There has been a long-standing tradition in the community to think about people and every once in a while that goes off course ever so slightly and recently, we had in the past some voices from the community who spoke up and told us, that the “people” aspect was missing. In my point of view, part of the problem is, we replace the word “people” when we talk about community and use terms like “members” and “users”. By using this terminology, it can be easy to forget the people factor. It is very similar how project managers talk about “a resource” or a “headcount”, when they really mean a person. (Btw: My advice is, don’t be shy to use the term “People” when you are referencing to our community participants)
After all, community is all about people. How those people interact with each other and learn to appreciate similarities and differences and how we all learn from each other and care about one another. Thus, when looking at the most active and helpful people within the community we have some people who distinguish themselves in the eyes of their peers and uphold the ideals and spirit in the SAP Community. They are real “Heroes” or “Champions.” Taking this a step more, we have evolved this concept to the SAP Champions program.
The heart of the SAP Champions principle is putting people first. In order to move our SAP Community forward, enrich diversity, and increase engagement we must recognize top performers and enable them to lead their fellow members by example. Our SAP Champions are a bunch of great people who are dedicated to the Community. They love to interact with others (online of offline), have fun, enjoy talking about SAP Community, jump from topic to topic and allow everyone to participate in the discussion. They foster community culture, and get people interested and engaged!
We have now selected the first 23 SAP Champions who are prominent figures within our SAP community, where people trust and value their opinions. Some are well-known faces, some you know from the SAP Mentors Program, some are often seen as speakers at events, organizers of SAP Community events (such as SAP Inside tracks) and others were more acting “behind the scenes.”
Moving forward, these SAP Champions will serve as advocates for and representatives of SAP Community. Whether on community.sap.com or at in-person events, they will help create an inclusive and receptive environment where all individuals are welcome to seek help and exchange knowledge. They’ll promote positive constructive behavior among members – on and off the SAP Community platform.
I am very happy and proud that Thomas Grassl (head of the Developer and Community Relations organization) and Craig Cmehil (head of the Community & Influencers) asked me to become the program manager of the SAP Champions program. I enjoy being in the middle of these people, helping to build bridges.
In my extended role as a Program Manager for Community & Influencers, handling the SAP Mentors, SAP Mentors Alumni and this amazing new program, I will support, encourage and grow the SAP Champions. Our focus and goal of course will be the “people factor”– the most important part of the Community!
The first official presence of SAP Champions will be at SAP TechEd. (Make sure you register for the event https://www.sap.com/community/events/teched.html#Registration_is_Open)
I am looking forward to this journey together with the SAP Champions as we all interact in a happy community.
Yours, Katarina “Kati” Fischer
PS: I am open and available for feedback and ideas (here in the comments or at SAP TechEd)