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What Do You Do?

Hello Everyone,

In my opinion, Empathy is an essential foundation of any online community that wishes to thrive. Empathy is the glue that keeps us together and makes every community interaction a lot more considerate and user friendly to all members involved.

I believe that the best way to encourage and help empathy spread across our community is if we connect and familiarize with one and other.

Therefore, I would like to invite you to join the What Do You Do (#WDYD) community initiative. #WDYD is your opportunity to share with everyone your role in the SAP world/ecosystem while engaging a lively conversation with fellow community members who want to learn more about the most interesting projects you've worked on, best practices, creativity and innovation and whatever you feel like sharing about what you do.

Joining this initiative is very simple:

  1. Submit an answer to the question "What Do You DO" in this thread. The answer should contain a short introduction of yourself and your professional background/experience.
  2. Optional: End your introduction by @ mentioning fellow community members inviting them to join this initiative while asking them one of the following questions: /What was your first step in the SAP world?/What do you enjoy most about your job?/How do you keep your skills up to date (what training/courses/reading do you do)?/Where do you see your career future with SAP?/What do you think are the challenges in your area?/What advice would you give someone beginning their career?/What do you wish you had done differently?/What did you do in your first day at work/Who inspired you the most/Do you have any specific thought leaders in the community who you follow/What was the project you enjoyed the most and why?/Feel free to make-up your own questions/ (Thanks a lot to @Colleen Hebbertf or coming-up with some these questions)
  3. After you've posted your answer paste the link that you will get under the "share" button. Then use the link and this #WDYDSC hashtag to invite your friends on social media to read your answer and interact with you

Once you join other community members will continue the conversation by asking you more questions. In order to be responsive please be sure to follow this thread and activate your Email notifications.

Some additional important guidelines:

* Please contact me if you wish to champion your own topic related What Do You DO question. This way we can make sure there are no duplications and I can support you by giving you visibility in this thread and other locations.

* All questions/threads participating in the #WDYD initiative most only be tagged with the "Careers" topic in order not to disrupt the content flow of other community Q&A activity.

* Please up-vote answers you like as it will make it easier for others to find high quality discussions.

* Everyone can join! Regardless if you are new to the SAP World or an expert

* Please use comments to ask for clarification on this post and post answers to join according to the intructions provided above.

I would like to kick this off by @ mentioning fellow community members:

Julie Plummer

Lars Breddemann

Caetano Almeida

Matt Fraser

Andy Silvey

Colleen Hebbert

Michael Appleby

Jürgen L

Denis Konovalov

Jyoti Prakash

Felipe Fraga

Jeremy Good

Ivy Li

Matthew Billingham

Jelena Perfiljeva

Luis Darui

Bernhard Luecke

Nicole Geischnek

Andreas Holzapfel

Ajay Maheshwari SAP Trainer

Former Member

Former Member

Raj K

Raz Korn

Matthias Wild

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35 Answers

  • Oct 25, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    Hey goatherds, //okay, maybe this was a bit too bold to start with... #goatspotting ftw!

    thanks fly out to Moshe Naveh for this _totally_ voluntary opportunity to tell you guys what I am actually doing. I am an SAP employee working as a Product Manager in the "Cloud & Lifecycle Management (CLM) / Software Logistics (SL)" area. Probably most of you guys might be familiar with the "Software Update Manager (SUM)" or the "Software Provisioning Manager (SWPM)" to update, upgrade, migrate or even install SAP systems - besides a lot of other capabilities to make your SAP basis life better, that is. CLM/SL is were they are at home. As I do have colleagues in this area who are contributing a lot more to the community than I am, let me take this opportunity to appoint Boris Zarske, Boris Rubarth, Stefan Jakobi and Jens Fieger with an easy one: What do you enjoy most about your job? //Ha, now you're all caught up!

    In particular, my area of activity covers the SAP Landscape Management product. Even as some customers and partners might claim that, this has absolutely _nothing_ to do with the "LaMa". Like... never! //Where is the maiden-like emoji here?!

    As a Product Manager, my main goal is to ensure my product is helping customers - now and in the future. Helping them to make their business run better, helping them to focus on what they can do best, helping them to become relieved from (operational) pain. To do so, I work closely with our customers, partners, DEV teams, and partners to be in a state of constant dialogue. Oh, and even Marketing. Yeah, that's right! After all, nobody would eat mustard without knowing what it's good at. Think sausages! Did I mention that I'm bavarian? (Remark: Bavaria is "near" Germany) Ever ate mustard as it is?! Wouldn't have been a huge success on its own, I guess. Um.. what was this about?

    So coming back to the interesting stuff, my role can be narrowed down to two things: Roll-in (figure out what customers want before they do) and Roll-out (tell the customers and partners how to make the most of what we provide them with). For both, the Community and also User Groups are outstanding and essential tools to stay in touch. So if there's something you want to ask or let us know about my product or the solutions we want to provide to the world, please don't hesitate to contact me!

    Cheers,

    Andreas

    //Where did THAT come from? :O

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  • Oct 17, 2017 at 01:22 PM

    Hello Moshe

    Congratulations for the initiative. Unfortunately, due to the time zone difference, II could not be the first one to answer this thread.

    I'm currently working at the SAP Center of Expertise in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, where I deliver services to the SAP MaxAttention customers. My main area of expertise is Production Planning (MRP is my passion), but I also work with QM and GBT.

    I started to with SAP in 2006, when I joined a company who was using SAP software as an IT trainee. Later I joined a partner as PP consultant and in 2009 in joined SAP Product Support in Brazil. Most SAP consultants who opened incidents for PP from 2009 to 2016 probably already had some kind of contact with me.

    I also wrote lots of blogs, documents and wikis in SCN and I have published an e-book about MRP on HANA. Currently, I'm writing another e-book about Embedded PP/DS, which should be published until the end of the year.

    Let's bring some of the Brazilian and product support folks to the WDYD initiative:

    I'd like to know from my friends Eduardo Rezende Former Member Renan Correa Ervin Szolke @raquel.pereiradacunha Marssel Vilaça what was the weirdest situation that you ever faced when supporting or delivering a service to a SAP customer? You can also answer the question Moshe Naveh!

    Best regards,

    Caetano Almeida

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  • Oct 17, 2017 at 09:03 PM

    By day, I’m supposed to be doing ABAP development but because the new corporate overlords are taking over our beloved SAP systems, there is not the whole lot of ABAPing required lately. On any given day I might be answering user questions why they cannot ship something (“how many times do I have to explain you people the difference between the order-related and delivery-related billing?!!! Gosh!!!”) or checking why the files were not FTPed somewhere. At the moment, I’m also considering investing in premium LinkedIn account, cough-cough.

    By night, I grow long fangs (already have pale skin, dark circles around eyes and red lipstick by day) and pray upon poor unsuspecting SCN members who just want someone to answer their questions. Without a shred of empathy, I drag them to Google or throw them into the moderation pit. [cue The Thriller music] Aa-ha-ha-ha! Aa-ha-ha-ha!

    Somewhere in between I cheat on SCN with other online communities, such as City Data, and entertain the kid, his friends, and their parents. Last week we decorated pumpkins. Now we’re preparing for the annual “cookie open house” when we invite a bunch of kids to bake and decorate cookies before Christmas. These Diversity cookies :) and the gingerbread ones are favorites.

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    • "pray upon poor unsuspecting SCN members who just want someone to answer their questions. Without a shred of empathy, I drag them to Google or throw them into the moderation pit. [cue The Thriller music] Aa-ha-ha-ha! Aa-ha-ha-ha!"

      This reminds many of the members to first google the Topic and then get back to the Blog

  • Oct 17, 2017 at 05:40 PM

    Hi all,

    I joined the SAP Product Support in 2006 at the GSC Austria in Vienna for the DMS topic. If I remember right I started about one year later answering questions in the SDN. If someone remembers this developer network, you also know this was the era when we get T-Shirts for gaining a specific amount of points. So gamification already was working well. ;-)

    Now you also know that I made the migration from SDN to SCN and now to the SAP Community and I'm still focussing on answering questions on DMS, classification, CAD integration, etc. and keeping the external DMS WIKI up to date. For some years now I'm also the Community master for GSC Austria and in this role I support my colleagues when they have questions about the Community.

    I still like to answer different kind of questions in the Community Q&A and hopefully we will get back some gamification or recognition program soon.

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    • Hi Moshe,

      I'm sorry but I won't trade these shirts. :-)

      CAD integration enables "Computer Aided Design" applications like SolidWorks or CATIA to interact withh the ERP system and so you can design your products and store the BOM and document data in the ERP system. For some time there is a new application for this called ECTR.

  • Oct 17, 2017 at 05:49 PM

    Customer Solution Expert is a grab bag of different activities. For several customers, I am their main point of contact for moving into production (pilot or full release) with their Fiori, SAP Cloud Platform, and associated services. So I get asked a lot of questions, provide a few answers directly and keep an eye on tickets to make sure they are being handled. Sometimes most of what I do is explain things so SAP support/development personnel and the customer/partner both understand the issues the same way. Sometimes I have to go find the right experts to address or find the right person who knows who the right experts are depending on what the topic is. Occasionally, I have to tell customers that what they want is a custom development task and that while developers welcome suggestions (via IdeaPlace), they don't automatically provide changes because an individual customer requests it. In some ways this is what I do in the SAP Community.

    In other ways, it is more complex in trying to keep the customer happy while they are asking for free consultant services. Not too often, but it does require saying no on occasion. Most times it simply means pointing them to a different approach to a solution (sort of like suggesting using AH announcements or AEM as a type of content to eliminate using blogs for that purpose). I work with many PM, PO and occasionally sales teams. Usually I come in at the tail end of a sales effort to make the transition to licensee smoother. This type of customer relationship usually extends over more than a year and regardless of changes to my role, I never leave a customer in the lurch. I sometimes receive calls from customers on completely unrelated topics, but always get them a contact which can help them. Often I ask them to let me know how something turns out afterwards and try to follow up at some later time just to make sure.

    I have four customers at this time, though one is pretty self-sufficient and our contacts occur every other month or so. Other customers have a single group that I work with, while with one other it is with many multiple different organizations under a global governance. That last customer involves many contacts over the course of a week with calls, emails, and regular meetings with several different focus groups. My role calls for flexibility and responsiveness (this is the most important aspect).

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    • Hi Moshe,

      Tips:

      1. You never know all the answers so cultivate a network. Always assist those in your network as much as you can. You never know when you will need their help in return.
      2. Pay it forward and ask those you help to do the same.
      3. Collaboration is key and respond to requests promptly, regardless of how you respond.
      4. The wrong choice made early usually allows time for recovery.
      5. You learn more when things are rough than when everything works.
      6. Learn from those who oppose you as much as from those who support you.
      7. Irish Diplomacy is often the best diplomacy.
      8. You eat the elephant one bite at a time. It either takes a long time or more people to help finish the meal.
      9. Don't be afraid to speak up regardless of who's in the audience.
      10. Forgive, but don't forget. It is easy to get screwed more than once.
      11. Keep confidences. Trust those who do likewise. Don't trust those who can't (see number 10).

      One of the oddest things I remember is running a 17 day high volume electronics manufacturing demonstration for the US Air Force at Westinghouse (partnered with Texas Instruments). We had a design flaw in one of the components which was correctible, but only with test equipment at TI and only after it was installed with the rest of the components. So every morning we had to hand carry partially assembled RF hybrid assemblies from Baltimore to Dallas. One of the people from the program office (BG) came in at 5:00 AM, picked up the assemblies, caught the 7:20 AM flight out. Drove to the TI site. Waited for several hours (depending on how many assemblies) while the tuning was done, picked them up and flew back to Baltimore on either the 5:30 or 7:50 PM to put them back into the production line. One of the best parts was BG brought back BBQ (Ribs, brisket, etc.), Cajun food (Jambalaya, Crab/Shrimp Etoufee, Gator tail) and once a huge steak dinner every night for twelve days in a row for me to eat (usually around 11:00 PM). He ended up with a couple free trips from all the miles accumulated playing delivery man. Long, very long, days, very short nights, but ultimately successful (leading to further contracts).

      People I have learned from over the course of my career(s). Way too many to list, but I learned from several people in every job I ever had and almost every class while in college which was a lot more than absolutely required for my degree. Four different majors will do that to you. Drill sargeants in basic training, crew chief on the pipeline construction team, my friend and landlord who taught me how to pay it forward, various roomates who helped reconstruct my first house (framing, drywall, plumbing, electrical, flooring and more), customers when working as a consultant (SAP Manufacturing Intelligence and Integration, aka MII), the lead SAP Consultant when working on TM at a major food supplier, and many, many of the people here at SAP throughout my career. All the managers (Jeremy Good, Frank Platt, Robert Holland and Sudhanshu Srivistava) who have supported my efforts with various customers and in SCN/SAP Community.

      Boy, do I have diarrhea of the keyboard this morning, but hey, Moshe asked!

  • Oct 25, 2017 at 07:35 AM

    Actually, I am doing nothing right now, just enjoying the global warming in a remote town at the Gulf of Oman

    I am working in a small team of 5, called MDM (Master Data Management), but it is not related to the SAP product which we do not have in use.

    We take care about 1.3 million materials, 230000 vendors and 310000 customers as well as their classification. We are developing tools and rules and workflows that help to avoid data redundancy and ensure high data quality.

    Most of my time is project related. We are still harmonizing our IT infrastructure and merging various own ERP systems into one, we do the data cleansing, mapping, and data migration. The general situation requires to have multiple projects in parallel.

    Recently I finished Russia (system merger), a rollout to South America, and a US acquisition with numerous plants around the world, still doing a merger in Japan with 3 clients and just had a kickoff for another bigger US acquisition which will keep me busy till next summer. While I am IT MDM project lead in some projects I also enjoy to be just a team member in other projects, so we can learn from each other. Of course I have my templates based on earlier projects, but no project was ever like one before, so there is always some tweaking, but without we could not manage the many projects.

    The time management question would require a blog to be answered sufficiently, maybe when I am retired, but it starts already with the decision of lace-up shoes versus velcro fastening. ;-)

    (Nov. 3, 2017 Edited the formatting. Posting with smartphone is not easy)

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    • I have no top 10 rules list, but it can be some fun to create together team rules in the beginning of the project and to see how they are applied through the project.

      One of my personal rules is ignoring some administration and by-work (yesterday I got a powerpoint with KPIs showing colored diagrams about the number of orders and invoices etc since Go-Live) that does not add any value for my project work well knowing that it sometimes may break the rules of someone else.

      One challenge in a project is that team members often miss to see the overall goal because they just focus on a certain exception. And this is discussed over and over again even its ratio to the normal business is just 1:10000. So you easily lose time for the more important things which have to be done daily several times. Here I try my best to get the day by day work done first and use the remaining time for the exception. Sometimes the exception just keeps to be an exception even with SAP (when coming from another legacy system) or when changing from one SAP to another SAP system.

  • Oct 17, 2017 at 11:47 PM

    I work in the SAP Health team where we are trying to help doctors, researchers and patients to get a much better outcome from their treatments. The approach that we took here makes the bet on data integration and easy data analytics and access.

    HANA based systems like CancerLinQ that we built together with ASCO, already have a great impact on Cancer treatment research and practice. Questions like "for patients like this one, what treatments actually worked best across all practices in the US?" can now be answered in a few seconds.
    This kind of technology application - literally helping people to get better - provides more satisfaction than anything else I tried within SAP so far. SAP has invested heavily in this (and keeps on doing so) and it does make me proud to be part of this and to know that my efforts make a difference.

    My part in this is to work with customers and keep them happy and successful as they go - my direct team is the SAP Health RIG, which makes our job very similar to what @Michael.Appleby described.
    Technology wise this is a rather diverse field - anything from free-text doctor's letters to VCF file based genome samples needs to be integrated to provide the data access needed.

    Obviously, I also spend quite some time with HANA related communities, which really is a hobby to me (even though there is the SAP trapezoid next to my name, I've got no goals or targets attached to this).

    In my non-SAP life, I really love movies. Going to the cinema, watching classics at home, or binging on a current fav on Netflix - I like it all :)

    Recently (ok, it's two years now... that went quickly), I moved from Germany to Australia and now literally have to cross one street to be at the beach, which is really awesome! So far I did try my luck with swimming, stand-up paddling and kayaking and can proudly report, that I'm still alive and probably cleared out the bay from sharks by scaring them away with my lack of balance... *g*. Fun fact: Melbourne, where I live is located in a huge bay and we rarely have shark sightings let alone attacks. Having said that, the very first time I'm out with the kayak, there was a shark sighting, so helicopters patroled to check the beaches. These helicopters, of course, had TV cameras on board, so there was footage of me, paddling away in a clip about shark patrols...

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    • hi Lars,

      Thanks a lot for your comment and the links that you're sharing with me. I'll be taking this MOOC courses this quarter and looping back to you after for some additional discussions.

      Best,

      Diego

  • Oct 17, 2017 at 05:34 PM

    Hi Guys!
    I'm currently working as independent consultant in the areas of ERP FI/SD localization for Brazil. I started in 2009 at SAP in Brazil as FI consultant and since then I've held different roles in the areas of support and services until the beginning of this year when I decided it was time to leave and face new challenges.

    I've spent some time since 2010 writing blogs, documents, SAP Notes, KBA's and doing webinars regarding how to meet Brazilian legal requirements in FI/SD/MM using SAP systems.

    Answering Caetano Almeida question. The weirdest thing that happened to me was during a functional workshop that I was running with a colleague. My colleague went to the restroom and after 15 minutes HE did not come back, I checked my cell phone and he texted me seeking for help. He said he entered the ladies room (which was empty) and after some time many girls entered it and he realized he made a mistake, but he did not want to leave the place because he was too ashamed of hearing the girls talk there.

    Now I'd like to bring other SAP former colleague to the topic if he likes: Fernando Da Ros, what was the most exotic requirement you ever got to include in the SAP system?

    Regards,

    Renan Correa

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  • Oct 17, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Great Initiative. It reminds me the Blog it forward.

    Well, for me, I (Dibyendu Patra) am from Mumbai, India and working as a SAP Logistics Consultant with having 6 years of experience. Enjoying my life in SAP career with great fun.

    My question to Jürgen L.

    1. How do you manage your time to moderate the community for almost whole day? (Sorry if I am personal) :).

    2. What do you wish you had done differently?

    3. What do you enjoy most about your job?

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    • Hi Moshe,

      Happy Diwali to you too.

      MM is related to procure to pay process, it covers planning, purchase, management of stock, goods movement, Invoice to vendor etc. SD is related to Order to Cash process, it covers order from customer, deliver goods to customer, bill to customer etc.

      The top golden rule or best practice is to know about the business process. SAP is all about to cover real business processes. If you have strong knowledge about the business process, then to map into SAP will be quite easy. Another best practice to learn about the integration point of one module to another.

      I haven't found anything interesting in this project GST e-filing till now. (Sad, but true).

      Unfortunately, I am not able to attend the TechEd as I have some scheduled meetings on end of Oct. for a new project.

      In our culture, we greet people by saying "Namaste". So, Namaste and Welcome to India. Hope you will have a beautiful stay in our country.

  • Oct 17, 2017 at 03:26 PM

    So... I'm known as matt - always with a lower-case m. I've been working in IT for over 30 years, with about 20 years in SAP. I'm a technical sort of person - I like working in the application server/ABAP layer; not just programming but also trouble shooting technical issues, and proposing ways of exploiting the technology for end-user benefit.

    In my free time I direct theatre plays (a form known as panto, but it doesn't have any mime in it).

    Paul Hardy what did you do in your first day of work?

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