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SAP SCN Podcast Transcripts

Starting in December of 2007, Jon began a multi-year series of podcasts with the SAP SCN Community team. Many of these have their own transcripts, which you can view here. If you want to check out all the SAP SCN podcasts and download them, go to the JonERP.com SAP SCN Podcast Page.
Turning Knowledge Into Consulting Success: An SAP BOC Podcast - Podcast Transcription Print E-mail
Article Index
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Podcast Transcription:
Turning Knowledge Into Consulting Success: An SAP Business Objects Community Podcast with Freddy Guerrero of Penitus Global Solutions
Hosted by Jon Reed of JonERP.com
Podcast Interview Date: December 11, 2009

Jon Reed: Hi, welcome to this SAP Business Objects Community podcast. I'm your host, Jon Reed of JonERP.com. Joining me today is Freddy Guerrero, who is the principal partner with Penitus Global Solutions. We're here today to talk about how Penitus has taken advantage of the Business Objects Community to further their business and make a unique contribution in the Business Objects area.

Freddy, why don't you start by telling us about your role at PGS and how you serve the ERP market.

Freddy Guerrero: PGS is an SAP Partner in the United States and Latin America. We basically focus in two areas: PPM (which is PLM) and Business Objects. Those are the two markets we target, and we have been working with the Business Objects Community for a little over a year. We find it to be very helpful, especially for our clients in the US as well as Latin America.

Reed: One of the biggest questions we all have about participating in online communities is whether they can really impact our bottom line. You tell us you've gotten real benefits from the Business Objects Community, so how does that work?

Guerrero: We basically have all our consultants reach out to the Business Objects Community to help them and prove their skillset, which we find to be very helpful, both internally as well as externally to our clients. For example, in the beginning when we didn't use the Business Objects Community, sometimes we would spend about two weeks trying to find a solution, just banging our heads.

By going into the Business Objects Community, you have a broad range of users that have probably gone through the same difficulty or technical challenge. By being a member of the BOC, you can get those types of answers and solutions, so instead of taking two weeks, it would probably take you just a few hours to find a solution by looking it up in the Business Objects Community.

Reed: One specific example you've talked about involves Excelsius. Can you tell our listeners how you used the community to better serve a customer with an Excelsius issue they were having?

Guerrero: We were trying to figure out how to solve a typical answer to one of the problems we were having in Excelsius. It was for a client in the US, and we reached out to the Business Objects Community to find the answers. It took us just a couple of hours to find the answer to that and the other five technical issues we ran into when implementing an Excelsius solution for this client.

Reed: One thing that really interested me, which you mentioned prior to our taping, was that you had even told your clients that you use the community to reduce billable hours. I thought that was a pretty remarkable transparency that I don't hear about very often. Most times when people use these communities, they don't really tell their clients what they're up to. Tell us how you explain that directly to clients, how you save them money with this community.

Guerrero: Sometimes a client may see somebody doing a search or browsing on the internet, and it may be looked at as something negative, but I try to make it something positive. I tell clients that our members are looking for answers based on what we're trying to implement at the client's site, and our consultants are looking for those same answers. It's something that could take two weeks trying to resolve on your own, which adds up to billable hours.

But I can have our consultants there looking for answers, and they may be able to solve it relatively quickly. In just a matter of a couple of hours, we'll have the answer, we apply the solution and give them results relatively quickly. By doing that, it will reduce the number of billable hours to implement a certain type of solution that we're trying to implement for our client.

Reed: What I loved about what you did there is that so many times clients have these concerns about how consultants might be using billable hours for things that don't apply to the project. Instead of allowing any doubt to creep in, you are up front with them and explain to them exactly how these communities can help them.

Guerrero: Exactly.

Reed: Tell us about some of the challenges in getting started in a community like this. Sometimes getting your feet wet when you're new to an online community like Business Objects from SAP is kind of hard. What do you think would be a good way for someone to get involved who is interested in what you have to say, but not really sure how to get going?

Guerrero: What I'd like to recommend is using the Business Objects Community as your starting point, especially for newcomers or those who are new to the tool. Like I've said many times, why waste days or weeks trying to solve a problem? You can just go to the Business Objects Community where you have many members that have already gone through those technical issues.

By doing that, you are bound to be more productive, and it will allow you to reach out to other products within Business Objects to improve your skillsets. As you improve your skillsets, you become more marketable. You'll be able to contribute more to a project and give a better service to your clients. That's the bottom line.

Reed: When you're just getting started, you may not feel ready to post your own blog entry. Are there other ways like getting into forum threads or wikis or maybe commenting on other blog threads? What kinds of ways can you get going?

Guerrero: The easiest one is just to reach out to the forums, looking for solutions. As you become more comfortable using the community, you will feel more comfortable posting your own blogs or using different tools within the Business Objects Community. I think it's just a matter of time before you feel comfortable, and people, after a while, will start to recognize you as a provider instead of someone just going out looking for answers. It takes a little time, but in the end, users feel comfortable becoming contributors.

Reed: One of the things that is really interesting about the Business Objects Community is that cultural mix of those who have more of a Business Objects background than an SAP Business Warehouse background. I think when we were talking about it, you described it as "two worlds colliding." How do these backgrounds mix and what are they learning from each other on the site?



 

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