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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 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: 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.

First: on the Certification Five front, we’ll be updating on our dialogue with SAP on improving SAP certification, as well as sharing more results from our SAP certification survey. In Berlin and in Vegas, there will be a C5 session in the Expert Networking Lounge. We’re hoping to broadcast those virtually as well, or at least tape them for replay. Martin Gillet has already posted a blog with our Certification Five TechEd schedule so check that out for details.

I’m going to do my usual Expert Networking Lounge sessions, though this year they limited the sessions from three to two, so I had to make a tough call and eliminate my BPX skills chat. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to revive that one given that TechEd is the perfect place to grapple with the technical/functional SAP overlaps. That’s the gap where so many project struggles live, and in view, filling that gap is not only part of what TechEd should be about, but where many of us should be headed in terms of our SAP skills development. But this year, that session got the axe. The SAP TechEd web site doesn’t seem lo list the session descriptions, so you can see these here.

Tuesday, October 18th, 1:30 pm:

EXP266: SAP Social Networking Chat: Career Success Through Community Building

“This session was inspired by two things: first, the impact I have seen on the careers of those SAP professionals who have adopted social networking tools in their professional/personal lives, and the sense that SAP career success is changing to include more of an emphasis on "how have I served the community" versus a "broadcasting" mindset towards floating resumes. The challenges of finding the right SAP career path are not as simple as getting a Twitter account. The conversation goes much deeper, to more soulful (and strategic) questions about passion for your work, ultimate professional goals, being a part of a meaningful (and sustainable) work culture, and how to move towards those goals in a way that impacts the community rather than the traditional ‘tunnel vision’ approach to career planning. At any rate, we can talk about it, call "B.S." on the hype around this stuff, and share lessons learned.”

One excellent thing about this session: my fellow SAP Mentor Vijay Vijayasankar will be co-hosting it with me. Vijay has compelling views on SAP skills development and is always good for thoughtful insights and an incisive comment that helps to make the discussion stick.

Thursday, October 20th, 1:30 pm:

EXP 267: SAP Tech Skills Chat: Career Strategies in the Outsourcing Age

“Perhaps no one in the SAP community is more passionate about their work than the true "SAP techie." Yet the SAP technical career path is frought with concerns about the global sourcing of technical skills. Once our skills become commodities, we are vulnerable to outsourcing, which reduces the rate on the skills pay, decreases available openings, and creates cookie cutter work roles. But it’s not time to bail out! There are highly rewarding SAP technical career paths out there. Let’s talk about those individuals who are making their mark on the technical side of SAP and find out what we can learn from them in terms of their career progression, a knack for staying ahead of the curve and having real impact on their projects - impact that makes them integral rather than commodities. A chance to share concerns, rate frustrations, and put our heads together on success tactics.”

Note that if you’re logged into the SAP TechEd Agena Builder, you can add these (or any other) Expert Networking Lounge sessions to your schedule and make sure they don’t conflict with other scheduled workshops you’ve signed up for. I’m hoping that this session will also include the Enterprise Geeks as it did last year. In fact, both of my sessions occur right after the Enterprise Geeks live podcast recording in the same location. Last year, this session had an impact on me because after we completed the taping, a couple listeners walked up to me and told me that they had just had their jobs outsourced. There’s no easy way to advise people who are in that situation. The hope of a talk like this is that we can improve our chances in the long haul by making smart moves.

So that’s SAP TechEd. Of course, I’ll be tweeting live, and you can track the SAP TechEd Twitter stream to see some of my reactions to the keynotes and to meetings that I do with SAP Mentors, bloggers, and SAP product leads. Hopefully there will be some live video.

Speaking of video, if you want to get more of my takes on SAP skills, you may want to track my JonERP YouTube channel as I rarely get the time to post the videos in blog posts here.

Recently I organized my YouTube Channel into playlists so it would be easier to watch the ones that are relevant rather than sifting through.

Breaking into SAP
SAP Consulting Excellence
SAP Event Coverage
JonERP Guest Interviews
SAP Solutions Firms - Keys to Market Success
Social Media for SAP Pros
The Power of Pull - SAP News Tracking

With video, there are always experiments and things that work better than others. I’ve been working on a couple of videos on breaking into SAP and building on that break through “SAP consulting excellence.” These videos were inspired by the writings of new SAP Mentor Otto Gold as well as conversations I have had with Jim Stewart of Jim has shot a number of his own videos on breaking into SAP also.

Most of the videos I post are shot in one take, but I do toss videos that I think are not my best work content-wise. On this particular topic, I tossed a few of them. Then I did a couple alternate takes that worked out pretty well.

Since IT Toolbox was launching their video channel, I contributed one to their channel. This version of the video focused a bit more on SAP consulting excellence. The video quality was only so-so, I think because my HD flipcam overheated. But my “how to” videos are really more for the audio at any rate:


Then I shot a different version of this video for my site, focusing a bit more on breaking into SAP:


Each video covers some misconceptions about the SAP job market. Videos like this capture different moods – the IT toolbox video seems to capture me in a more combative mood, questioning anyone who doesn’t respect the importance of so-called “soft skills.” The second video is more the “friendly advisor” vibe. There is some overlap between them but I think they each have a useful angle. Some of the information in the video references an “SAP job mistakes” blog I did previously on making more than one job change at the same time. I used different examples of soft skills in both videos. I think the definition I offered in the video was a bit more hard hitting, despite the grainy video look, but at any rate, they both provide something to chew on.

I hope this content was helpful and you can expect a lot more coming from TechEd and beyond. I just noticed that Tony De Thomasis posted the latest podcast (#4) in our ongoing “SolBros” Solution Manager podcast series, so if you’re interested in SolMan, check that out also.

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