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Jon Reed's SAP Articles and Industry Interviews
SAP Hiring Trends and Tactics - Meet Your Panel Print E-mail
Welcome to the ASUG "SAP Hiring Trends and Tactics" Webinar....

Here's the lineup:

SAP Hiring Trends and Tactics - Webinar Questions Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGSAP Hiring Trends and Tactics - Webinar Questions

The emphasis of this webinar is on interaction, so start asking your questions in the chat as soon as the webinar starts. 

The Twitter hashtage is: #ASUG

Until we get your questions, we'll dig into topics like these:


SAP Mentors' Impact - Slideshare With Audio Print E-mail
Jon has been an active participant in SAP Mentor projects since 2008, including his projects with the Certification Five to push/encourage SAP to enhance their SAP certification program. In this 15 minute slideshare presentation, moderated by Mark Finnern, Chief "SAP Mentor Herder," Mark shares some of the key SAP Mentor projects of 2011 and explains why SAP Mentors are on the cutting edge of corporate advocacy through their "tribal" championing of community projects. Click "read more" to view the slideshare.
SAP Business ByDesign - Country Availability Tracker Print E-mail

Those of us who follow SAP Business ByDesign need a way of tracking the countries by version number. It may exist somewhere but I haven't been able to find it. Twitter pals like Fred Verheul have been asking me about which countries ByD is available in, so here goes.

As of December 31, 2010 (Version 2.5, which was made available in July 2010): 

United Kingdom
United States

(see live SAP link to current ByD country availability)

As of version ByD 2.6, slated for January 2011, these countries have been added:

SAP Core versus Edge PaaS slide Print E-mail

This is SAP's Platform as a Service (PaaS) slide that was unveiled on December 8, 2010 at the SAP Influencer Summit in Santa Clara. Soon I'll include this slide in blog posts so you can see more explanation and context. Be sure to check out my ERP Executive Jargon Buster piece, "Answering the Questions about SAP's OnDemand Applications," which goes into more detail on SAP's OnDemand strategy and how the new PaaS announcement ties into SAP's view of "core" and "edge" OnDemand apps:

Podcast: SAP Business ByDesign Skills and SaaS Consulting Changes - with Ray Tetlow Print E-mail

podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Special Edition - Talking SAP Business ByDesign Skills and the Differences in SaaS Consulting Economics with Ray Tetlow from Skyytek" (ERP Lounge #9)
Podcast Interview Date: June 18, 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

I reported on the PAC Feeding the Ecosystem blog that the SAP Business ByDesign (ByD) conversation has shifted from technology debates to product rollout. A key part of that shift is taking a closer look at the skills needed to support ByDesign implementations and the different economics of SaaS consulting. One emerging voice in that conversation is Ray Tetlow of Skyytek. Ray spoke as an early ByD partner at SAPPHIRENOW Orlando.

At SAPPHIRENOW, I found that Ray's ideas about the skills requirements for ByD professionals were much better fleshed out than most. Likely this was because of his firm's experience as a SaaS reseller and implementor with more than 1,000 SaaS installs under their belts. All told this made Ray an ideal guest for this special edition of the ERP Lounge.

Podcast: Implementing SAP Business ByDesign - Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt's Story Print E-mail

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. 

Driven to Perform - Can SAP Bridge the Gap Between Strategy and Execution? Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNG"Driven to Perform" in an ERP World:
Can SAP's GRC and EPM Suites Address the Gap Between Strategy and Execution?
Jon Reed
Unabridged Edition, Never Before Released

If you ask veteran IT directors what their biggest beef with ERP is, one of the most common complaints you're going to hear is: "We don't get enough business value." ERP's success in automating transactions is tempered by its struggle to deliver value from that transactional data - especially when executives start asking for actionable, real time information that can support decision-making. Former SAP Vice President Nenshad Bardoliwalla has an answer to this "ERP value problem": align execution with your strategy.

In his recently-released book, Driven to Perform: Risk-Aware Performance Management From Strategy Through Execution, co-authors Bardoliwalla, Stephanie Buscemi and Denise Vu Broady outline a methodology for how to tie strategic, "risk-aware" management approaches into day to day business operations.

Making the BPX Business Case for SAP TechEd 2009 Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGMaking the BPX Business Case for SAP TechEd 2009: Assessing the Relevance of TechEd for Business Users
by Jon Reed
Unabridged Edition, Never Before Released

In my last article for ERPtips on "Making Sense of SAP Value Scenarios," (ERPtips July/August 2009) I made the case that "business process expert" skills are essential to realizing the benefits of the more sophisticated aspects of SAP Business Suite functionality. Assuming that's true, then how do you go about obtaining those BPX skills? I've already touched on that in a previous ERPtips article ("What Does It Take to Become an SAP Business Process Expert, " ERPtips, Feb/March 2009), but I didn't cover all the bases. One thing I didn't get to was the issue of SAP TechEd, and its relevance to BPXers. And what if you do want to go to TechEd? How do you get a manager to sign off on your attendance? 

(note: this article relates to a podcast I did with Marco ten Vaanholt of SAP on Building a BPX Business case for SAP TechEd, so you may want to listen to that too.)

Sapphire 2009 Analysis Print E-mail

Sapphire 2009 Analysis - Links to all my Sapphire (and post Sapphire '09) Blogs and Podcasts

Every year at Sapphire, I'm always amazed at the profilic bloggers around me. Take ASUG stalwarts (and SAP Mentors) Jim Spath and Gretchen Lindquist - they blog out good content faster than I can figure out which session I am due at next. Some of the analysts are lightning fast too, Vinnie Mirchandani being one example of someone who fires off posts at a caffeinated rate, and what's more, I thought his stuff was some of the most thought provoking to come out of the entire conference. His ability to post things so quickly but never miss the meat of the context is a skill that few have. This year the Enterprise Geeks got in on the act too, with some fun audio and video including a classic on-site interview of James Governor of RedMonk (@monkchips on Twitter).

As for me, well, all I can say is I'm glad for my Twitter feed - at least I was able to Tweet out some hopefully worthwhile stuff while the conference was going down. Meantime, I left Orlando having met with everyone I could, and still with a list of regrets I am still trying to live down. Then once I do start creating content, I post it all over the place. But I compiled it all here for JonERP visitors to check out at your leisure.


"Should You ‘Green' Your SAP Skills?"
A blog post to my SAP Career Blog inspired by the theme of sustainability at this year's show.

"The High Stakes of NetWeaver BPM"
A piece I wrote for PAC's "Feeding the SAP Ecosystem" blog on one of the under-reported stories of Sapphire 2009.

"Making Sense of Value Scenarios: Lessons from Sapphire 2009"
In this in-depth article, I presented what SAP is up to with Value Scenarios, hopefully showing why those inside SAP see this as a fundamental shift in how they will design and deliver enterprise applications. I also tried to hold Value Scenarios to the "relevance test," showing how this concept fits in with other phrases du jour like "Best-Run Now" and "NetWeaver BPM."


"Podcast: Jon Reed Interviews SAP Mentor Gretchen Lindquist on ASUG 2009 and SAP Security Trends," to learn more about why the ASUG part of the conference matters - not only to SAP users, but to industry analysts - I invited Gretchen Lindquist, SAP Mentor and stalwart ASUG volunteer.

"Sapphire 2009 in Review: Michael Krigsman, ZDNet Blogger, on SAP BBD, ERP Project Failure, and Sapphire Keynote Reactions."
In the first installment in my Sapphire in Review podcast series that I tape after the conference, Michael Krigsman of Asuret and popular ZDnet Blogger and Tweeter shares his honest views on SAP's direction and how to avoid the business/IT project gap.

"Sapphire 2009 Live Podcast: Jon Reed Interviews SAP Mentor Dick Hirsch"
In this podcast, I talk to fellow SAP Mentor and "BPX Geek" Dick Hirsch about how you acquire BPX skills, Twitter's role in live event coverage, and even get a brief Don Henley concert review.

"Sapphire 2009 Live Podcast: Jon Reed Interviews Ajay Vonkary on BPM and SAP Solution Manager Skills"
Ajay Vonkarey of Alpha Sirius shares his take on Sapphire '09 and gives a useful view of how Solution Manager and BPM are converging.

Making Sense of Value Scenarios: Lessons from Sapphire 2009 Print E-mail
jonerp_full_logo.PNGMaking Sense of Value Scenarios:
Lessons from Sapphire 2009

by Jon Reed
Unabridged Edition, Never Before Released

Sapphire 2009 put SAP in a tricky spot. On the heels of the general release of Business Suite 7 (BS7), arguably the most visionary software release SAP has ever issued, customers wanted answers. They came to ASUG/Sapphire 2009 in search of immediate benefits they could bring back to their projects. The general availability of BS7 didn't qualify as such for most who attended.

That's why we heard a lot more about "Best-Run Now" during the Sapphire keynotes than we heard about "Value Scenarios," which are, by comparison, a more forward-thinking concept, involving a sophisticated use of the SAP Business Suite. Value Scenarios were widely discussed on the blogosphere after the Business Suite 7.0 announcement in New York City in February of 2009 (an event I attended). The most common reaction to these so-called "Value Scenarios" was confusion or buzzword withdrawal.

Webcast Replay: ERP Jobs & Networking 2.0 with Jon Reed of JonERP Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNG"How to Leverage Web 2.0 and Social Networks for Success in ERP Consulting" - Featuring Jon Reed of
Webcast Replay (Recorded April 29, 2009)

I'm pleased to share this webcast replay that I appeared on in conjunction with our hosts and MBO Partners

You can now view the full video replay of the webinar. (starts 30 seconds in)

You can also download audio and/or the presentation slides:

ERP Jobs and Networking Audio File (right click to download, mp3 file, 14 megs)
ERP Jobs and Networking PowerPoint (right click to download, PPT file, 2 megs)

This webcast was inspired by the understanding that the ERP consulting market has never been more competitive. Today's economy has raised the stakes, creating fewer ERP job openings. At the same time, the skills needed to implement ERP are evolving. The edge in today's market will go to the consultants that have the right skills acquisition strategy AND the right network. But how you build that network is also changing. Social media creates new opportunities for networking but brings with it new challenges in terms of where to invest your time and how to make sense of the many different web sites that you can utilize, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to newcomers like FriendFeed. (Jon has also done blog entries, complete with screencast videos, on how to get the most out of Twitter or getting a return on your time on LinkedIn if you're an SAP professional.

In this interactive webcast, we took a look at both the skills and networking aspects of ERP consulting success, with an emphasis on the networking side. The webcast audience is intended for all ERP consultants, but I included some SAP specific examples as well. If you have any questions we didn't address in the webcast please let me know.

Content update: at the end of the webcast, we got an excellent question about YouTube and one other question not covered in the webcast.

Webinar Replay - SAP BO Market Opportunites with Jon Reed and PAC Print E-mail

paclogo.jpgWebinar Replay: "Assessing the SAP BusinessObjects Services Market," Hosted by PAC
Presenters: Peter Russo, PAC's SAP Services Research Program Lead, and Jon Reed, President, and PAC Fellow

Webinar Recording Date: April 23rd, 2009

View (or Download) Webinar Slides in PDF Format

Listen to (or Download) the mp3 Audio File of the Webinar

For the visitors who were unable to attend the PAC webinar on SAP Business Objects market opportunities, or who want to download the slide deck, the slides and the audio for the webinar are now available. As a PAC Fellow, I worked with PAC to compile the data and analysis we presented in this webinar. Our goal for this research was to take a fair-minded look at the real market opportunities for SAP Business Objects in 2009 and what skills and products will have the greatest emphasis. The concerns SAP customers have raised about SAP Business Objects that impact spending decisions were also addressed. 

Business Suite 7 - What SAP Customers Need to Know Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGBusiness Suite 7 - What SAP Customers Need to Know: Lessons Learned from the Business Suite Event Announcement in New York City
by Jon Reed
Unabridged Edition, Never Before Released

On February 4, 2009, I was amongst the members of the media invited to New York City to cover SAP's official announcement of the release of Business Suite 7 (BS7). Dubbed the largest application release in SAP's history, the BS7 announcement received its fair share of criticism in subsequent coverage. The controversies surrounding that day were interesting, but to SAP customers, that was nowhere near as important as this simple question: "How can BS7 help us?" In this article, I'll do my best to answer that.

"Is SOA Dead" - Webcast with ASUG Print E-mail
asug2009.jpgOn March 19, 2009, Jon Reed moderated a webcast roundtable on the state of SOA and where SOA is in the hype cycle.

This webcast, hosted by ASUG, Americas' SAP Users' Group, was coordinated by Kent Sanders of CSC, who is the volunteer chair of the ASUG SOA SIG. (You can check out the upcoming ASUG Orlando 2009 community sessions, including the SOA SIG session, here.)

Click here to view or download the WebEx version of the webcast.
(.wrf file, 11.3 megs, right click to download)
(If it doesn't play after opening, you may need to download the WebEx presentation player to view the webcast)

SOA may be considered "dead" in the eyes of buzzword watchers, but the views of this distinguished panel of customers, consulting partners, and SAP SOA leaders on this webcast brought out a more complex and useful view. Listen to the webcast, and find out why SOA is becoming more transparent in the service of true business needs. For more details on the webcast and those who helped to make it happen, read on.

The Enterprise Geeks Interview Jon Reed on SAP Job Skills and SAP Certification Print E-mail

enterprisegeeks_banner_blue.pngPodcast Interview Date:
February 27, 2009
"Transparency can be a Bitch"
Podcast Focus: SAP Job Skills, SAP Certification and the Role of the SAP Mentor
Download the Podcast

Did you know that Jon was once a Lotus Notes recruiter before he got his break in SAP? Do you want to hear more about the SAP Certification webcast the SAP Mentors recently attended and what they liked (and didn't like)? Why does Jon Reed think that "transparency can be a bitch?" And, most importantly, what one book would he add to his Kindle?

On Friday, February 27, 2009, Jon joined the Enterprise Geeks for an uncensored look at the state of SAP skills today and the latest on the great SAP certification debate. Jon thinks that hosts Ed Herrmann, Thomas Jung, and their fellow collaborators have created one of the most compelling podcast series ever launched in the SAP community. Check out the episode Jon appeared in and judge for yourself.

Reducing SAP Consulting Costs: BW Implementation on a Budget Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGReducing SAP Consulting Costs:
BW Implementation on a Budge
Unabridged Edition, Never Before Released

by Jon Reed

Jon Reed notes, January 21, 2008: Last summer, we published a piece on in our "SAP for CIOs" section featuring Renfeng Ma and his team at Sedgwick County, Kansas. Entitled "Who Said SAP Was Expensive?" , the article shared the story of how Ma's team implemented a BW-based dashboards project that came in dramatically under budget. The article drew on an in-depth interview with Ma that I never published - until now.

What Does it Take to Become an SAP Business Process Expert? Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNG What Does it Take to Become an SAP Business Process Expert?
by Jon Reed
Unabridged Edition, Never Before Released

When it comes to building skills on SAP project teams, there are two main approaches. In the top down approach, the management team invests in skills development for team members. In the bottom up approach, individuals take the initiative and invest in their own skills.

One of the exciting things about the SAP "Business Process Expert" skill set is that you don't have to wait for company-wide programs to improve your skills. Another appealing aspect of Business Process Expert skills (which I will refer to as "BPX" frequently during this article) is that whether you are a hands-on SAP person or a higher level manager, there is something in this skill set that you can incorporate. 

The Role of the SAP Business Process Expert Print E-mail
jonerp_full_logo.PNGThe Role of the SAP Business Process Expert:
How the "Process First" Book Emerged from the SAP Business Process Expert (BPX) Community
by Jon Reed
Unabridged Version, Never Before Released

When it comes to the question of "what's next" for SAP, there's no question that "BPM" is a big part of the answer. At the fall 2008 TechEd conferences in Las Vegas, Berlin, and Bangalore, BPM (Business Process Management) was one of the most prominent themes during keynotes and workshop sessions. SAP is focused on BPM (Business Process Management) because without a well-thought approach to business process execution, all the fancy SOA tools in the world can't make a difference. SAP customers want bottom line results, and SAP is counting on SOA, running on the latest versions of NetWeaver and informed by smart process management, to give SAP customers the combination of stability and adaptability they have always wanted from their SAP systems.  

SAP TechEd 2008 Bangalore in Review - Three SAP Mentors Share Their Experiences Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGI was unable to attend TechEd Bangalore, but having covered both TechEd Las Vegas and Berlin in my SAP TechEd podcast series, I was determined to provide some coverage of Bangalore as well. What better way than to ask three fellow SAP Mentors who were there to share their first hand views?

Jon Reed Interviews Dennis Howlett on TechEd Berlin 2008 and SAP's Market Direction Print E-mail
podcastlogo_jonerp.gif"Dennis Looks Back at TechEd Berlin and Gives His Take on the SAP Market and Being an SAP Mentor"
Podcast Interview Date: October 28, 2008
Podcast: Listen Now!

In the last installment in Jon's "Tech Ed in Review 2008" podcast series, he speaks with Dennis Howlett, SAP Mentor and "Enterprise Irregular" ZDNet blogger. During this trans-Atlantic podcast session, Dennis shares his experiences at TechEd, his views on SAP's co-innovation strategy, and how he balances participation in the SAP community with his role as an independent analyst. One highlight of the podcast? Dennis' take on an important TechEd Berlin meeting between the SAP Mentors and SAP executives regarding the future of SAP development.

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