An Interview with Jesse Bernal
|Jesse Bernal has recently joined SAP Cloud Success Services as a Senior Solution Advisor for North America. Before joining SAP, Jesse worked at Johns Manville and led a multi-year implementation of a single Service Delivery Organization for all North American plants and business units. Jesse has been part of almost every part of a SAP deployment and started as a WM configurator.|
CF: I know you’ve been in the SAP ecosystem for a long time now. I’d love to know more about your current role and the journey that got you here.
JB: My current role is a Senior Solution Advisor and SAP Enable Now Expert. I was a customer for about 15 years from Johns Manville and ran a shared services organization where I was responsible for training, development, change management, as well as all application support.
When I came over to SAP, I was in the presales organization with a focus on recommending the right tools for each customer. I then moved over to post-sales support helping make sure our customers are successful and getting value out of their SAP tools. This naturally led to a focus on supporting our partners in how they support SAP customers, and most recently, I’ve returned to Training and Adoption as a Services Solution Advisor and NA SAP Enable Now expert.
It’s been an organic journey. Much of my focus is on making sure that customers leverage the tools available to them to help with adoption of SAP Software. It’s truly more about their journey towards sustainment than it is just training for go-live.
It’s after go-live when things start to fall apart – folks go back to their jobs and systems get outdated without the right ongoing training and adoption.
CF: In your opinion, what Training and Adoption tools should SAP customers consider?
JB: Hands down, SAP Enable Now is really a no brainer when it comes to adoption of SAP software. Customers can edit the embedded context-sensitive help, which cuts down on end user training development time. And overall, they realize far greater value out of their SAP solutions when they have SAP Enable Now.
CF:People often think of SAP as a collection of products, but what you’re saying is really much more holistic. You mention ongoing sustainment instead of just training for go-live. I’d love to hear more on where you see this idea of sustainment going in the future.
JB: Things are moving fast for all our customers.
Let’s consider a single training and change management team of 13 to 20 people at a company of 150,000 employees or less. Usually if you’re that large and you have a team of 10 to 13 people responsible for training and change management, I’d say that’s amazing. Usually it’s 1 to two for a 50-60,000 employee company.
I expect we will see more innovation around machine learning. We already have machine learning applied to things like translations, but other integrations with Enable Now including more AI capabilities that will allow automation to speed things up for training teams.
You and I have always had this vision for a zero-touch helpdesk where the system recognizes an error, routes it to SAP Enable Now and SAP Enable Now automatically comes back with a solution so that the user doesn’t have to do anything.
With integration with Signavio, I think the ideal approach for SAP Enable Now would be that training starts with push help capability. You click on the question mark to get help and it will suggest things you should be doing when it recognizes on-screen challenges for the user, or even fix mistakes as you go along.
I see the future of what used to be a training administrator role as being responsible for identifying these areas of struggle and helping automate the answer.
Instead of having to ask for help, the answers and solutions appear at time of need.
CF: Jesse you’ve met with more customers all over the planet than most of us. What’s one of the best customer experiences that come to mind and why?
JB: If I were to group all my experiences together, I’d say the best customers are the ones who are the most curious and inquisitive about the tools we use.
You can tell they care about the actual users. The combination of curiosity and caring is the perfect paradigm because at the end of the day, they’re trying to help their team succeed and that means they make the tool their own and stretch it to the limits of what’s possible.
You and I both came from that mindset of at the end of the day.
Back when I was a customer of SAP’s, I wanted to support my team and would get frustrated when I saw them struggling and they didn’t know how to do something. It’s common for people to say “well there’s training” but obviously sometimes just training doesn’t work.
The people who think: “OK, what I did is not working. What else could I do? Did that work? Ok, that didn’t work. What else can I do?” It’s the inquisitive customers who keep trying and aren’t afraid of failure that I’ve really noticed and kept in touch with over time. The ones that push tools to the limit of what’s possible with curiosity and care. Those are the customers I’ve seen really succeed over time.
It’s not about tools. It’s about the people and it’s about the ones consuming content at the end of the day. You could have the best tools in place, but without curiosity and care, tools don’t matter.
If people don’t accept it and you don’t have good change management in place, it doesn’t matter how innovative or functional a tool is.
CF: It’s always great to connect with you on these topics. Thanks for sharing Jesse.