Welcome to the second edition of the SAP Technology Ambassadors spotlight series — monthly interviews with the SAP employees who participate in the SAP Technology Ambassadors program. Through these interviews, we’ll learn about their areas of expertise — and discover why they are so passionate about spreading their knowledge through speaking engagements.
This month I would like to feature Ivan Femia, an active SAP Technology Ambassador based out of Chicago. Ivan’s passion to communicating his message was visible since the initial stages of the program. Below you can read about his background, SAP TechEd experience, tips and what it means to him to be an SAP Technology Ambassador.
Would you mind sharing a bit of background on yourself?
I have more than 20 years of experience in IT. I started in the late 90s assembling a personal computer from a very old Intel Pentium for gaming , but my real passion has always been software. I owned a company building personal and commercial web sites while I completed my university courses. When I graduated, I moved on to enterprise software. In 2007, I accepted a position as an SAP Consultant for an SAP Partner. At that time I knew nothing about SAP, but I accepted the challenge. I think that my diverse background helped me to be involved in many innovation projects. Today, I’m a Senior Solution Engineer focusing in SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Leonardo. My role is helping companies to find opportunities to innovate and compete in these challenging times.
What does SAP Technology Ambassador stand for? What do you actively do?
We are a group of SAP Employees that have the passion to express and share honest feedback on SAP Technologies and inspire people and customers. We are a very diverse group with different backgrounds and technology expertise, but we have one common characteristic: WE HAVE PASSION.
How was your recent SAP TechEd experience?
As usual, SAP TechEd is the event that many of us see as THE event. SAP TechEd is a great opportunity for learning, keeping up to speed and networking with our peers. This year, my SAP TechEd was slightly different from the previous one, because I was on duty at the Solution Center and it was a great chance for me to talk with many customers about their challenges and opportunities using SAP Cloud Platform. In addition, this year I was able to meet and talk with many longtime SAP Community members and get to know many more.
As the Ambassador program is fairly new, what was the speaking engagement you most enjoyed and why?
This is a very hard question, I have been to many private and public speaking events and every one was its own success, but if I have to choose I would say my first public speech as SAP Technology Ambassador at the ASUG Chapter Meeting in Chicago this past summer. It had great attendance and a lot of engagement with the audience. It was great to know that my input was useful for all of them.
When speaking at an event, what are your primary goals?
Speaking and being in front of many people gives me the opportunity to share my experiences and provide an honest vision of SAP strategy. I have a strong developer background and, in my career, I had many opportunities to apply technology to improve business processes, so I can understand both the challenges and requirements from a business point of view and the pains of a developer and IT.
What main events would you recommend in your area as well as globally for people interested in your topic and why?
First, the official SAP events, such as SAP TechEd. But also consider the local meetups that SAP Community has, such as SAP Inside Tracks. Those are great events to meet passionate peers that want to share experiences and growth their expertise.
Any speaking sessions planned? Can you share more information about it?
I have a couple of Innovation Days in the Midwest in USA. This kind of events aim to give customers an overview on SAP Strategy and opportunity to exchange vision to drive value with the technology.
Do you have any tips & tricks for people who do public speaking?
I have one simple rule when I do public speaking: be passionate. I always talk about what I love and I’m always honest. If you believe in what you say, people will understand your message.
What is hardest for you when it comes to giving a session?
Understanding your audience. It’s important to know the profile and expectations of the people attending a session. People have different goals when attending an event and it’s important to adjust your message based on this.
How would you measure a success of a public speaking session?
Success is when I understand that my message has been received by my audience. Constructive interaction between the speaker and attendees at the end of your session can help you understand if you have reached the audience. That feedback can be a great opportunity to evaluate your content for future sessions.
I would like to thank Ivan for her this great interview and invite you all to ask him questions in the comments section
Want to learn more about the program and find more SAP Technology Ambassadors around the world? Please visit our page.