Sunday, July 20, 2008

3Years@SAP

It is three years at SAP and 5 years of my life after college. There has been only a day where I was jobless, transition phase from ThoughtWorks to SAP Labs. I still remember my last day at ThoughtWorks, the place where I started my career. I was a bit emotional and during my exit interview wondered whether I was making the right decision. Nila, my colleague, told me that I am moving from a pond to an ocean.

I left after my farewell but Nila’s words kept me busy and I told myself it is a new place, a new beginning, and a bigger challenge. Is the cup half full or half empty? An optimist would say that the cup is half full and the pessimist would say half empty. So lets be optimistic and assume that moving from a pond to the ocean would mean bigger, better and challenging opportunities. A pessimistic view would be easier to stand out in a smaller company than a larger company.

I joined SAP as a Solution Management Specialist on 20th of July 2005. I was the second person in the team and was excited about my new team, friends and work. My batch mates (all the guys/gals who joined on the same day) turned out to be my great friends at SAP.

I visited the SAP Headquarters in Waldorf, Germany in January 2006. We (Somesh, Reneeth, Shiva, Preeti and Sijesh my manager) had a great time in Germany. It was my first trip to a foreign county. Swimming, driving, Spa, Cooking, Shopping and visiting the county side… lot of fun especially when it is snowing. A month’s stay was an experience of a life time. Working with Germans, French, Israelis, Americans, Indians and Asians was truly fascinating. SAP taught me the value of time and punctuality from trams, trains, busses to people, everyone on time every time.

Melbourne, Australia was my next destination. I had to pay a visit to Australia as I had my resident visa. Three weeks in the month of February 2006 was a lot of fun. Beaches, Australian women, old school friends, casinos, the weather… I stayed with my father’s brother in a suburb in Victoria. I did look for opportunities in Australia… and in those three weeks attended two interviews. Compared to Australia, opportunities in India were far better. So I decided to go where I belonged.

The year of 2006 I traveled to Europe again and again. I was fortunate to visit Germany in all seasons, winter, fall, summer and spring. All seasons had something different to offer. Europe is scenic in winter, fall and spring. I used to play tennis from 7PM to 10PM in the clay courts in Waldorf, SAP Campus. Sunset at 9, speed kills but trills in the German Autobahns and shopping in Hauptstrasse, Heidelberg. During my visit we were on critical projects (War Rooms). It was not just work but a lot of fun as well. We visited the Sex Capital of the world (Amsterdam). Amsterdam to me was walking on the streets of the red light area, visiting the sex museum, Casa Rosa and the amazing Tulip Gardens.

October 2006 was Tech-Ed in the EMEA region. I had the opportunity be part of this great event. I realized what it meant to be part of SAP. Innovation, business process, customers, independent consultants, software, partners, SDN, BPX… the list just grows. I helped in creating and conducting a workshop on composites. I also presented the same concept of composites in Tech-Ed in Bangalore.

November 2006 – March 2007 was time for innovation at SAP. The gang of four and also known as Blank Inc: Harsh, Chandu, Surabhi and I, my batch mates and good friends at SAP, won SAP Code Olympics 2006 for our innovative idea of integrating SAP CRM with Google Adwords. We then looked at something bigger… not just Google Adwords but also Google Checkout, Google Base, Google Analytics, osCommmerce (Shopping Cart) and Tiger Direct (comparison sites). It was not just advertisements but the complete cycle of e-selling, maintaining your catalogue, marketing products in your catalogue through Google Adwords, tracking using Google Analytics, payments using Google Checkout and courier services using FedEx. This led us to the innovation workshop organized by SAP Labs India in Sri Lanka.

We as a team moved out of Composites and our new focus area Business Analytics. During the transition period we conducted a training workshop for all colleagues at SAP Labs India. Preparing for an all hands workshop, training material was something totally different. Our work in Composites was part of the Discovery System on SDN. (Request for Quotation Approval, Store Specific Consumer Price, Production Order Rescheduling).

Business Analytics our new focus area was filled with all odds. We had new challenges with Business Intelligence: Data Warehousing (Querying, Reporting, Planning, Performance Management, Data Modeling, Global Risk Compliance, Predictive Analytics…), Web 2.0, Rich internet applications… and yes we were successful. It has been more than a year with Business Analytics and I guess there is a long way to go.

Personally and professionally it has been truly satisfying working with SAP. I have had my great moments of success with projects, innovation, competitions and promotions. I am now an Associate Manager (Level D) at SAP. The Journey from a Software Engineer (Level A) to an Associate Manager has been a great learning experience and a beginning of something new.

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6 Comments:

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