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Note that Jon blogs and videocasts on a variety of SAP and enterprise web sites. The easiest way to track all his content is through his JonERP Feedburner feed, which you can subscribe to via RSS or email. There is also additional video content to subscribe to on JD-OD.com. Jon also posts audio versions of much of his content on his JonERP iTunes Feed. To pose questions to Jon directly find him on Twitter.

Video Blog: SAP Virtualization - Does it Matter?

Lately I’ve been pushing the technical envelope with multi-party video recordings to see what is possible.  Here we have the latest fruits of these experiments - a Google Plus Hangout chat taping on the under-reported topic of SAP virtualization. I was fortunate to have three opinionated SAP virtualization die hards, Chris Kernaghan, Martin English, and Tom Cenens subject themselves to my first official Hangout taping (note that Tom’s correct Twitter handle is @tomcenens).

During the 40 minute video, we dug into some potent SAP virtualization topics, including:

- Does SAP virtualization matter?
- Why is SAP virtualization always an afterthought when SAP presents on its cloud strategies?
- Should the LVM tool be free? Is the pricing fair for smaller companies?
- How Tom got in some controversy with his LVM pricing blog and how SAP responded
- What are the key skills SAP Basis people need to be relevant in a virtualized SAP environment?
- Has SCN become more balanced towards Basis topics since the #sapadmin movement?
- What conferences are the guys going to? (SAP virtualization week, etc.)
- Why is SAP’s "Project Titanium" eagerly anticipated and why the slow rollout?
- Also relevant: fellow SAP Mentor Tammy Powlas‘ blog post on ASUG LVM webinar

(Note that you can also download an optimized audio file of our SAP virtualization discussion if you prefer to listen to the audio version instead. The audio version will also be added ot the JonERP iTunes podcast feed)

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Working with the SAP Business ByDesign SDK - SAP Video Podcast

One of the areas of most confusion (and interest) involving Business ByDesign is the SDK. Up until this point, the ByDesign SDK has been restricted to a limited number of partners. So when I had a chance to talk to one of those partners, I made the Skype video taping happen. Based out of Bangalore, Vijayan Venkataraman of ERP Logic is an expert in the ByDesign SDK who has more experience in the product than most people in the world. (He got his first exposure while helping to develop the SDK with SAP Labs). During our twenty minute talk, I ask Vijayan about the use cases for the ByD SDK, how difficult it is to train, the skills needed, and what features he’s looking to see in future releases. Note: soon we should have an edited and produced version of this video on JD-OD.com. The audio is also posted on my JonERP.com iTunes feed, or you can download the audio ByD SDK discussion.

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Reprint and Update: Lessons from the SAP BI 4.0 Event in New York City

Many bloggers are in the habit of automatically cross-posting their content verbatim on multiple platforms. I’m not a fan of cross-posting and try to avoid doing this. If/when I post my podcasts in additional blogs, I try to add some updates that bring fresh context or a new look into what went into the project. But in this case, I wrote a BI 4.0 event review for the Enterprise Irregulars (a group I am now a part of), but I forgot to add my Enterprise Irregulars post to my Feedburner "JonERP Master Blog and Podcast Feed.", which pulls most of my far-flung SAP blogs and podcasts together. As a result, many of my readers didn’t see the post, which I spent the better part of a weekend wrestling with. (If you’re not tracking that Feedburner feed, it features most of my content and can be tracked via either RSS or email). As for the BI post I wrote for the Irregulars, I’m going to share it here, but I’ll begin with some additional BI content that hasn’t been shared yet.

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Video Blog: SAP TechEd - Talking SAP Skills and Certification with SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann

At SAP TechEd Las Vegas, I was amongst a small group of bloggers that had a compelling conversation with SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann on the changing technology at SAP and the barriers to collaboration and "upskilling at scale" that must be overcome for SAP to realize its grander visions. A good portion of the conversation was sparked by bloggers Dennis Howlett and Sameer Pattel, with a focus on how SAP can integrate (or extend) more collaborative processes and unstructured information into its ERP core. The best part of the discussion was that it was a genuine discussion, with both sides taking notes. That’s SAP at its best. Nobody has all the answers.

To me, this conversation about technical evolution always circles back to skills development - without the right skills, how can you support a (gulp) "intelligent enterprise?". I asked Bussmann that question, and Howlett filmed Bussmann’s response and the follow up questions. The conversation pointed towards skills trends all SAP professionals should be paying attention to. Not to mention implications for certification that the Certification Five will certainly be tracking.

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Video Blog: What’s Going on with SAP Skills and SAP Certification at TechEd and Beyond?

SAP TechEd season is upon us, and I’ll be heading to Las Vegas for the week. I’ll be attending Innovation Weekend, and if you want to meet up at TechEd, you can find my TechEd “Who’s Coming” JonERP profile and ping me there. For readers of this blog, there are opportunities to learn more about SAP skills and certification at TechEd as usual. Four of the “Certification Five” will be in Las Vegas and two of the five in Berlin. Here’s a few details on some of the live sessions, as well as a couple of videos for those who can’t attend.

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Video Blog: Why is SAP TechEd Relevant to Business Users?

Before I did into this blog topic, I want to make sure that those who subscribe to this blog are aware of my other sources of content. I have a backlog of posts I intend to feature here, but if you want to track all my content, including my new podcasts and blogs on PAC and SCN, not just the posts here, make sure you’re tracking my feedburner "Master SAP Blog and Podcast Feed." All podcasts are on iTunes at the JonERP iTunes store.

With that out of the way, on to the topic at hand: Why SAP TechEd is relevant to business users. This is the time of year where I hear from business users that they aren’t interested in TechEd or aren’t trying to get approval. This attitude baffles me. SAP TechEd is not only highly relevant to business users, in my view it’s SAP’s best event of the year. Instead of using empty superlatives, I shot a video rant that goes into the specifics of my argument on TechEd’s business relevance. I am hopeful that this content will also help individuals build their business case for SAP TechEd attendance. I even donned a tie for the video so you know I went the extra mile on this one. And no, SAP didn’t ask me to shoot this video. In fact sometimes SAP itself plays down the business relevance of TechEd.

 

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Video Blog: The Ultimate SAP Pricing Guide - Interview on SAP Pricing Skills

This month, JonERP.com released a new book, The Ultimate SAP Pricing Guide. The author of this book, SAP pricing consultant Matthias Liebich, is a twenty year SAP pricing consultant. Over the years, Matthias has become a good friend and valued colleague. But up until two weeks ago, he and I had never met. With the first copies of his book proudly in hand, I paid a visit to Matthias at his home office in Atlanta, Georgia. During the visit, we shot three short videos on SAP pricing skills I am going to share with you in this blog post, along with a few notes from the interviews.

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What is the SAP Career Path for Basis Administrators - NetWeaver Engineers? New Videos

It’s been an exciting time for SAP career content at JonERP.com. This week, I announced my SAP Career Outlook 2010 series I wrote for the Career Center at SAP Community Network. These two white papers are probably the most important thing I have written about SAP careers this in a decade, so I encourage you to check them out (they are up on SCN also).

One of the problems with writing SAP career content is that "one size does not fit all." Each SAP career path needs to be fleshed out. Sometimes the best way to do that is through a collaboration with another expert. Enter SAP Mentor Tony de Thomasis of the Australia Post. Tony saw my two part video series on "SAP Career Planning" I had posted on SCN - videos that capture some of the themes of the white paper series. Tony then took those videos a step further with a fabulous Prezi on the career path for Basis-NetWeaver pros. I then raised the stakes of collaboration again, by taping four commentary tracks through Tony’s Prezi slides. You can see these in this blog post.

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What are the Skills Migration Paths for SAP Professionals?

Recently I was corresponding with the illustrious Michael Doane as he put his finishing touches on his upcoming SAP Green Book, which looks to be another Michael Doane classic. In an email, Michael asked me about what SAP users should be doing to cultivate in-house teams. I’ve been writing about talent management a lot lately, including a recent blog post for PAC on how to attract and retain SAP talent. In the email to Michael, I also touched on the skills migration paths for SAP professionals. Some of it will probably wind up in the Green Book, but in the meantime, I wanted to take those comments and share them with JonERP readers in an enhanced form.

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What is the Biggest Mistake SAP Job Seekers Make? (#2)

To say the SAP job market is competitive right now would be an understatement, so it’s time to revisit the subject I posted on late last year: mistakes SAP job seekers make and how to avoid them. The first mistake? “Chasing dollars, not skills.” The latest mistake? Trying to make more than one SAP job change at a time. To understand how this works, I’ll draw on emails I receive from frustrated SAP job seekers who are trying to improve their strategy.

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Why Don’t SAP Skills Matter at ASUG/Sapphire?

If you were to go by the keynotes and scheduled events, you would think there are no longer any issues with SAP skills development. Read beyond the headlines. Just like some of the most important news stories show up in the back pages, the same is true at SAP shows. Of all the things I was struck by at ASUG/Sapphire 2009, the one that made the biggest impression on me was the silence around SAP skills trends.

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Should You Green Your SAP Skills?

One of the bigger surprises at Sapphire 2009 was the emphasis on sustainability. I expected some discussion on this topic – I did not expect it to be a centerpiece of Leo’s keynote or a major emphasis of SAP’s new “Clear Enterprise” campaign. This led me to Tweet at the conference: “Should SAP consultants ‘green’ their SAP skills?” I had a couple interesting responses; in this blog entry I’ll riff a bit on what this might mean.

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What Are You Expecting From Sapphire 2009?

Yesterday, someone asked me what we could expect out of Sapphire this year, in terms of SAP’s major announcements. Guessing at these scoops is good fun because SAP makes a point of keeping keynote announcements under wraps, and no, not even SAP Mentors get a look at the envelopes that Leo Apotheker and other keynoters will be opening. But that question got me thinking. I realized that at Sapphire, there are always three lines of questioning: 1. The agenda SAP is trying to set; 2. The agenda customers are truly interested in, and 3. The questions I am most interested in. So let’s take a look at how these might overlap, or not.

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What Value Does the CIO of Roche Place on SAP Certification? (Podcast Excerpt)

I have been part of many debates on the value of SAP certification over the years. I expect these debates to intensify this year, as SAP places increasing value on certifications while at the same time dealing with some unresolved and important questions on whether (and how) certification can truly address the skills needed for project excellence.

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What is the Difference between IDS (Aris) and NetWeaver BPM (Galaxy)?

I write about the SAP Business Process Expert (BPX) skill set because to stay marketable, we have to look beyond the present. SAP professionals don’t want to miss out on skills that might someday make the difference between landing a job or not. One of the most important aspects of the BPX skills profile is gaining experience in “next generation” process modeling tools. No, we don’t see this kind of tool experience as a required skill on many SAP job orders today. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t understand how these tools might fit into what we need to know.

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Should you be an SAP Generalist or an SAP Specialist?

This is one of the most important questions for SAP professionals to ponder. We can take it further: the decision over generalization-versus-specialization affects virtually all professions. Often, we hear blanket statements such as: “generalize during tough economies; specialize during growth periods.” I find such broad recommendations limiting. In this blog entry, I’m going to answer this question in terms of hands-on SAP professionals, and limit that focus further by focusing on independent SAP consultants – though I’m sure much of this would apply to the full-time employee working in SAP as well.

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What is the Latest on the BI/BO Product Roadmap?

On Tuesday, December 7, I had the opportunity to sit in on a webcast on the BI/BO product that was open to SAP Mentors. We had the chance to ask questions on the roadmap from Ingo Hilgefort, who is himself an SAP Mentor and a key player instrumental in the integration of BI with Business Objects even prior to the acquisition. Ingo also conducted the Business Object track at the Community Day events in Las Vegas and Berlin. For me, this was a chance to see how SAP had sharpened its view of the BI/BO future since the BO Summit I attended in Boston in August. I wrote a longer piece on BI/BO skills transitions after that event.

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What is the Biggest Mistake that SAP Job Seekers Make?

I have written about the fundamentals of a good SAP career strategy, but I continue to get career questions that raise these same points. So I decided to launch a series in my SAP Career Blog that talks about the main job search mistakes that SAP professionals make. Most of these mistakes apply equally to experienced SAP pros as well as those who are new to the field, though there are some distinctions between these  two groups we’ll get into as well.

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How Should SAP Consultants Respond to the Down Market?

It’s shocking how quickly our economic confidence can change. Along with that, professional uncertainties are exposed. So how should SAP consultants respond to the current market conditions? I have put together the following pointers based on my research to date. Just keep in mind the obvious disclaimer that no one knows exactly what lies ahead.

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What Were the Key Trends of TechEd 2008?

So, I’m back from TechEd 2008 and pulling together many different themes that I believe are of importance to JonERP.com readers. I’m going to use this blog entry to update with key links and useful information from the conference.

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