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Former Member

SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando 2013 was the venue for another excellent CEIC update meeting, and marked the second anniversary of the Council’s initiation. It was an excellent opportunity to review the transformation work done over the last years and to gather valuable feedback from our customers, partners and community members on the future direction of SAP’s Certification and Enablement programs.

For those of you not yet familiar with the CEIC, the “team” consists of: SAP global leads from several of our larger partners; leading SAP User Group members from around the globe; SAP Mentors;  and our own internal SAP leaders across lines of business. All of the members have invested an immense amount of effort and ideas in providing SAP Education with guidance on the enablement and certification topics so close to their hearts.

The maturity of the CEIC concept meant that there was no time wasted in the two SAPPHIRE NOW sessions, and ideas and feedback flowed thick and fast throughout the meetings.

I would like to share some of the areas we focused on, as well as share some insights our customers and partners were able to give us.

  • Certification Update
    • Update on CEIC Certification Initiatives
    • User Group surveys and responses
    • User Group webinars
    • Credential management platform launch plan
    • Awareness activities and market response
    • Professional certification and innovative testing methods
    • Test development and crowdsourcing
  • Enablement Update
    • Building the workforce
    • SAP Learning Hub
    • Mobile “SAP Learn Now”
  • Q&A and discussion: “Changing the Game Around Enablement and Certification”

We began with a brief update on the growth of the program and were all very pleased to see that the growth in the number of certified people coming into the ecosystem in 2012 has continued into the first quarter of 2013 – with a 24% YOY increase so far.  The flexibility offered through the Pearson VUE test centers for partner and customer employers is also being used to great effect – with 87% YOY growth. Much of the program growth is also attributed to the strategic areas with HANA (4,000+ certified) and the SAP University Alliance program. A brief recap on the transformation of the last few years showed that we are on track for transforming the SAP Certification program to a true game changer.  

There was widespread consensus amongst the CEIC members that the Transformation Phase 3 priorities are exactly on target. The priorities are: Scalability + Credibility = Sustained Growth.

We shared some preliminary findings from a Certification Survey which was distributed to the User Groups in the last few weeks. We will be giving you more insight into the final results right here in SCN when the survey closes in June but here are some interesting snippets ….

Another CEIC initiative is the planned webinar series with the User Groups which will be dedicated to helping our customers understand the certification and enablement options. We will be announcing more on the webinar series in SCN in the coming weeks!

The CEIC was excited to hear about the planned launch of the new credential management platform in Q3 2013, as this will provide customers and partners with a robust and reliable way of checking certification credentials and certified individuals with a host of benefits – as well as providing us at SAP with much more scalability and flexibility to grow the program.

Following the excellent collaboration effort in the APJ region last year where we saw  over 50% growth in the number of certified ecosystem members  there are similar certification initiatives planned around the globe in 2013; the CEIC felt these initiatives would have a significant and positive impact on the awareness and acceptance of SAP certification as a leading benchmark.

Building on the successful launch of the SAP HANA Application Professional exam, the CEIC felt it was time to look at more innovative testing methods to validate the technology related skills needed to ensure business success with SAP HANA.  A task force will be reviewing roles and testing options to enhance the skills validation in this highly strategic area.

The CEIC was also excited to hear of the plans to launch a crowdsourcing portal in June to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge within the SAP HANA community in creating test questions.  We will be providing more insight into the crowdsourcing Portal in SCN in the coming weeks.

In the Enablement Update part of the meeting, SAP Education got 100% consensus from the CEIC members that solutions such as SAP Learning Hub and SAP Learn Now were very high on the wish lists of our customers and partners and greatly welcomed. In an overview of the initiatives SAP is undertaking to help build the workforce, we shared details on the SAP University Alliance program, Academy Cube, the SAP Veterans to Work Program, and a host of local upskilling and reskilling initiatives – all of which received highly positive feedback from the CEIC members.

In a concluding “brainstorming” session the CEIC members shared their highly valuable insight and feedback into ways in which they felt SAP Education should be moving forward in the coming years to fulfill the evolving market needs.  A Design Thinking workshop will follow to explore some of the ideas in more depth in order to drive a game changing strategy and execution plan.

I would like to take the opportunity to express our deep appreciation of the tremendous effort our CEIC members have put into this over the last two years and reiterate how immensely valuable their insight is to us in defining the way forward.

We are greatly looking forward to sharing more details on these initiatives in the coming weeks and months and welcome your feedback and interest. Please feel free to comment right here in SCN, or contact me for more information.