SAP Community Cares

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Water Wars? A sobering Infographic about our Water Usage

This came to me via Sustainablog and gives pause for thought.

Infographic by Seametrics, a manufacturer of water flow meters that measure and conserve water.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Community Advocate Thanking Her Community

Today marks a personal “time to rejoice” as I have the honor of being nominated a member of the newly created Advisory Board of Somesso , a “recognized neutral platform for corporate stakeholders to explore, share and apply the tools and thinking necessary to benefit from the potential of social media.” You can hear founder Arjen Strijker, speaking of Somesso in this podcast). One could say my participation in Somesso began with a serendipitous meeting with blogger/analyst David Terrar, during the 2006 SAP Sapphire Event. Three years later, David introduced me to Arjen and Somesso, and got me linked up with some very excellent thinkers and movers and shakers.

But the truth is I owe this recognition entirely to, my much loved SCN community, and wish to extend a tremendous thanks to each member for the community engagement experience provided me daily. It is the quality of this participation that gives me any credence as a community advocate.

Arjen Strijker has proved a “class act” in creating corporate social media events in Europe combining top talent speakers (list too long to mention here) with classy think tank venues in places like London, Zurich and Barcelona. While I was an American Evangelist in London at Somesso last May, ranting about Leading a Stakeholder Community, I was fortunate to meet Stowe Boyd (stoweboyd and the /messengers) a fellow ranter who spoke of: Unmarketing and the ‘Webful Brand’

“If brands are to have any juice in this new online future, those that are advocating them will have to drop all the mass media shouting, and move past the ‘markets are conversations’ trivialization of the web, too. Their representatives will have to roll up their sleeves and do something, shoulder to shoulder, aspiring to make something in the world, collectively with us, not just selling us the parts.”
That was in May 2009. In November 2009 I returned again to Somesso in Zurich where friend and fellow SAP Mentor, Dennis Howlett, caught me speaking about How to Kill an Online Community . I also met there with Anne McCrossan (Visceral Business) who spoke about Collaboration in Finance. I found Anne a powerful and articulate speaker in her own right and learned she is also an active member of, Seth’s Godin’s invitation-only online community.

So now a year after meeting Stowe Boyd, I found myself today in Stowe’s Social Business Edge event in my own, NYC. Because of the international #ashtag crisis, one of my other favorite Somesso speakers, Lee Bryant, needed to be teleported in from London to do his session in video format. I’m looking forward to further postings around Stowe’s speakers today, but you can see many of Arjen’s Somesso contents in slideshares and video recordings at

Anyone interested in online collaboration and the future of communities of practice would do well to take some time to listen to practitioners, community advocates, and critics discuss the challenges. I found it very inspiring that today at the event, ZDnet Dion Hinchcliffe commented to another participant, that you, SCN, are the living, breathing instance of what other communities aspire to be, in terms of passion and presence.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Rantings of an American Evangelist in London

In April of 2006 while still a content strategist and community manager of the SAP Developer Network, I raised my hand to help create and launch a sister community to the SAP developer network designed for business architects, process consultants and more functional consultants in our ecosystem. It was to be the Business Process Expert Community.
In May of 2006 I went to our yearly SAPPHIRE business event and there met with blogger/analyst Dennis Howlett (expatriate Brit and author of the AccMan Pro Blog as well as well-know ZDnet blogger, who is, in his own words, “never knowingly under-opinionated” ).
Dennis challenged my thinking about my being a Community Evangelist for when I introduced myself to him as such he performed a rather mocking obsequious gesture which signaled the pomposity of such a title. And suddenly I saw myself as ….. the American Evangelist.
A month later, while using Flickr to prepare a Web 2.0 presentation for the Americas SAP User Group (ASUG) Leadership keynote I found this apt visualization:

The Rantings of an American Evangelist in London
Originally uploaded by

Arriving in London for the Somesso conference this year, I indeed found myself the American Evangelist in London.

Link: Marilyn Pratt #smo09 (SOMESSO London 09)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day and The SAP Community Network

Thanks to a Facebook invite from the inimitable Sandy Kemsley , I learned about Ada Lovelace Day a few months back.
Suw Charman-Anderson, herself a fascinating woman wrote: “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.”

By the way, for those of you, who like myself weren’t sure who Ada is, Suw Charman-Anderson explains: “Ada Lovelace was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built.”

Now as a value add in my job as an SAP Community Evangelist, I have the privilege of knowing some of the smartest techies on the planet. So my first and only challenge in role models was finding “A” woman… as in limiting myself to a single role model.

I found that approach a tiny bit…well…limiting. And soon realized rather than to try to name every remarkable woman in Technology I know or know of, I could introduce people outside my SAP Community Network and perhaps even inside that community, to some of the women of the community I admire. So I’ll name just a few (second huge challenge) of my local heroines and by linking you to their blogs, tweets, or wiki profiles allow you all the pleasure of discovery or perhaps further introduction.

Bhanu Gupta – I first met Bhanu during SAP TechEd in September 2006, when she attended the first Business Process Expert Day, but I had been a fan of this Business Intelligence nova for a long while before that, as she rapidly became one of the most prolific forum participants on the SAP Developer Network attaining top contributor ranking internationally. She told a great community story as many of the folks in the community didn’t realize she was a woman.

Anne Kathrine Petteroe – Ann also told a great community story of how twitter facilitated our meeting her in the SAP headquarters during an SCN Meetup in Walldorf – Later, I had the privilege to meet with Anne again when she came to TechEd Berlin 2008 as one of the developers of ESME and a powerful contestant in “Demo Jam”.

Moya Watson – Technical evangelist and all around SAP superstar, Moya, writes like a dynamo and shepherds software solutions to release. Moya introduced me to the world of digital anthropology through her blog posts on the SAP Developer Network and celebrated women in technology by pointing to the book O'Reilly Goes Live with Women In Technology Series

Dafna Yanay a tools mentor and community evangelist for Visual Composer . This Israeli who studied industrial engineering garnered comments and followers on her blog posts from every corner of the globe and is a frequent speaker at SAP TechEd.

Ginger Gatling was my teacher and mentor in a number of SAP related technical courses and has been a colleague for over a decade. Can’t say enough good things about the way she transfers knowledge to thousands of people online and at live events. She has this way of explaining technology that makes you feel “you get it”. She introduced me to Susan Keohan who goes under the code name SAP Workflow Goddess and who is an active ASUG (SAP User Group) volunteer leader who in turn introduced me to Gretchen Lindquist who has been “working in SAP Security since 1997… the lead configurator and technical support analyst for an SAP partner system in her ERP landscape” and somehow it seems like I’ve know forever yet another ASUG leader Karin Tillotson, Technical Lead for Valero’s SAP Data Archiving Project.

And lastly, one of my newest …and perhaps youngest heroines, another colleague and community member Jen Robinson whose simple list of places you can find her “Elsewhere” belies the depth, maturity and passionate commitment those activities have her engaged in.

And now since I see my list is already 9 women, I’ll conclude with a warm acknowledgment and shout out to the other techie women in our SAP Community Network, colleagues, mentors, fellow community members whose ranks thankfully are swelling and can be seen coaching Business Expert topics, mentoring developers, coding solutions, supporting process integrations and representing a world of talented women, who have chosen to follow a career path in technology.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SAP Insider BPM2008

SAP Insider BPM2008
Originally uploaded by marilynpratt
First Jumpstart day session of the SAP Insider BPM2008 in Vegas this week featured Column 2 author, analyst and blogger Sandy Kemsley .
Topics included: definitions of BPM and BPMM – Business Process Maturity Model.
Session started by attempting to create order around the confusion of BPM-related terms.
Three info packed hours further covered subjects such as understanding the range of process types in an organization, tips like: "Don’t let the requirements become the design", warning around spending too much time modeling the "as is" state, and some fair accessments of SAP Netweaver BPM. Clear understanding that many “required” features are delayed until future versions. Outlined that there is more strategic integration with SAP ERP and a common process layer for modeling BPM and ERP. There was also a pronouncement that the goal was to become the BPM of choice for SAP customers rather than the best of breed BPM. What I further understood was that Sandy Kemsley liked the SAP NetWeaver BPM data mapping capability which although not inherently different from what you would see in other systems was highlighted as providing capabilities that are good.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

ESME Team Member Meetups - Accidentally on Purpose

I feel a bit like Woody Allen's Zelig with the uncanny ability to insert oneself into some exceedingly interesting (historic) social environments as a famous nobody. It's like having a passport to be an official "fly on the wall" of some fascinating conversations. You get to be present, observe and on occasion document and record. That's the way I'll approach Office 2.0 this week and that seems to be my experience heretofore with the ESME folks.

“Enterprise Social Media Experiment (ESME) is a Web 2.0 application that permits social network-based communication among, between, and outside organizational boundaries. ESME draws its development team from the SAP Community and includes both BPX'ers and business people with an interest in learning how social networks, the media they generate and business processes can be usefully co-mingled to deliver innovative solutions to old world problems.” (Darren Hague, Richard Hirsch and others in the SAP Community Contributor Corner wiki)

When Dick Hirsch began to flesh out and realize the original BPX community project, it was obvious that he was a quintessential or model SAP business process expert: a professional with deep SAP technical acumen, experience of business modeling tools and process improvement methodologies, as well as an adept story teller with a keen journalistic eye and language.

The ESME conversationalists list (those engaged in the collaborative conversation about ESME) looks like a “whose who” of some top SAP Community Network members.

So being the declared online yenta I am (which is a grandmotherly busybody), I wanted to know more about those virtual members I haven’t yet had the pleasure to meet.

I’m fortunate to go around the world these next few weeks and I’ll be rubbing shoulders with almost all of the ESME folks, some by purpose and design and a few, quite serendipitously (like in the case of David Pollack who happens to be with me this week at Office 2.0). There are even a few folks I got to meet-up with recently at their invitation, having nothing to do with ESME whatsoever. Such is the case with Jen Robinson and Kirsten Gay who I met with 2 weeks ago in the US SAP headquarters in Newtown Square when I was invited to meet with the team of Natalie Hanson an "anthropologist working in the business world" and Kirsten and Jen's manager.

Kirsten and Jen happen to be members of the ESME team.

I was interested in the skills they bring to the table and their internal portal work and particularly in their focus on the very human side of technology.

Here's their brief bios:

S Kirsten Gay is the Manager of User Experience at SAP America and experienced in user interface design, design team management, integration of design deliverables with market demands, and strategic development of design services for corporations, educational institutions and private clients.

Jen Robinson, currently a lead in SAP's Global Business Knowledge Management Competency Center and an MBA student at NYU Stern whose professional interests include IT strategy, emerging technologies, entertainment, and new media.

Attending Office 2.0

Here I am in San Francisco attempting to live into the concepts I'll be hearing more about tomorrow at Office 2.0. That means using Google Calendar and scheduling my sessions by looking into the wiki agenda and working with everything via my browser. For someone (me) complaining endlessly about email overload and struggling to make sure I at least know of and attempt to understand and use the latest and greatest enterprise collaboration tools, the next few days should be very interesting, to say the least. I'm hoping I can tweet some of my impressions and I'll be using my colleague, Craig Cmehil's Eventtrack to organize my contents around the event and tag them with #o208 (thanks Craig) .

I do feel a little out of my element. Granni isn't the fastest wiki markup maven in the west (and I'm in the west now having arrived here this evening from NYC) and I really will be itching to see how others tame the beast with Office productivity untools. One of my goals: to look over shoulders and see how others are getting their collaboration work done. I think the case studies will be enlightening.

Oh, and I hope to finally meet a number of twitter pals and see how face-to-face corresponds to online interactions. Was really hoping to meet Gia Lyons, my heroine of "collaboration made easy" assets, but I don't see her on the roster. Her new colleague, Sam Lawerence will be there though and I will finally get to meet Oliver Marks as well.

My biggest goal will actually be to invigorate my understanding of how to facilitate adoption for folks like myself, perhaps a slightly different demography from the 30's something, hard-core geeks I engage with in my SDN world for whom every technological gizmo is perfectly intuitive and if you don't "get it" immediately, you are some dumb **s n00b.

Wish me well. Want to bring some fresh energy to the BPX tables of SAP TechEd the following week in Vegas and recharge my batteries that have run low from working in my isolated cell of a home office. Having put the accident, summer and Teched prepping behind me, I'm raring to go.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Metaphor for Collaboration

Find more videos like this on LearningTown!

A while ago I blogged on BPX/SDN about the metaphor of a Jazz ensemble for collaborative behavior in our community. The title: Successful Collaboration is Like Jazz and the blog content was inspired by the meeting I had with Social Media expert Kevin De Kock.
Today I stumbled upon another collaborative metaphor which really resonated well. This time I found it by visiting a video posted on Elliot Masie's Learning Town wiki, which is a learning collaborative platform growing exponentially these past 3 months. The idea featured in the video of rowing (crew) being an almost perfect collaborative analogy, shouldn't have taken me by surprise as I've spent the last year supporting, admiring and yes, even dabbling in this sport which my youngest daughter, Carmel, excels in. The video blends a great visual with texts that typify an ideal collaborative environment.