Abdul Mannan — Member of the Month, September 2018
When it comes to SAP Business One, September’s Member of the Month appears to be number one — if you take his contributions into account. He has answered more than two hundred questions related to this software.
Not bad for a guy who describes himself as a “young technology mind.” Pretty impressive, in fact — especially if he’s just getting started. If a young technology mind can answer all of those questions, imagine what the future must hold. If he continues participating at this rate, he’ll have answered thousands of questions by the time he’s my age (which is as much a testament to his dedication as it is a reflection of how old I am).
Wow, that’s a little depressing.
Sorry, where was I? My memory ain’t what it used to be. Oh, that’s right — we’re here to celebrate our latest member of the Hall of Fame. And considering I’m advanced in years, I better ask my questions before I forget them.
But first, please allow me to introduce September’s Member of the Month, Abdul Mannan.
I feel honored and impressed that I received this amazing recognition from SAP and it will motivate me to to do more in SAP Community and encourage others to participate in SAP Community.
Cheers for this happy moment!
Please welcome Abdul Mannan (front), our September Member of the Month, to the Hall of Fame.
According to your profile, you work for TYONZ Technology Consultants. Can you tell me a little bit about the company and what you do there?
TYCONZ is an SAP Gold Partner consultancy firm with a track record in providing high-level expertise in SAP implementation, development, training, and support in the MENA region. We focus on achieving real customer satisfaction, through highly qualified local resources that support various industries across multiple SAP solutions. I am working as a Senior Consultant for SAP Business One and manage implementations and support of different projects for SAP Business One in Qatar.
And the company is based in Qatar, correct? Doha to be precise? What’s that city like?
Doha is the capital of Qatar with warm weather, water-facing skylines, and man-made islands. Doha is also going to host FIFA World Cup 2022, and I am really excited for this one. So, I feel blessed to live in a city full of water sports and amazing cultural places. I live near West Bay, and from there, I can go to Corniche area to enjoy sea view and other organized events anytime.
Are you from there originally? If not, how did your career path lead to Doha?
No, I was born and raised in a small village of Lahore, Pakistan. The village’s name is Burj Mahalam, and if I compared it with the time when I was school boy, it’s developed a lot now with proper school and other facilities.
Previously, I worked as a consultant with another SAP partner in Pakistan and that job led my career in SAP, which brought me here in Qatar to work with TYCONZ. It was a quite tough decision to migrate to a new country and work in a completely new environment, but now I am enjoying these movements by working with people from different parts of the world.
Abdul (left) at the Doha Corniche with friends and teammates from TYONZ Technology Consultants
As I mentioned earlier — with the slightest hint of jealousy, I suppose — you refer to yourself as a “young technology mind” in your community profile. I’ll stop short of asking your age, but I am curious to know why you describe yourself that way? How does having a young technology mind influence your outlook on software and technology?
Actually, the interesting thing is that I am not from a technological background. I am an ACCA and completed my studies in charted accountancy. But when I started my job in SAP Business One, I realized that I can’t excel in my career and objectives without getting technical expertise. So it was my passion to learn new things that brought me here. Moreover, I believe that technology is playing and can play a key role in everyone’s life. If we take the example of SAP Business One, I believe SAP Business One customers are in every sector of daily life — from our toothbrush to our bed.
When did you join the SAP Community and why?
I don’t remember the exact date but back at that time, it was SCN. At start when I joined, I used this forum just to find solutions of common problems I used to face in SAP. But later on, I realized that I am getting help without any cost so I decided to help others too by sharing my experience in resolving their issues. And ultimately, it helps me to enhance my knowledge and skills by answering questions of others.
It also acts as a repository of solutions which anyone from the globe can use anytime to find the solution of a problem. All he has to do is to search by the problem faced or small words like “SQL connectivity issues.”
I touched on this in my introduction, but to make it clearer: If I described your expertise with one word, it would be SAP Business One. Well, that’s not one word, but you get the idea. My point is that the bulk of your contributions are tagged SAP Business One. I’m curious to know how you came to focus on this software.
A lot of people used to say that SAP Business One is very small software — they face a lot of challenges and it does not fulfill their requirements. I agree with them that it is for SME sector but it’s not a small product as they think. It has everything which a simple business needs, in order to be on its digital journey. So this is the basic reason that made me interested in this product.
Moreover, when it comes to ERP, planning and executing minds matter along with ERP product. Because all the ERP products have standard business process, the only different thing is to modify these processes in a way to fulfill needs of organization without any technical constraints. To clear such misconceptions about SAP Business One, I focused on it and provided support and completed implementations in different industry sectors in Pakistan and the Gulf Region.
Abdul, pictured at the Villaggio, lists cooking, watching movies, and shopping as favorite activities.
As of this interview, you had answered 237 questions. It looks like you are reading and responding to questions about SAP Business One on a daily basis. How do you fit this activity into your routine?
I have allocated one hour on a daily basis for SAP Community. I check questions on SAP Community each morning when I start my work, then I check in lunch break and lastly at the end of day. If we talk about routine, to fit anything in our routine is in our hands. If we are determined and passionate to do something, we can manage and get time, no matter how tough and busy the schedule we have.
You’ve also written three blogs, and, not surprisingly, they’re about SAP Business One. Although your blog posts are sporadic, I’d like to know what inspired you to write them?
I write blogs when I get free time and this is the reason that my blog posts are sporadic. In order to help others is the only inspiration for which I write blogs. Since I have been working in Support and Implementation for the last 6 years, I see a positive impact when I share my experience with others. I have worked for many projects of SAP Business One and have experience of multiple modules of it. So I believe by writing blogs on new things in SAP Business One or on common mistakes done by people, I can help SAP Community based on my experience.
One more reason is that I enjoy writing about new things and sharing my experience. The great thing about blogs is that it is not a project to deliver — it is just like to write a book that people will like to read and get knowledge from it.
Can we expect more blog posts?
Yes, I am planning to write a blog on successful ERP implementation of SAP Business One on cloud environments for companies who can’t afford technical infrastructure to start their digital journey and difference between go live and successful implementation.
OK, here’s the point of the interview where we get a little personal. When you’re not working, what do you like to do? Any hobbies or favorite activities?
When I am not working, I cook some food and go to explore new places, go for shopping, and watch movies. I go for water sports as well, and parasailing is my favorite one.
When he isn’t working, Abdul loves water sports — parasailing being among his favorite things to do.
Not to belabor the whole age thing, but I have to ask: If you’re a young technology mind, where do you see your future taking you? Any career ambitions you’d care to share?
I have a goal to have my own company and working as an SAP partner, and want to have free school in less privileged areas of my country.
Speaking of ambitions…answering hundreds of questions is certainly ambitious. But for some members, even working up the nerve to answer one question can be tough. Since you’re so comfortable interacting in SAP Community, what advice would you give to inactive members to encourage them to participate more?
I would advise them that sharing knowledge would help them ultimately and it will increase their knowledge also. They could be in some situation where they are facing errors or issues but they don’t find any help for them. Moreover, instead of finding alternatives to avoid problems, they should use SAP Community to find solutions of their problems and if they will be able to find a solution and resolve it by themselves, then they should update on SAP forum and share knowledge too, so that others can get benefit of it.
For SAP partners who want to manage a repository of support for new beginners, SAP Community is a free platform. If they advise their consultant to allocate one hour in a week, it would be great to build an excellent community at zero cost of partners.
Further consultants who are working with SAP partners should ask their clients to develop a habit of searching solutions on SAP Community first. In this way community users will also increase and people will remain active on community.
Sound advice…and a good place to end the interview. Once again, let me offer my congratulations to you, Abdul. The SAP Community is a better place for your participation, and I hope we see you active for years to come.