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Author's profile photo Ulrike Fempel

SAP Open Source Champions

Communities – key for successful open source

Throughout the years open source has developed a growing impact in the software ecosystem, where people all over the world create a space of learning, teaching, participation, collaboration, and contribution. While collaboration and active communities are key for successful open-source projects, they are also fundamental pillars for driving our open-source engagement at SAP and for sharing know-how and best-practice on applying open-source principles and internal governance correctly.

The SAP Open Source Program Office (OSPO) has therefore facilitated a network of so-called open-source champions, who amplify our internal open-source community. They are open-source experts and enthusiasts and help to share open-source knowledge between peers and colleagues. At the same time, they are sparring partners for questions related to improving the usage of open source at SAP. They all come from diverse backgrounds and many countries, and have specialized career paths, which makes the network even more valuable. In this blog you will get some insights into how this network of  SAP internal volunteers collaborates.

Getting to know our SAP Open Source Champions

The passion and commitment to open source make our champions unique and of great value to SAP and the internal developer community. Let’s get to know them and hear why they are active members of our open-source champions’ network (you can find the GitHub profiles linked to their names):

Jannick Stephan Fahlbusch – Cloud Developer (Berlin)

“The role as an open source champion allows me to promote and advocate open source in my lab location in Berlin / Potsdam and among colleagues I collaborate with. Besides, I am very much in favor of using and contributing to open source also in an enterprise environment.”

Christopher Beppler – Dev. Architect, Cross Product Architecture (Eschborn):

“I benefit from attending the OSPO sprint meetings, because I learn first-hand, what the workstreams are planning and working on.  Besides, the collaboration with other open-source enthusiasts from different SAP organizations and locations has amplified my network.”

Thomas Bach – SAP HANA Delivery (Walldorf):

“With an academic background where open source and open data is the upcoming standard, I very much support the idea that contribution and consumption of open source is beneficial to SAP and the open-source community. As an open-source champion I can do my small part towards such a positive culture.”

Michael Bolz – Development Expert/Architect (Walldorf):

“I recently joined the open-source champions to connect to colleagues who are interested in learning and sharing their experiences with open source in order to drive the open-source mindset at SAP further.”

Valentin Vieriu – Product Owner for Kyma Dashboard (Munich):

“I’ve become an open-source champion to support the open-source mindset at SAP, learn from the other champions and share my experience and knowledge among peers and colleagues”

Serena Ponta – Senior Researcher (Mougins, France):

“Being an open-source champion allows me to connect with peers to share knowledge and results of our work on open-source software security (e.g., Eclipse Steady) and to get first-hand information on new open-source initiatives, tools, processes, etc., via the OSPO and other open-source champions.

Jakub Filak – Senior Developer (Brno, Czech Republic):

“I joined the open-source champions network because I wanted to be confident that I apply open-source in alignment with SAP’s governance. I feel that open source is the right way because I am passionate about it, and I enjoy being an advocate for open source inside and outside of SAP.”

Mike O’Donnell – Senior Developer (Denver, USA):

“I am here to share everything I know about web development and to learn as much as I can from other open-source champions and the OSPO team!”

Maurício Ariza – Product Security, S/4 CIC Engineering (Newport Beach, USA):

“My focus is on the security perspective, so how open source impacts our development processes and how we can improve them to mitigate risks. I strongly agree with the community concept for open source, which I want to support for SAP and be able to learn or share.”

Davinder Singh – Senior Developer (Waterloo, Canada):

“My idea is to participate and take forward this initiative at SAP and use my experience, foster networking, collaboration, and, more importantly, innovate.”

Andre Guerra – Security Engineer, SAP Data Management (Curitiba, Brazil):

“Being in the Open Source Champions network is a great way to connect to like-minded people and helps me identify how to be most effective at creating/improving tools and processes around open-source supply chain security.”

Santosh Kumar Pati – Dev. Manager GTLC (Bangalore, India)

“Being in the open-source champions’ network is a great way to pursue my passion in removing uncertainty and confusion in the open-source software usage and adaptation – ultimately to optimally leverage the power of open-source software in business”

Jack Lv – Product Security Manager, SAP HANA QA Infra (Xi’an, China):

“I am glad to now join the open-source champions and happy to communicate with colleagues who are working with open-source, not only on open-source security but also on open-source development aspects. I am looking forward to contributing to this network with my passion for open source”

Interaction and Contribution to the Network

As you can read in the short statements above, the SAP open-source champions have different touch-points with open source, which generates a wide spectrum of expertise and provides a great source for feedback and discussions. The OSPO collaborates with this virtual community of champions tightly and includes them in review and roll-out activities, benefitting from their cultural diversity and their global distribution. The feedback from open-source champions helped to improve the outbound process, an internal open-source training, our internal open-source surveys, our open-source policy.

The OSPO invites the champions to the monthly Sprint meetings, where they can learn about the progress of different workstreams. While quarterly virtual meetings give the champions an opportunity to get first-hand information and relevant news among this group of open-source peers, we have also organized virtual workshops where the champions had a chance to meet each other  to strengthen their network. With about 15 open-source enthusiasts spread over several countries and continents, this is a way to get connected to like-minded people in different teams and SAP lab locations. Finally, this geographic diversity allows the OSPO core team to better roll out information locally, as the champions take ownership for disseminating new topics through local media such as newsletters, monitors placed in buildings, or organizing coffee corner sessions in their  lab location.

The OSPO supports all the champions with speaker assignments for a topic of their expertise – whether in webinars, podcasts, conferences, etc. The OSPO communication team is always eager to amplify the open-source messages of experts. The collaboration with the champions is low-touch and effective at the same time.

The map below shows an overview of where our current open-source champions are located and in which SAP labs we still have internal vacancies. We are currently looking for further champions in India, China, Bulgaria, and Israel!  Get in touch with the OSPO under or send me a mail directly.


SAP open-source related information

SAP Open Source Community

SAP Open Source Landing Page

Podcasts “The Open Source Way”

Webinars featuring open-source topics

Twitter @sapopensource

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      Author's profile photo Hendrik Neumann
      Hendrik Neumann

      Hi Ulrike,

      while I find it great that open source plays a major role inside of SAP's developer organization, I must confess, that I find a bit odd that apparently the open source champions are focused entirely on the internal developer community.

      The word "open" as part of the open source term would suggest a much broader view that also includes the SAP developer base outside of the company. IMHO an important part of a successful open source path..  To me it looks like that perspective is missing.

      Best Regards


      Author's profile photo Ulrike Fempel
      Ulrike Fempel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Henrik,

      thanks for your comment on expanding the internal champions network to an external community. As we have been focusing on improvements of internal tools, processes, security aspects, as well as internal training, policy and surveys, the open source champion was an internal role with diverse expertise on open source.

      Currently, we collaborate with external communities of different projects (i.e. Gardener, OpenUI5, Kyma, Fundamentals driven by SAP as well as projects such as OpenJDK or Cloud Foundry, etc.) and the developer advocates as well as with industry specific communities. We (the OSPO) are open to foster external collaboration with open source ambassadors and would like to hear, what kind of aspects you would see for a specific open source ambassador role. Please feel free to get in touch with me directly to further discuss.