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Sander van Willigen – SCN Member of the Month June 2015

Sander van Willigen is freelance SAP BI Consultant working for his own company, Bizzler Consulting, and the SCN Member of the Month for June, 2015.

I noticed Sander because he has deep expertise in BI and Data Warehousing, and I appreciate the polite and authentic way he interacts with and helps other members. He shares his knowledge through detailed blogs and documents, and by answering questions in the SAP Business Warehouse and Business Content and Extractors in Data Warehousing spaces. Reserved and modest, I enjoyed seeing him light up when he talked about his wife and children and their weekend adventures.


   Selfie with Erasmus  – First day at Erasmus University

Sander is entrepreneurial and hard working, but finds time for his “hobby” of participating on the SCN site — even while while travelling around Europe for his consultancy — because it gives him energy. He graciously joined me for a video conference on very short notice, squeezing in time on Friday evening while getting ready to start a new engagement today at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Some perspectives he shared during our talk:

  • Don’t be afraid to participate in SCN, be respectful and polite, and share your knowledge
  • Follow your heart and do work you are passionate about
  • Technical knowledge in isolation is not sufficient in today’s environment, developers need to combine business process knowledge, consulting skills, with design thinking and solution architecture to be successful

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)?
I am Sander van Willigen, 46 years old and living in The Netherlands together with my wife Golda and my two sons Marius (7 years old) and Enrique (5 years old).

Currently, I am working as a Freelance SAP BI Consultant working for my own company Bizzler Consulting (sole proprietor). I started my SAP consulting career in 1998. Before starting my own company in 2010, I worked for Atos Netherlands (9 years) and SAP Netherlands (3.5 years). My work is mainly projects for clients based in The Netherlands but I also had a chance to work in France, Finland, Germany, Italy and Poland.


I am afraid that I don’t have so much time for other hobbies than my work. It is hard to combine with a job as an SAP Consultant but I love to spend my spare time with my wife and kids. We love going on vacation, roaming around in town, doing some sight-seeing in cities, playing and doing activities with our kids and so on. Last but not least, some of you might already have noticed my other hobby: publishing on SCN which I love to do and gives me a lot of energy in return.

When did you become a member of SCN and which areas are you most active in?
I do not remember exactly anymore. I used to have a previous account (opened around 2002 or 2003 I guess). My currently active account was opened in 2011. I am most active in the spaces SAP Business Warehouse, Business Content and Extractors in Data Warehousing and Data Warehousing.

In addition to what’s already covered in the Rules of Engagement, do you have any advice to new members on SCN “etiquette”?
Do not be afraid to participate, be polite, always treat each other in a respectful way and dare sharing your knowledge !!

Tom Van Doorslaer published a blog recently, Is there still a future in development? Given your experience as a solution architect and an entrepreneur, I wanted to get your perspective on this:

“So I’m not saying development has no future whatsoever, but it’ll be very different from what we know today. A freelance developer will have a hard time making a living, no matter how talented he is. Successful developers will have to be more, than just developers. They’ll have to be architects or entrepreneurs. And that is no easy task.”

Keeping your knowledge current is certainly crucial to stay successful in the long term. However, technical knowledge in isolation is often not sufficient. In my opinion you can be really successful and also less dependent on the latest technology if you combine it with other aspects like business processes knowledge, social behavior and consulting skills. Architecture and Design Thinking can also contribute to remain successful. Last but not least, follow your heart and choose work you love to do and you are passionate about.

Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)? And for what reason?
Not anyone in particular, I admire a lot of people who frequently participate in Discussions and publish Blogs and Documents on SCN.

Easy question: Mac/iOS or Windows? Or Android?
I am working for many years with Windows for the desktop or laptop. For my smart phone and tablet I like iOS very much.

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 previous members recognizedon the SCN Member of The Month Hall of Fame.

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