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jonerpdemojam.jpg Jon has been tackling key SAP issues (like SAP certification and HANA) since 1995. Get the latest from his blogs, YouTube channel, and iTunes feed.

Or, follow his opinionated views real-time on his JonERP Twitter Feed. Jon served as SAP Mentor from 2008 to April, 2015. 

Jon is a co-founder and award winning blogger at

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News: Jon + 4 co-conspirators launched diginomica - insights for the digital enterprise

SAP BI Roundtable - Thorny Questions Edition with James Taylor of Decision Management Solutions

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Discussing the Thorny SAP BI Questions - including business rules integration, predictive analytics, and unstructured information - ERP Lounge #19)
Podcast Interview Date: May 8, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!

For this pre-Sapphire return of our semi-regular SAP BI podcast series, fellow SAP Mentor and co-host Vijay Vijayasankar and I talked with special guest James Taylor of Decision Management Solutions about some of the tougher BI questions SAP - or any other vendor for that matter - must tackle. Elsewhere, there's plenty of great content on SAP's important BI 4.0 release (I recommend the DSLayered podcast series). But this "thorny questions" edition of the ERP Lounge looks at the challenges SAP faces as we re-evaluate new SAP BI catch phrases like the "Semantic Layer" and "Predictive Process Designer". 

During the 50 minute podcast, we move from a look at 4.0 to a discussion of the importance of business rules and the issues SAP needs to address with separate rules engines for operations and analytics (including two for operations, BRF Plus and NetWeaver BRM). We talk about why predictive analytics matter to companies, and why vendors struggle to deliver meaningful predictive analytics solutions. A lively discussion of the importance of unstructured data catches the three of us jousting a bit on the relative importance of text analytics versus other BI priorities. We veer into a HANA discussion before wisely saving most of that one for a different podcast down the road.

Editor's note- podcast links: Vijay's SCN blog has many topics pertianing to this podcast, as does James Taylor' own blog. Vijay's personal blog, "Vijay's Thoughts on All Things Big and Small," also has some relevant BI content. Also note: I had a minor static issue on the taping during the first 11 minutes of the podcast. That has largely been fixed in production, but the sound quality improves further at the 11 minute mark.

Note: to comment on this podcast series, or send in a question for us to answer in the next one, be sure to join our ERP Lounge Group on Linkedin. If you want to subscribe to the series, get the The JonERP Master Blog and Podcast Feed. Or find Jon on his @jonerp Twitter feed. The ERP Lounge podcasts are also included in the JonERP iTunes podcast feed.  

The Power of Pull, SAP Style: How I use "pull technologies" to raise my game - and how you can too

jonerp_full_logo.PNGJon Reed notes, May 1, 2011: I originally wrote a version of this article on the "Power of Pull" for the SAP Mentors Quarterly, 1st Quarter 2011. This topic is core to what I do, so I'm publishing an expanded version of this article here on I'm publishing this in my JonERP client services section because many of my clients have asked me how to better analyze conversations about their products. I tell them that if you only look at "pull" for analyzing sentiment, you're leaving a lot on the table.

The best thing about pulling information is developing a more sophisticated (and real-time) understanding of what's happening in your industry. Now you're building a reputation around thought leadership as opposed to pushing product. Picking up on fresh client leads is a bonus, and often a natural byproduct of pull as a discipline.  As you comment on (and share) information as it comes out, you deepen relationships in a way that is not possible if you are focused only on broadcasting your own messages. Unless you're a large company, the tools needed to pull this off are largely inexpensive or free. But it does mean debunking the fantasy that you can get all the info you need simply by checking in on Twitter a few times a day. Here's how I do it.

Lost Podcast Series #1: Certification Five at SAP TechEd 2010

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"A classic C5 podcast from the SAP TechEd '10 Vegas Show Floor, with a new introduction from Jon Reed"
Podcast Interview Date: TechEd 2010 Las Vegas
Podcast: Listen Now!

Jon's intro: Recently I salvaged and re-listened to some long lost tapings from past SAP shows. A few of them are worth a listen, so I'm issuing them as part of a "lost podcast" series, with new introductions in some cases. One that stood out to me was this "Certification Five" podcast I taped during our Expert Networking Lounge session at the SAP TechEd Las Vegas show floor in 2010. Actually it was a C4 deal because Michael Koch was not able to attend. There is some show floor noise humming in the background, but because I used a microphone for most of the taping, the sound quality of the speakers is easily heard.

This podcast turned out to be a classic because of a few factors:

SMEs, Clouds, and the Impact of SAP Business ByDesign - an SCN Podcast

podcastlogo_jonerp.gifPodcast: Listen Now!
Vendor Podcast - An Interview with Sina Moatamed, CIO of BendPak, about how SMEs can use the cloud for business enablement, and why BendPak selected ByDesign.
An SAP SCN Community Podcast
Hosted by Jon Reed of
Podcast Interview Date: March 31, 2011

It's hard to assess the actual impact of "the cloud" unless you've been able to see it first hand. To get a better insight into the impact of the cloud on the small and medium enterprise (SME), Jon Reed interviewed Sina Moatamed, CIO of BendPak. An early SAP Business ByDesign customer, BendPak has had a chance to grapple with the role SaaS for SMEs and to evaluate its business benefits. During the 24 minute podcast, SAP's Siva Darivemula joins the discussion and shares the latest news about ByDesign on SCN.

As a guiding force behind the IT transformation at BendPak, Moatamed shares what he learned about the IT gaps within the company and how to address them. Based on his experience as the CIO of a larger enterprise and now at BendPak, Moatamed explains why moving to the cloud has the potential to shift the IT department from infrastructure management to systems enablement. In simple terms: cloud-based solutions can empower the business user to build their own services and initiate truly business-driven IT projects. Moutamed believes that SMEs actually have an edge on larger enterprises in this regard, and he explains why in this podcast. He also talks about why BendPak chose ByDesign, what he's looking forward to in version 4.6, and how ByDesign gives BendPak a new kind of "business agility." 

Editor's note: this podcast references the new Business ByDesign Community at Also check out the ByDesign and On Demand blog categories on SCN. During the podcast, Moatamed makes several references to SLAs (Service Level Agreements). For those new to the term, here's a definition.

Podcast: Breaking into SAP - Live Q and A with Michael Management Students

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"A live Q and A with Jon Reed and Tom Michael fielding questions on breaking into SAP with two Michael Management SAP training course students"
Podcast Interview Date: February 26, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!

Breaking into SAP is no easy project - especially in today's economy. To get a better handle on the issues with breaking into SAP in today's market, I had the chance to tape a unique podcast with Tom Michael of Michael Management. The podcast includes two "students" from Michael Management's Pay it Forward SAP Training Program (PDF), which sponsored SAP training for five job seekers to help them move into SAP during a challenging SAP job market. We begin the podcast with Tom posing some questions to me about breaking into SAP in today's market. Then we enter into a free flowing discussion, with Tom and I taking any and all questions from the two aspiring SAP professionals who joined us on the call and shared their stories with us.

This podcast has been added to the JonERP iTunes podcast feed. If you're looking for more information on breaking into SAP and succeeding as an SAP consultant, check out Jon's YouTube series on breaking into SAP and his series on SAP consulting excellence.

Podcast: Informal SAP SME and ByDesign Chat with SAP Mentor Leonardo De Araujo

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"An informal chat with Leo on SAP SME, Business ByDesign, All-in-One, and Leo's upcoming attendance at SAP DKOM"
Podcast Interview Date: February 21, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!

I'm always going for an informal feel on my podcasts, but usually we have a topic and an agenda laid out. In this case, we had a different podcast taping planned and it didn't pan out. Since I had SAP Mentor Leonardo De Araujo of Beyond Technologies on the line, I figured we should go ahead and tape a spontaneous podcast on some topics of interest. The end result is a very informal chat that covers a series of topics, most of them SAP SME related. During the 20 minute podcast, Leo and I discuss his pending attendance as a Mentor at SAP DKOM, what he's learning about Business ByDesign as a potential future Canadian partner, and his take on the SME market and SAP All-in-One. 

This podcast has been added to the JonERP iTunes podcast feed.

Road Ahead for SAP Consultants 2011 - The SAP Mentor View

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Discussing Vijay's "Road Ahead for SAP Consultants 2011 Blog Post - Skills Trends and Realities for SAP Professionals" (ERP Lounge #18)
Podcast Interview Date: February 20, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!

For several years, SAP professionals have looked forward to SAP Mentor Vijay Vijayasankar's annual blog post, "The Road Ahead for SAP Consultants." In honor of this always-provocative blog post, Jon pulled together fellow SAP Mentors Vijayasankar and Leonardo De Araujo for an in-depth discussion/debate about Vijay's skills rankings for 2011 and beyond.

The result? An hour long talk that goes into detail on emerging skills in BusinessObjects, HANA and Business ByDesign, as well as how core skills like ABAP development are evolving. Topics like why SAP upgrades are not increasing demand as much as expected are also covered. The last fifteen minutes delve into the impact of community recognition to career advancement, closing with an update from Jon and Leo on the latest with the "Certification Five."

Editor's note- podcast links: This podcast references Vijay Vijayasankar's "Road Ahead for SAP Consultants 2011" blog post as well as the "Road Ahead for SAP Consultants 2010." Also noted: Jon Reed's "SAP Industry Skills Rankings" and the work of the "Certification Five," a group of five SAP Mentors advocating improvements to SAP certification that includes Jon and Leo. Also mentioned: SAP Mentor Vitaliy Rudnytskiy's "HANA: What it Means to Your Business and Your Career."

Note: to comment on this podcast series, or send in a question for us to answer in the next one, be sure to join our ERP Lounge Group on Linkedin. If you want to subscribe to the series, get the The JonERP Master Blog and Podcast Feed. Or find Jon on his @jonerp Twitter feed. The ERP Lounge podcasts are also included in the JonERP iTunes podcast feed.  

The Launch of A Podcast with Thomas Wailgum and Courtney Bjorlin

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Thomas and Courtney dish on, their views on SAP in 2011, and field the kinds of questions they typically pose to others"
Podcast Interview Date: February 4, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!

Few events in the SAP space take me by total surprise. The launch of, with Thomas Wailgum and Courtney Bjorlin at the helm, was one of those rare exceptions, forcing me to set aside those "industry assumptions" and take a fresh look at a new player in the ecosystem. To get at the editorial motivations behind, I got on the phone with Tom and Courtney for this 24 minute podcast. My goals? To ask them a few questions that had been bugging me, to get a better handle on what they have in mind for the site, and to get their takes on SAP in 2011. If Tom and Courtney want to become the go-to independent news and analysis web site for SAP customers, they have their work cut out for them, but it's certainly a worthy challenge. This podcast documents their intentions at an early stage in this new venture. 

This podcast has been added to the JonERP iTunes podcast feed.

SolBros Episode #5 - 2011 SAP Solution Manager Kick-off Talk

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"January 2011 kickoff - SAP Solution Manager shop talk, myths/realities, and a few wisecracks"
Podcast Interview Date: January 31, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!
[PC users: "right click" to download file]

The "Sol Bros" are: Jim Spath, Tony de Thomasis, Phil Avelar and Jon Reed

Previous "Sol Bros" podcasts: Episode 1, Episode 2 , Episode 3, Episode 4.

Music: For this Friday night taping (except for Tony who was already on Saturday morning), Jon selected a live Friday night jam: "Runnin" from Massachusetts' own Longview Gunslingers.

Podcast links: SAP Press SolMan System Monitoring, Solution Manager Service Desk - Change Management Integration by Tammy Powlas, SAUG Summit 2011, SAP Service Marketplace SolMan Info (log-in required), ASUG Annual Conference (Orlando)

Podcast Structure: I. Intro chatter, II. (2:40) SolBros reader questions, III. (21:55) SolMan - "A mile wide and an inch deep?" - discuss! IV. (36:05) Individual updates: Jim Spath - SolMan and ASUG, Phil Avelar - CHARM lessons learned, Tony D - SolMan consulting, customer value and learning tools.

For detailed podcast notes and one-liners, click on "read more." This podcast has been added to the JonERP iTunes podcast feed.

SAP Business Objects 4.0 Preview and How to Upskill - with Ingo Hilgefort - A BOC Podcast

podcastlogo_jonerp.gifPodcast: Listen Now!
Vendor Podcast - Previews of BO 4.0 and Getting the Most of the SAP Business Objects Community - A BOC Community Podcast
Hosted by Jon Reed of
Podcast Interview Date: January 26, 2011

It will be an eventful spring for BusinessObjects with the release of BusinessObjects 4.0 and continued talk about analytics, in-memory and mobility trends. To get a better understanding of what's new in BO 4.0 and how the SAP BusinessObjects Community can help with understanding the new tools, Jon Reed talks with SAP's Christopher Kim and SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort. Ingo talks about the advances in 4.0, how SAP users have improved their BO know-how on SCN, and how the online community can build into in-person networking and collaboration. During the 20 minute podcast, Ingo also explains why BI is shifting from an IT to a business focus and what skills SAP BO professionals need to stay in track.

Relevant SAP BOC links: BO Solution Architecture, BusinessObjects 4.0 tutorials, Dear aBI and Real World BI Stories. Other podcast links: SAP Mentors Tammy Powlas, Jamie Oswald, and Greg Myers. Register for the SAP BO 4.0 February 23rd virtual release event here.

Podcast: The Utter Sexiness of SAP Business Workflow - With SAP Mentor Thorsten Franz

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"What makes SAP Workflow so darned sexy -- the motivations of the Workflow Influence Team -- plus a satirical take on SAP Business Workflow versus HANA and ByD" (ERP Lounge #17)
Podcast Interview Date: January 18, 2011
Podcast: Listen Now!

What is SAP's hottest, sexiest new technology? No, it's not HANA, it's not ByDesign. In this humorous-turned-serious podcast, Jon Reed and special guest and SAP Mentor Thorsten Franz talk about a hype-worthy technology known to insiders as "SAP Business Workflow." After 11 minutes of satirical riffing, Jon and Thorsten turn their attention to more serious matters as Thorsten talks about the overlooked power of SAP Business Workflow and what the Workflow Influence Team is doing to impact SAP Workflow's production direction. In this forty minute podcast, Thorsten explains why NetWeaver BPM does not render "classic" SAP Workflow irrelevant. He provides insight into why these two are actually complementary technologies. Thorsten also shares his ideas for modernizing SAP Workflow to make it compatible with BPMN standards and appealing for developers.

Editor's note- podcast links: This podcast references SAP Mentor Sue Keohan's blog post on the ASUG SAP Workflow Survery Results. Thorsten also a popular blog on SCN. Other links: SAP Mentor Initiative. Sue Keohan on Twitter. Track the SAP Workflow Influence Team on Twitter. Note: click here to download just the satirical "Announcing SAP's Latest Game-Changing Technology - SAP Business Workflow" portion of the podcast (first 11 minutes).

Note: to comment on this podcast series, or send in a question for us to answer in the next one, be sure to join our ERP Lounge Group on Linkedin. If you want to subscribe to the series, get the The JonERP Master Blog and Podcast Feed. Or find Jon on his @jonerp Twitter feed. The ERP Lounge podcasts are also included in the JonERP iTunes podcast feed.  

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