Interview with Achim Toeper about the Community
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live n Wuerzburg, Bavaria. I am Chief Technology Officer, SAP partner. Focused on Quality Assurance with the help of SAP Solution Manager (= Application Lifecycle Management). Interests: Networking, Relationship-Management, Internet-of-Things. Hobbies: Running, Yoga, Dancing.
How did you learn about SAP Community and what made you want to join?
I started as SAP BC (= basic components) consultant in 1995. Since the beginning I’m a frequent user of the SAP Community Network (SCN), now called SAP Community. It’s part of my daily work. Using SCN / SAP Community changed with my roles. Often I use it to search for information about specific technical topics. Also during my time as SAP partner (since 2006 RunSAP, now RunSAP/REX partner) or as long as I was the head of a SAP certified competence center, I used it to position our content in the platform. In the meantime positioning content and first blogging attempts are the main reason to join it, besides of the search functionality.
How do you personally benefit the most from being an SAP Community member and/or SAP Mentor?
Favorite areas (e.g. all about SAP Solution Manager, Run SAP Partnership); using information in presentations. Preparing me for events like SolEd or TechEd.
How do you see the community supporting your business?
I think for projects it would be a good advice to have implemented content added or linked. I didn’t search or even expected initiatives there. For me as customer and SAP partner it’s great to have all the content at one place.
What motivates you to contribute actively in the Community?
Sharing expertise, pushing methodologies like SAP Solution Manager, RSLAF (Run Sap Like A Factory). Advance my career isn’t my main goal herein. Therefore I’d prefer professional networks like XING (German, Europe) or LinkedIn (international). One of my leadership principles is “Wikinomics” which means obtaining economic and competitive advantages by using Wikis. I think the SAP community is a very helpful place for that – supporting my professional missions.
Have you experienced the Community helping you drive innovation topics?
There is an actual innovation topic (Internet-of-Things= IoT) where the community helped a lot. Bjoern Goerke’s presentation (TechEd BCN, 2015 and DSAG technology days, HH February 2016, about the Martian: http://news.sap.com/how-saps-bjorn-goerke-became-the-martian/ was the kickoff rocket of the topic in our company. Many useful examples pushed smart prototypes.
Why would you encourage professionals to join the Community?
Because if you participate, share knowledge and give good advice you will earn huge amounts of helpful information and you get connected with a lot of interesting people.
Finally, any advice for us? How can SAP help strengthen the Community?
To connect with other people in SAP community isn’t easy. You are allowed to follow members, to like their blogs and their content and you can bookmark it. But if I want to get into contact with someone, I first have to ask him/her to be a friend. This takes time, depending on the frequentation by other community members. May be you could think about an easy and fast way to address other members directly.