarret Pazahanick come to mind immediately. They write more high quality, up to date stuff than I can hope to read. Lukas Weigelt also deserves a mention here. He’s extremely knowledgable in Travel & Expense and has a great sense of humour.

Easy question: Mac/iOS or Windows? Or Android?
Mac/iOS – easy choice, but for work I use a Windows laptop as it integrates better with customers’ environments

Are you on Twitter?
Yep. @svenringling

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 previousSCN Member of The Month Hall of Fame.

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