SAP and Enterprise Trends Podcasts from Jon Reed (@jonerp) of diginomica.com
Free spirited, old school podcasts on all things enterprise with Jon Reed of diginomica.com, along with troublemakers and/or special guests
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In this "two for one" special podcast feature, recorded in two separate conversations, one for JonERP and one for JD-OD, Jon talks with Julien Delvat about the impact of HANA on SAP Controlling and how CO-PA on HANA is evolving.
Direct download: hanaandcontrolling.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:14am EDT
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In this "SAP Analytcs Throwdown", Jon hosts a no-holds-barred talk on whether SAP is innovating on analytics (outside of HANA) and how it can create a better analytics story in 2013. Guests Appleby, Oswald, Loranca and Voslloo join.
Direct download: sapanalyticsthrowdown.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:08am EDT
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During this special Google Plus taping, Jon Reed of JonERP.com assesses SAP developer engagement with fellow SAP Mentors Graham Robinson and Ethan Jewett. The guys present their views on three points they determined to be crucial for SAP's success building an apps ecosystem: IP, licensing, and downloadable software. After some amusing early technical glitches, the discussion gives a clear sense of the work SAP has left to do and frames the developer themes for the TechEd 2012 season.
Direct download: sapdeveloperengagement.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT
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In this special SAP cloud assessment, Jon Reed of http://www.JonERP.com talks to fellow SAP Mentors Dick Hirsch, Leonardo De Araujo and Jarret Pazahanick to get their specific views on SAP cloud strategy from 3 different cloud areas: HCM (Jarret), ByD (Leo), and NW Cloud (Dick). Then the guys try to put the pieces together, hash the Ariba acquisition a bit, and share their SAP cloud expectations for upcoming events as we head into SAP TechEd season.
Direct download: sapcloudstrategy.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT
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To reflect on the one year anniversary of the HANA GA, Jon Reed of http://www.JonERP.com talks with fellow SAP Mentors Harald Reiter, Vijay Vijayasankar, and John Appleby about what SAP has accomplished and the challenges ahead. The 51 minute video includes an in-depth HANA skills discussion and views on the HANA Distinguished Engineers program (all four are members of the Council). The good natured discussion finds Harald in his Vegas hotel room, John Appleby on his UK couch, and Vijay on his iPhone. But a good natured discussion ensued, including an worthwhile debate on the level of skills demand for HANA and whether HANA needs a "killer app" to succeed.
Direct download: hanainreviewjonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT
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For this JD-OD.com special, Dennis Howlett and Jon Reed talk about consulting changes provoked by cloud computing, and how individuals and systems integrators can adapt - or fail.
Direct download: clouddebatejdod.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:47am EDT
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In this post-Sapphire Now wrap, Jon sits down with Dick Hirsch to talk about the cloud questions from the event and answered learned. This is the full version.
Direct download: sapphirecloudhirschjonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:42am EDT
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Jon does the post-sapphire SAP BI wrap with Mico Yuk. They talk about the BI news from the conference and whether SAP is innovating in BI to the point customers are looking for.
Direct download: sapphirebiwrapmicojonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:37am EDT
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During this taped Google Hangout, Jon Reed talks wiith John Appleby, John Moy and Oliver Rogers about SAP mobility from the vantage point of field experience and developer engagement. Pre-Sapphire questions are addressed.
Direct download: SAPmobilityblowout.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:11pm EDT
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During this landmark discussion, for the first time Jonathan Becher, SAP CMO, talks publicly about SAP's approach to sponsored content, transparency, + employee blogging. An impromptu debate with Jon Reed of JonERP.com for the JonERP videocast series.
Direct download: becherSAPadvoice.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:09pm EDT
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During this videocast, Jon Reed has a frank talk with Prakash Darji of SAP about HANA, IQ, and the future of data warehousing at SAP.
Direct download: prakashhanaiqjonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT
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Gateway has become a focal point for the issue of developer engagement at SAP, not to mention licensing models for customers. In this taped Google Plus Hangout, Jon Reed of http://www.JonERP.com talks to fellow SAP Mentors Graham Robinson, Ethan Jewett and Owen Pettiford on the myths and realities of NetWeaver Gateway, and the potential it may hold for new SAP development (and business) models.
Direct download: jonerpgatewayhangout.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:14am EDT
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In this international Google Plus Hangout, Jon Reed of http://www.JonERP.com talks SAP and Success Factors with three fellow SAP Mentors who have followed the scenario closely: Vijay Vijayasankar, Dick Hirsch, and Jarret Pazahanick. The guys hash the questions they will be investigating at Sapphire Now in Orlando, including HCM roadmap, overall cloud impact, and the cultural challenges of a cloud acquisition for SAP.
Direct download: jonerpsuccessfactors.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:38am EDT
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At the end of the ASUG Georgia chapter meeting in Atlanta, Jon Reed of http://www.JonERP.com caught up with Ryan Goodman and Mico Yuk to assess the BI themes from the event. The three discuss the controversy around Flash, BI 4.0, customer challenges around BI, and the real-life use cases customers are pursuing now. Jon also forces Mico and Ryan to declare who has the better dashboard.
Direct download: jonerpasugbi.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:37am EDT
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In this informal discussion shot in Palo Alto, Jon Reed of http://www.JonERP.com talks with Jonathan Becher, Chief Marketing Officer, SAP, about the "new rules of marketing" and how this impacts not only software vendors but consumers. The guys talk about the impact of personalization, the limitations of a Klout-oriented view of Influence, and how a "pull" approach to marketing creates new challenges for all companies, SAP included.
Direct download: bechermarketingchat.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:28am EDT
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I was fortunate to have three opinionated SAP virtualization die hards, Chris Kernaghan, Martin English, and Tom Cenens subject themselves to my first official Hangout taping (note that Tom’s correct Twitter handle is @tomcenens). During the 40 minute video, we dug into some potent SAP virtualization topics.
Direct download: sapvirtualizationjonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:41pm EDT
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With all the JD-OD.com videos posted, it's time to catch up with the best of the audio, including this session from SAP TechED Madrid, on "SAP Social Media: BS or Value." Taped live at my expert lounge session, this was a typical JonERP "unpresentation" with no slides, just an uncensored and hopefully valuable conversation. We talked for 25 minutes, digging into whether there is value in social media for SAP professionals and how you go about finding it.
Direct download: jonerpsocialmediamadrid.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:35pm EDT
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Taped live at my expert lounge session on "SAP Tech Skills in the Age of Outsourcing," we had a great 25 minute discussion about SAP technical skills at the crossroads. The audience was about equally divided between Basis folks and ABAPpers, so we balanced the talk between SAP administration and development skills.
Direct download: jonerptechedskillsmadrid.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:32pm EDT
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Straight talk about HANA is hard to come by - but not with the group I pulled together for this international call. I have rarely looked forward to a call as much as this one, because I didn't know where the discussion would lead. I suspected we would have some significant points of debate and disagreement - I was not disappointed.

During this 60 minute podcast, you'll hear SAP Mentors and bloggers Vijay Vijayasankar, John Appleby, and Vitality Rudnytskiy talk HANA as only they can.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_hanamadrid.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:09am EDT
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It's an annual TechEd tradition: my SAP TechEd skills chat, taped live from the Expert Lounge. Although there was some crowd noise, this recording came out pretty well and captured a range of views during a short 17 minute recording time. Since a major theme of the future of SAP technical skills is the convergence of functional and technical skills, I was fortunate to have SAP Business Process expert Jim Link amongst the participants in the taped discussion.
Direct download: pcast_techedskills2011.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:36am EDT
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SAP Business ByDesign (and on-demand in general) was not a focal point of the keynotes from TechEd Las Vegas and Bangalore. To get a better sense of where Business ByDesign stands from a field view, I taped this 30 minute podcast with two ByDesign partners, SAP Mentor Leonardo De Araujo of Beyond Technologies and Ray Tetlow of Skyytek Corporation. Leo and Ray provided an honest view of the strengths of ByDesign and where improvements are needed to reach its potential.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_byd_leoray1011.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:56pm EDT
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During this 50 minute podcast, you'll hear SAP Mentors Vijay Vijayasankar and Harald Reiter give you their tips for getting the best HANA content in TechEd Las Vegas. The informal discussion then moves into the key news stories that might unfold at TechEd surrounding HANA, with the usual opinionated takes and views from the field. The last half of the podcast is an in-depth discussion of HANA skills issues based on what Harald and Vijay are learning from their work on HANA Proof of Concept (POC) projects.  
Direct download: pcast_hanaskillsjonerp1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT
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Based out of Bangalore, Vijayan Venkataraman of ERP Logic is an expert in the ByDesign SDK who has more experience in the product than most people in the world. During our twenty minute talk, I ask Vijayan about the use cases for the ByD SDK, how difficult it is to train, the skills needed, and what features he’s looking to see in future releases.
Direct download: audio_byd_sdk_jdod.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:41pm EDT
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With HANA stealing most of the Sapphire Now headlines, important mobilty questions lingered after the event. To get to the bottom of those, I taped a three way video podcast with fellow SAP Mentors John Appleby and Kevin Benedict. During this 40 minute video spiced with a bit of sassiness, we hashed out the burning SAP mobility questions and also discussed what SAP needs to pull off in TechEd season for it to be deemed a success from a mobility perspective.
Direct download: pcast_sapmobility_jonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:40am EDT
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The story of SAP HANA is unfolding so rapidly that it's hard to keep up - even if you are following the developments closely. Too often, there seems to be a gap between the HANA buzz and the reality on the ground. Before the SAP TechEd season kicks into high gear, now is the perfect time to take the HANA pulse. Fresh off of several sessions with the SAP HANA team, including blogger and Mentor meetings, Jon Reed pulled together three SAP Mentors for an international call to get their views on HANA as it stands today.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_sapmentors_hana2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:39am EDT
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At Sapphire Now 2011, the central importance of HANA to SAP's vision was made abundantly clear. But as a result, that made the questions raised by HANA's ascendancy that much more important to answer. The SAP Blogger Relations team proposed the idea of doing a HANA podcast with me as the moderator and referree and I agreed.  During this 40 minute podcast, you'll hear SAP Mentors John Appleby and Ethan Jewett pressing SAP on some of the key HANA questions they have been hearing from SAP customers. I jump in once or twice with thoughts of my own - otherwise, after my intro, this is a free-flowing discussion with SAP's Jake Klein and Thomas Zurek providing in-depth answers and a good deal of useful context to the HANA discussion
Direct download: pcast_hanaqandajonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:29pm EDT
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For this pre-Sapphire return of our semi-regular SAP BI podcast series, fellow SAP Mentor and co-host Vijay Vijayasankar and I talked with special guest James Taylor of Decision Management Solutions about some of the tougher BI questions SAP - or any other vendor for that matter - must tackle. During the 50 minute podcast, we move from a look at 4.0 to a discussion of the importance of business rules and the issues SAP needs to address with separate rules engines for operations and analytics (including two for operations, BRF Plus and NetWeaver BRM). We talk about why predictive analytics matter to companies, and why vendors struggle to deliver meaningful predictive analytics solutions. A lively discussion of the importance of unstructured data catches the three of us jousting a bit on the relative importance of text analytics versus other BI priorities. We veer into a HANA discussion before wisely saving most of that one for a different podcast down the road.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_biquestions.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:59am EDT
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To get a better handle on the issues with breaking into SAP in today's market, I had the chance to tape a unique podcast with Tom Michael of Michael Management. The podcast includes two "students" from Michael Management's Pay it Forward SAP Training Program (PDF), which sponsored SAP training for five job seekers to help them move into SAP during a challenging SAP job market. We begin the podcast with Tom posing some questions to me about breaking into SAP in today's market. Then we enter into a free flowing discussion, with Tom and I taking any and all questions from the two aspiring SAP professionals who joined us on the call and shared their stories with us.
Direct download: pcast_intosap_jonerp_michaelmgt.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:54am EDT
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Since I had SAP Mentor Leonardo De Araujo of Beyond Technologies on the line, I figured we should go ahead and tape a spontaneous podcast on some topics of interest. The end result is a very informal chat that covers a series of topics, most of them SAP SME related. During the 20 minute podcast, Leo and I discuss his pending attendance as a Mentor at SAP DKOM, what he's learning about Business ByDesign as a potential future Canadian partner, and his take on the SME market and SAP All-in-One.  
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_leo_smechat.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:51am EDT
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For several years, SAP professionals have looked forward to SAP Mentor Vijay Vijayasankar's annual blog post, "The Road Ahead for SAP Consultants." In honor of this always-provocative blog post, Jon pulled together fellow SAP Mentors Vijayasankar and Leonardo De Araujo for an in-depth discussion/debate about Vijay's skills rankings for 2011 and beyond.

The result? An hour long talk that goes into detail on emerging skills in BusinessObjects, HANA and Business ByDesign, as well as how core skills like ABAP development are evolving.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_sapskills2011.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:12am EDT
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Few events in the SAP space take me by total surprise. The launch of ASUGNews.com, with Thomas Wailgum and Courtney Bjorlin at the helm, was one of those rare exceptions, forcing me to set aside those "industry assumptions" and take a fresh look at a new player in the ecosystem. To get at the editorial motivations behind ASUGNews.com, I got on the phone with Tom and Courtney for this 24 minute podcast. My goals? To ask them a few questions that had been bugging me, to get a better handle on what they have in mind for the site, and to get their takes on SAP in 2011
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_asugnews_tomcourtney.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:40pm EDT
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Podcast Structure: I. Intro chatter, II. (2:40) SolBros reader questions, III. (21:55) SolMan - "A mile wide and an inch deep?" - discuss! IV. (36:05) Individual updates: Jim Spath - SolMan and ASUG, Phil Avelar - CHARM lessons learned, Tony D - SolMan consulting, customer value and learning tools.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_solbros5.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:10am EDT
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What is SAP's hottest, sexiest new technology? No, it's not HANA, it's not ByDesign. In this humorous-turned-serious podcast, Jon Reed and special guest and SAP Mentor Thorsten Franz talk about a hype-worthy technology known to insiders as "SAP Business Workflow." After 11 minutes of satirical riffing, Jon and Thorsten turn their attention to more serious matters as Thorsten talks about the overlooked power of SAP Business Workflow and what the Workflow Influence Team is doing to impact SAP Workflow's production direction
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_thorsten_workflow.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:15am EDT
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What did we learn from the SAP Influencer Summit that we can apply to SAP in 2011? Why is the meaning of "Influencer" changing and what was the controversy around that definition? How are Mentors impacting the definition of Influencer and the blurring of lines between bloggers, analysts, and SAP experts? What did we make of SAP's on-demand, mobility, and StreamWork strategies? To get at these questions and more, I pulled together fellow SAP Mentors John Appleby of Bluefin Solutions and Dick Hirsch of Siemens IT Solutions and Services. We taped an end-of-year/new year kickoff podcast that spanned 60 minutes. We balanced some funny conference anecdotes with more serious talk on how SAP is banking its future on these new initiatives. Since Skype was down, we reverted to a backup taping option that impacted sound quality. If you missed any comments on the audio, check the detailed podcast highlights on JonERP.com.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_sapsummitreview.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:18am EDT
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It all started with a blog post. After TechEd 2010, SAP Mentor John Appleby of Bluefin Solutions posted a blog on his take on SAP mobility. Natascha Thomson of SAP read the blog and some of it didn't make sense to her. It was a clear case of buzzword alert! Seeking clear answers, Natascha and John asked me to referee a discussion between them on "FAQs on SAP Enterprise Mobility."

During this thirty minute podcast, Natascha grills John on SAP Enterprise Mobility. Buzzwords are defined as we dig into everything from the impact of consumer technology to Project Gateway to the implications of HTML 5. Those listeners who make it towards the end of the podcast will be treated to some comic relief as once again a cellular caller (John) drops off a podcast on Enterprise Mobility, proving once and for all that "Always Connected" is a modern myth.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_sap_mobility_faq.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:07am EDT
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Why did SAP mobility experts leave SAP TechEd (Vegas and Berlin) with more questions than answers? How has the enterprise mobility space evolved since Sapphire 2010? And what does SAP need to accomplish in mobility to win the confidence of customers and partners? To get at these questions and more, I was approached by fellow SAP Mentors John Appleby of Bluefin Solutions and Kevin Benedict of Netcentric Strategies, who asked me to DJ an open discussion on SAP moblity. The result was a forty minute podcast, which I felt was of the caliber and depth I look for in ERP Lounge podcasts, so I've added this to the series.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_benedict_appleby_sapmob.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:01am EDT
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What went down with SAP BusinessObjects and BI at TechEd? What questions were answered from our last podcast? What is coming with BusinessObjects 4.0 - will it live up to the hype? What the heck is the new Semantic Layer anyway? And how did Vijay end up with 200 people at a BusinessObjects session? What feedback has SAP taken into account, and what burning questions still remain?
Direct download: pcast_teched10_bi_review_jonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:33am EDT
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What are the burning questions about SAP BI as we head into SAP Teched season? Will the keynotes answer questions about in-memory and accelerated data access? And how do you get the most out of the show and justify your attendance when budgets are tight? As we continue our "sporadic SAP BI podcast series," which is part of the ERP Lounge podcast editions, I dig into these questions with two fellow SAP Mentors: Vijay Vijayasankar of IBM and newly-named SAP Mentor Greg Myers, who is a Senior Business Intelligence Engineer at SEI Investments in Oaks, Pennsylvania, and who is also the Chair of the ASUG BusinessObjects Security & Administration SIG.  
Direct download: pcast_erplounge13_techedbi2010.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:10pm EDT
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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.

Judson is an ideal interviewee for my JonERP podcast series because of his background in on-premis ERP, in his case, PeopleSoft. During the podcast, Judson speaks to the skills transitions he needed to make and what SAP professionals interested in ByDesign work are up against in terms of skills evolution. Judson also shares his views on how SAP can improve ByDesign from here, and why the upcoming Software Development Kit (SDK) interests him from a customer's perspective.
Direct download: pcast_0910_jonerp_byd_pinkberry.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:26am EDT
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What it the future of SAP BI consulting? Why is there still lingering confusion over the SAP BusinessObjects tools amongst SAP users? And why is BI strategy an afterthought when it should really be incorporated into the core ERP implementation? To get a fresh take on these questions, I taped a podcast with Vijay Vijayasankar of IBM and Kevin McManus of McManus Consulting. Both these guys have deep SAP BI experience, and Kevin brings hands-on expertise in BusinessObjects tools into the conversation.  During the 55 minute podcast, we take a close look at which SAP BI skills are in demand.

I ask the guys what separates a mediocre SAP BI consultant from an outstanding one. We talk about whether there are functional BI roles emerging, and why BI is becoming a skill that all SAP professionals need to reckon with. Is BI the "holy grail" of value realization for ERP projects? And is in-memory for real? Vijay and Kevin have answers to all these questions.
Direct download: pcast_erplounge12_bi_jonerp.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:57pm EDT
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The SAP consulting market is primed for change. Staffing layers with questionable value place obstacles between enterprise buyers and the best SAP consultants. While "big box" consulting models still have their place, SAP customers want to see alternatives that allow them to source subject matter experts directly, even sourcing them "on demand" for short term engagements. Internet technology and SaaS-influenced approaches create a fertile ground for SAP staffing innovation.

To better understand the problems with the current SAP consulting model and the changes that are afoot, in this edition of The ERP Lounge, I invited three pioneers of new models to join me in a frank discussion. The result of our international teleconference was a 70 minute podcast that takes a hard look at the problems and offers up solutions that forge new ground for both consultants and SAP customers.
Direct download: pcast_erplounge11sapconsulting.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT
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During this 20 minute podcast, Jim Link of Forest City gives me the project-tested scoop on many key BPX topics, including: how does a BPXer justify their value to the business, who do they report to, what role do process modeling tools play, and what SAP technical and functional skills do they need to succeed in the SAP Business Process Expert role. Obviously, there are no universal answers to these questions - they are still being sorted out on a company to company basis. But for those listeners who want to understand how the pure BPX role can fit into the existing SAP personnel structure, and interact with Enterprise Architects, I trust you'll find this conversation as interesting as I did.
Direct download: pcast_sap_reed_link_bpx01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:59pm EDT
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Recently I taped a two-way discussion on careers in SAP sustainability with fellow SAP Mentor Jim Spath. Although Jim does not work in sustainability on a day to day basis, he's one of the most influential community voices in this area and has a 20 year background as an environmental engineer in his pre-SAP life. When we taped this thirty minute discussion, Jim and I were fresh off an SAP Mentor session on SAP's sustainabilty strategy with Jeremiah Stone of SAP. We wanted to react to that session - though some of it was "not bloggable" and we kept that content out. There were other SAP sustainability events to react to also, but mostly, we wanted to riff on SAP careers in sustainability and talk about the skills and the impact we can have by greening our SAP careers.
Direct download: pcast_0710_greensap_reed_spath.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:48am EDT
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With the release of his book - one of the most important business books in recent years (see my review on Amazon) - and with the reverberations of SAPPHIRENOW/ASUG Orlando still lingering, the timing was right to have Vinnie Mirchandani in The ERP Lounge to talk about his blogs on enterprise software and innovation. I wanted to dig into his opinionated takes on SAP and his critique of what he has dubbed the SAP "egosystem." I was especially looking forward to asking Vinnie about how the "polymath" practices he describes in his book can be emulated by individuals in their own skills development. I wanted to ask Vinnie how you reconcile the need to have broad expertise with the problem of becoming a "jack of alll trades, master of none."
Direct download: pcast_erplounge10_reed_mirchandani.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:53am EDT
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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. During this forty-seven minute podcast, Ray hits me with some rapid-fire answers to a slew of key ByD questions, such as how he intends to train ByD professionals, why SaaS consultants are easier to bring up to speed in ByD than "on-premise" SAP consultants, and the appeals and drawbacks of the SaaS consulting model.
Direct download: pcast_erplounge9_sap_reed_tetlow.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT
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In this thirty-five minute podcast, Jon Reed and Andy Klee have their second two-way conversation. Andy starts by putting Jon on the JonERP hot seat and getting his conference reactions to SaaS/Business ByDesign, Sybase, and certification, then Jon returns the favor with questions to Andy on his conference takeways. Jon also surprises Andy with a question about how Oracle/JDE and SAP consultants compare.
Direct download: pcast_0610_sapphire_jonerp_klee01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:29am EDT
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What's the latest on SAP certification? How did the Mentors fare on the SAPPHIRE floor and what did they learn in their conversations with SAP executives and ASUG members? And what are the keys to navigating a successful SAP career in the midst of technical change and skills commoditization? That's a meaty menu for a podcast! For this live SAPPHIRE NOW taping, four SAP Mentors, including three members of the "Certification Five" gathered in the Mentor meeting room to give you their best ideas (and a few off color comments) on SAP skills trends.
Direct download: pcast_sapphire2010_certificationfive.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT
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When you begin a podcast, you never know how it will turn out. I had high hopes that the combined voices of Jim Spath, Tony de Thomasis, and Phil Avelar would advance the Solution Manager conversation with new insights and a clash of perspectives, but you never know. The end result exceeded my own expectations. With good humor but a frank style that underscored their different perspectives, these guys nailed it. We taped this four way, fifty minute podcast on Skype, and while the sound quality is solid, there is the occasional piece of background noise. I think you'll find that any occasional sound blips are more than worth it for the caliber of the content.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_SAPsolman_roundtable01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:39pm EDT
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How is the SAP consultant skill set changing? Do companies really want "SAP Business Process Expert" skills or is it a top-down invention? And why are "soft skills" becoming more important to SAP professionals? And what does "soft skills" mean anyway? To get to the bottom of these topics, Jon talks with Guy Couillard, President of OTA. During this 40 minute podcast, learn why Jon thinks OTA is one of the best kept secrets in the SAP consulting space. Hear Jon and Guy talk about what customers are looking for from SAP consultants, how they fall short, and find out what to do about it.
Direct download: pcast_0510_sap_reed_guy_skills01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:31pm EDT
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Podcast guest Jim Spath is a fan of the Bengies Drive-In Theatre.  And just like the drive-in, we've got a podcast double feature for you. In part two (the part in this description), Jim and I talk about our shared interest in improving the public discussion on SAP Solution Manager and why we think this public airing is important. In part one of our double feature, we talked about getting the most out of ASUG 2010.  
Direct download: pcast_0510_sap_reed_spathsolman.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:24pm EDT
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Podcast guest Jim Spath is a fan of the Bengies Drive-In Theatre.  And just like the drive-in, we've got a podcast double feature for you. In part one (the part in this description), Jim and I talk about ASUG 2010 Orlando and why the ASUG part of the show matters (Jim is presenting at ASUG 2010 on compressing database objects).
Direct download: pcast_0510_sap_reed_spathasug.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT
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In a milestone podcast for JonERP.com - the first about a small enterprise SAP solution - Jon Reed of JonERP.com interviews Eric Brown, CEO of Johnson Products, about his company's experiences as an early Business By Design (ByD) customer. During the thirty-five minute conversation, Eric gives the background on the Johnson Products story that captured the audience's attention at the SAP Influencer Summit in December 2009.
Direct download: pcast_0410_sap_reed_brown_byd.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:49am EDT
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Establishing yourself as an independent SAP consultant is no easy project. Today's interview subject has pulled it off. Matthias Liebich, senior SAP Pricing consultant, has expertise in SAP Pricing that dates back to the R/2 days. During this special 16 minute podcast, which I recorded live with Matthias in his home office in Atlanta, Georgia, I ask Matthias about why SAP Pricing consultants are necessary and how he has managed to keep himself marketable over the years.
Direct download: pcast_0310_sap_reed_liebich01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
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Join Jon Reed and special guest Craig Cmehil of SAP for this 70 minute seventh edition as they take on reader questions on whether SAP community involvement has a real career impact (or not), and the right approach SAP job change. Then the guys head into a market discussion on social media hype and whether the enterprise should be more like Facebook. The feature discussion looks closely at the topic of SAP community involvement, with Craig spicing up the podcast with an honest, personal take on his own career transitions.
Direct download: pcast_jonerp_erplounge7_cmehil.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT
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Join Jon Reed and special guests Johannes and Vijayasankar for this 65 minute sixth edition as they tackle reader questions on the CRM-Solution Manager connection, and whether SD or CRM is a better career path. Then the guys head into a market discussion on the state of CRM in an on demand world, how SAP can improve its CRM strategy, and most importantly, the keys to success as an SAP CRM professional.
Direct download: pcast_erplounge6_jonerp_crm.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:27am EDT
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Welcome to the fifth edition of The ERP Lounge: Misadventures and Opportunities in SAP Consulting, the new podcast series from JonERP.com! The ERP Lounge is the new "long form" podcast series that features uncensored, in-depth discussions on the hard truths and real opportunities in the SAP skills marketplace. All ERP Lounge podcasts kick off with reader questions from listeners like yourself!
Direct download: pcast_sap_reed_brennan_erplounge5.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:12pm EDT
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What business trend will SAP have to tackle in 2010 to stay relevant? And what is the future of ERP training amidst all the virtual training hype? How does SAP certification impact the SAP hiring process and, and how are new "social networking" sites like LinkedIn making their presence felt when consultants are evaluated? Oh, and how does Jon Reed make money anyway? What exactly is the JonERP.com business model?
Direct download: pcast_1209_sap_reed_klee01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:10pm EDT
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What is the future of SAP consulting? Why do SAP customers struggle with SAP after go live? Where are the gaps in service that traditional Systems Integrators can't fill? To get to the bottom of these questions, I asked Greg Tomb, founder and CEO of Vivido Labs and former CEO of SAP North America, to join our podcast series and give us his take on how SAP consulting is changing.
Direct download: pcast_1209_sap_reed_tomb01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:06pm EDT
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Welcome to the fourth edition of The ERP Lounge: Misadventures and Opportunities in SAP Consulting, the new podcast series from JonERP.com! The ERP Lounge is the new "long form" podcast series that features uncensored, in-depth discussions on the hard truths and real opportunities in the SAP skills marketplace. All ERP Lounge podcasts kick off with reader questions from listeners like yourself!
Direct download: pcast_sap_reed_doane_erplounge4.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT
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At SAP TechEd, I was involved with numerous video shoots and podcast tapings. But my favorite from the conference stands out clearly: this live SAP tech skills chat with the Enterprise Geeks. What stood out about this taping? It was live, without a net, talking without any script or planning on the future of SAP technical careers - with a live audience asking us questions and watching to see if our material and views were credible.
Direct download: jonerp_tech_skills_chat.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT
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Too often, realizing SAP career dreams is seen as a process of seniority: until you have paid your dues for many years, you won't see the payback. While hard work is never a bad thing, Brian Dennett of Colgate-Palmolive has a different story: just two years into his SAP career, he was a Demo Jam finalist at SAP TechEd Phoenix 2009 (link to full SAP DemoJam replay). This was a powerful reminder that SAP career success in today's market has as much to do with late night bursts of content creation as it does with cubicle-based dues paying. To find out more about Brian's great story and get a view into his own career path, I had the opportunity to tape a live podcast with him at SAP TechEd 2009.
Direct download: pcast_1009_sap_reed_dennett01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:03pm EDT
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Many still think of SAP BPM as futuristic stuff - images of "business users putting on propeller hats" might be one way to dismiss these trends. That's why I was excited to do a podcast with SAP's Greg Chase, who had approached me prior to SAP TechEd Phoenix to tell me about the customers SAP was hearing from who were looking for a type of SAP BPM skill set that was not readily available.
Direct download: pcast_1009_sap_reed_bpm01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:56pm EDT
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One of the most controversial issues in the SAP community today is the question of SAP Enterprise Support and whether the support justifies the cost. In the flurry of blog posts on this topic, an important viewpoint can get overlooked: the day-to-day experience of SAP customers. Recently, Panaya, an SAP third party solutions provider, released their 2009 SAP Support Costs Survey. This survey put some meat on the bone of the hot topics in SAP support, such as the cost of support per user, the attitudes towards Enterprise Support, and the key support challenges that SAP users face.
Direct download: pcast_0909_sap_reed_bendov01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:44pm EDT
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SAP is at a serious crossroads. The ERP market is in a state of significant disruption. The down economy has not only slowed sales; it's created a fertile ground for Software as a Service business models. As I say in the podcast, how SAP responds to these market challenges is going to have a lot to say about its future. Those of us who work in the SAP community have a lot at stake as well. On the consulting side, the commoditization of basic ERP skills is challenging consultants to find a "higher skills ground."
Direct download: pcast_0909_sap_reed_nenshad01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:41pm EDT
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Welcome to the third edition of The ERP Lounge: Misadventures and Opportunities in SAP Consulting, the new podcast series from JonERP.com! The ERP Lounge is the new "long form" podcast series that features uncensored, in-depth discussions on the hard truths and real opportunities in the SAP skills marketplace. All ERP Lounge podcasts kick off with reader questions from listeners like yourself!
Direct download: pcast_sap_reed_trout_erplounge3.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:10am EDT
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A handful of people in the SAP industry are distinguished by their truly outstanding contributions to the SAP community. Kevin Wilson, co-founder of ERPGenie.com and partner with Qdata USA, Inc, is one of those people. ERPGenie.com has supported the skills growth of thousands of SAP professionals. So what is the philosophy behind ERPGenie's success? And how has Kevin Wilson used those same principles to build his own SAP consulting career? What are his keys to finding a marketable niche in the SAP market and becoming a thought leader?
Direct download: pcast_0809_sap_reed_wilson01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:32pm EDT
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Welcome to the second edition of The ERP Lounge: Misadventures and Opportunities in SAP Consulting, the new podcast series from JonERP.com! The ERP Lounge is the new "long form" podcast series that features uncensored, in-depth discussions on the hard truths and real opportunities in the SAP skills marketplace. From this point forward, all ERP Lounge podcasts kick off with reader questions from listeners like yourself!
Direct download: pcast_sap_reed_trout_erplounge2.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:04am EDT
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What are the keys to becoming a successful SAP developer? Why is SAP MII becoming such an important piece of functionality? And what do technical SAP folks need to learn from functional specialists and vice versa? In this podcast, Jon Reed of JonERP.com gets the answers to these questions with SAP Mentor Abesh Bhattacharjee of SAP Labs. In the debut of a podcast Jon and Abesh have been plotting since last December, Abesh shares the good news of the release of his new book on Implementing and Configuring SAP MII from SAP Press (co-authored by fellow SAP Mentor Dipankar Saha) and gives his insight on the importance of SAP MII and shop floor visibility to SAP users.
Direct download: pcast_0809_sap_reed_abesh01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:37pm EDT
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Thomas Wailgum, Senior Editor of CIO.com and the man behind the "Enterprise Software Unplugged" blog, is a self-described "wiseass." Those who follow his blog know that he isn't afraid to mix it up a little bit and poke a little fun at ERP heavyeights. What you might not know is that Thomas has been at CIO.com for 13 years - an amazingly long time given the ups and downs of dotcoms and online media. I wanted to get Thomas on a podcast and ask him how the ERP market has changed over his years at CIO.com, what he has learned from his interviews with CIOs, and get his take on the pros and cons of SAP in today's market. Thomas is also a fun ERP presence on Twitter, so you may want to follow him there.
Direct download: pcast_0809_sap_reed_wailgum01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT
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What's the best way to overcome inaccurate perceptions? By gathering comprehensive data. And what's the best way to put a vendor in context? Study the broader market. Eric Kimberling, President of Panorama Consulting, does both of these things in the ERP space. To get a better handle on keys to SAP project success (and how to avoid failure), as well as the impact of SaaS and the key skills ERP users should be cultivating, I invited Eric to join me and to share Panorama's findings with JonERP listeners. I also put him on the JonERP hot seat and asked him to make his own recommendations for SAP's future direction.
Direct download: pcast_0709_sap_reed_kimberling01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:21pm EDT
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Welcome to the first edition of The ERP Lounge: Misadventures and Opportunities in SAP Consulting, the new podcast series from JonERP.com! The ERP Lounge is the new "long form" podcast series that features freewheeling, in-depth discussions on the hard truths and real opportunities in the SAP skills marketplace. Join Jon and Brian for this 55 minute inaugural edition as they take you inside their vision of The ERP Lounge. Learn why they decided to create this new podcast series, what the structure of the series will be, and listen in on the regular features like "SAP Skills that are Hot/and "Not." This first edition also includes a tribute to the SAP independent consultant, and a hashing out of the differences between a "do as you're told" SAP contractor and a "tell the truth" consultant. And yes, this special series gets its own rockin' musical intro!
Direct download: pcast_sap_reed_trout_erplounge1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:59am EDT
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Michael Doane, the subject of my first JonERP.com podcast, joins me again for number 50 (though it's the 49th loaded in the system). We celebrate with a new JonERP musical intro(!) as well as an in-depth conversation with the inimitable Michael Doane, author of the classic New SAP Blue Book and the upcoming SAP Green Book: Thrive After Go-Live.
Direct download: pcast_0709_sap_reed_doane02.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT
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Usually I am the one doing the podcast interviews. But this time around, Muhammad Shaamel, podcaster, blogger, and SAP ERP consultant, turned the tables on me. During this twenty-six minute interview, Muhammad asks me for my take on what's hot and what's not from an SAP skills perspective. He had some excellent questions for me, including the value of certification and whether or not BPM skills can help an SAP consultant.
Direct download: An_Interview_with_JonReed01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:16pm EDT
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In this impromptu podcast, inspired by a Twitter conversation thread, Jon Reed interviews Marco ten Vaanholt, VP of the SAP Community Network and the Global Head of the SAP BPX and Business Objects Communities, on how individuals (and project teams) can make a "BPX business case" for SAP TechEd. (Follow Marco on Twitter, and follow SAP TechEd on Twitter.
Direct download: pcast_0709_sap_reed_vaanholt_teched01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT
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Sometimes in the glitz of Sapphire announcements, the ASUG part of ASUG/Sapphire gets less attention. 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, to share her views on ASUG/Sapphire 2009 and the pros and cons of co-location. I also had the opportunity to ask Gretchen about trends in SAP Security from the vantage point of her work as chair of the SAP Security Interest Group (SIG) for ASUG.
Direct download: pcast_0609_sap_reed_lindquist01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:45am EDT
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In the first installment of his "Sapphire in Review" podcast series, Jon Reed of JonERP.com welcomes special guest Michael Krigsman, President of Asuret and popular ZDNet blogger and Tweeter. Michael's focus is evaluating the keys to IT project success and failure, so during this twenty-eight minute podcast, Jon gets Michael's take on how project failure applies to ERP vendors and SAP specifically. Jon also gets the skinny on Michael's investigations of Business ByDesign at Sapphire, and why he sees SAP's focus on UI improvements and BI enhancements as important to ERP project success. In closing, Michael shares an inside view on what it's like to be part of SAP's Blogger Relations Program, mixing it up with SAP executives.
Direct download: pcast_0509_sapphire_reed_krigsman01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:58pm EDT
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In the second of two live Sapphire podcast recordings, Jon Reed of JonERP.com interviews fellow SAP Mentor Dick Hirsch to get his impressions of Sapphire 2009. Listen in as two self-described "BPX geeks" discuss the themes of Sapphire from a BPX perspective. Jon gets Dick's reactions to the Sapphire keynotes, and also gets his view on how Twitter is changing the experience of live events, both for virtual attendees and the actual participants. Dick also offers tips for how SAP professionals can move their skills into a BPX direction.
Direct download: pcast_0509_sapphire_reed_hirsch01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT
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In the first of two live Sapphire podcast recordings Jon will issue this week, Jon Reed of JonERP.com sits down with Ajay Vonkarey of Alpha Sirius to discuss his views on Sapphire, his impressions of the SAP market, and in particular, his views on Solution Manager - a topic you could not get away from at Sapphire where Ajay has deep expertise. In this 24 minute podcast, taped in a classroom as Sapphire closes out, Jon asks Ajay for his views on the pros and cons of Solution Manager from a customer perspective, how Solution Manager fits into BPM, and how SAP skills needs are evolving in the era of BPM and "end to end process" management.
Direct download: pcast_0509_sapphire_reed_ajay01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:37pm EDT
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On March 20 of 2009, I spoke with Vijay Vijayasankar, Senior Managing Consultant at IBM and fellow SAP Mentor, and conducted one of the most important podcasts I have done since I started doing them almost two years ago. On my mind during the taping: my theory that SAP consulting is not just being impacted by the economy and will come roaring back later. I believe the changes in SAP consulting that are underway now are permanent in nature, and have implications for all SAP professionals. There was no one better to ask about these shifts than Vijay, who has broad market experience and has seen many of the changes I am talking about. Disclaimer: please keep in mind that the opinions Vijay expresses during this podcast are entirely his, and do not represent the view of his employer, IBM.
Direct download: pcast_0309_sap_reed_vijay01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:30am EDT
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In this special SAP community podcast, Jon Reed of JonERP.com speaks with an expert team assembled by SAP's Ecosystem Workforce Group to assess the SAP skills trends that are relevant in today's economy. Joining Jon on the call are: Peter Russo, leader of PAC's SAP Services Research Practice, and Rob Fiddaman and Deepak Jaiswal of K2 Partnering Solutions. Rob is K2's North American Partner and Deepak, who called in from India to participate in our global call, is the CEO of K2.
Direct download: pcast_sapskills_0209_jonerp01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:29am EDT
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In a sluggish economy, SAP professionals want to know where the action is. One area that looks promising in 2009: RunSAP and Solution Manager. But there's a problem: many SAP consultants (and project teams) are not yet clear on how the two products relate, nor are they clear on the skills needed to implement them. To shed light on this topic, Jon interviews Ajay Vonkarey, President of Alphasirius, a company with deep experience in both RunSAP and Solution Manager. Jon specifically invited Ajay to do this podcast because of Ajay's innovative thinking around RunSAP and Solution Manager skills trends.
Direct download: pcast_0109_sap_reed_ajay01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:25pm EDT
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What's the latest on the SAP Business Objects roadmap? How can BI have a positive impact for SAP customers in a difficult economy? And what are the skills needed to implement NetWeaver BI products? To get to the bottom of these questions, I had the opportunity to interview Franz Aman, VP of Intelligence Platform Product Marketing for SAP Business Objects. In this podcast, Franz speaks frankly about the challenges SAP customers are facing and how BO tools can help.
Direct download: pcast_0109_sap_reed_aman01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:08pm EDT
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In Jon's first podcast ever on SAP MDM, Jon interviews Mike Kerrigan, Vice President of Business Technologies with Laurus Technologies, on SAP Master Data Management (MDM), SAP Analytics, and the skills (and management approach) needed for SAP project success in a down economy.

In this twenty-five minute podcast, Jon and Mike touch on the following topics:

- How today's SAP market compares with other down cycles Mike has seen during his fifteen years in the SAP field, including comparisons to the pre-Y2K and the post-9/11 markets.

- The relevance of analytics to today's SAP implementations, and why ERP customers expect more from SAP now than transactional efficiency. The SAP Business Suite is full of systems (CRM, SRM) etc with data that must be cleaned and managed before it can be utilized. leveraged.
Direct download: pcast_1108_sap_reed_kerrigan01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT
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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.
Direct download: pcast_1008_sap_reed_howlett01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT
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Recent SAP TechEd Shows have emphasized NetWeaver BPM and the importance of the Business Process Expert. To get a sense of why SAP is so committed to building a true "Business Process Platform," and whether or not BPX skills are still relevant in this struggling economy, Jon Reed spoke with Puneet Suppal, the SAP SOA Solutions Leader for Capgemini North America. (Puneet also writes on SOA trends in his "Cafe Innovation" blog for SAP SDN/BPX.)

At the time of the podcast taping, Puneet had just returned from giving a presentation entlitled "The Business Process Imperative" with Global BPX Head Marco ten Vaanholt at TechEd Berlin. He also shared plans to head out to TechEd Bangalore to deliver a similar talk. Having done this presentation at TechEd Las Vegas as well, Puneet's views on this podcast are informed by his recent SAP Community experiences. The result is a focused conversation on how project teams and individuals should approach "BPX skills innovation" during challenging economic times.
Direct download: pcast_1008_sap_reed_suppal01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:18pm EDT
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In the second podcast in the JonERP.com "All About SAP Training" series, Jon Reed asks Tom Michael of Michael Management  about the state of SAP training and the range of training and certification options available to SAP professionals.

Picking up where the last podcast on SAP training left off, Jon and Tom jump right into the topic of SAP online training:

- Tom goes back to the beginning: 2-3 years ago, Tom began to get more and more requests for online SAP training. In the past, there were very few options, and while sending folks to the SAP Academy can be very effective, it's not always an affordable option when you are continuously tweaking people's job roles. Meanwhile, the project documentation is useful to a degree but is not really the perfect training tool ("you can't learn SAP from a few screen prints and a PowerPoint presentation.")
Direct download: pcast_1008_sap_reed_michael02.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT
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In the first podcast in the JonERP.com "All About SAP Training" series, Jon Reed asks Tom Michael of Michael Management  about the state of SAP training and the range of training and certification options available to SAP professionals.

The podcast begins with an overview of Tom Michael's background and his role with Michael Management's SAP training and consulting practice. In addition to Michael Management's consulting work in Asset Management, Project Systems, Investment Management, and related areas, Michael Management has become one of the largest online SAP training sites today. As Tom explains, this was an organic process where clients asked Michael Management about the training side of their implementations and Michael Management began rolling out more and more online SAP training courses.

In this first podcast in their "All About SAP Training Series," Jon and Tom dive into the hot topic of breaking into SAP. Michael reviews some of the free options available online, such as SAP's own help documentation which covers basic functionality. Then there are useful SAP books that can further the education process on an affordable basis. But documentation can only take you so far, so what are the other options?  
Direct download: pcast_1008_sap_reed_michael01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:22pm EDT
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In the second podcast in my TechEd in Review 2008 podcast series, I spoke with BPX Community Evangelist Marilyn Pratt and got her honest take on TechEd Las Vegas 2008. This podcast has an interesting interactive twist - at a few points in the podcast, Marilyn turns the tables on me and gets my own reactions to what we saw in Vegas. Themes of this podcast include: the increasing importance of BPX themes at TechEd, an assessment of BPX Community Day, and the "greening of SAP," one "bottom up" idea at a time.

In the first section of this thirty five minute podcast, we get into what a "BPX Community Evangelist" is all about and why authentic conversations are so much more powerful than "marketing messages."
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_pratt_01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:15pm EDT
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There's a lot of talk about "SAP Business Process Experts." SAP even has an online "BPX Community" set up around this emerging skill set. But what does this really mean to the individual consultant?

For the first time ever, Jon speaks in-depth with a senior functional consultant, Samantha Gammill, President of Osiris ERP Consulting, about her pursuit of the "SAP BPX skill set."

In this podcast, we get the story of why a certified MM/PP functional consultant with a broad SAP background and 14 years of SAP consulting experience decided to pursue the BPX skill set, how she went about doing it, and what the reactions of her team members were to this skills transition.

During the podcast, Samantha talks about her efforts to move into her role as "future functional business process expert." In the process, she gives listeners a view into her approach to self-education. Samantha funded her own attendance at the TechEd 2008 Las Vegas BPX Community Day, and brought what she learned about that day back to her team.
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_gammill01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT
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SOA is having a major impact on how SAP professionals look at the skills they need going forward. But why does SOA matter to SAP in the first place? Is SOA SAP-manufactured hype, or is SOA going to be a real factor on SAP project sites. What skills will be needed in order to succeed in the NetWeaver and eSOA era? And how does NetWeaver BPM fit into the picture? In this SAP-SOA skills podcast, Jon Reed shares his take on these issues with Demir Barlas of SearchSAP.com.
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_searchsap01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT
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In this thirty minute podcast, David Foote of Foote Partners reviews his firm's latest 2,000-employer benchmark survey data on trends in pay and availability of SAP enterprise application skills. Hear what's hot (and by how much), including which SAP skill has seen a 57% increase in market value over the last 12 months.

Also included: strategy advice for employers deploying SAP applications, and career advice for IT professionals building SAP careers over the next two years.

Kicked off by Demir Barlas of SearchSAP.com, this podcast begins with David Foote's overview of his latest SAP skills findings, including what's hottest in 2008. Jon Reed of JonERP.com weighs in toward the end of this podcast, asking David several questions about how SAP professionals should apply his findings to their own skills transitions.
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_barlas_foote01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:09pm EDT
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Gas prices have been flirting with $5 a gallon recently. But as Krishna Kumar of Enterprise Horizons points out in this podcast, when most SAP customers implemented their first SAP systems, prices were closer to $1 a gallon. This massive change in the cost of energy has created both a crisis and an opportunity. On this podcast, we look at the opportunity side of the equation. Jon and Krishna are joined by Paul Kurchina, Director of the Kurmeta Group, and author of the recently released book In Pursuit of the Perfect Plant.

The three of us take a closer look at the intersection between the corporate "Green Movement" and eSOA, and how these converging technologies are having a beneficial impact on the bottom line, while charting a better course for global energy consumption. Paul and Krishna also explain how SAP professionals can get more involved in the Green/eSOA space - a potentially great way to mix skills expansion with purposeful work.  
Direct download: pcast_0808_sap_reed_kumar_kurchina01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:02pm EDT
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What is at the root of the customer frustration with SAP's maintenance fee increases? And what does RunSAP and Solution Manager have to do with it? To get at these questions and many more, listen in with Jon Reed and SearchSAP.com Site Editor Demir Barlas as they interview Robert Max, ASUG Evangelist for ASUG, Americas' SAP Users' Group. Formerly the SAP Infrastructure Manager for a Fortune 500 Company, Max has played a leadership role in many ASUG groups, including serving as as the Chair of the ASUG Solution Manager Community.

During this podcast, Robert explains how SAP customers can achieve a greater value from SAP support by maximizing the use of Solution Manager, RunSAP, and end-to-end process optimization. He also talks about the skills needed by project teams (and individual consultants) if they want to take advantage of these emerging post-go-live opportunities.
Direct download: pcast_0808_sap_reed_max01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:58pm EDT
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In this landmark podcast, Jon speaks with Kent Sanders, Senior Technology Architect for CSC Consulting, about the beginning of the end for the traditional R/3 Basis Consultant, and how to make the skills transition to "NetWeaver Engineer." Kent explains why mastering NetWeaver is essential for getting involved with eSOA, and why eSOA has moved from hype to reality. Loaded with practical skills tips for consultants and project teams, Kent SAP professionals an inside view on how they can round out their skills, avoid being outsourced, and stay marketable in the NetWeaver era.

During the interview, Kent talks about the differences between the classic Basis skill set and the emerging "NetWeaver Engineer" skill set. He goes into the specifics of the tools that SAP technical professionals need to master in order to remain marketable instead of becoming obsolete. Drawing on his own experience, Kent explains how project teams should approach building NetWeaver and eSOA skills sets internally. Kent also talks about how the business process orientation of SAP is impacting all SAP skill sets, and most importantly, how SAP professionals can educate themselves for these transitions - in particular by leverage the SDN and BPX communities.
Direct download: pcast_0808_sap_reed_sanders02.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:54pm EDT
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The value of SAP certification for SAP professionals might be the most frequently asked career question of all time. In this special edition podcast, co-hosted by Demir Barlas of SearchSAP, Jon discusses the key issues in SAP certification with Sue Martin, Global Certification Portfolio Manager for SAP.

During the podcast, Jon poses the "hot button" SAP certification topics that he always wanted to ask, including Sue's take on the relevance of SAP certification to hiring managers, and the value of SAP certification for those trying to break into SAP. Sue also explains the new three-tiered SAP certification program, the latest efforts to make SAP certification exames more location-accessible, and what's coming up for SAP certification at TechEd 2008.

By the time the podcast is over, Jon and Demir get Sue's take on many of the questions JonERP.com readers have posed about SAP certification - including Sue's news that more than 80 percent of SAP hiring managers surveyed say that certification factors heavily into their hiring decisions.
Direct download: pcast_0708_sap_reed_martin01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:51pm EDT
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Jon Reed interviews Jim Spath, Technlogy Architect for Black and Decker, and gets his frank views on ASUG 2008, including the Business Objects acquisition, SAP for the Blackberry, and the impact of social media on SAP professionals.

In this thirty-five minute podcast, Jim addresses some of the major themes of ASUG/Sapphire 2008 from the vantage point of how SAP's technology impacts the user community. An active blogger on the SAP Developer Network, Jim is also an SAP mentor, as well as an ASUG conference planner.

Join Jon and Jim as they peel back the conference hype and look at the issues that mattered to SAP users.

Topics covered in this podcast include:

- Jim's SAP's background and his current role at Black and Decker.

- The Business Objects acquisition and Jim's views on how the Business Objects purchase is impcating SAP customers. Jim discusses the importance of SAP customers developing a new Business Intelligence Roadmap that incorporates BO, and what ASUG is doing to help with that.

- The "SAP for the BlackBerry" announcement, Jim's own involvement with the ASUG Mobile Technology sessions and why he believes SAP needs to expand its focus beyond the BlackBerry to other mobile devices, in keeping with its platform-agnostic approach.

- Jim's take on the lessons learned from Sapphire/ASUG co-location and how companies can take better advantage of co-location when they send their user teams to these shows.

- Jon expresses his skepticism about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for big businesses, and Jim explains how his background in environmental engineering has given him a different take on CSR. He talks about his research on SAP CSR and how there may be some positive eco-friendly changes in SAP's own production processes that are possible.

It fits in with his goal of fostering transparency in business and supporting SAP in its commitment to greater transparency. Jim also takes pride in Black and Decker's own commitment to socially responsible business, and after the podcast, Jim sent along a link to Black and Decker's corporate citizenship practices.

- Jim's experiences as a blogger on SDN, how it has impacted his career growth, and his advice for those who are just getting involved in SDN and may be a little shy about starting their own blogs.

Jim talks about how writing publicly means learning how to handle and incorporate criticism, and how SDN/BPX leaders like Marilyn Pratt encouraged his own emergence as a blogger.

- Jim's take on the BPX Community Day and how social media is impacting the SAP professional. He talks about how Black and Decker has been very supportive of his efforts to involve himself in the SAP community, and speaks to the tensions some companies and managers may have around the question of "is this social media stuff you're doing wasting our time or helping our bottom line."

Black and Decker sees how the community involvement of employees like Jim pays off. Not all companies feel that way yet, but things are changing.

- On the BPX Community Day panel, the question of "how do you find time to interact online?" came up. Jim shares his secret to beating the time crunch: getting up a half hour early each day to blog.
Direct download: pcast_0608_sap_reed_spath01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:13am EDT
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In this Sapphire in Review mega-edition podcast, Jon Reed Interviews Kent Bettisworth, President of Bettisworth and Associates, and gets his take on the key themes of Sapphire 2008.

Kent is a senior Project Systems snd Fixed Asset consultant whose company also offers SAP System Access in conjunction with Michael Management. After you listen to this podcast, you will understand why Kent is one of Jon's "go to" people when it comes to analyzing SAP skills trends and staying ahead of the skills curve.

During this back-and-forth discussion, Jon asks Kent for his reaction to the SAP keynotes and the trends Kent noticed in terms of SAP-for-the-BlackBerry, Business by Design, Role-Based Portals and beyond, and the emphasis on personalization and useability of SAP - not always SAP's strongest aspect historically. A major focus of the podcast is a closer look at the so-called "SAP Skills Shortage" and how SAP professionals should respond.

Topics covered in this podcast include:

- Kent's take on the keynotes, and why he was struck by Hasso Plattner's emphasis not only on Role-Based Portals but even more personalized user experiences, leveraging the technology being developed for Business By Design. Kent also talks about the SAP-for-the-BlackBerry announcement and which parts of the enterprise should be most impacted.

- Jon asks Kent for the key trends driving SAP staffing, and Kent explains that at the conference and in his own client work, the major driver is still core upgrades as well as merger and acquisition implementation activity.

Kent does make a distinction between the type of SAP consulting activity we see today versus what we saw in the mid-90s. He talks about the focus on technical upgrades, but that his clients are also doing functional enhancements in targeted areas. Business Intelligence is also a factor now.

- The so-called "SAP Skills Shortage" was a major talking point at the SAP press conference. Jon asks Kent for his view, and Kent agrees that the skills shortage is not so much across the board as targeted in specialized areas of higher demand.

He also thinks that part of the issue is that SAP customers have a harder time leveraging the skills of less-experienced SAP folks (under five years). Kent shares some ideas around a mentoring structure that would allow clients to take better advantage of less experience talent in conjunction with senior mentors such as Kent.

- Jon asks for Kent's take on how specialized an SAP consultant needs to be in order to be successful, and gets Kent's take on a situation where his work was balanced on a project by another expert in the product costing area.

- Kent delves into the Project Systems area of specialization, and related skills in Fixed Assets and Portfolio Management. He shares the latest trends in Project Systems consulting in areas related to capital management, revenue, and investment management.

Kent also tells Jon what the value is in the xRPM xApp and how it fits into the landscape of SAP functionality. xRPM is different from classic PS work in that it involves more technical skills in BI and Portals work in order to implement it.

- The talk then moved into a discussion of how SAP system access can help a consultant get a better feel for these emerging areas in PS and Investment Management, as well as other new areas of SAP. Jon and Kent talk about how the SAP ecosystem can be a great source of self-education for the SAP professional in transition.

- Last but not least, the last segment of the podcast gets into Jon and Kent's debate about the Business Process Expert skill set. Kent has maintained that the best SAP consultants have always had a business process focus.

But Kent also agrees that today's BPX world has new communities (like the BPX community) and new tools to master. Kent talks about how he always saw the value of business process management expertise, whether it was Six Sigma or Total Quality Management.

- Jon and Kent talk about the pieces Jon has done on SAP configuration skills and whether they are going away anytime soon. Jon and Kent talk about the ideal skill set for the SAP consultant - a combination of focused specialization in a marketable niche with a broader (but related) business process and industry expertise.
Direct download: pcast_0508_sap_reed_bettis01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:31am EDT
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Foote Partners conducts some of the most extensive skills-based SAP (and IT) salary and skills/modules pay surveys on the market today.

In this podcast, hosted by SearchSAP.com, Jon Reed interviews David Foote of Foote Partners and gets David's views on the extent of the SAP skills gap, which skills are in demand (and which are not), the value of certification, and other SAP skills trends after Sapphire 2008.

The so-called "SAP skills gap" was one of the biggest topics of discussion at Sapphire again this year. David Foote was at the center of this discussion, asking SAP executives about the extent of the skills gap and how they plan to respond.

During the podcast, David details his concerns about SAP's ability to meet the skills demand caused in particular by midmarket expansion. He also gives provides insight into how larger economic trends impact SAP skills demand, and he also tells us why the best SAP professionals have a narrow, rather than a broad, skills focus.

During the discussion, Jon also gets David's take on how SAP project teams can attract (and retain) the best SAP talent. David shares how the data he gathers at Foote Partners ties into the overall trends he observes in terms of the value of IT certifications.

The limitations of certification when it comes to measuring the emerging "business process expert" skill set are also discussed.

In terms of which SAP skills are most in demand, David cites the following areas as trending towards "hot":

SAP ERP 6.0 upgrade skills (Financials, HCM, Materials Management)

NetWeaver Master Data Management (MDM)

NetWeaver Application Server

NetWeaver Business Intelligence (BI)

Areas that are getting a bit colder in Foote Partner's latest findings (which are issued quarterly):

ABAP Development

Payroll

NetWeaver Process Integration (PI, formerly XI)

Sales and Distribution (SD)

By the time you're done listening to this thirty minute podcast, you'll have an excellent feel for how Foote Partners views the skills trends in the SAP marketplace, and how SAP professionals can best respond to these skills trends.
Direct download: pcast_0508_sap_reed_foote01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:57am EDT
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SAP HCM is one of the hottest areas in SAP consulting, but the skills you need to succeed in SAP HR are also changing. To get to the bottom of what's hot and what's not in SAP HCM consulting, Jon Reed sat down with Ralph Williams, Director HCM Solutions, B2B Workforce.

SAP HR is changing from a back office product to a strategically important "HCM" solution that includes cutting edge Talent Management components. But what does that mean for the SAP HR professional? What skills are in demand now?

In his role at B2B Workforce, Ralph has the opportunity to see firsthand which areas of HR are hot, and which are not as hot. In this thirty minute podcast, Ralph shares with Jon the specific areas of SAP HR that are heating up, and what he looks for in the HR/HCM consultants he and his team place on B2B Workforce projects.
Direct download: pcast_0308_sap_reed_williams01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:15am EDT
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What skills do you need to perform an SAP Logistics upgrade to ERP 6.0? And what does it take to thrive as an independent SAP consultant? To get a better feel for the functional skills needed on the ERP 6.0 platform in the SAP Logistics area, Jon spoke down with Thomas Woelfel, a veteran SD consultant, and got his take on how the SD module is evolving.

During this thirty five minute podcast, Thomas gives his view on what SAP Logistics consultants need to know in order to keep pace with SAP. A major focus of the podcast is on the role of the independent SAP consultant on project teams, and Thomas' recommendations for success as an independent.

In this frank look at the challenges of independent consulting, Thomas explains how he has found a way to thrive as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on SAP projects, balancing his relationships with the end client and the outside consulting partner.
Direct download: pcast_0308_sap_reed_woelfel01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:02am EDT
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