After spending way too much time struggling with how to start this blog I’ve decided to keep it simple and share an important moment of my life with you: Last week I accepted the Head of SAP Community role, stepping into the very large shoes that Malin Liden has so skillfully filled before me. In this, my first blog post in this role, I want to share why I’ve made this decision and what it means to me personally.
I joined SAP over six years ago to head up the global social media function. I knew coming here from Cisco that SAP already had an incredible, award winning community program – in fact I think it had just been renamed SCN from SDN when I joined – and my hope was to make SAP’s social media practices as world class as our community efforts.
One of the first people I met at SAP was Mark Finnern. Over lunch he told me a little about SCN and a lot about the SAP Mentors program. At the end of lunch Mark asked me for input. I simply and sincerely shared that it was clear that SAP’s community programs were every bit as stellar as I’d heard about when I was at Cisco, and that if we were to build a great social media program at SAP it would be greatly accelerated by borrowing the DNA that the community team managed to create.
Two years later we reorged and social media was no longer an organization neighbor: I got to work directly for Mark Yolton. I went to my first TechEd, got my first Mentors jersey (strictly honorary; I certainly don’t feel I fully earned one), and began to learn even more about the SCN program from the heavyweight talent in the program.
So with that history in mind, there are two reasons why I took this job. First, I remember very clearly the solemn and thoughtful Mentors sessions (broken by having to sing a song to accept my jersey), the joy at Demo Jam, the eagerness inside the community to answer questions and help fellow Community members. I am thrilled to be part of that energy again and where needed, even help restore that energy. Secondly, I see a new level of commitment within SAP to restore the community to its former greatness, and in fact to take it even further. I’ll share more about that in a future blog post but trust me, the commitment is very real and a powerful factor for me to say “yes” to this role.
There is a tremendous amount of work needed to get from here to there and personally, I’m “all-in”. I will be spending more time within the community and reaching out increasingly to you in the community for your ideas and input. And I invite you to reach out to me as well.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge the very talented team that I am lucky enough to inherit, led by Gali Kling Schneider – all of you are simply amazing at what you do. And I want to thank Malin for her past and future conversations, you’ve been a great mentor for me in making this decision and I can only hope to match your passion for this program.
As mentioned earlier in this post I’ll share more soon and at regular intervals, but for now I thank SAP for the opportunity, I thank you in the community for being both patient and demanding, and I thank my new team for their support as I take on this new role.