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New Year in a New Organization

Those of you who attended SAP TechEd may have heard Bjoern Goerke, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for SAP, talk about the importance of SAP Community. You may have also read comments from CEO Bill McDermott, emphasizing the need to bring the community closer to its roots. True cross-team collaboration between Bjoern and Nick Tzitzon, Alicia Tilman and Thomas Saueressig have resulted in solid foundations being put into place.

If you saw these statements as harbingers for change for SAP Community, you were absolutely right. As we moved into the new year, the SAP Community also moved into a new organization: the office of the CTO. More specifically SAP Community, SAP Mentor Program and SAP Developer Relations are now one team under the leadership of Thomas Grassl.  Brian Ellefritz, who had taken a leadership position with SAP Community last year, will help with the transition.

This may not be news to you, considering that Bill published a blog post about this topic and that in the comments, Bjoern expressed his confidence in this decision. But you may have wondered how this reorganization affects the SAP Community Experience team itself.

As Bill observed in his post: “The many dedicated colleagues who work on this are the loudest advocates for community in the company.” So true. The SAP Community Experience team has long championed what’s best for the community — both publicly and behind the scenes — and this new setup puts us in the best possible position to serve as advocates.

I’ll continue to head SAP Community Experience, and my team remains completely intact, so you’ll still be able to connect directly with the SAP Community Experience team members whom you have gotten to know, and who have gotten to know you, over the months (or years!).

The fact that my team is shifting to the new organization as a whole speaks volumes about the seamless nature of this transition. We know the community members best, and the office of CTO best knows the needs of our community audience. Our teams have long partnered, so joining forces is a great fit.

As always, my team will keep you apprised of any improvements and fixes to the SAP Community platform and experience. Speaking of which, this change shouldn’t impact the plans (e.g., roadmap, redesign) we’ve outlined. If anything, now that we’re part of the CTO family, things should be even easier – as the move demonstrates the commitment of SAP executives to SAP Community. Bjoern and Bill made promises about SAP Community, and this transition and their very public pronouncements of support show that they meant what they said. In fact, in the coming days, we plan to share more information, including a video demo, about the platform’s new user experience, so you can see for yourself some of the big improvements coming this year.

It was fitting to share this update with you today – as it marks the 7th Annual Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD) – a time for recognizing those who make social platforms such as SAP Community possible. That includes my team, but it also includes the members, those who contribute and educate and come together to create a true sense of community. I’d especially like to thank our moderators, who selflessly dedicate their time to maintaining the SAP Community as a valuable source of information and collaboration.

On this Community Manager Appreciation Day, I hope you’ll participate in the festivities. You can enjoy one of our always popular caption contests, and you can tweet using the hashtag #CMAD to thank those who give to our digital family and be sure to check out our Moderator Spotlights! This year in particular I believe we have plenty of reason to celebrate. Moving SAP Community to the office of the CTO sets us up well for progress in 2018. I’ve been part of the SAP Community Experience team for many years. During that time, I’ve seen my share of changes and this move has me really excited. I hope that you will join me in that excitement and looking forward to a stronger SAP Community.

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  • Hi Gali,


    happy to read a lot about the relocation of the team and the importance of the community. Maybe we should reactivate the second life... Craig Cmehil told me that ?

    Now it's time to ship the necessary changes to put all together. Let the mentors know, when you need help. We're here.


    But just to also name it. You and your team are doing an awesome job and I love to be a member of this outstanding community.

    We get that done and it's not a problem that there are some more rocks on the road ?



  • Things are changing!   Yes!   What more could we ever want.    Thank the complete SAP Community support team.    You've taken a lot of "positive" criticism lately.

    I'm so glad to hear about the changes, and I am being Optimistic.and Energetic.

    Thank you!


  • I have to say that after reading Bill McDermott post I was rather annoyed. For me, it was just another post without actions behind it.

    But it looks like I was wrong - and this time I'm really happy about that. Based on yours and Bjoern blog there is a lot going on behind the scenes. You've changed my annoyance into curiosity and excitement. I'm looking forward to seeing the changes!

    Good luck and thanks to the whole SAP Community Team for your hard work.


  • Not sure if it's too early to call but how exactly do you think this change will benefit? Since this is CTO, will SCN team have better access to any "T stuff", i.e. the infrastructure/development resources? Blink once for yes. 🙂

    • How about instead of blinking, I keep my eyes open and focused on the possibilities 🙂

      As Bartosz Jarkowski mentioned, there is behind the scenes work and as you inferred with new leadership in place, we need time to ramp up. But as I noted, this change makes us part of the team in the best position to drive to drive change to the platform. That's one of the benefits.

      In the meantime, try not to blink or you many miss the update about the new UX (coming soon).

  • Great post, Gali!  So pleased to hear that the Community Team will remain under your leadership and intact.

    It is extremely positive to see that Community is moving back to its roots in Technology. Although Marketing is a typical place where communities sit in companies, the SAP Community needs to keep those who are hands-on with our products at the forefront. I believe that Thomas Grassl has that focus and will put the right strategy in place.

    I know that you and the team have been in a tough spot, and I expect that this focus on Community will help you and IT move the big rocks forward and bring it "back to the future".

    I wish you all the best of luck!  - Jeanne

    • Thank you so much Jeanne!

      Its wonderful to read your comments, and know you share my excitement - from someone who truly knows this community and team. We do indeed hope to "bring it back to the future"  😉

      Best, Gali