I am delighted to congratulate Christian Drumm as the SCN Member of the Month for July, 2016! Christian is the head of development and consulting at FACTUR Billing Solutions GmbH, and an expert in SAP CRM and SAP Utilities (IS-U). In addition to sharing his expertise through informative blog posts and answering questions, he builds his network by speaking at and attending SAP Inside Tracks. He’s also helping kickoff an exciting new community event format, with the first CodeRetreat planned for later this month in Weinsberg, Germany. When he is not working, he is an avid rock climber and mountain bike rider, not to mention award winning cow-milker. Check out photos from some of his amazing adventures below!
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)?
At FACTUR I head a team of about 15 developers and consultants. Besides the usual management tasks my main tasks are
- Overall system architecture for the system landscapes of our customers
- Lead architect and developer for our add ons
- CRM for utilities
- General go to person for complex problems
My main hobby is sport. I’m a avid climber. However, after a very severe injury in 2014 (I broke my heel) I also started mountain biking. Besides that I also like learning and playing with new technologies. And most importantly I also love spending time with my little 2 year old daughter.
Biking at the MTB Marathon
Climbing at Gerolstein
When did you become a member of SCN and which areas are you most active in?
I became a member already in 2008. However, I only started contributing actively about 3 years ago. I’m most active in the areas of ABAP and CRM. Also I like to go to and present at SITs
What motivates you to keep coming back to SCN and help members get answers to their questions and publish your informative blog posts?
When I started to work in the SAP ecosystem I was surprised how closed everything was and how hard it was to find information. I wasn’t used to this form e.g. The Java ecosystem. At least in Germany I think the reason is that the SAP world is largely dominated by consulting companies keeping their knowledge for themselfs. So I started doing the same and kept notes of what I learned and found out for myself. Mostly also because I didn’t think I had something valuable to share anyway.
I can’t remember anymore what my first blog was. However, I got some encouraging feedback and continued. A short time after that I met Gregor Wolf at a DSAG event and went to the the SIT in Munich where I met further people. Everybody was very open and encouraging. And everything just developed from there.
What really motivates me is when others find my contributions helpful to solve their problems. One of the most motivating examples in the past was when a colleague entered my office and told me he was working on a problem, googled for the solution and found it in a blog I had written earlier. So SCN even helped to collaborate within our small company.
Do you feel l like your experiences on the SCN community have helped advance your career and/or professional network? If so, how?
Regarding my career I don’t think so. In the area where I work (utilities in Germany ) other factors are more important. In contrast to that, SCN and the SITs helped me to largely extend my professional network. And this also has a very positive impact on my work. Because everybody once in a while needs to discuss a complex issue or problem with someone more experienced in a certain area. This is certainly where I, and therefor also my customers, profit very much from the SCN community.
I was impressed to read about the CodeRetreat you are putting together and it looks like it is gaining momentum! For those who haven’t read about it, tell the community what you are planning and how it will work.
It is a new community format Damir Mair and I are trying to set up. It is basically a hands-on coding event focused on educating developers in the area of software craftsmanship (also I don’t like the trim that much). I first heard about it in the software engineering radio podcast and immediately liked the idea. I talked to Damir about it and he had been thinking to set up CodeRetreats in the ABAP community as well. So we joined forces. Our idea is to find hosts that offer room and food and we organize and facilitate the CodeRetreat. We adopted the general format a little to fit the ABAP world.
The first CodeRetreat will take place mid July. We will see how it goes and what will develop from there. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m excited to see how the whole format will develop. https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/events/ABAP+CodeRetreat
I see you’ve been participating in SAP Customer Influence for some time. What has your experience with the Influence program been like so far?
Quite positive. I like the idea of having a direct channel for the mostly smaller improvements that you always wanted to have but usually wouldn’t end up on a general development roadmap. One of the good examples is showing system id, user name and client in the crm web ui. Every crm consultancy I know built a custom solution for that. Through the influence program there is now a general solution.
So I can only encourage everyone to participate. The influence program is from my experience really the quickest way to get required features into the SAP solutions.
Ettringen/ Mut der Verzweiflung
Have you been following the plans around the upcoming changes to the community? What are your hopes and dreams associated with the upcoming redesign? Have you participated in the open beta? What do you think so far?
I have been following a little bit, however, not to closely. My hopes would be that through the new platform it will be easier for people to find information and start participating. Furthermore, I hope the new recognition system encourages further high quality content. I haven’t had a very detailed look in the open beta. So I can’t really comment very much. As far as I can tell the blogging functionalities seem to have largely improved.
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, and what do you think SAP’s biggest challenges are?
I think SAP has improved a lot in the area of developer experience. There it is quite easy already to try new products and play with them a little. For me this is always very important to really understand a tool or product.
In contrast to that SAP is still very closed with respect to products. For example, there is no trial program for Cloud 4 Customer. This makes starting with these new products too difficult. SAP needs to find a way to achieve the same openness as with the developer tools.
As the biggest challenges, I see taking the customer base on the S/4 journey. Especially in the utilities industry I see a large challenge for SAP not to lose especially the smaller customers. Besides this is also think building and offering comprehensive solutions based on the new cloud services.
Is there an SCN member you admire (OK… you can name a few)? And for what reason?
There are several. Of course there are the usual suspects: Gregor Wolf’ and Fred Verheul for helping me to get started and introducing me to other community members. And also for being always very helpful and encouraging.
Tammy Powlas for the sheer amount of her contributions. I often wonder if see sleeps at all. And I most certainly forgot someone I should have mentioned. Because there are so many doing good work. Also in areas that I’m not following. I also like the work Lars Hvam is doing in the area of ABAP Git.
Do you have any fun talents you’d like to share with the community? Jokes, songs, a poem?
I grew up on a farm. My father is a farmer up to this day. Due to this legacy, I am able to milk a cow with my bare hands. I even won minor cow milking competitions when I was 10 or 11 years old.
Are you on Twitter?
Yes. My handle is @ceedee666
* * * * *
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.