SAP Mentor shares wise approach to technology with Clorox
This is the fourth article in the 2012 informational series called “Meet the SAP Mentors.” SAP Mentors are a super-smart, engaged global cohort of nearly 110 professionals – customers, partners, employees, bloggers, consultants, business people and technical wizards – expert in all things SAP, nominated by peers in the SAP Community Network and selected by SAP. Every day, SAP Mentors demonstrate their personal and professional commitment to leadership by helping SAP customers and practitioners solve the business and technical challenges that come with achieving better business results via SAP-based solutions. As a byproduct, the SAP Mentor Initiative is enriching the culture of SAP with a more open and collaborative dialog between SAP decision-makers and stakeholders. A shared commitment to dialog, collaboration and customer success helps to make the SAP ecosystem a predictable source of competitive advantage to the world's leading organizations.
Based in Fairfax, Virginia, tammy.powlas3 is a senior business analyst at Fairfax Water, the largest water utility in the state of Virginia, which provides 167 million gallons of water per day to approximately 1.7 million customers.
Powlas is also an SAP Mentor with a well-deserved reputation as a top contributor to the SAP Community Network, as a compelling presenter at SAP Inside Track — and as a respected advocate for SAP customer success.
Given her deep expertise with SAP Utilities solutions, SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence solutions and SAP IT Service Desk Operation, SAP requested that she act as a customer reference for Clorox.
A tap to insight
SAP Mentors are independent: They explore potential solutions with customers, and share honest views and experiences with SAP products. Customers are free to incorporate Mentors' insights into their decision making.
As befits her reputation for responding promptly to community needs, Powlas was ready and willing to help Clorox understand the challenges and opportunities that came with deploying SAP IT Service Desk Operation.
“I did it without acting as a formal consultant,” says Powlas, who figuratively turned on a tap to insight by sharing knowledge she’d previously contributed to the SAP Community Network. “We told them how we did it [our implementation] and I shared [with Clorox IT experts] links to my blog posts on the SAP Community Network.
“This helped Clorox understand the functionalities of the Incident and Problem Management component of SAP IT Service Desk Operation, an in-house support tool that connects to the SAP Service Marketplace, and helps us at Fairfax Water to see how we’re managing our support resources.”
Strong commitment, unsung hero
Powlas retains a strong commitment to helping SAP customers’ technical experts through her involvement with the Americas SAP Users Group (ASUG).
“A lot of my customer advocacy happens with ASUG,” she says. “I share what we’re doing with SAP customers, including surveys about tools and how they’re used.”
According to Powlas, there’s an unsung hero that’s central to her success, although one senses she’s just being modest.
And who—or what—is that unsung hero?
“The SAP Community Network site,” answers Powlas. “The site makes it easier for me to contribute more.”
Power of customer advocacy
There’s tremendous power and value in customer advocacy, according to Powlas.
About her experience as an SAP Mentor, Powlas says, “It helps everyone when SAP Mentors hear firsthand how things are changing and then share that knowledge with the SAP Community Network.
“I’m able to demo leading-edge SAP technologies such as the HANA cloud sandbox for me and for the SAP community."
Maria Jenkinson is the active global support reference manager at SAP who asked Tammy to share some of her professional and technical insight with Clorox.
At the conclusion of Clorox's evaluation process, the company concluded that SAP IT Service Desk Operation wasn't quite the right fit. Even so, Jenkinson was delighted that Powlas took the time to share her knowledge with an SAP customer.
"A significant key to customer success,” Jenkinson says, “is that SAP Mentors like Tammy Powlas of Fairfax Water are often willing and able to share guidance and knowledge with customer organizations like Clorox.
"This is just one powerful example of how the SAP Mentor Initiative helps SAP customers work through challenges and explore potential solutions."