Q2 issue 2011 NOT TO BE MISSED
University Alliances Updates ARTICLE BY TAMMY POWLAS
Stolen SDN contributions Join Inside Track Milan ARTICLE BY OTTO GOLD
INVITATION BY SERGIO FERRARI
TOPIC OF THIS ISSUE:
The other side of town
Work from home Article by Michelle Crapo
Why write a work from home article? Well it is the ultimate question: Should work at home be a standard for all SAP type people. (Or all people) After all most of our work can be done remotely including meetings. The responses from SCN surprised me! I thought that it would be an easy question. I assumed that everyone would agree. I was putting the question to SAP professionals. The “elite people”, whose main purpose at work is to sit at a computer, go to meetings, etc. I thought - and my answer was that work at home is acceptable almost 100% of the time. We know how to use WebEx - or something similar. Why not use it? My company and many other span different countries and different time zones, we normally don't meet face to face anyway. There may be times when we should be here, but there are huge benefits to working from home. Continue reading the article by Michelle Crapo on page 9
Reflections on Leadership, SAP Mentors, and the Pitfalls of Recognition As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by leadership. Not as qualities to admire, but as examples we can steal to create better versions of ourselves. I’ve never bought into the idea that some of us are leaders and most of us are followers. The time comes when each of us are called
to lead. The more compelling question is: will we be ready? And what kind of leaders will we be? You may be wondering how this ties into SAP Mentorship. Several times a year, new SAP Mentors are named. It’s a great honor to be amongst those named.
The downside? There is always plenty of disappointment to go around. Every nomination cycle, there are far more worthy candidates than there are spaces for. It’s always hard to talk to those who didn’t get named – their disappointment is unmistakable.
Do you remember the good ol' trash-talking between the ABAP and Java guys in the SAP eco-system a few years back? I do… I do… and while I confess of being guilty on chiming in on such debates, yet I'd claim to have done so in a playful manner and treating it as a typical rivalry meme. That seems to be a natural thing to do for people all over the world. See across the globe we stumble across the fact that people always seem to make fun of their regional neighbors. I'm sure you all know the type of jokes I'm talking about. Yet, I'd assume that such friendly rivalries are more a social phenomena and most people (on all sides) know that there's barely a substance to such discussions and it's more about socializing and entertainment than anything else. Read the full story on page 12
Continue reading the article by Jon Reed on page 16 QUARTERLY 1
Observations on Sustainability from Down Under In June, 2011 I had the honor to attend and present at the Mastering SAP BusinessObjects Conference in Sydney, Australia. While one might expect that as a Mentor, this article be all about the technical content that was presented at the two-day event, people I met, things I learned. I already spent some time on my SCN Blog writing up those thoughts, so for the Mentor’s Quarterly, I prefer to spend some time on a different topic, but one also very near to me; Sustainability. Specifically, I’d like to talk about things I noticed in Sydney about how they use and treat water. Here in the United States, we are a tad spoiled. We treat all of our waste water up to drinking water quality. You could, if you chose, drink the water from your toilet. You can drink water straight from the tap. You can even drink the water from your shower. And then, once it has been dirtied, we clean it up in a sewage treatment plant and then it is “released to the environment”. (What happens to all the stuff that goes down the toilet?, 2004) There have been a few movements in the US to recycle our sewage water, but none to date have gotten any traction to start development. (Pure Drinking Water From Your Toilet, n.d.) We waste a LOT of water in the US. And I would also argue, do we need to have drinking-quality water in our toilets? I’m certainly not going to drink what’s in there! Let me first say that the toilets in Australia do not flush backwards. That’s a funny myth, but sadly not true. But, what I did notice in several places was that they were using “recycled water” in the toilets. Which means you shouldn’t drink that water, but it’s certainly good for flushing business. What a brilliant idea! Why waste the time, money, and effort cleaning toilet water to drinking water standards? It’s one of those “Just makes sense” kind of ideas. Another thing I noticed in nearly every restroom I was in, the men’s urinals did not have a flush handle that needed to be touched. All of them were on an automatic type system that just trickled a little bit of water down as needed. It was enough to get the job done. First of all, my inner germophobe appreciated the absence of need to touch something that is generally icky. Sec2 QUARTERLY
ond of all, I can imagine that the automatic flushing system uses far less water than one of its American counterparts. Ours in the US use about 1 liter of water per flush. These definitely used far less. Also by having it be automatic, you remove the human factor out of it, so it only flushes when it needs to and not just because you prefer to flush it before and after you go. And none of the bathrooms smelled bad. Granted I did not go into any place that was seedy or dingy, but not one place there had a disgusting restroom. So those who doubt the system works efficiently, I would say you are incorrect. I always learn amazing things when I visit other countries. I always bring home some excellent observations on how things operate differently, how the food and drinks taste different (and often better), and how the people live and work. Here in the United States, we need to start thinking more about how we waste water, and what we do with our waste water. There’s only so much of it, and the human population isn’t dwindling.
We’ll soon have to address this issue out of sheer necessity. Greg Myers
What happens to all the stuff that goes down the toilet? (2004, November 2). Retrieved 06 20, 2011, from The Straight Dope: http://www. straightdope.com/columns/read/2185/what-happens-to-allthe-stuff-that-goes-down-the-toilet Pure Drinking Water From Your Toilet. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2011, from A Clean Life: http://www.acleanlife.org/?p=480
My sister, my mentor A personal story by Susan Keohan My sister, Carol Rice, is my Ada Lovelace inspiration. I suppose it’s not unusual for someone to look up to and admire their older sister. And for my entire life, she has always been an ideal for me, beautiful, smart, articulate, cuttingly funny. She has helped me in so many ways - both personally and professionally. I can leave out the touchy-feely sister-stuff, but it’s worth noting that this woman helped me get started on the long road to the career I have today. I was fresh out of programming school - having discovered that my love for language was easily extendable from German and French to C and Basic and ALC. I had obtained a job as a programmer in the wilderness of Connecticut (which later went under). As thrilling as it was to put my newfound skills to work, there was not going to be much of a future there. The company my sister worked for, in the big city of Boston (home of the Red Sox, Cape Cod, and Baked Beans!) needed a programmer, so I came up and interviewed for it. I did not interview with my sister, so I think I got the job on my own merits. But I moved up to Boston, and have never looked back, although I visited my hometown a lot. Starting a new job, in a new city, at
Sisters supporting each other the tender age of nn, my sister not only mentored me at work - how to deal with clients, how to flesh out requirements, how can I program this application to do such-and-such - but she also helped me find housing, and hooked me into her social network. She took me to events, had friends invite me to parties (maybe a few too many) and generally ensured that I had a good time. After a year and a half, I moved on to a new job, and when things got a little shaky, she was
always there to give me sound advice. It was when I started working at MIT that I had the confidence and skills necessary to launch me into my SAP world later on. Times have changed, life is not as sweet sometimes as it was back then. My sister is out of work on long-term disability; her beloved husband has Parkinsons. I hope in the next 20 years (or more) I can be there for my sister, as she has been there for me. Susan Keohan
Join Inside Track Milan in October
I invite all of you to join SAP Inside Track in Italy planned on October 8th, 2011 in SAP Italy main office located in Vimercate a small town near Milan. More than 30 people already subscribed to the event and between them I can see four lemons,
a Product Management at SAP Labs, most of the Italian SDN active contributors and best consultants and relevant customers. Sessions about StreamWork, UI design, abap2xlsx, Code Exchange, SeleniumABAP, ZGEOCODE have already been submitted and many
others will come. Stay tuned watching SDN page http://wiki. sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/events/ SAP+Inside+Track+Milan+2011 and follow the hash tag #sitmil and @SAPInsideTrack on Twitter. Sergio Ferrari
SAP University Alliance Updates Update 1: SAP Student Curriculum Congress Over 250 individuals from around the world met in Monterey, California on March 10-12 to learn about SAP software in the classroom at the SAP Curriculum Congress 2011 (reference UAC website). The Congress featured SAP’s on-demand solution: SAP Business ByDesign. This event is held annually in North America for educators to learn and network around best practices. For the SAP Mentors in attendance, the purpose of the trip was to engage colleges and universities with Mentors. The first afternoon SAP Mentor CEO (Chief Evangelist Officer) Mark Finnern and I gave a briefing on what the Mentors have been doing for the Student BI Club (see previous SAP Mentor Quarterly issues). The next morning, we were under a tsunami warning, but it was low tide so no problem. I attended various sessions during the day but one of the most interesting ones was “Innovations in a Business-Ready Student”. In this session they provided three levels of creating a student ready for business: • Level 1 is the foundational elements of business and technology, such as using the Global Bike case study. (see http://www.sdn.sap.com/ irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/ uuid/30927fcd-7a24-2e10-57b0-ff7e fe5b7f32?QuickLink=index&overridel ayout=true for a background on the Global Bike Study). • Level 2 is expanding the foundation by incorporating real world business problems. Real world cases can be used as a class project with business mentors for the students. • Level 3 is cultivating a business field experience through direct internships, fellowship programs. What is the measure of success? More business ready students. The final day of the SAP Curriculum Congress was the most interesting as we sat in hands-on workshops for Business Intelligence BEx Web Analyzer and SAP Business ByDesign. 4 QUARTERLY
Business Intelligence Workshop
The workshop introduced us to SAP NetWeaver BW query and data mining tools using millions of Sam's Club point-of-sale records (Sam's Club is a chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned and operated by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. – source: Wikipedia) through the University of Arkansas. The objective was us to develop a an understanding of the data and SAP NetWeaver BW tools. The workshop content included a description of the Sam's Club data and InfoProviders with handson use of the SAP Business Explorer (SAP BEx) Query Designer and BEx Web Analyzer. This workshop was lead by Professor Lorraine Gardiner of University of California at Chico. Lorraine led us through exercises using scrubbed Sam’s Club analysis.
BEx Web Analyzer Example
Takeaways from this session: if you have never seen the BEx Web Analyzer or used it before, it was difficult to use. I shared a laptop with two individuals from Tarleton University from Texas; I knew BEx Web and they did not. As a result, we were able to navigate the exercises easily. However, I am reminded that I do not like the BEx Web context menu shown in the above figure; it takes away from my display on the screen.
I attended the ByDesign afternoon workshop taught by Nitin Kale of University of Southern California and Lukas Flormann, SAP. We learned how SAP Business ByDesign can be used in the classroom, teaching about basic business processes. Attendees found that the web-based user interface easy to use and is supported by a self-learning center.
First, the session had us divide up into teams and within those teams we would be divided into roles. So we would each understand we were all part of a process: • One person would log on as the sales representative and create a sales order • Another person would log on as the supply planner to create a purchase proposal based on the sales order • The “purchaser” would log in to create a purchase request Feedback from the crowd was very positive that ByDesign would help students understand business processes. Check out the materials from this great workshop here. The final night of SAP Curriculum Congress CEO Mark Finnern and I attended a reception to meet more Universities.
SAP Mentors CEO Mark Finnern and Tammy Powlas. Photo by John Baxter, SAP
Update 2 - Student BI Club is Over…how did we do?
A few selected schools in North America and China participated in the pilot program for the Student Business Intelligence Club sponsored by SAP and the SAP University Alliance. As one student posted in her blog, the purpose of this club is for university students to “learn valuable data visualization skills for an academic
and professional edge.” In March, we completed the Student BI club for the semester. Ingo Hilgefort provided 5 webinars to the Student BI Club on BusinessObjects Dashboards, Analysis, BusinessObjects Explorer, Web Intelligence and Crystal Reports. SAP Mentor Derek Loranca provided a webinar on BusinessObjects Universes. Tammy Powlas provided a webinar on SAP BusinessObjects Analysis. So how did we do? Here is the feedback: “A very informative Webinar” “SAP Mentors ..have done a great job bring experience and hands-on in those webinars. Thank you making those webinars available.” Additionally, some professors reported that they are now changing their curriculum in the fall to using the BusinessObjects tools. Success! Are you interested in learning more? Check out the University Alliance Events page at http://www. sdn.sap.com/irj/uac/ua-events Tammy Powlas
Presented ByDesign Example
How is it to find your SCN contributions all around the Internet... Let me ask you a couple of questions first. Are you an active contributor to SCN? How much time and effort do you invest in your SCN contributions? Do you use search engines like Google when looking for hints about your SAP related problem? Have you ever found pieces of content that looked familiar to you, but you found them in an unexpected place? Have you ever found a piece of content you wrote for SCN outside SCN?
If some of the answers are “Yes”, read further. Topic for today is plagiarism, copyright violations and intellectual property theft related to SAP Community Network. Everybody who invest his/ her time and effort into writing something for free and then witnesses the intellectual property crime must get annoyed. Have you ever found a piece of SCN related content outside SCN? I had. Not once, not twice. I regularly see rogue sites stealing SCN content. I don`t like seeing my SCN content outside SCN. I don`t like the feeling that there are people who are making money by stealing my work I did for friends (like you) for free and use it on their own pages full of Google advertisements. I don`t like people who copy SCN content to their private “blogs” and pretend being the happy authors. I don`t like the situations when you receive pages of search results, where first couple of records are links to the stolen SCN content placed on private sites full of advertisement (do you still believe that SEO does not work? If that would be the case, how could these rogue sites appear BEFORE the search results from SCN, where the content was published ORIGINALY?). Ok, so you know my opinions now. Let me continue in a more serious manner and present some more opinions, some facts, countermeasures by SAP and what can you do yourself. 6 QUARTERLY
Number of rogue sites was reported in the SAP mentors forum. More and more are reported every month or so. One of the theft-affected Mentors is Michal Krawczyk, respected author about Process Integration topics. Michal published a blog called [Plagiarism] Why thieves from portals like saptechies.com are safe? Bloggers please help... where he expresses his disgust about the rogue sites. I really like the comment by Mr. Chris Kernaghan under the mentioned blog by Michal. Anyone who has had their time and effort reused by anyone for profit without mention or recompense is a victim to some degree. I have produced material based on my experiences for the purpose of sharing knowledge not profit - someone is now getting money from Google Adwords because they have copied my thoughts and experiences - that is not good manners or ethical. There were quite many comments, be it under this and other blogs or in the public or private SCN forums,
going this direction and there is no doubt that all the rogue sites do this because of the Google ads traffic. I could name other mentors, moderators, friends whose content was stolen, but that would not bring any more ideas into the discussion. It could only prove that the topic is serious. Since this is obvious I see no point to name all who are affected by this criminal activities. One can also read the comment by Jeanne Carboni, Director of Collaboration in SAP Community Network under that blog: When you post your content on SAP SDN, you give SAP permission to display it. When someone else wishes to use, copy, or distribute your content, they generally
need to obtain your permission to do so. If someone uses your content on their website without your permission, they may be infringing your copyright. You may want to contact that website directly to let them know that they are using your material without permission. Of course, it is a good idea to speak to your attorney to review these issues with you in more detail, and to learn about your options. That`s why I asked the SCN team why they can do about the problems
from SCN, we cannot ask SAP to take legal actions against the poor blogger who copied the article. Unless their doing this systematically. “Systematically” is the magic word here. I will elaborate on it few lines further. SAP recognizes two different situations. They handle situations within SCN and outside SCN differently. When you plagiarize something within SCN, you`re violating the rules of engagement, actions can be taken against your SCN avatar, nobody has
information are the SCN moderators, because they`re long time SCN contributors, subject matter experts and know many of the users (and especially repeated offenders) by heart. It`s not like any SCN user cannot report a case, yes you can. If you spot something weird, you send an email to SCNContent@sap.com address which is a shared emailed for the SCN team, so they will react quickly. The reason why SCN moderators officially report most of the case of
and what are their opinions about that. You can read about it in the next paragraphs.
to call the lawyers. SCN content is quick and precise in gathering evidence, so nobody gets punished or even guestified just like that but on the other hand: if you committed a “crime”, you`ll get punished. Most of the SCN users come and talk and that`s it, they don`t cause any problems, don`t act against the rules. It`s always a percent or two who cause problems and they cause the problems repeatedly. That`s why SAP is maintaining a long book of offenses and believe me you don`t want to get caught as a repeated offender. You will not like it. Your employer with not like it either. Immediately after a case of plagiarism is reported, SCN content team runs an action. Typical source of the
plagiarism is that they spot users complaining about the problem somewhere in the forums. They have powers and tools to start investigating the problem and can finish the case for you. Another one of the areas where SCN moderators are doing an amazing job but their activity is hidden behind the curtain. Even if you don`t see the moderator often, they`re making our lives nicer. Thanks guys. Do you wonder what can you expect to happen after a case is reported and investigated? • 1st offense: Warning • 2nd offense: Second warning and the person’s employer is notified • 3rd offense: The person’s employer is notified and the user account is deleted and all points are removed
SCN content team countermeasures
I asked SAP SCN content team how they feel about the topic and what their countermeasures are. The most important fact is that SAP cannot govern your intellectual property. If you publish on SCN then you are still the owner of the content. So since the content belongs to third party, it must be governed by this third party. Whenever we find our pieces of content out there in the wild, copied
When we talk about the intellectual property stealing/ copyright violation outside SCN, it is more difficult case. You have to call a lawyer to get the offender to jail. SCN team cannot handle the situation on its own. When somebody is stealing content and uses it outside SCN, you cannot delete his user account and problem is fixed. Since I am not a lawyer and this is a SAP internal thing, you cannot expect any details about that from my side. Let me remark that you run the same risk when posting on SCN like on CNN. The problem is the same on the whole internet.
The word “Systematically”
There are two important factors about stealing SCN content. First one is how systematically it is being done, like if the rogue site is copying like every blog and then use if for their advertisement harvest or if a chaotic individual copies two articles to his private blog. In the latter case it`s up to the SCN piece author to fight for his/her rights. The second factor is how much SAP content is being stolen. It makes the whole case building much easier when the thief uses a lot of the SAP own content, content created by the employees, documentation etc. 8 QUARTERLY
Plagiarism and copyright violations
Better explanation than I would ever be able to put together was posted by Mr. Keith Elliot as a comment under the blog by Moshe Naveh about plagiarism: “I think it's important to distinguish between plagiarism and a copyright violation. Plagiarism is unethical, copyright violations are illegal. They are related, but not the same. A case of plagiarism might also be a copyright violation, but it is not necessarily so. Copyrights can expire and content can go into the public domain, but if someone copies public domain content without proper attribution, it could be a case of plagiarism.
On the other hand, a copyright violation is not necessarily a case of plagiarism. For example, if someone copies an entire SDN how-to guide and publishes it on their personal web page, this could be a copyright violation, even if that person acknowledges where the content came from. Of course, SCN does not countenance either plagiarism or copyright violations.” In summary this topic cannot be covered in its depth by a single article and we will see some proactive steps from the SCN team for sure, so let me end the article with a wish to see these steps soon and we will keep you posted. Otto Gold
What you can do to protect your content When you spot an offense on SCN, notify the SCN team. They will take care of everything for you. When you spot a theft outside SCN, it is up to you which way you will follow. If you don`t like a theft to make money on your content, you can contact Google. You can always contact SAP since they might be able to do something for you if the offender is systematically copying whole parts of SCN or help.sap.com for example. There are also tools you can use, www.copyscape.com for example. They offer a short Respond to plagiarism checklist. There are some useful links in their Resource center. Do not forget to “File a notice of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement with search engines such as Google and others to have the offending site removed from their search results”. You can also follow How to Send a DMCA Takedown Notice.
WORK FROM HOME
TOPIC OF THIS ISSUE:
Work from home Continuation of the article from the frontpage Here is my attempt at highlighting some of the facts that I’ve found, as well as, some of the interesting feedback from our forum threads. This article is slanted. I believe strongly in work from home. However, I’d like to give an overall feel for our community. There will be some details about people work from home, some stats about how many people are actually doing it, and hopefully this will give you some insight to decide if working from home is something you should even be thinking about doing. There are some interesting tips about how / when to work at home. Some actual stories from our community members are included. You’ll hear about the people who work from home. At the very end of the article are some boring facts to take away. I personally would love to work from home. That means facts and figures help me present my case to my boss. So I left them in for you as well. I had more responses than I can put in this article. I was overwhelmed with the number of people who were interested in the thread. The first thing that I found out was that region played a part in the work from home debate. I had no idea. So here are a couple of the quotes that I found: "Culture plays into working at home. For instance Brazil usually does not allow work from home." (Henrique), and “Interestingly enough, unless you have a reason, telecommuting is something that most companies don't support generally in Australia." (Matt) There were some answers that were not as surprising. Work from home for consultants / contractors were more popular than full time employees. There is a direct cost of travel that can be cut to save mon-
Even though our workplace could be nice... ey. Full time employees have trouble making a case for work from home when it doesn’t directly save the company money. Some of the time is more common for full-time employees. ABAP development team seems to have the best chance of working from home. That will be changing as companies become more worldwide. Webex meetings are becoming more and more common. As that happens, working from home would be seamless. There are still many, many companies that do not allow work from home. There seems to be no real reason for that. The only real reason I heard was loss of “Face time”. There are still a lot of areas where virtual meetings are not common. Lack of control was
another reason why your boss doesn’t want you to work at home. There was a lot of general comments and advice from people who are working from home. Teleconferencing is a big plus. It helps if things like chat, and MS messenger is already a part of the culture. It was more productive to work from home when the travel time was removed. It was more productive because a lot of people would not work a consistent schedule. Eight hours straight was not an issue. People could do things in between working the hours they needed to get their work done. Think about your own situation. If you have children that will constantly interrupt your work, work from home may not be feasible. Self-discipline is key. You QUARTERLY 9
WORK FROM HOME
must be committed to not letting your guard down. Do not procrastinate. There is a great success story about working from home. This is from a FULL-TIME employee. She convinced her boss to allow her to work from home. She made an arrangement with the Project Manager that she would work four hours from the office and four hours from home each day. The reason for that is easy and seamless communication. The company is a truly Multi National Company with operations in more than a 100 countries. She is an ABAP Developer based in Bangalore (India) who is in charge of co-ordination with two internal teams - Asia/Pacific team and the Global Team headquartered in the US. Being an ABAP developer, she needed to interact with Functional Consultants across all world regions including ASIAPAC, Europe and the Americas. She outlined the benefits of working different hours to be able to work with the different time zones. She has found the perfect combination of work from home and at work. (For her) Frederico Blarasin, a contractor turned full-time employee, answered some specific questions. He had worked from home in the past, but not anymore. He does work from home on particular projects for reasons like Saturday / Sunday support. He has some great reasons to work from home. It’s helped him job organization, and avoiding the routine of the office. He is more productive because he can better manage his time. He does miss the office environment at times. He and his manager had an interesting way of managing his time. He had to complete task based upon an agreed upon duration with his manager. Once the task was finished he was free. When in a maintenance project there was a
...our home terrace could be even better place for concentrated and productive work. system tracking the user’s calls and the resolution time. Matt, a consultant, provided an example of someone working from home 2 -3 times a week. For him it helps him organize my time more flexibly. He has 3 different clients that compete against his time. Since he is flexible he is able to work with all of them in a timely and efficient manner. His family has appreciated the schedule. They like having him around. They know not to disturb him during normal work hours. However, the flexibility allows him to stop for things like his daughter bringing him a cup of tea. He is more productive. He is a
MORNING PERSON. He starts at 6 AM and by midday he is finished with most of his work. He does miss seeing some of his colleagues. It’s easy to get out of touch with them when working from home. There are times when he feels he has to go into the office. When someone does not understand something, he sits down with them to go through things. It would be hard to work from home if the bulk of your job is spending time with the business. He feels that employees who have trouble working from home are already having trouble at work. So working from home does not make
Matt’s tip: “I have an office at my home. Working from home, you must have some space set aside. If I was working on a laptop on my dining room table, I wouldn't be able to be as effective.”
a difference: “People who take the mickey take the mickey at work. Eventually you'll get found out. We're professionals, hired to do a professional job. If we don't get the results, get rid of us. That's a manager's job.” As a freelancer there is always a possibility that someone wants to give him some work. His phone is on 100% of the time during the day. However, he does take official “away time”. It’s rare that he gets a call during that time. There was an anonymous full time employee that responded for my call for some answers. She had worked from home in the past. However, with a new job change she can’t work from home anymore. She used to work from home 100% of the time. She dropped into this job because her company liked her, and she didn’t want to move. She was more productive with fewer distractions. She like the others before her missed “face time”. She had trouble networking with co-workers. She thinks work from home de-
WORK FROM HOME
pends on the person. She wouldn’t recommend it for the “newbies” to the company. They need to learn about the company prior to working from home. She also wouldn’t suggest it for non-disciplined people or the ones that would like to be promoted quickly. If you have young children, you shouldn’t be the one watching them while working. Her manager keeps track of her by a work plan. Work where the manager and employee have agreed upon the work that should be done. She feels strongly that this should be done for people that are not working from home as well as those who are. Getting a work at home program started was very hard. She thinks the only reason she was allowed to work at home was that she had worked with the hiring manager so he knew her. AND so, now she is working at a job where work from home is allowed only in the morning. She has been there approximately six months. She uses the early time to touch base with the India Developers.
It’s a nice benefit. That way she can be there to get her daughter off to school. She also has more overlap with India when she starts at 6:30 AM instead 8:30 AM in the office after her daughter has left for school. She is not more or less productive. But her constraint is that she isn’t 100% work from home. So she does still have travel time. She also doesn’t have the company perks like a cell phone or home docking station. Our community is divided about equally between those who believe work at home is a good thing, those that think there should not be any work at home, and those who believe people could work from home some of the time. Boy – that didn’t help at all. I think our community mirrors the world at large. We are just starting to think about working from home. How to do it? How to do it successfully? Hopefully, this article has given you some tips and hints from the people that work from home. Michelle Crapo
Some interesting final thoughts from outside of our community The article “Goodbye Office Space the Shrinking Cubicle” has some great reasons to suggest work at home. Money always talks. Think about alternating a cube with a co-worker. ““Everyone used to get a cube, but that doesn’t work for the way people actually do their work today,” said Neil Tunmore, director of corporate services at Intel, who spearheaded the corporate redesign that began in 2007. In 1994, the average office worker had 90 square feet of office space, but the area had been whittled down to 75 square feet in 2010, according to the International Facility Management Association, a professional network for the facility management industry.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/ LIVING/02/08/shrinking. american.cubicle/index. html?hpt=C2# In 2003 McKessen Medical Solutions decided to see what benefits it could realize by having some of its call center employees work from home. The results were encouraging. Four years later, 85% of those employees work from home all the time saving the company $4 million a year. Last but most important: our carbon footprint can be reduced greatly from work from home initiatives. Employee retention goes up and employee absenteeism goes down. A Study of over 3,000 employees showed that those with flexible schedules where less likely to have
problems that affect their job performance. If traffic continues to grow at the current pace, over the next couple of decades, drivers in many of the nation’s cities will be sitting in daily traffic jams worse than those that plague Los Angeles – 8 hours a day. Commutes will take almost twice as long. Allowing work from home will decrease your company’s carbon footprint. It will save our environment. http://www.workshifting. com/downloads/downloads/ Workshifting%20BenefitsThe%20Bottom%20Line.pdf Michelle Crapo
BRIDGING THE GAP
The other side of town Do you remember the good ol' trash-talking between the ABAP and Java guys in the SAP eco-system a few years back? I do… I do… and while I confess of being guilty on chiming in on such debates, yet I'd claim to have done so in a playful manner and treating it as a typical rivalry meme. That seems to be a natural thing to do for people all over the world. See across the globe we stumble across the fact that people always seem to make fun of their regional neighbors. I'm sure you all know the type of jokes I'm talking about. Yet, I'd assume that such friendly rivalries are more a social phenomena and most people (on all sides) know that there's barely a substance to such discussions and it's more about socializing and entertainment than anything else. Having moved to Cologne a few years ago I even got aware of a name for this concept. The Rhine River runs right through town and separates it into two parts - the old(er) part of the city is on the left side. [Ed. note: Well, it would be more correct to call it the western side, but the locales refer to left and right of the Rhine.] People from that part of town - the left side (which is the 'right' side from their point of view) call the people on the other side to live on the "Schäl Sick" - the false side. Cologne is as much of an urban melting pot as any other of a many global metropolises and consequently it's not as simple as just dividing the kingdom into two camps. If only things would be that trivial… IT has been a main driver of this ongoing globalization and consequently we see similar patterns manifest in the enterprise software space as we do in urban culture. But let me illustrate my point by telling a story… a story about: 12 QUARTERLY
The Other Side of Town
This is a story about a city divided into two parts. On the one hand side we got the so called ABAPiens, who have been tremendously successful in the past and based on that confidence and knowing their superb position in the center of town they considered themselves superior. Many of them were great engineers and merchants who know how to organize and standardize things to make processes as simple and smooth as possible. And as business was growing and doing well people were wearing business suits and as such they got known around the world. At the beginning they joked about the newcomers which uttered strange things about a new paradise island called Java and they didn't take them for real. Yet, despite to the ABAPiens’
regarded for a multitude of services that require effective information exchange and well orchestrated traffic. Soon people referred to them as the net weavers. In the early days people on both sides yet mostly sticked to their part of town and joked about the differences of the other side. But then the inevitable happened – people started to roam the other side of town and realized that there were some interesting things to be discovered and to be learned from each other. They realized that by working together they could do incredibly things for the benefit of both sides. So they lived side-by-side, started working hand-in-hand and both parties had benefits from this co-existence and cross-pollination. Speaking about cross-pollination and a flourishing ecosystem brings us to the siblings of the elder in-
On the one hand side we got the so called ABAPiens, who have been tremendously successful in the past... and ... the newcomers which uttered strange things about a new paradise island they called Java believes these newcomers didn't go away, but instead started turning their part of town into a completely different, yet quite appealing neighborhood. One of the first things they did was to build bridges and roads and expanding their network. They displayed a natural talent for communication and as such were highly
habitants of this kingdom. That new generation seemed to have come to a better understanding on the strengths of both worldviews and set track to leverage the best of both worlds. The ABAPiens acknowledged that they have lived in isolation for too long and that they would need to open up to the outside world and es-
BRIDGING THE GAP
Welcome to the world of the opportunities and challenges
tablish gateways. They abandoned old procedures and started to adopt some of newer architecture concepts made popular by the Java guys. And by dropping some of the old ballast in their constructions they even reached to the clouds… Well, all characters appearing in this story are fictitious of course and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. However, I’m sure you got my point.
Bridging the gap
In retro perspective it gets obvious that such discussions completely miss the mark, look rather naive and reveal a limited scope on the world. Both ABAP and Java are here to stay and the list of programming languages/environments and technologies will only continue to grow – and that’s by design! As we strive for massive adoption SAP will continue to open-up the SAP Business Suite (some refer to it s ‘service enablement’) and encourage the ecosystem to develop applications for it. In addition, to the Web Services standards used for Enterprise Services we add Gateway functionalities, which
are based on RESTful service design principles (OData, SAP Data, …) The idea is simple: lower the entry barrier and ease of consumption by leveraging open standards to attract developers from all camps to build applications. So, no … it’s not just about ABAP vs Java. It’s more about business processes and open standards. It’s about enterprise architecture and programming models. SAP’s technology strategy is based on the three new dimensions (inmemory, on-device and on-demand) and that will have some fundamental impact on old architecture blueprints. HANA (High Performance Analytic Appliance) will be at the core of every modern solution. No longer will there the Open SQL abstraction layer. The line between OLTP and OLAP is blurring. On the service layer we would want to make them easily consumable by a multitude of devices. On the User Experience layer (UX) we will continue to see a variety of technologies being used ranging from RIA (Rich Internet applications), to web standards (HTML5) to proprietary front-ends such as Web Dynpro or native mobile
UI frameworks and so forth. The world around us is ever changing and as such all of us would be well-advised to take a look beyond our own little niche/cubicle and see what is happening around us. And then … start thinking about a question that really matters: how does it all affect me and what I do? This brings us back to the beginning and the rivalry between the ABAP and the Java camp. There’s one thing that hasn’t changed since back then. The ABAP veterans may need to consider refreshing on open standards whether it is SQL, web standards, OOP paradigms – what else you got? The Java guys (just to stick to this stereotype) on the other hand would do good to familiarize themselves about the SAP Business Suite and the rich set of business processes it covers. Only those with a fair understanding of both worlds – the true cosmopolitans - can really claim to be well-prepared for the road ahead. Are you? Oh, and for those who wondered how the story ended: “… they lived happily ever after!” or so it goes. Matthias Steiner QUARTERLY 13
DAYS OF DKOM
Days of DKOM 2011 Palo Alto Style
Mentors were invited to the SAP Developers conference all around the world. I was in Palo Alto. Let me share the nice experience. For the first time ever, non SAP employees were invited to attend SAP’s Developer Kick-off Meeting (aka DKOM). There are many people to thank for this, especially SAP’s Mark Finnern, Aslan Noghre-Kar and SAP Mentor Thorsten Franz. Days one and two of DKOM were HANA Olympics. As the teams had already formed and began work, we could only assist, but we were able to “play” with some of the new tools. What is more, it was nice to meet and talk a little more with SAP Mentors Daniel Graverson, Karin Tillotson, Leo de Araujo, Harald Reiter, Marilyn Pratt and Dagfinn Parnas. I found the HANA business cases to be true to life and real-world. Kaj van de Loo kicked off HANA Olympics by saying to succeed you cannot be a DUMMBABBLER – someone who talks too much and does not get the work done. The following day we attended the Photo courtesy of SAP Mentor Oliver Kohl: Kaj van de Loo various sessions. I told SAP Mentor Oliver Kohl that I found it interesting that the developers giving the sessions were also “selling” what they the specifics of what we saw, but it I was very honored and said yes. were doing to was overall an Both Mark and Marc said they really people internal incredible, excit- wanted to the customer’s perspective to SAP. It was a ing experience. A on the jury. Kaj van de Loo kicked mini-TechED but few weeks before Tuesday night I was on the Demo off HANA Olympics compressed with the DKOM in Palo Jam jury. I arrived early and received by saying to succeed no hands-on. Alto, Marc Fenner, my instructions and get “miked” up. you cannot be a As non-SAP SAP, asked me if The competitors came through a boxattendees, we I wanted to be on ing ring to showcase what they deDUMMBABBLER – all signed nonthe DKOM Demo veloped. As jurors, they wanted us someone who talks too disclosure agreeJam jury along with to be like American Idol judges. Not much and does not get SAP’s Steve Lucas ments so we having a television, I wasn’t sure exthe work done. cannot get into and Kaj van de Loo. actly what to expect but I had heard 14 QUARTERLY
DAYS OF DKOM
SAP DKOM Jury: Steve Lucas, Tammy Powlas and Kay van de Loo (l.t.r)
of Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. Come to find out, fellow juror Kaj van de Loo doesn’t have television either. The competitors had 6 minutes to present and we had to judge. Fellow judge Steve Lucas was sitting right by the bell so when the six minutes were up, we heard it. We were allowed to take notes. More personal stories – one of the competitors was Mani Srinivasan, SAP, whom I have worked with at America’s SAP User Group. Mani works on the SAP BusinessObjects Explore ASUG Influence Council. It was great to meet and speak with him in person. Overall I was very impressed with the presentations and honestly excited about some of the upcoming functionality that SAP is offering (but I cannot say). I felt the scenarios in the competition were “real-world”. The next day, after the Demo Jam, several SAP employees told me I was no “Paula Abdul” but they felt that Kaj van de Loo made a great “Simon Cowell”. I am very grateful to SAP for this experience especially Mark Finnern, Aslan Nogre-Kar, Anne Hardy, Marilyn Pratt, and so many others. Tammy Powlas
Mentors: Bits and pieces What`s new in the world of SAP Mentors
• Bad news first: we’ve lost some heavy hitters this year! At first, Matthias Zeller has decided to resign his active SAP Mentor status as he leaves Adobe to tackle new challenges at Salesforce.com. Recently, no other than Craig Cmehil has opted to leave SAP and “spread his wings” and he’ll be taking ADTELLIGENCE to the next level. Both have left their mark and will be missed - thanks for all the contributions and inspirations! • As the SAP Mentor initiative grows older the question come up on what happens to those that would leave the roster for whatever reasons. This is how the idea of the SAP Mentor Alumni was born. Several veterans have already announced that they would go into retirement so to speak and to hand-over to the next generation. • Speaking of next gen… Aslan revealed this week, that an “announcement” will be made about the new additions to the line-up on Monday – so mark your calendars! • Moving to more positive news: On Slideshare our SAP Mentor Introduction Slidecast has past 10K views. The most views of any SAP related slide deck. Rock on and keep spreading the word! • Our congratulations and a sincere “well deserved!” go to Marilyn Pratt, who has recently been promoted to Director of Community Advocacy. • Furthermore, word is on the street that Karin Tillotson has been taking up yet another night-time job and will be moderating the SCN forums with the BITI hammer (and get rich in the process – ka-ching!) • There’s a new podcast in town: Diversified Semantic Layer by Jamie Oswald and Greg Myers et al. Check it out! QUARTERLY 15
Reflections on Leadership, SAP Mentors, and the Pitfalls of Recognition Jon Reed/ JonERP.com
Continuation of the article from the frontpage Prior to the creation of the SAP Mentor Initiative in 2007, the highest level of achievement within the SAP Community Network was Top Contributor (now called Topic Leader). It was Craig Cmehil, former Demo Jam Emcee and departing Blogger Relations Wizard, who first brought to my attention the “Community Path to Recognition” within SCN. Craig’s work in the community led him to lay out a “Path to Recognition” model for how those who pay their dues in the community. As they go about the process of making their contributions, tiers of contribution serve as sign posts on the road and badges (literally) that go on their SCN profiles. Soon, Craig will be moving on from SAP to pursue new opportunities, but the impact of these ideas remain.
Then the Mentor program was started In 2007, the model was fleshed out further with the addition of the SAP Mentor Initiative. The SAP Mentors put a face on an aspiration beyond “Top Contributor”. This was critically important. As valued as Topic Leaders are, they are tied to the SAP Community Network points system. There’s nothing wrong with accumulating points, but we can all agree that true leadership goes beyond point accumulation. Some SAP Mentors are nowhere near Topic Leaders on SCN (though some are). Mark Finnern, Chief SAP Mentor “Wolfpack Herder,” believes that Mentor impact comes in many flavors and I couldn’t agree more. We have Mentors who do their com16 QUARTERLY
Picture Courtesy by Hugh MacLeod @gapingvoid munity work within user groups like ASUG; we have Mentors who organize Inside Track events. I post to SCN sometimes, but my biggest pursuits are probably my videos with JD-OD.com and my podcasts on JonERP.com and iTunes. Same goes for the Enterprise Geeks, who built a community that extends beyond SCN (All of the Enterprise Geeks are either current Mentors or have served as Mentors). Craig Cmehil summed up the difference in the SAP Path to Recognition podcast I did with him: “Top Contributors Influence SCN, but the Mentors Influence SAP.” Though I’m sure Craig would hasten to add: “SAP Mentors at their best influence SAP.” There are dangers to recogni-
tion as well - complacency and entitlement quickly come to mind. In 2007, it was enormously helpful to have Mentors as examples of what the highest levels of SAP community leadership looked like. But now we have a different issue: too many view SAP Mentorship as the badge they must carry in order to be fully validated for their contributions. That’s absolutely not the case. We have to be careful not to get hung up on external recognition. The opposite is true: there is a wonderful freedom in pulling away from the need for validation. One of my biggest goals is to honor that sage advice of the inimitable @gapingvoid Hugh MacLeod: “Ignore Everybody.”
“Ignore Everybody” “Ignore Everybody” doesn’t mean “be a headstrong jerk.” But when it comes time to act, the need for recognition holds us back. Sometimes you have to stand alone. If I had to pick one characteristic of true leadership, it would be that: a willingness to take stands, however unpopular, without being swayed by whether a thousand people join you or whether you stand alone with your butt in the breeze. That is hardly easy. At their best, Mentors have that individual boldness. You could also call SAP Mentors a tribe, and that might be right as well, but this par-
LEADERSHIP Even if we aren’t going to become Mentors – some of us will, some of us won’t - it’s instructive to think about what Mentors should aspire to. Some of that is already public on the SAP Mentor FAQ: “SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most of the ~100 mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions of communitydriven projects.” Here are some of the qualities of Mentors that are formally listed: • Hands-on expert in an SAP product or service
Mentors identity exercise It’s hard to argue with that list; there are several key leadership qualities there. I especially like the phrase “champions of community-driven projects,” because that’s what it’s all about – fostering change via small groups of Mentors who are determined to move the needle. That’s the connection between identity and broader change. Once you know what you stand for, you can band together with others who burn to make a difference. Behind the scenes, the Mentors
SAP Mentors in their first-ever meeting with Hasso Plattner (Jim Snabe joined towards the end of the meeting also). Photo by Martin Gillet. ticular tribe is made up of individuals who are always on the verge of their own anarchistic pursuits. Mark Finnern and fellow Shepard Aslan Noghre-kar get to run with the rest of the Mentor Wolfpack sometimes, but let’s be fair: a good amount of their job description is herding cats.
• Collaborative attitude • Good communicator • Preferably working at a partner or customer of SAP • Interested in improving products and services of SAP as well as the relationship of SAP with its customers, partners and prospects • Proactive engagement
went through their own identity exercise within StreamWork. The idea was to boil down the key traits of Mentors into a short list we could collectively agree upon. These have not been published up until now, so thanks to Mark Finnern for allowing me to publicly debut the top seven: QUARTERLY 17
1. Integrity 2. Voice of the SAP Community 3. Constructive in our criticism 4. Inspirational 5. Creative 6. Humble 7. Self-Directed It’s hard to argue with this list either, though I have a beef with the “constructive in our criticism” one because I believe sometimes harsh criticism is 100 percent valid to make something better. But when you go through a group process, you lose some of your own wording. I really like “humble” - I think we can argue that Mentors don’t always live up to that one. But we should. That’s why a couple years ago I made my own video about Mentor leadership qualities, specifically what I look for when I nominate new Mentors. Here’s the link a YouTube video I filmed on this topic: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=kTCyYrj9QME
Some leadership qualities from the video • It’s not about being a guru or an expert to be admired from afar. It’s about being in conversation with the community. • Independent, “open thinking” – one of the SAP Mentors’ unofficial slogans. We are not echoing the party line of any of the companies we work for, and we aren’t necessarily agreeing with each other. We’re trying to defend ideas in a debate that does not get overly personal and negative. • We are creative in our responses – going beyond criticism to “champion community projects.” For creative projects, you find the form of expression that works for you. You bang away at it until it becomes part of your DNA. • Do you challenge yourself and 18 QUARTERLY
do you challenge SAP? When we’re static, we’re not improving. It’s not always comfortable to be challenged, but it’s essential to take a harder look at ourselves if we want to be successful. That goes for SAP, but we have to hold ourselves to the same standard. Don’t get too comfortable. • The recognition may or may not come. It took me fifteen years before I became an SAP Mentor. I loved what I was doing when no one even noticed me. Put recognition aside and ask “What drives you, what makes you passionate?” Follow that through. I owe fellow SAP Mentor Graham Robbo a nod for pointing out that a sense of humor is also critical. Why? Because we all get too big for our britches sometimes and badly need to step back and have a good hearty laugh at our own BS. The ability to dish out (and take) a good-natured ribbing – that’s anything but trivial! It just might be the most important quality of a healthy community. Looking back on that video, there are two more we really need to add: one is that it’s a big world out there. We do our best work in SAP when we are aware of the broader landscape. SAP listens hardest to those who can point to other companies doing smart things SAP needs to pay
attention to. We should read and explore widely. Perpetual intellectual curiosity is one of the highest leadership qualities. Another characteristic that comes to mind: know when it’s time for a change, and get it done. Even when it means leaving the nest. Again we have Craig to thank for that example. The same for former SAP Mentor Matthias Zeller, who now works for Salesforce.com. Only a fool would think less of him for that. In a sense, you’re always an SAP Mentor. But in formal terms, it’s a year-to-year honor. Since that video was shot, I feel even more strongly that we need a certain boldness of conviction, not just about SAP, but about the world beyond SAP. Life doesn’t reward complacency – life rewards action. But: we owe it to ourselves to combine action and reflection. One of the most harmful misconceptions about leadership is that there a distinction between those who ponder and those who act decisively. It’s a cycle of action informed by reflection that really hits the mark. If we have integrity to that process, we’ll never be too vulnerable to disappointment if our name isn’t called. The journey should be its own reward. If not, we’re on the wrong path. Jon Reed
Contributors for this issue in order of appearance: Michelle Crapo, Jon Reed, Greg Myers, Susan Keohan, Sergio Ferrari, Tammy Powlas, Otto Gold, Matthias Steiner. With Blagbert by Alvaro “Blag” Tejada Galindo Don´t forget to provide any feedback!! Tell us what can we do better the next time, what article you would like to read, anything that comes to your mind about Quarterly.
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