Welcome to the third edition of the SAP Technology Ambassadors spotlight series — 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 Aviad Rivlin, an active SAP Technology Ambassador based out of Israel. Aviad’s involvement in the program and creative ideas were noticeable in the early stage of the program. Below you can read about his background, public speaking experience, tips and what it means to him to be an SAP Technology Ambassador.
What can you tell us about your SAP journey so far?
I have worked at SAP for more than 10 years focusing on UX related products (portal, Fiori, SAP Cloud Platform). I started my SAP journey in the development organization of the SAP NetWeaver Portal product, then moved to several Product Management positions focusing on products such as SAP Cloud Platform Portal, SAP Fiori Cloud and SAP Fiori launchpad. During my entire professional career I’ve been keen to bring the customer voice into the development organizations ensuring SAP’s direction is aligned with our customers’ expectations.
Why did you decide to become an SAP Technology Ambassadors?
For me, an SAP Technology Ambassadors is someone who translates SAP technology and recent innovations into simple and digestible knowledge for customers. When looking at the large amount of products SAP has to offer, and the amount of information an Enterprise Architect should know, this is sometimes a non-trivial task. The secret is to simplify the picture, focusing on the important parts of technology (these parts that make a difference) and explaining what’s in it for me. So, you ask why I wanted to become an SAP Technology Ambassador – it’s simple, because it is fun connecting people to technology – making technology easy to understand.
What topics do you focus on? How did you become an expert?
My main topic over the years has been SAP Portal, starting with the on-premise SAP NetWeaver Portal, these days focusing on SAP Cloud Platform Portal and the Fiori experience. For me, the best ways to become an expert and keep up-to-date with technology are (1) play with the product (I call it – getting your hands ‘dirty’) – just jump in and starting doing! Login to the system and use it. If I get stuck then I start reading and looking for explanations (2) SAP Community – read and answer questions in the SAP Community. You will be surprised how much you learn even from reading other’s community members questions, answers and comments. So, if you want to get your hands ‘dirty’ just login to the system and start using it, if you want to engage in the community in my area – start here: https://www.sap.com/community/topics/portal.html
When speaking at an event, what are your main goals?
When presenting at events (e.g. TechEd, ASUG, SAPPHIRE, masteringSAP ) my first goal is for the audience to understand how the product will help them. In addition I like to make sure that the audience understands the product road-map, directions and how it will help them run their business better.
What main events would you recommend in your area?
There are two types of events that I typically attend;
Large events: SAP TechEd, SAPPHIRE and ASUG Annual Conferences
Small-medium events: masteringSAP, local User Groups events, local SAP events, etc.
I highly recommend people to attend one large event. Why? It combines great atmosphere, the ability to get to know the people behind the products and plenty of learning. In parallel, there are many local events that are great, less crowded (no travel = low cost) and can help you keep up-to-date with the technology. So I would recommend to attend both types ?.
What is hardest for you when it comes to conducting a speaking engagement?
My session’s content is specific to my audience. It becomes hard when I don’t know who my audience are going to be and how familiar they are with the product. I am always trying to do my best and check that in advance. It’s challenging when things don’t go as expected. For example try to run a live demo when the internet is down.
How would you measure a success of a public speaking session?
It feels great that after the session people come to the front and say “Thank You”. It’s worth all the hard work. It reassures you that the session went well and that people found it valuable.
What helped you the most to improve your presentation skills?
A lot of practice and knowing the product inside-out. This is a must have, in my opinion, for every good presentation.
Any speaking sessions planned? Can you share more information about it?
I’m planning to attend SAP TechEd in Las Vegas this year and several SAP User Group and Community events. More details will follow on social media…
Any of your recent speaking engagement you would like to highlight?
I’ll share one that I really enjoyed doing, at the latest masteringSAP event in Johannesburg: https://www.masteringsapconference.com/4in1/sa/technology/
I would like to thank Aviad for this great interview and invite you all to ask 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.