Moderator Spotlight – Eli Klovski
Moderator Spotlight is our way of showing our appreciation to the most distinguished SAP Community moderators. Eli Klovski has been selected for this quarter’s Moderator Spotlight as he is an enthusiastic, supportive and caring moderator. Eli is a moderator for FIN (Finance), FIN Asset Accounting, FIN Controlling, FIN Financial, Supply Chain Management and FIN Treasury Public Sector.
Bellow you can find a conversation I had with Eli about moderation, community, his work and other interesting topics.
Hi Eli! Thanks a lot for clearing the time to have this discussion with me. Let’s maybe start by asking when did you become a moderator and why?
It was back in 2010. I was very fond of SAP Community and wanted to do more than being just a simple observer.
What convinces you to spend your time doing moderation?
Well, I run my own company; and as the old saying goes that the “time is money.” And since it’s my time, it would be also my money. But, let me tell you this… I never use the word ‘spend’ when I refer to my activities on the community. I consider it more of an investment. By playing an active role on the community, one can achieve a lot both professionally and socially.
What do you most like about the moderation role?
What I like the most in moderation is the exposure to all sorts of information, all sorts of users and all sorts of questions. Being able to organize this data (with modest moderation, absorb it, learn something from it and actively help others, that’s what makes me want to spend time moderating on the community.
That’s great to hear/read. For someone who knows nothing about Finance / Funds management, how would you explain the subject in a couple of sentences?
Well, per Napoleon, money was the artery of the war. But, me being a peaceful person, I’d rather put it in a way that finance and budget is a daily part of life not only of a company, holding or a government, but also of any private person. Knowing how to organize cash-flow, how to plan your expenses, and how not to find yourself in debt, that’s finance… Of course, in business terms, everything that is linked to operational activity of a company needs to be transformed into the figures and controlling and planning these figures that would be, briefly, the essence of Financial domain in SAP ERP solutions
Very interesting. I will probably think of this metaphor during my next time at the ATM. 🙂
What are your main challenges as a moderator? How do you perceive the role of a moderator?
Well, amongst my colleagues and business clients, I’m known as a very patient man. And, I believe, patience is the main virtue and the main challenge of a good moderator. Of course, let’s not forget that moderators should instruct and guide first (and not just block users) That is, for me, the main challenge for any moderator.
I totally agree. As I’ve shared in a recent blog I published a moderator’s role is not just to enforce the ROE or monitor content but be a leader for his or her topic from a strategic perspective. That includes the ongoing discussion you have regarding the name of the tag “Public Sector.” Can you please share more about that?
Fully agree! The issue you’ve raised refers to the fact that a domain called ‘Public sector’ (now, it’s a tag), is quite misleading. Ninety-nine % of the content of this domain regards the SAP module of Funds management, and it was intended to be this way. Certainly, Funds management or FM is used widely in the private sector as well. I’m having a discussion with SAP Community management about renaming this domain to make it more transparent and clear.
Thanks for sharing and let’s continue the discussion off line and see if maybe we can make the change happen.
And on your side, what are the greatest challenges you face in your daily work?
I have many challenges 🙂 and that one that I can think of right now is the constant battle of keeping the balance between the operational and strategic future facing side of my work. Sometimes it is very tempting to continue a conversation in the community but sometimes I need to remind myself to get back to strategic planning for the Q&A and moderation platforms. However, I believe that both aspects are strongly tied together as without being heavily involved in the community and engaged with members you cannot really know what they need or who you can collaborate to define what’s most needed.
Another challenge which is an outcome of what makes this international community so special and fun is the time differences issue. It is prominent when I try to schedule moderators’ gathering or other meetings for community members. It will be always too late or too early for some people. But you find workarounds as once we pre-interviewed Lars Bederman so he can attend the Moderators’ council we had at the time.
What do you think is consultant’s greatest added value when implementing FIN solutions? Is it just making sure the SAP product is properly installed and integrated while reducing the amount of errors and future support incidents?
While proper installation and reducing technical incidents is important, after all there will be no ‘happy users’ if they encounter system glitches while trying to do their jobs. However, the main thing for me about being a good SAP consultant is not just this. The most important challenge is to understand fully — sometimes even better than the client itself — the businesses they are running and provide a solution (even if it’s not fully standard), which would best suit their needs. Sometimes it could even involve a reworking of a business process or redesigning procedures. The role of SAP consultant is to build the bridge between the business needs and the IT solutions and make sure that this bridge remains stable and solid.
Sounds like a real challenge but probably something you love if you’re doing it for a living.
By looking in your profile, I see that you speak 7 languages, how did that happen?
My first passion was for Italian. At the age of 16 I became, what Spanish people call, aficionado, of opera and I wanted not only to enjoy the beauty of the music, but understand the meaning. So, I started to learn Italian. First I studied by myself, then in the university as my free-choice course. After this, came French, Spanish, etc. To tell the truth, I enjoy the music, the magic of words, of any new language I learn.
That would probably be a dream for me if I had the patience to sit:). But maybe I’m being harsh as during my travel years that’s how I learned some German. I used to listen to cassettes* and sit in a library while I was working in german eco farms.
* Cassettes are things with hole people use to enter a stereo and in return hear sound (for our younger readers:))
I have a just a quick question before we finish; I know that it can be challenging to work in multi-cultural environment. . How do you distinguish between unprofessional conduct and just a mere ‘culture clash’ issue and what is your way of handling this type of situation?
You’re raising a very interesting challenge that we sometimes face. For example, in some cultures saying “you are wrong” might be counted as being offensive and in other cultures that is just how they speak. There are two environments where I need to balance this: in the community, and, also in my personal international work environment (without the extreme things we sometimes see in the community). In the community, when approaching this kind of situation, I first understand the background and history of the relationship between the people and the cultures. In case where the discussion is heated already, I try to engage without offending anyone or taking sides and take it off line while trying to settle the matter. In 95% of the cases it works as when things are taken off line often the tension disappears. And sometimes people that strongly disagreed online, agree off line. However, when someone becomes unprofessional and offensive, they lose my sympathy and I have to take the needed actions to enforce the rules of engagement to maintain a healthy and constructive discussion and community.
Eli, I would like to thank you again for investing this time with us and for this very interesting glimpse into your world
Congrats Eli, this recognition is long overdue !
Your name is a legend on Financials in SCN, when I was into FI many years ago I remember seeing lots of threads where you interacted with consultants.
Good to see you stayed with the community throughout all the changes we have had in the last years.
Congrats Eli !!!!!!!
Congratulations Eli! Was very happy to learn a little more about your involvement with our believed Community. Very happy to see you being recognized as our Moderator Spotlight.
Thanks for your congrats and thanks to the whole community!
Great to see a profile of such esteemed Community member and moderator. Sadly, it may have been foreshadowed by all the TechEd content (bad timing!).
Interesting how Eli Klovski turned it around and Moshe Naveh suddenly became the interviewee. 🙂 Totally unscripted, cough-cough. 🙂
It took me a while to recover and answer:)
Great to know more about Eli! A true legend in SAP Community.
My best wishes!
Eli is a true legend! It is a very nice interview.