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What's Jon's Take on SAP Trends in 2015?

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 diginomica.com

Jon is also an Enterprise Irregular, a select group of enterprise bloggers/practitioners. Follow his content from all sites (including diginomica) via the JonERP feedburner feed (or email). Jon is also a board member of the HANA Distinguished Engineers.

Here's how Jon pays the rent.

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

SAP BI Burning Questions - SAP TechEd 2010 Preflight Discussion

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Three SAP Mentors Discuss Burning SAP BI Questions Heading into SAP TechEd 2010, with Co-Host Vijay Vijayasankar and Special Guest Greg Myers" (ERP Lounge #13)
Podcast Interview Date: September 28, 2010
Podcast: Listen Now!

What are the burning questions about SAP BI as we head into SAP Teched season? Will the keynotes answer questions about in-memory and accelerated data access? And how do you get the most out of the show and justify your attendance when budgets are tight? As we continue our "sporadic SAP BI podcast series," which is part of the ERP Lounge podcast editions, I dig into these questions with two fellow SAP Mentors: Vijay Vijayasankar of IBM and newly-named SAP Mentor Greg Myers, who is a Senior Business Intelligence Engineer at SEI Investments in Oaks, Pennsylvania, and who is also the Chair of the ASUG BusinessObjects Security & Administration SIG. 

During the 50 minute podcast, we look at how to get value out of SAP BI discussions at TechEd, whether or not you are attending personally. Greg gives us an inside view of some of the recent BusinessObjects name changes and why SAP decided to keep the "Webi" name after consulting with ASUG volunteers like himself. Vijay talks about his own BusinessObjects presentation and why he keeps slides to a minimum. The three of us also talk about the SAP Mentors presence at TechEd and why it's important to Mentors that we are accessible to the community and not be perceived as running in packs - so find us or Tweet us

Editor's note: This podcast makes reference to the presentation Greg did at SAP Inside Track Newtown Square. (The event replay link is being fixed by SAP but will hopefully be working by the time you click on this). Other links: SAP TechEd (link to all four TechEds), Vijay's SAP TechEd Las Vegas BusinessObjects presentation, Expert Networking Lounge sessions, SAP BI conference track in Las Vegas, SAP Mentor Initiative, SAP TechEd Twitter ID. Link to more on Jon's TechEd Expert Lounge sessions, including his SAP career and social networking discussion with Vijay. After TechEd, we'll gather again and discuss which SAP BI questions got answered and which ones still need to be addressed.

Also recommended: Vijay's personal blog and his blog on SCN. During the podcast, we also refer to products that are undergoing name changes. Don't treat this podcast as the definitive record of the new names, rather, check out the SAP Business Objects Community for that info. Also check out Greg's blog on SCN.

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.   

Read more...
 
Podcast: Implementing SAP Business ByDesign - Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt's Story

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Pinkberry's experience as a pilot SAP Business ByDesign customer, lessons learned and the skills neeeded for a successful install."
Podcast Interview Date: September 22, 2010
Podcast: Listen Now!
[PC users: "right click" to download file]

There are many unanswered questions about SAP Business ByDesign. Some of them can be answered by documenting the experience of the 100 or so pilot customers who have been through a ByD install and come out the other side. In my second podcast with an SAP Business ByDesign pilot customer, I talk with Judson Wickham of Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt about their ByDesign implementation process. During this 22 minute podcast, Judson explains why Pinkberry chose ByDesign and what issues they overcame along the way. 

Judson is an ideal interviewee for my JonERP podcast series because of his background in on-premise ERP, in his case, PeopleSoft. During the podcast, Judson speaks to the skills transitions he needed to make and what SAP professionals interested in ByDesign work are up against in terms of skills evolution. Judson also shares his views on how SAP can improve ByDesign from here, and why the upcoming Software Development Kit (SDK) interests him from a customer's perspective.

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SAP BPM in Action: How the SAP BPX Community is Impacting BPM Projects
podcastlogo_jonerp.gifPodcast: Listen Now!
Vendor Podcast - SAP BPM in Action: How the SAP BPX Community is Impacting BPM Projects
An SAP BPX Community Podcast
Hosted by Jon Reed of JonERP.com
Podcast Interview Date: September 15, 2010
View Transcript

Two years ago, BPM was more of a hypothetical discussion in the SAP community. Fast forward two years, and that's changed dramatically. There are now extensive BPM resources on SCN. There's also a BPM use case wiki on SCN where customers are documenting their project experiences with BPM in an SAP context.

In this SAP BPX Community Podcast, we take a closer look at these trends with Rao Subbarao, who has worked extensively with BPM on customer projects and in his role as the chair of the ASUG BPM Architecture Group. Rao is joined by SAP's Greg Chase, who has been an active force in spurring on the development of BPM resources on the SAP Community Network. During the 15 minute podcast, we talk about how the SAP BPM conversation has evolved, what steps a company needs to take to succeed in their BPM initiative, and how to get involved with the BPM conversation on SCN.

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Podcast: SAP BI Consulting - Strategies, Tools, and Skills Trends
podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"A Three Person Discussion of SAP BI Consulting Trends with Special Guests Vijay Vijayasankar and Kevin McManus" (ERP Lounge #12)
Podcast Interview Date: August 26, 2010
Podcast: Listen Now!

What it the future of SAP BI consulting? Why is there still lingering confusion over the SAP BusinessObjects tools amongst SAP users? And why is BI strategy an afterthought when it should really be incorporated into the core ERP implementation? To get a fresh take on these questions, I taped a podcast with Vijay Vijayasankar of IBM and Kevin McManus of McManus Consulting. Both these guys have deep SAP BI experience, and Kevin brings hands-on expertise in BusinessObjects tools into the conversation. Kevin's blog Clear Cut Reports focuses on Crystal and Webi reporting.

During the 55 minute podcast, we take a close look at which SAP BI skills are in demand. I ask the guys what separates a mediocre SAP BI consultant from an outstanding one. We talk about whether there are functional BI roles emerging, and whether BI is becoming a skill that all SAP professionals need to reckon with. Is BI the "holy grail" of value realization for ERP projects? And is in-memory for real? Vijay and Kevin address all these questions.

Editor's note: Thanks to Vijay for taking the initiative with an email chock full of questions about BI strategy. The email exchange between Vijay and Kevin provided the basis for this podcast. This podcast makes reference to the presentation Kevin gave at SAP Inside Track St. Louis. Click on the event link to view the slides and session replay. Also recommended: Vijay's personal blog and his blog on SCN. During the podcast, we also refer to products that are undergoing name changes. Don't treat this podcast as the definitive record of the new names, rather, check out the SAP Business Objects Community for that info.

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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Podcast: Changing The Future of SAP Consulting - Roundtable

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Special Edition - Beyond the 'Big Box' SAP Consulting Model - Roundtable on the Future of SAP Consulting with Three 'Disruptive Innovators'" (ERP Lounge #11)
Podcast Interview Date: August 20, 2010
Podcast: Listen Now!
[PC users: "right click" to download file]
note: this is a 30 meg sound file, so it may take a minute to download

The SAP consulting market is primed for change. Staffing layers with questionable value place obstacles between enterprise buyers and the best SAP consultants. While "big box" consulting models still have their place, SAP customers want to see alternatives that allow them to source subject matter experts directly, even sourcing them "on demand" for short term engagements. Internet technology and SaaS-influenced approaches create a fertile ground for SAP staffing innovation.

To better understand the problems with the current SAP consulting model and the changes that are afoot, in this edition of The ERP Lounge, I invited three pioneers of new models to join me in a frank discussion.

The participants are:

Mark Koenig of ERP-Consulting.com
Monty Kalsi of cumulusIQ.com
Simon Kirrage of ConsultantBox.com

The result of our international teleconference was a 70 minute podcast that takes a hard look at the problems and offers up solutions that forge new ground for both consultants and SAP customers. The solutions are varied but have in common a new level of transparency, as well as new ways of building communities of collaboration that help companies to better evaluate consultants and give SAP consultants new ways of monetizing their network and knowledge.

The only rule I imposed on the guys was to save the "shameless plug" of their solutions to the end of the podcast. But since each of the solutions point to new ways forward, it was good to have the chance towards the end to learn about each one. I was struck by the frankness of the conversation, the collegiality of these three competitors, and the transparency of the margins they take. Anyone who has been in the SAP consulting market for a while knows that open discussion of margins is still a rarity. For those who are too busy to listen to the whole podcast, click on "read more" for detailed show notes and more on the participants.

Editor's note: this podcast builds on some of the themes in ERP Lounge podcast with Brian Trout on "Cutting Through the SAP Consulting Layers", so check that podcast out for more context on why "layering" exists in the SAP consulting market and the problems it causes.

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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Avoiding SAP Skills Commoditization - Keys to Differentiating Your Skills
jonerp_full_logo.PNGAugust 14, 2010 Bangalore intro from Jon Reed: I wrote this piece as a part of my streaming discussion on "SAP Career Strategies" with SAP Inside Track Bangalore. I envision this to be a document I return to and add additional context and links. Make sure to also examine the SAP Career Outlook 2010 which informs and fleshes out many of the concepts in this piece.

Avoiding skills commoditization is a constant challenge for most white collar professionals, and the SAP pro is no exception. Much of the work on JonERP.com can be seen as a guidebook for differentiation in a crowded SAP skills marketplace. This is not just an issue for junior consultants anymore. Even some senior consultants (15 years plus) are calling me to let me know that they are struggling to maintain the rates they need to continue as independents.

Of course, becoming a commodity is a matter of degrees. All of us have areas within our skills that are trending and areas where the demand for that skill is leveling off. And rates for commoditized skills don't usually disappear; they just gradually level off. But what is especially interesting for SAP professionals is how complicated the mission of differentiation has become. It's less and less a simple supply and demand issue for one particular skill. It's about having a stable core of skills and several emerging skills, but it's also about a mindset change.

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Podcast: The On-the-Job Realities of the SAP Business Process Expert - with Jim Link

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"A real-life look at an SAP Business Process Expert - challenges of the role and bottom-line impact"
Podcast Interview Date: July 25, 2010
Podcast: Listen Now!
[PC users: "right click" to download file]

When I met Jim Link at SAPPHIRE Orlando and he handed me his business card, I was in for a shock. Emblazoned on the card was the job title "SAP Business Process Expert." After all the years of talking about this skill set and debating the emergence of these roles, here was a guy living the role day in and day out. As part of the ten person Forest City business process expert team, Jim and his colleagues have a great story to tell about how they are impacting the business and the challenges they have overcome along the way.

During this 20 minute podcast, Jim gives me the project-tested scoop on many key BPX topics, including: how does a BPXer justify their value to the business, who do they report to, what role do process modeling tools play, and what SAP technical and functional skills do they need to succeed in the SAP Business Process Expert role. Obviously, there are no universal answers to these questions - they are still being sorted out on a company to company basis. But for those listeners who want to understand how the pure BPX role can fit into the existing SAP personnel structure, and interact with Enterprise Architects, I trust you'll find this conversation as interesting as I did.

Editor's note: Some additional context for this podcast can be found in the "SAP Project Roles Puzzler" podcast by the Enterprise Geeks I did a guest appearance on earlier this year. The SAP BPX roles - separating truth from hype video I did after that podcast also provides context for this talk.

Read more...
 
Podcast: Can You Have a Sustainable SAP Career in...Sustainability?
podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"A two way discussion on the greening of SAP skills, SAP's sustainability direction, and SAP sustainability community resources"
Podcast Interview Date: July 12, 2010
Podcast: Listen Now!
[PC users: "right click" to download file]

Recently I taped a two-way discussion on careers in SAP sustainability with fellow SAP Mentor Jim Spath. Although Jim does not work in sustainability on a day to day basis, he's one of the most influential community voices in this area and has a 20 year background as an environmental engineer in his pre-SAP life. He is the moderator of the SAP Community Network Sustainability Forum. When we taped this thirty minute discussion, Jim and I were fresh off an SAP Mentor session on SAP's sustainabilty strategy with Jeremiah Stone of SAP. We wanted to react to that session - though some of it was "not bloggable" and we kept that content out. There were other SAP sustainability events to react to also, but mostly, we wanted to riff on SAP careers in sustainability and talk about the skills and the impact we can have by greening our SAP careers.

About Jim: Jim Spath is a Technical Architect with a global manufacturer. He's an SAP Mentor and a long time ASUG volunteer. He writes some of the most readable technical blogs on SCN. The views Jim expresses on this podcast are only his personal views and are not made on behalf of any of his organizational affiliations.

Show notes: This was not only a two-way discussion, it was a two-way taping. Jim posted a writeup with show notes and resource links on SCN that is his version of the recording. Each of our recordings had its tradeoffs, the one you are listening to here has an excellent recording of my voice and Jim coming through on speakerphone. My version of the sound file is cleaned up slightly and I have added musical intros and outros. I didn't feel that my existing JonERP podcast music was funky enough for Jim, so I have picked up a newer funkier edition in honor of his contribution. Final note: at the 5:00 minute mark, we talked about SAP's frequency of report updating. I did verify with SAP that the sustainability report will now be updated quarterly.

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Podcast: Vinnie Mirchandani on The New Polymath and Its Implications for SAP Professionals

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Special Edition - Insights from The New Polymath for SAP professionals, Vinnie's take on SAP innovation, and the problems of the SAP 'egosystem'" (ERP Lounge #10)
Podcast Interview Date: June 30, 2010
Podcast: Listen Now!
[PC users: "right click" to download file]
note: this is a 20 meg sound file, so it may take a minute to download

If you're a regular attendee at SAP's trade shows, chances are you have run into Vinnie Mirchandani. Although he attends SAP events as part of SAP's blogger program, Vinnie is not the kind to keep to himself and file stories. When he's not in lively discussions with SAP executives, you can often find him on the show floor, engaging much more directly with the SAP community than many press/media attendees do. The fruits of that engagement show up in Vinnie's new book, The New Polymath: Profiles in Compound-Technology Innovations, which features no less than eight SAP Mentors within its pages.

With the release of his book - one of the most important business books in recent years (see my review on Amazon) - and with the reverberations of SAPPHIRENOW/ASUG Orlando still lingering, the timing was right to have Vinnie in The ERP Lounge to talk about his blogs on enterprise software and innovation. I wanted to dig into his opinionated takes on SAP and his critique of what he has dubbed the SAP "egosystem." I was especially looking forward to asking Vinnie about how the "polymath" practices he describes in his book can be emulated by individuals in their own skills development. I wanted to ask Vinnie how you reconcile the need to have broad expertise with the problem of becoming a "jack of alll trades, master of none."

This 48 minute podcast has three distinct sections: in the first, we talk about the rise of the independent analyst, and how Vinnie emerged as a leading enterprise blogger. Vinnie turns the tables on me and asks about my own business model, and how individuals can stand out in an industry still dominated by corporate giants. In the second section, we delve into Vinnie's book and how its themes can apply to individual skills development. We attempt to reconcile Vinnie's views on the importance of skills diversity with the need of successful SAP professionals to specialize. In the third section, I ask Vinnie about his beef with the SAP partner ecosystem and the kinds of innovations he would like to see in that space. Scroll down for the detailed show notes and time stamps.

Editor's note: this podcast builds on some of the themes in Jim Spath's excellent post-Sapphire/ASUG podcast with Vinnie where they discussed the conference, the role of SAP Mentors in The New Polymath, developing a blogging voice, and the challenge of fairness in blogging - recommended listening!

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.   

Read more...
 
SAP Mobility Trends - An SAP Community Podcast with SAP Mentors Benedict and Appleby

podcastlogo_jonerp.gifPodcast: Listen Now!
Vendor Podcast - Tracking SAP Mobility Trends with SAP Mentors John Appleby and Kevin Benedict
An SCN Community Podcast
Hosted by Jon Reed of JonERP.com
Podcast Interview Date: July 2, 2010
View Transcript

One of the key messages from SAPPHIRENOW 2010 is that this is the year of SAP mobility. To get a better handle on how mobility trends impact the enterprise and how to track those trends on the SAP Community Network, Jon Reed sat down with SAP Mentors John Appleby and Kevin Benedict. During this twenty minute podcast, John and Kevin explain the difference between enterprise mobility and point solutions and share their take on the SAP mobility trends to watch for this year.

Both Kevin and John are experienced SCN bloggers, and one of the highlights of the podcast is hearing their tips on how to get started blogging and how the conversational nature of SCN blogs has impacted their mobility work. 

Editor's note: there is a mobility section on SCN as well as a mobile blog category to follow.

Read more...
 
SAP Certification Five - Guide to Our SAP Certification Activities

There's one thing about the Certification Five you can count on - we're going to generate a lot of content about our dialogue with SAP on certification, and we're going to share it with you! Here is a resource page, still in progress, that documents what we have been up to. 

I'm just about to present with Leonardo De Auraujo at SAP Inside Track Newtown Square - in advance I wanted to post these resource links to refer to during our presentation. 

Key Materials

Our much-discussed SAP Certification Five White Paper (PDF)
Our SCN blog which announces the paper and recommends specific action items (with tons of community comments)
My own blog post which provides a context for SAP Certification Five activities
Dennis Howlett's entertaining narrative of our memorable SAPPHIRENOW meetup with Bill McDermott

Read on for SAP Inside Track London videos, Certification Five podcasts and guest appearances, etc.
Read more...
 
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