Leveraging the SAP Community to Transition Towards Success: SAP Community Member Interview with Vinita Kasliwal
|The SAP Community Member Interview Series addresses strategic topics, such as emerging technologies, learning, and other topics. It provides insights from SAP Community participants
who are making a difference with their contributions (e.g., blogs, Q&A, sessions, etc.).
This series provides insights into their interests and motivations which can inspire all of us.
Transitions are part of a successful career.
Whether in a professional or personal journey, starting a new role in an organization, building a new organization as an entrepreneur, or relocating to a new town, it is important to navigate the many changes associated with a new transition.
Communities can be a part of the process. By developing a written plan, identifying learning resources, networking with peers, experts, and leaders, and anticipating what is needed, there is an opportunity to gain new experiences and succeed.
Successful leaders and experts recognize the relevance of give-and-take during transitions.
For example, by providing support to community members, it can lead to positive engagements, new learning at a deeper level, and new contacts or experiences that help to create win-wins.
For Vinita Kasliwal, SAP Community leading contributor, author, SAP Techno-Functional expert (e.g., Supplier Relationship Manager, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP ABAP), and Founder of Peritos Solutions, transitions are about learning and taking in information to help run her own business.
Vinita is passionate about helping the SAP Community with answers, and at times she also looks for help when she is stuck. She has set weekly goals to contribute and makes it a priority.
It was motivational to catch-up with Vinita from her home office in New Zealand!
Katherine Kenneally (KK): Hi Vinita! After your time studying at Harcourt Butler Technical University, you spent eight years at IBM as an SAP Consultant before starting your company, Peritos Solutions. What inspired you to make this entrepreneurial career shift and build your own company with locations in India, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States?
Vinita Kasliwal (VK): Hi Katherine! I started my journey with IBM in a techno-functional role in SAP and later moved to do consulting in different companies.
With my skills mainly in SAP ABAP and cross-functional, I learned skills on the job and contributing via community posts, Q&A, SAP certifications, and working alongside team members. This helped me to build a brand of my own and get more work, and then when it became sustainable, I decided to quit my full-time role.
My team works best with clients looking for a smaller, focused, and dedicated team, removing the overhead of management hours.
KK: You contribute your generous time and support on many question and answer forum topics including SAP S/4HANA, SAP Analytics, SAP Business Intelligence, and SAP Fiori. What motivates you to go out of your way to help others in the SAP community?
VK: It’s more of a give-and-take situation, as I, like most others, always look for help on the Community when I get stuck. When my answers had initially started getting noticed and accepted, it motivated me to write and contribute even more. I also get a lot of personal branding, marketing and referrals from contributing on the SAP Community.
The point system and gamification, which SAP continues to improve, is highly motivating for me. Also, with most of the topics I have worked on, it gives me a quality experience and helps me improve my knowledge when I dig deeper into the system to find the answer.
KK: How did you initially get involved in the SAP Community?
VK: I first started contributing to the SAP SRM space when I started to work, and later as I progressed on my SAP journey, I made it a weekly task for myself to keep contributing on the Community.
I was quite hooked on the gamification and point system and had set a personal goal to achieve a specific number each week. I intend to continue and improve in the coming year.
KK: You wrote the acclaimed book, “A Guide Book to Managing SAP SRM System Effectively” which is comprised of 115+ consulting scenarios for the best practices of procurement. What motivated you to compile your knowledge and share it with others? With so much riding on suppliers in the supply chain, what are a few best practices on how to gain greater visibility into the risks and vulnerabilities?
VK: Thank you, that book was actually done at the very starting point in my journey, and I am not sure if it is acclaimed…!:-) It includes tips for someone wanting to learn about SAP SRM based on my 10+ implementation and support projects and experiences with SAP SRM.
SAP S/4HANA has a very strong set of best practices. Supplier management can be improved with more customization options, that can be achieved on the SAP S/4HANA and SAP Ariba side.
A few things that clients always ask for include:
- Requiring suppliers to update and self-register
- Receiving updates from the supplier on delivery, shipment, and feedback in case of wrong deliveries provide instant updates.
- Rating suppliers based on performance and ensuring multiple diverse pools of suppliers for critical items or services. Also, being able to view a rating during ordering process.
- Enabling regularly checking of open POS (Purchase Orders) received, but not invoiced
- Ensuring there is a duplicate invoicing check
- Automating schedules for payments once the invoice is approved by the stakeholders
Now, all these steps, even though generic and applicable to all businesses, can be customized in SAP to suit the organization’s requirement(s). It is essential that these activities are fully optimized.
KK: In some of your more recent writing, you highlight techniques to gain data access in SAP S/4HANA which is often spread across numerous database tables. From your experience, how far can standard SAP Fiori apps go for analytics, and when is it time to create custom Fiori apps?
VK: SAP Fiori Apps and CDS (core data services) views have to be customized where a field is missing, or report does not cater to specific business requirement. Organizations always prefer to have the report customized, which is suited to the business’ specific way of working.
I also tend to use the custom field and logic app, APF (Analysis Path Framework), manage KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and reports, before developing a report from scratch.
KK: When it comes to emerging technologies, you and your team have harnessed a custom app for ID Card Border detection and image processing which can help collect data based on pre-defined sizing or other criteria (e.g., name tag or ID specifications at banks, universities, corporations, trade shows). What compelled you to develop this solution? Do you see use cases where it can be integrated with SAP technology?
VK: A client was processing identification cards of different countries, like passports, ID Card, DLs. We created a template and used Machine Learning to read data from image. After the image was loaded, data was updated in backend and saved the operator’s a lot of time to key in that information.
We are intending to create our own products and interface with SAP. As an SAP partner we are keen to leverage partner benefits to create integration toolkits, which read and update data in SAP centered around specific scenarios. It is still in progress, and we hope to release something soon!
KK: What specific skills within SAP are you planning to learn or build on in the coming months/years?
VK: I am learning new skills related to SAP everyday as it keeps changing so fast. In doing so, I mostly use the SAP developer portal, OpenSAP for new courses, and hands on work on the client projects or POCs (Proof of Concepts) which we plan internally.
My focus for the coming few months is improving my skills on OData, RFC (Remote Function Call) connections, reporting and integration using CDS Views, analytical queries, and also using tools like SAP BTP (Business Technology Platform), SAP CPI (Cloud Platform Integration) and SAP Ariba CIG (Cloud Integration Gateway) to help integrate, automate, and improve business processes.
On a personal front, I am planning to focus on participating and contributing to events in the coming year, which will help me to collaborate with like-minded people, and assist business owners in making the most of their SAP investment.
Also, I am a fitness enthusiast and do a lot of adventure sports, gymming and yoga, and I love eating spicy Indian meals.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please leave a comment below, or check out Vinita Kasliwal‘s SAP Community profile for more!