Veselina Peykova is a seasoned independent SAP consultant based in Bulgaria, and our SCN Member of the Month, Februay 2016.
Currently between projects, she has previously worked for Carlsberg, Coca-Cola Hellenic and Mini Maritza Iztok. Veselina is an expert in Plant Maintenance, Investment Management, Warehouse Management (and Ortec MLS), Transportation (including Ortec LEO), ERP Sales and Distribution, DSD including integration with MM, FI/CO. She is proud to have been involved in SAP implementations on 3 continents.
She searched and read on SCN for years before starting to contribute in earnest by contributing, I was interested to hear about when she knew she was ready to jump in. She self-described herself as the most boring person alive, but I’m sure you will agree after reading her answers and watching our interview, she is witty, humble, and smart, someone who embraces learning and enjoys sharing her knowledge.
Veselina at Lagos Plant – last simulation before go-live
Veselina’s cat, Charolette
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 live in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. I entered (or to be more precise I was kicked into) the SAP world back in 2006 in the usual way: as an accident.
I have studied Electronics engineering and Economics in the university. Unfortunately, after I graduated, there was not a huge demand for inexperienced female engineers in electronics, who wish to program in Assembler and design PCB, so I have worked in some diverse areas:
- Responsible for order execution from customers and contract fulfillment, negotiating with subcontractors, calculating costs, co-coordinating departments in the design phase etc. for make-to-order spare parts for heavy machinery and mining;
- Then I worked in graphics design;
- After that I got a job as a maintenance engineer in a computer sales/electronic repairs company (even now I am still quite good with the soldering-iron and provide PC support to my friends and relatives).
My family made me go to an interview for a SAP consultant position and get a real job (excuse me?).
The interviewer asked me: ‘Do you have any previous experience in SAP?’
‘Not really’, I replied, ‘But at the end of the day this is some software with SQL under the hood. How hard can that be?’
I got the job.
Machine Veselina built for testing
Yerevan, Armenia, go-live; Veselina not pictured
(She’s downstairs for order credit release)
It took some time before I started to appreciate it and finally love being a consultant. So this is what I do – I consult and it turned out that everything I have learned or done before proved to be extremely useful. I have worked in PM, Investment Management, WMS (and Ortec MLS), Transportation (including Ortec LEO), SD, DSD including integration with MM, FI/CO etc. At some point I even dabbled with authorizations and ABAP (the latter helped me realize that I will probably not become techno-functional in the foreseeable future).
When did you become a member of SCN and which areas are you most active in?
I have been a forum lurker for a couple of years, but did not consider registering until 2014. I post mostly in Sales and Distribution and the sub-forums (I read a lot in SAP ERP – Logistics Materials Management and ERP SCM Logistics Execution, but I am not ready yet to start participating there).
What motivates you to keep coming back to SCN and help members get answers to their questions?
It could be because I enjoy playing computer games and I treat SAP as some mixture of a brain-teaser/role-play/strategy. Or it could be that when I finally decided to enroll for P_SD_65, answering the questions in the forum was a valuable practice. Or simply because I would hate to see design solutions, which are not very well thought out in my next project. Sometimes all it takes is to remind people that there is more than one side of the story and that you can approach the problem from a different angle.
You’ve made a name for yourself on the community in a relatively short time. What’s your advice to newer members? Top 3 mistakes to avoid?
A general advice about advices:
Always take them with a grain of salt. Even if a SAP note provides you with clear steps on how to perform a seemingly simple task, read carefully, use your common sense and critical thinking before you even consider implementing a solution. Did you check that user exit in Controlling? Have you considered the impact on all company-specific processes? Please do your homework!
Top 3 mistakes…. there are four of them, actually.
- Assuming that posting questions/requirements in SCN is a viable option to avoid training, research and self-improvement: This does not work in the long term; there is a high chance that it would not work even as a short- term strategy.
- Assuming that as a SAP consultant you already know better than your customer their business needs and pain points: There are no two companies alike and even within the same company and industry the market could be vastly different. Speak with your clients, listen to them and observe their current way-of-working (especially the end users) before you rush to your computer and start configuring or implement a copy/paste solution from your previous project. Establishing dialog with your client (and earning his trust) is a key part of the process.
- This is not my job/I am only responsible for XXXX step: During a key user training I told my DSD route settlement users that such attitude is a thing of the past. Then why would that be different for SAP consultants? You still need to understand (at least at a high level) the end-to-end processes and know how to execute the complete order-to-cash cycle as an end user. It would be easier and less stressful for you if you achieve that before go-live.
- Believe in the one-man-army myth: So… you took the trainings and even have some hands-on experience in SD, MM, FI/CO, ABAP and BASIS? Great! Please do not assume that you can single-handedly manage a SAP implementation on your own. This is not going to happen: if you do not believe me, login to IDES, create a company code and start configuring from scratch (in addition to your daily communication with the business). I hope that after you finally dismiss the task as absurd to be completed in a reasonable time, you would appreciate more your colleagues’ efforts and would start collaborating with them. All successful implementations I have been part of, were a result of a team effort, but I have seen projects struggle due to insufficient communication and integration between teams.
Which course did you earn your openSAP badge for? What was the learning experience like on openSAP?
I don’t know. I have to admit – I am mildly addicted to openSAP courses and I have taken a lot of them lately (19 in total) – so this could be either Cybersecurity – The Essential Challenge for Digital Transformation, or Introduction to Ariba, or SAP NetWeaver Upgrades in a Nutshell or SAP S/4 Hana in a Nutshell. And on top of that, yesterday I enrolled for Build Your Own SAP Fiori App in the Cloud – 2016 Edition. So next month I would finally get to play with the shiny HCP tools and see if this is something I would like to do (most likely as a hobby) in the future. A really good initiative, indeed.
As an SAP consultant working with SAP’s products, you must have seen a lot. What’s the most important thing SAP needs to do to keep customers enthusiastic about its products in the future?
Is this some sort of a wish list? I personally am very enthusiastic about what SAP has done lately in terms of speed and usability.
I wish that in ERP you could have a non-z solution at least comparable to Bonus Buy. Free goods is not even close to what the business needs in 2016.
I wish there were a native solution for automatic generation of package proposals and truck space optimization in ERP (without add-ons) that would consider the bay trucks layout. Please?
Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)? And for what reason?
- ‘ MoazzaM ‘– very knowledgeable, helpful and yet modest and polite. This is a rare combination (I am planning to work on this ‘polite’ part, honestly… in the more distant future).
- Jelena Perfiljeva – Reading her comments in all forum spaces is a pure enjoyment.
- Jürgen L – there is still so much to learn from him.
- And (of course) all forum moderators: for the dedication and patience to keep SCN a better and cleaner place.
Are you on Twitter?
You have probably noticed that I talk too much. 140 characters per post? How is that ever going to work?
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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 recognized on the SCN Member of The Month Hall of Fame.