Lost Podcasts: SAP Skills Disruption in the Age of Outsourcing - Live from Madrid

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"A live recording about the future of SAP tech skills in the age of outsourcing, taped in the Madrid expert lounge - 2012"
Podcast Taping Date: November 12, 2012
Podcast: Listen Now!

Also available on the JonERP iTunes feed...

Note: this is definitely a PG-13 rated podcast - at one point I say we are all consultants which some folks might find offensive, and later I use a profane word to mock "HANA skils hype."

Each TechEd season, one of my favorite things to do is to hold Expert Lounge sessions on the future of SAP skills and tape the audio on the fly. I try to put myself on the spot and do the talks without any slides or notes. I wade into the audience and take on whatever questions and issues are raised. Sometimes the tapings go really well, sometimes - not so much. Sometimes the culprit is crowd noise. This TechEd season, I did four sessions. The standout recording is this one - from SAP TechEd Madrid.

This is a 25 minute recording of my "SAP tech skills in the age of outsourcing" talk from Madrid 2012. This is a talk I have been giving for four years now and it always seems to go in an interesting direction. Last year two people from the session came up to me afterwards and told me they had just been laid off due to oustourcing, so these issues are real and aren't going anywere.

This time around there were new topics - we didn't get into HANA much (aside from my mockery of HANA consulting hype) but there were questions on mobile development, the problem/opportunity of becoming a manager and leaving your hands-on skills behind. I had a chance to share some thoughts on mobile skills based on my videos with mobile startups that I have not blogged about elsewhere. SAP Mentor Fred Verheul was in the audience, and he also referred to the dev/ops trends that fellow SAP Mentor Chris Kernagahan has been (productively) obsessing about. Though this recording has all the spontaneous weirdness of a live session, I think it presents a good summary of what SAP techies should do from here. A good amount of it applies to SAP functionals too.

One change this year is that the lounge sessions were piped through speakers for the first time. This improved the volume but took me by surprise - ack. As a result, a memorable session in Las Vegas did not get recorded properly. I'm bitterly disappointed about that, because in the session was Kevin Grove, a Twitter pal I had never met in real life. That session addressed how social media can change your outlook as an SAP professional. I tend to be pretty skeptical about most of the social hype we get fed, but on the other hand when you meet someone like Kevin and they seem like an old friend even though your only interactions have been bursts of 140 characters, that's powerful stuff.

I owe an extra apology to Ethan Jewett, a fellow SAP Mentor at the aforementioned Vegas session who kindly held up the microphone towards the speaker during that taping. But the taping was a fail. I don't blame Ethan, he held his arm as steady as any Mentor could have. My JD-OD video schedule has gotten intense at these shows and so there is almost no time to setup a proper taping.

But in Madrid I was prepared. I wrapped a flexible Gorilla tripod around the speaker stand and the Zoom recorder was right in front of the speaker. As you can hear from the recording, there was some audience noise, but it's still a very good recording. Thanks to the participants who shared their stories during the taping, in particular Fred Verheul for helping me kick off the discussion. It was great to finally sort through these recordings and get this one out, I hope you find it useful.

Oh, and if you're interested in some of the prior year sessions on tech skills and/or the "social media and SAP professionals - BS or value?" talks, check out the jonerp podcast library.