What is going on in our community? With this question in my head I went to the community regulars’ table in Walldorf taking place in the SAP guesthouse Kalipeh, October 20th. Rain was coming down in sheets, so not all listed guests joined the event. However we were a nice group of about 30 people enjoying the evening. Katharina Fischer, the inviting community colleague and SAP mentor, better known as Kati and the “mother” of our regulars’ tables and German SAP Inside Track events, started with a warm welcome round.
People were invited to do an info exchange with us as SCN community members, this means Kati, Oliver Kohl and myself. Oliver coming from Berlin was there to take over all questions about the new community concerning IT related topics. My mission was to catch some community reference stories.

So, first I talked with Achim Toeper (link to the interview), Chief Technology Officer, SAP partner and former SAP consultant, who is focused on Quality Assurance in connection with SAP Solution Manager. This experienced and sportive man also likes Internet of Things (IoT). He showed me a demo of SAP Internet of Things Simulator features on his iPhone (http://news.sap.com/germany/sap-iot-simulator-das-internet-der-dinge-testen in German, see also: https://www.sapservicesinnovation.com/iotsim-de) which inspired him.
And he also explained to me that he got a lot of help from the community concerning this topic:
“Bjoern Goerke’s presentation (TechEd BCN, 2015 and DSAG technology days, HH February 2016, about the Martian) was the kickoff rocket of the topic in our company. Many useful examples pushed smart prototypes (http://news.sap.com/how-saps-bjorn-goerke-became-the-martian/).”
And this info exchange amongst experts motivated Achim to contribute actively to the community:
“Sharing expertise, pushing methodologies like SAP Solution Manager, RSLAF (Run SAP Like A Factory). … 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.”
So as active blogger Achim takes advantage of the community by positioning his content there in the platform and by profiting from its’ search functionality:
For me as customer and SAP partner it’s great to have all the content at one place.”
And he gives the following advice:
“if you participate, share knowledge and give good advice you will earn huge amounts of helpful knowledge and you get connected with a lot of interesting people.” You may meet Achim at the SIT WDF on January 13rd and 14th 2017, as an engaged yoga practitioner, taking part at the business yoga sessions offered there.

On my way further, I met Ulli Hoffmann (link to the interview), who is an engaged software developer and freelancer, expert in ABAP development, as well for SAP MM/EWM/SRM, and who is an enthusiastic mountain biker and ski fan. He knows the SAP history very well due to the fact that he started with SAP at the very beginning.
Being involved in the community he could take over two big projects in Web Dynpro and SRM and:
“With the help of contributions of community members in the area of BOPF on SCN I was able to convince a customer to use this new framework.”
So he likes to share his expertise with the community because:
SCN helps me in my daily work by providing access to knowledge and expertise of other members”.
Besides of this it is also important for the community:
“to provide a mobile access to the content, an API to access content and allow developers to develop new experiences and to implement quality measures/metrics for publishing in areas like blogs and documents.”

Then I was approached by a young friendly Indian guy, Jitendra Kansal (link to the interview). He is a SAP Mentor and currently working for the SAP Partner Tech Mahindra. Jitendra is “mainly involved in SAP mobile, Cloud & UX stuffs” and in his private life he is an active sportsman playing cricket, snookers, foosball (table soccer) and doing cycling.
Jitendra had his initial contact with the SAP community in 2011 working for his first company Infosys:
“I had to show a proof of concept to my customer based on Sybase Unwired Platform. Due to a lack of skillset among the team, we were stuck in between. When one of the senior colleagues came across this issue and said: “Why don’t you post your question in SCN?” … I signed in and posted my query in the SAP Mobile forum and within few hours I got a response which helped me solving that issue. That is how my Journey on SAP Community started. I thought this place could be the best platform to learn and explore more on SAP mobility stuff and therefore I started exploring across this different #SCN spaces for any related documents, blogs and threads.”
Jitendra, who is today an experienced blogger, explains what motivates him to contribute actively in the community:
“SAP community helps me to get knowledge about the latest and greatest of SAP offerings and at the same time helps me in accelerating my current skills. There are many community members working for different SAP partners, customers and even for SAP who have been actively involved in various community forums, sharing their experiences across SAP products, helping other community members in answering their queries, posting blogs etc. I try to do the same and enjoy it as well.”
And:
“Through the SAP community also, I came to know about upcoming local events like SAP Inside Track,the Community meet-up (#SAPStammtisch) and SAP Code Jam where are equal opportunities to learn, share and meet community peers. … It also helps to get to know more about community members through different initiatives like Blog It Forward, Member of the Month, Developer Heroes.”
And additionally being a SAP mentor, Jitendra gets
“involved with SAP product and development teams closely in providing feedback on what’s real, what’s valuable, or what’s meaningful. This helps SAP to improve their products and to provide a better service to its customers, partners and individuals. So at the end it’s a win-win situation for both.”
Concerning the new community, Jitendra recommends to read the following blogs:
“Look for any technical topic by navigating to its respective page (I prefer to use this link https://detammenitsapcommunitytags-p001984trial.dispatcher.hanatrial.ondemand.com/index.html (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox) thanks to Mr. Helmut Tammen for creating this UI5 app, it helps a lot), you can even follow experts active for a particular tag.

And I would encourage every community member to read these awesome blogs:
https://blogs.sap.com/2016/10/01/the-true-value-of-a-community/https://blogs.sap.com/2016/10/09/zen-art-unlearning-expertise/

Finally, I had also a short talk with Dr. Klaus Freyburger, professor at the University of Ludwigshafen, he comes up with an interesting aspect for the community explaining to me that at the university it is important to get free (or very low cost) software offers – not necessarily working in a fully productive environment, but similar to the HCP Trial or the actual HANA Express – and that the community is very helpful here.
Additionally he proposes to integrate also curricula into the community, so for example to distribute BI via a low cost SAP BW in the academic world, e. g. this could be done by free solutions of SAP Cloud Appliance Library or local appliances similar to HANA Express:
“At this point I see great potential for further spreading the SAP solutions in the academic world. SAP Community and SAP University Alliances can play a central role in this game.”
I appreciated the open atmosphere during this community gathering and the possibility to collect all these important testimonials from the community members. I am curious if this blog encourages further community members to share their community experience.

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