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You always meet twice – a Mentor Comeback

Life’s path is full of unforeseeable turns and twists, and sometimes history repeats itself. I want to share my little comeback story with you.

My journey with SAP began in 2004. Scaling a small DIY-solution for timetable/student management (in PHP) to a whole-university-wide application – this was my first project and experience with SAP. And it was to a great extent thanks to SDN (the SAP Developer Network, precursor to SCN) that I was able to really kickstart my way into this project. I went from zero to Top 3 in the area of Business Server Pages, was highly active in the community, and even had the chance to host a Birds-of-a-Feather session at TechEd in 2005.

The Mentor program as it is know today did not exist yet, but Mark Finnern was already active handing out shirts like this:


The following years had me drift away from in-depth technical stuff, I had to do more work in support, HCM and other areas … and I also drifted away from SDN. These jobs didn’t make me happy, so I took a chance switching into an IT management position. Less technical, but more responsibility overall.

Yet you can’t outrun your true passion, and when the option arose to do some more hands-on work again, I went for it. Not just a bit, I wanted more – and I ended up quitting my regular job and co-founding Neptune Services, partnering with Neptune Software.

So on top of doing what I love I have the freedom (and responsibility) of running my own business.

Community means ENGAGEMENT!

And together with this passion for creating the best user experience also my passion for community got ignited again. Over the past months I participated in several SAP Inside Track events (Oslo, Munich, Rome).

It was just GREAT to meet people I have known ten years ago (Gregor Wolf, Thomas Ritter), to finally meet people in person I have only known over SDN/SCN (Sergio Ferrari!), and to meet and make a lot of new friends (Thorsten Franz, Fabio Di Micco, Luca Grilli, Mark Teichmann, Hendrik Neumann, Martin Steinberg, Alessandro Iannacci, Alessandro Spadoni, …).

And, in a certain way, it felt like I never really left the community. So much so that I felt very comfortable from the beginning, and also contributed to Oslo and Rome Inside Tracks by jumping in on short notice, doing sessions to fill open slots in the agenda.

Community means GROWING!

That all got topped by my nomination/invitation/calling to join the SAP Mentors, and short-notice journey to Orlando for SAPPHIRENOW – what an experience that was!


After these three days there is so much more that I want to do, want to learn about. Hearing about the latest announcements, talking with other Mentors about their areas of expertise and their activities, I feel like there are not enough hours in a day to catch up with all I want to. And just like Matthias Steiner wrote in his latest blog “What a ride”, I once again feel like this:

I would have to sit and learn, watch – copy – adapt and broaden my horizon to get the bigger picture, to get a glimpse of how deep the rabbit hole really is.

I’m daunted, yet eager to start. Overwhelmed, yet absorbing information without end. Humbled, yet openly proud to be part of this community!

Community means FUN!

Hanging out with Mentors between the sessions, after hours, was another great way to (re-)connect with the spirit of community.

Have a look at the pictures from Martin Gillet (including the images I used in this post).

saphhirenow 2015 Mentors Welcome Reception – an album on Flickr

Sure more pictures to come online soon.

Community means VALUE!

One of the most impressive experiences for me was meeting SAP executives and people in charge (Steve Lucas, Rick Costanzo, Sven Denecken, Thomas Grassl, …).

That is something that was not there ten years ago. In my opinion that clearly shows the value of the Mentor community. I never had the impression that the executives just met with the Mentors just because of some kind of “treat”, or gift. They all showed personal involvement, they all mentioned that the Mentor’s voice and opinions are needed, appreciated, even explicitly asked for.

Community means FUTURE!

When people come together, things are bound to happen, things are bound to change. Ideas get discussed, plans get made, there’s life in every minute of being together.

My life has been full of changes and adventures this last year, and I’m looking forward to all that is waiting for me in the future. SCN and the Mentors being part of this future – #luvingit 🙂

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