When I joined SAP in 2005, I received an important piece of advice. My mentor at the time said:
It's not what you know, or who you report to, it's about who you know, and how to find somebody that can help you.
This advice is still true. Of course things have changed in the last 17 years, but you know what they say. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It is still key to build your network and to find somebody that can help you get your job done.
Taking this learning to heart, I decided to start a series of blogs related to my personal journey of discovery in the SAP community. I personally feel the community can perform the role of a "librarian" that can guide you to the huge repository of information that SAP provides. And one specific angle I want to take in my work in Solution Management for SAP Cloud ERP, is to specifically focus on the needs of first-time buyers, or people that are new to SAP and have not yet learned to navigate the deep and wide information "ocean" we provide.
Today's topic is an "Aha" moment, when I started researching the way SAP engages with customers to include them in the product design, development and rollout process. After a few minutes of search, I was pointed to this link
Explore our Customer Influence Programs
I found that we have 6 different programs with specific objectives:
The SAP Customer Engagement Initiative asks for your ideas during the development process
Our SAP Beta Testing program lets you weigh-in on a new product before its release
With SAP Integration Experience Feedback, you can experience the latest released intelligent enterprise scenarios on an integrated SAP internal landscape
The SAP Early Adopter Care program helps you deploy new innovations ahead of the competition
SAP Customer Connection provides an easy way to request enhancements in project mode, for mature on-premise products
And SAP Continuous Influence enables you to continuously suggest improvements on SAP Cloud solutions and most recent technologies directly to the development teams
This was a major "Aha" moment, as, according to my mentor's guidance in 2005, it gives me a link to the people that can help me get my job done.
I believe that there are many such gems hidden in the vast information landscape of SAP. It is nearly impossible to know all the different ways to engage with SAP, even after 17 years in the company.
I believe the SAP community has tremendous potential to act as a "librarian", a road-map finder, a "GPS system" for people looking for the best path to information, not in a top-down hierarchical way, but in a informal "quest" type of format, starting with a simple question, and then being guided along your way by experts and peers that have found answers to their questions, and their path to the experts with knowledge in the desired field in this way.
So why am I writing this blog? I am trying to encourage more people to post about their personal journey of information discovery. The more people ask questions, the more value to the community will create. So. Don't hesitate. Ask away. Learning about SAP, and learning how to make the best decision for your next ERP system is easier when you engage with experts and peers early on.