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Transformation in Action: SAP Mentors at SAPPHIRE NOW 2015

On Monday, May 4th, the SAP Mentors reunited at the Hilton in Orlando Florida, just outside the Orange County Convention Center where SAPPHIRE NOW 2015 was held. At the SAP Mentor reception, it was a combination of brand new mentors, current mentors and some of our favorite alums.


Photo courtesy of Martin Gillet

It was both a fun and informational reunion with updates from Malin Liden and me on the vision for the SAP Mentor program, and a welcome by Maggie Fox. We recapped the Mentor Transformation project, which will provide more transparency to the value of the program with improvements in three pillars: Mentor Management, Mentor Mix and Communications.

So what changes did we see over the course of the week?

Mentor Management

To prep for SAPPHIRE a pilot steering committee made up of Malin Liden (strategic advisor), Elena Sents (Mentor Transformation project manager), Aslan Noghre-kar (historic advisor), Phil Loewen (Mentor Management pillar lead), Martin Gillet (Mentor Mix pillar lead), Tom Cenens (Communications pillar lead) and Maria Farrales (logistics advisor) selected Topic Leads, who were responsible for running influencer sessions. They worked with other mentors to prepare questions, conduct interviews, and provide actionable outcomes for 13 interactive sessions with SAP executives. They also collected write ups and videos to support accurate follow up to the meetings.

Mentor Mix

The steering committee also selected the Spring 2015 new mentors, of which nine were in attendance. These new mentors demonstrated diversity from the perspective of  topics, geographies, skills and relationship to SAP.

New Mentor Mix.jpg


The mentors are always busy, at events, and it’s challenging to take the time to share the impact of how they are spending their time. This year we put more emphasis on getting the word out about their achievements. Mentors shared tweets, took photos/videos, and collected stories about their experiences.  Take a look at the impact of their twitter activity.

Mentor Tweets.jpg

Graphic courtesy of Vincent Liu

Mentors also shared blogs, photos and videos in the SCN SAP Mentor space.

How did SAP Mentors demonstrate Value?

Mentors offered customer focused marketing insights in sessions with SAP executives, participated at key events on the show room floor, and supported SAP customers with their hands-on knowledge.

SAP Mentors meeting with Bernd Leukert and Tanja Rueckert.

Mentors with Bernd.jpg

Photo courtesy of Martin Lang

SAP Mentors at the SAP Store announcement with Jonathan Becher

Jonathan Becher PM.jpg

Photo courtesy of Martin Lang

And SAP Mentors were recognized on the ASUG keynote and featured in “The Spin with Megan Meany”.

Quotes about the SAP Mentors

“These discussions with the SAP Mentors are extremely valuable input to the roadmap for SAP Analytics. They are the sounding board that helps shape the future of what SAP delivers to make our customers more successful.” – Dr. Stefan Sigg, Senior Vice President, SAP Analytics

“The time we spent with the SAP Mentors this morning exceeded our expectations. Their knowledge about what is happening in the SAP market and cloud activities helps us maintain a responsive Cisco roadmap that delivers valuable products and services to our customers. They truly are a voice of the customers, based on their wealth of real life SAP experience.”Erik Lillestolen, SAP Solution Product Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc.

“You guys are the true practitioners in the field, who are really using and experiencing our products. It is important that you be equally invested in the transformation that SAP is undergoing. S/4 HANA is a revolutionary approach and we need your expertise and support to help make the change.” – Irfan Khan, CTO, SAP Global Customer Operations

”  Matt Fraser  blog cut through all of the required documentation, and streamlined the process for my particular environment with only minor modifications. My installation was simplified by at least two thirds. It eliminated the need to hunt through information that was not relevant to my environment, pointed out possible pitfalls, and included how to correct common issues. – Jeremy Evanchesky, Database Administrator at Polk County Public Schools

What’s in store for the SAP Mentors next?

As we continue with our SAP Mentor Transformation, these are some of the planned next steps:

  • Implement a Management Model for growth, value and operational excellence, based on co-ownership between SAP and community members
  • Optimize “Mentor Mix” for gender, age, geography diversity as well as better coverage of strategic priorities for the SAP ecosystem
  • Increase collaboration and establish a more strategic alignment with SAP user groups
  • Increase transparency of outcomes from the SAP Mentor programs to stakeholders, employees, community and our customers
  • Provide a periodic, consolidated “Point of View” document from the SAP Mentor topic leads to SAP executives

Stay tuned for more news in this space, and share your own experiences with the SAP Mentors at SAPPHIRE NOW.


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