I guess I need to start off with a little about myself before I go into why I am taking the time to say hello. My name is Craig Cmehil (shhh-may-hill), I know tough last name and although many of you know me I can only imagine many of you do not. So who am I?
I’ve applied a lot of labels to myself over the years and wore many hats around the SAP and technology worlds. Recently I had a chance to take a deep hard look at myself though and make some determinations, some decisions about what part of me, made me who I am…
In 2003 I stepped into the SAP world and by pure serendipity SAP at the time was venturing into the world of online communities. For me the community changed my world, if not for the community at the time and my ability to get the help I needed to understand exactly what this “SAP” thing was I probably would have gone back to my web application world. As the fates would have it though I truly found my home in the SAP community (SAP Developer Network – SDN) and was able to sink my teeth into SAP tech.
I made many friends, and was enabled to showcase my abilities time and time again through opportunities that the community provided. From speaking at a “community day” in Walldorf to taking part in BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions at SAP TechEd. For me, coming from a background in the web and former BBS world this was home. This was a chance to get involved and to make a mark.
I like to think that I made a solid mark, or at least Mark thought so and with that – my contributions, my passion and enthusiasm lead to my joining SAP as a “Community Evangelist” focusing on the developer community. From there I dove head first into the community world looking to find those folks with the same passion I considered myself having and more importantly hoping to enable them as I had been enabled.
I had several great opportunities presented to me such as managing and running the SDN Clubhouse at SAP TechEd to the Hacker Night and the first ever Innovation Weekend (later to be known as the SAP InnoJam) or the first Cluetrain! Not to mention the DemoJam itself or who could forget Nanomonk with RedMonk and Adobe!
From there I moved into the world of Technology Strategy, then global communications with the world famous SAP Blogger Relations program. This was followed by a short stint in the outside world to better understand the startup communities then back to SAP to work on my passion once again with SAP Developer Relations where I created the SAP CodeJam program. It was a chance for me to work once again with Thomas and it’s been an amazing ride these past 6 years as we’ve brought developers to a focal point at SAP.
At the beginning of this year Thomas took on both the SAP Community and SAP Mentor programs. Which brings me to why I are taking the time to tell you a little about myself and my background. I’ve been an active user of the various SAP community areas since the start and now have 765 blog posts, 10 archived documents, 83 archived discussions and 11 answers.
My roots being in the community and the SAP Mentors led to a unique opportunity.
As of just a week ago I agreed to take on the challenge of Community & Influencers with the SAP Developer & Community Relations organisation. It is both my pleasure and my honour to now lead the newly reconnected teams focused on enabling those wishing to explore SAP technologies and share their experiences and knowledge as well as those SAP recognises to help offer us guidance and feedback on our technologies and strategies.
I have no intention of making a list of “these are the wonderful great things we are planning or going to do”, instead I want to make you a promise. That is, I will do everything in my ability to bring opportunities to the community to participate, contribute and engage. I will work with our product teams to increase engagement and to get answers to you faster and I will work with our partners to encourage participation and engagement. Together we can make amazing things happen and only together will be successful.
I am open and available via Twitter (@ccmehil) or email and I want to hear ideas and suggestions. To be honest though I am less interested in feature and functionality ideas – we have a list already, your feedback has not been ignored nor forgotten. What I really want to know though is what does our community want in terms of opportunities made available to them?
I will be holding sessions going forward for open discussions and feedback; these will happen both virtually and physically and as I am in Palo Alto this week if there is an interest I will hold a physical session here at the Labs office to talk about both the Community and Influencer programs — transparency is a key element to a successful community, one that requires balance. So if the desire is there then let me know with your comments below and we can make the first session happen already this week.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing with you as we start to make new opportunities available, join us on the next chapter in our community and influencer journey!