Mark Finnern welcomed the new Sap mentors today, 20 experienced people with some ties to SAP. As Matthias Steiner says, everyone can nominate one, selection process is "top secret".
If I'd get to single out one addition that pleases me most, it'd be Fred Verheul. Congratulations, Fred!
A whole conversation unfolded after I asked Jamie Oswald about the little HANA, Cloud and Integration expertise among the newcomers. Summing up all reactions, there was HANA experience among a dozen, and Jamie assured me that
@vijayasankarv @martijnlinssen Important to remember that Mentors aren't for marketing - big part of job is helping existing implementations
— Jamie Oswald (@oswaldxxl) September 25, 2012
I decided to take a look at the whole group of 110, and see how they could help existing implementations. In plain English: how does their expertise add up to the latter?
A word up front. I found more than a few difficulties in completing the task I had in mind. Does that imply any judgment whatsoever on SAP mentors in any sense? Hell no. I just went through great pains trying to find out what their expertise is, and then compared that to SAP's current goals. It's not meant personally, and taking it as such would be such a waste of your time - so don't
I took the newcomers as well as the already active SAP mentors, ignored everything but their name and company, and area of expertise of course. Was that easy to do? No - the HTML code underneath is so diverse (cough) that it's impossible to parse unless by caring hands. Copied and pasted from various sources, it's a mess really, no standardisation whatsoever.
But let's just attribute that to the recent move from old to new shall we, and carry on with the issue at hand:
|Abdulbasit Gulsen||Independent Consultant||Turkey|
|Abesh Bhattacharjee||IBM India Pvt. Ltd.||India|
|Alexandra Carvalho||BI Group Australia||Australia|
|Alvaro Tejada Galindo||SAP Labs Montreal||Canada|
|Andreas Eißmann||Data One GmbH||Germany|
|Anton Wenzelhuemer||Siemens AG||Austria|
|Arun Bala||Infosys Ltd.||India|
|Arun Varadarajan||Intelligroup Inc||USA|
|Bhanu Gupta||Molex, Inc.||USA|
|Bruce Armstrong||Integrated Data Services||USA|
|Bryan Whitmarsh||Sybase Mobile||USA|
|Clint Vosloo||BI in the Box||South Africa|
|Corey Adams||Frucor Beverages||New Zealand|
|Daniel Graversen||Figaf ApS||Denmark|
|Dilek Adak||MilSOFT ICT||Turkey|
|Eric Vallo||EV Technologies||USA|
|Ethan Jewett||Business & Decision||Germany|
|Fred Verheul||N.L. for Business B.V.||Netherlands|
|Graham Robinson||Yelcho Systems Consulting||Australia|
|Gregor Wolf||Siteco Beleuchtungstechnik GmbH||DE|
|Gretchen Lindquist||Chevron Phillips Chemical Company||USA|
|Harald Reiter||Deloitte Consulting LLP||USA|
|Henrique Pinto||SAP Brasil||Brazil|
|Ingo Hilgefort||Business Objects||Canada|
|Jamie Oswald||Arch Coal, Inc.||USA|
|Jan Penninkhof||Phoqus B.V.||NL|
|Jansi Rani Murugesan||Infineon Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore||India|
|Jarret Pazahanick||EIC Experts||US|
|Jim Spath||Stanley Black & Decker||US|
|Joerg Nalik||SAP Labs||US|
|John Appleby||Bluefin Solutions Ltd||UK|
|John Astill||SAP Labs||US|
|John Harrickey||CSA Group||Canada|
|John Moy||Australia Post||Australia|
|Joshua Fletcher||ASG Group||Australia|
|Karin Tillotson||Valero Energy Corporation||USA|
|Leonardo de Araujo||Beyond Technologies||Canada|
|Luke Marson||Gavdi Group||Belgium|
|Mark Chalfen||Bluefin Solutions||UK|
|Martin Lang||SAP||Newtown Square, PA|
|Matthias Steiner||SAP AG||Germany|
|Michael Koch||Pixelbase||United Kingdom|
|Michelle Crapo||Perrigo Company||USA|
|Mike Pokraka||Independent Consultant||United Kingdom|
|Nathan Genez||Serio Consulting||USA|
|Nigel James||Square Cloud||Sydney, Australia|
|Otto Gold||Xiting AG||Switzerland|
|Owen Pettiford||CompriseIT||United Kingdom|
|Paul Hawking||Victoria University Australia||Australia|
|Paula Rosenblum||RSR Research||USA|
|Pete Lagana||Excellis Interactive||USA|
|Peter Langner||Adventas Consulting||Germany|
|Peter McNulty||SAP Labs||USA|
|Philip Kisloff||Capgemini||United Kingdom|
|Prateek Raj Srivastava||Accenture||Toronto, Canada|
|Pratik Talwar||Colgate Palmolive||Mumbai, India|
|Richard Hirsch||Siemens SIS||Austria|
|Sascha Wenninger||Australia Post||Australia|
|Shabarish Vijayakumar||Wipro Technologies||India|
|Sheng Qiang||Zhengzhou Sanquan Food. Co. Ltd||China|
|Simha R. Magal||Grand Valley State University||USA|
|Simon To||Fossil, Inc.||USA|
|Sina Moatamed||IT Strategist and Consultant||USA|
|Somnath Manna||IBM India||India|
|Srini Tanikella||SMART Modular Technologies||USA|
|Susan Keohan||MIT Lincoln Laboratory||USA|
|Tammy Powlas||Fairfax Water||USA|
|Thorsten Franz||AOK Systems GmbH||Germany|
|Tim Guest||SAP Business One||UK|
|Tobias Trapp||AOK Systems||GER|
|Tom Cenens||CTAC Powerhouse||Belgium|
|Tomas Krojzl||IBM||Czech Republic|
|Tony de Thomasis||Acclimation||Australia|
|Twan van den Broek||CIBER NL||Netherlands|
|Tridip Chakraborthy||Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp||USA|
|Uwe Fetzer||SE38 IT-Engineering||Germany|
|Vitaliy Rudnytskiy||SAP / Vital BI (blog)||Poland|
|Wei Zhu (Ethan)||China|
|Xumin Zhao||Dimension InfoTech||China|
|Yakov Werde||eLearnIt LLC||USA|
|Zimkhita Buwa||City of Cape Town||South Africa|
The rule seems to be that mentors are NOT on SAP's payroll - which I think is excellent. As much as I preach my favourite outside-in theme, this simply is Balls with a capital B. Hug your enemy, or at least keep your friends at a distance. Well done SAP!
There are 127 in the list so maybe someone should verify these, but I guess that either some old mentors are still on the list or the 110 is just an old number.
Anyway, onto the really exiting stuff: expertise. Again, way too much lack of standardisation there - apparently anyone gets to make up their own definitions. I tried hard to normalise the various definitions, and if I got a few off or even wrong, contact me and I'll give you the full list.
I replaced all the various separation characters by a single uniform one, ignored all the detailing such as e.g. Dashboard and Presentation Design (Xcelsius 2008) - which I turned into Dashboard and Presentation Design, and made a full list of unique expertises.
Then I used my brain and feel, replaced abbreviations by full descriptions or vice versa where possible, and ended up with a list of unique expertises and total count of these among the SAP mentors.
Where I found odd-looking unique entries not resembling anything near them, I left the description intact
Was that a [fill in the blanks] load of work? Yes. Most certainly. I might have made some casualties here and there, but the initial list of expertise was over 400 unique entries.
What did I not slam together? E.g. ABAP and ABAP Development I did, but ABAP Integration Technologies I left alone. ABAP OO got grouped together with ABAP Object, etc.
Where possible, I replaced the word " and " by the separation character, thus splitting one expertise into multiple ones. Again, this was a hard human task and the beholder of beauty was me
Here's the list, and the count - only the top 30:
Update September 28th 12:10 CET: I redid most of the exercise (see the comment-conv between Ethan and me below) and delivered the cross-reference list as one would like to have it. Here's the link; I hope you enjoy it
Top 5? The usual old-fashioned suspects, I'd say. Where are SAP's HANA expertise? Cloud? And the new Cloud Integration? Mobile? Mobile is at a shared 7th place, but HANA barely makes the list. In all fairness, Matthias pitched in for 6 SAP mentors with HANA knowledge not indicated on the SAP mentor pages (Rukhshaan Omar was present already)
Bottom line? SAP equals ABAP, judging from this list, and BI, Netweaver (regardless of how many different meanings that has had over the last 5 years) and Business Objects make up the top 4, followed at a distance by the remainder
SAP mentors aren't marketers, even though they fold under marketing in the books. Ambassadors is more what I think they should be considered, and the difference between the two is that ambassadors actually achieve measurable results. Given how up-to-date their expertise is on the SAP mentor pages, I can only guess that that's a fully manual people process
What if a potential or existing customer would like a SAP mentor to consult him on a specific area of expertise? I guess he'd have to go through the same painstaking hours of analysis as I've just put myself through.
Are you an SAP jockey? Well then where's your fricking horse - and where is it heading for?