So Long SAP ….thanks for everything


Yesterday evening, I sent my resignation to my manager at SAP. I will be at SAP for a few more weeks to wrap things up.

It was quite an experience working at SAP – doing a little bit of a lot of things . What I am going to miss the most is the set of amazing colleagues I had here . These are the people who keep SAP software timeless ! Knowing them and connecting them to each other was quite rewarding .

I have worked in SAP technologies for almost all my career – across development, consulting , sales, architecture and so on . In fact a good portion of my time yesterday at work was spent on debugging a FICO application in ABAP on Hana 🙂 . I must say it was quite entertaining to watch the curiosity of many younger colleagues as I was working on ABAP . It was a blast.

I also was happy to announce the brand new free trial of BW 7.4 on Hana SP7 , with BI 4.1 yesterday morning . The last version of the trial was quite a success with 1400 sign ups and 150000 hours used in about 4 months . Words cannot express how well my gang executed on this project – which still doesn’t have a cool code name 🙂

I do regret however on not being able to get on to a Mentor townhall yesterday to tell my buddies of my decision to move on. The success of SAP mentor program at SAP can be summarized as “Mark Finnern” – and Maggie is fortunate to have a guy like Mark in her team . I will miss working with Maggie, Chip and their teams .

I also regret not going to be around for the Suite on Hana trial we are working on . But knowing Ingo and team – I have nothing to worry .

Talking about people – Ingo , Rohit, Rainer , Rob and everyone in extended team have always gone out of their way to help me at every turn . I am sure our paths will cross again at some point and I will go to war with you any day . You guys are the best and I am blessed to have you in my life.

Many thanks to Mary, Jessica and Brittany for keeping me organized – without your help and guidance , I would have never navigated the SAP system . Special thanks to Meike for always finding me a way to get into Abdul’s calendar . There are many talented Executive Assistants at SAP – they are the unsung Heros , keeping everything running smoothly for the people they support . I am very grateful to all of them – and I am sure all my colleagues feel that way too .

A special shout out should go to Neel and all my other mates in the Ganges team. You guys taught me there is no mountain high enough . I will be cheering you on for a long time . You are absolute role models on how to be entrepreneurs inside a large company .

Same deal for the startup team under Aiaz and Kaustav – I don’t exactly know how you pulled off the magic you did , and I am a life long fan of your team . Continue the amazing things you do – corporate world needs more folks like you .

Mike Prosceno, Stacey and Andrea have been my go to folks at SAP before I became an employee – and they continue to be my best buddies . Thanks my friends !

Marketing colleagues at SAP don’t always get the credit they deserve . Jonathan B has built a world class marketing organization and collaborating with Ingrid, Amit, Ken and other colleagues have always been a pleasure . There are many stars in that team – like Sarah Mohammadian (no one works harder than her ) – and I am sure I will get to celebrate their success even if I am not an employee of SAP.

There are way too many colleagues in engineering to call out by name – and there are many that make the products I worked with successful whom I have not met in person . I learned a lot from them – and I hope I was some help to them as well . Engineering is what differentiates SAP from others – and I hope they continue to rock on and take SAP to greater heights .

Most of my time at SAP was spent on Hana , and especially BW on Hana . Like every big company I know of – SAP also has a complex organizational structure . It is amazing how many teams came together to make BW on Hana a success . In hindsight – the biggest challenge we had was the perception in the market that when Hana came out, BW became obsolete . I hope my colleagues don’t have to deal with that issue again since Vishal has repeatedly clarified that it is not dead . The extended BW team has a lot of very passionate people – and I will cherish the opportunity I had in working with Stefan Sigg, Thomas Zurek, Klaus Nagel, Mike Eacrett, Lothar Henkes, Prakash Darji, Chris Hallenbeck , Daniel Rutschmann , Dan Kearnan, Markus Winter and the CAL team and many many other colleagues .

Similarly , I owe a lot to my peers and their teams in the CD&SP team, and folks like Mohan Balaji, Margaret Anderson, Michael Bechauf etc with whom I could talk freely on any topic.

And finally – all the leadership team from Hasso, Bill, Jim, Vishal, Rob, Steve Lucas , Jonathan, Abdul, Aiaz, Sethu and everyone else – huge thanks for all the help and coaching . I learned a lot from all of you and am grateful for that .

So why am I leaving despite all the good things I have to say about SAP ?

My experience over the years has always been with big companies . SAP is smaller than IBM – but with more than 65000 employees, it’s quite a big company in its own right . And at an abstract level – working at one big company is not all that different from working at another . And at this stage of my career, I think my incremental learning is going to be pretty minimal if I continue to do that . It also helps that most of the things I am working on is at a stage where it is easy to hand off to another colleague to take it to its next level .

A very good friend that I had dinner with a few months ago introduced me to Max Schireson over email . Max is the CEO at MongoDB. He and I spoke several times and I got introduced to his team in the process and I absolutely was thrilled at the quality of people who work there, the founders of the company and I absolutely loved the product (an obsolete programmer like me could do a hello world in less than an hour) . I also got introduced to a few other big and small company CEOs at the same time and was fortunate to get to know them and their teams . But at the end – it seemed like MongoDB is a very special place to work at , and to grow with .

So, I have decided to join MongoDB, as VP of Global Channels. I have a good feeling that it will be an interesting challenge to build and run a top performing global channel at MongoDB . Having been part of the IBM and  SAP ecosystem for a long time , I feel confident that I have a good grip on how great channels and ecosystems work . I will explain more about my new role later in another blog post .

I didn’t make this decision alone – many friends gave me thoughtful advice . You know who you are and please know that I value your counsel a lot .

That was a rather long post and I am sure I missed calling out many people and things . I won’t be a stranger to SAP and its ecosystem . Who knows, maybe there are cool things to do between SAP and MongoDB too :).

Next steps are to hand over everything I have on my plate to other colleagues, take a short break from work – and then start the new adventure. Wish me luck !

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91 thoughts on “So Long SAP ….thanks for everything

  1. Hi Vijay, As difficult it is to see good leaders these days, it is even more hard to see good humans be leaders and you are surely one of the good humans I have seen. Thanks for being who you are. Best Wishes and keep in touch.
    Thanks, Sreedhar.

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  2. Cool move! You hit the nail on “experience over the years has always been with big companies. SAP is smaller than IBM” starting from your first company TCS all the way till now.
    Finally you will not have an option doing /h anymore 😀
    Congratulations & Best Wishes!
    Somnath

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  3. Congrats Vijay…missed the tweets over the weekend, but here I am now catching up. All the best at Mongo. Your dreams for BW on HANA will be well remembered I’m sure. And your predictions on Predictive 🙂 ‘Go on and conquer the world’ as they say, Cheers, Padmini

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  4. Vijay, it’s been an extraordinary experience to work with you over the last years. Thank you for all your hard work. You have accomplished more during your time at SAP than many others, especially for BWoH.
    All the best for your next adventure and we’ll stay in touch for sure! Thanks for everything again, Daniel.

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  5. Thats wonderful !!! You’ve always been someone we could look upon as Inspiration. And this also shows that “Dont settle so soon.. keep looking, keep challenging yourself”.
    The sad part is that we’ll have one less common point to talk about. But nevertheless, you can tell us more about MongoDB in your blog.

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  6. Hello Vijay, I think everyone will agree YOU rock! You are one of most inspiring leaders I know. I wish you the best in your carrer with MongoDB and looking forward to read more blogs about new adventures in your new role.. Thanks for everything… Tomas

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  7. Hi Vijay,

    John Appleby has already said everything I wanted to say. You taking time to pick up my call or responding promptly to my email is just incredible. The way you thanked people – how do you make it so natural I wonder. And you loaded tons of info in the blog, every word says something important to the readers. What an amazing communicator you’re!

    I wish you good luck in MongoDB.

    Best regards,
    Bala Prabahar

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  8. Hi Vijay,
    All the very best for new start. I have learned from you in person and from your blogs, no matter where you go, I will always ask for your guidance and suggestions.

    Regards
    Kumar 🙂

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  9. Hey buddy,

    The sheer volume of comments, and the people who took the time to comment, tells you everything you need to know. You have been an asset to SAP for the longest time and a great friend and sounding board. More than anything, I have appreciated that you always find a few minutes to talk to me. Not that this will stop 🙂

    Also thank you for taking the time to thank some of the people who many people may not have heard of, but are the people who get stuff done inside of SAP. Sarah, for example, is well known as a go-to person, but I doubt that she is familiar to those who read your blog.

    I suspect that your role in MongoDB will mean that you are not that far away, because MongoDB and HANA could be good friends. I’m sure that this was important to them during their recruitment process. Our loss is their gain.

    John

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    • Hey John

      First – many thanks for the kind words.

      Second – I always have time for friends. And I know I can count on you to pick up the phone when I call you too 🙂

      I firmly believe there are great partnership opps between Mongo and SAP technologies, including Hana. Would be great to work together on that going forward.

      About Sarah and others that I called out – these are all people who touched my life in meaningful ways, and whatever little I got done at SAP was because they worked tirelessly. They are the real heroes at SAP.

      Wish you the very best, John !

      Cheers
      Vijay

      Like

  10. Vijay, congratulations on this new opportunity and all the best in your travels going forward! I’ve heard great things about MongoDB and your decision to move there just redoubles that impression. Excellent blog — as always! — thanks for giving us some insight into your process and this new direction. Thanks for the mention of course, and frankly, it’s always been a pleasure working with you starting as a Mentor while you were with IBM and then even closer in your time at SAP.

    All the best, good luck in your new role, and of course, let’s stay in touch!

    Chip

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  11. Vijay I saw this post and announcement when it came out and it was one of those sucker-punches that prevented me from responding till I got my wind back. Huge thanks for the candor and insights you have brought SAP and I look forward to that continuing and, I trust, even intensifying.

    As for this:
    >The success of SAP mentor program at SAP can be summarized as “Mark Finnern” – and Maggie is fortunate to have a guy like Mark in her team

    There is indeed nobody like Mark. But each and every mentor is an incredibly special person and force that I have been lucky to know. You included.

    MondoDB’s gain.

    all the best and see you soon,
    -m

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    • Hey Moya , I waved at you in cafe 1 but couldn’t get your attention to say good bye in person

      Many thanks for the kind words

      About mentor program – of course it is a bunch of incredible people . I was just trying to articulate the genius of Mark in creating such a forum that benefits sap big time . Guess I didn’t quite succeed 🙂

      Blessed to have a friend like you

      Cheers
      Vijay

      Like

  12. Best of luck with the new challenges at MongoDB Vijay – I am sure you will continue to kick goals and make dents in the universe.

    I’m sorry we didn’t managed to get you down to Oz but if you ever happen to be in Sydney let’s make sure we catch up.

    ‘Til we meet again – all the very best mate.

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  13. Hi Vijay

    Although the virtual worlds of Twitter, Email and blogs will surely keep us connected, I will miss our conversations at conferences. You have and will always be an inspiration and great counsel for me.

    The MongoDB role sounds very exciting and I am wishing you all the best for it. I am sure you star will shine there even brighter.

    Looking forward to updates from you further down the line.

    Michael

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  14. Hi Vijay

    Although the virtual worlds of Twitter, Email and blogs will surely keep us connected, I will miss our conversations at conferences. You have and will always be an inspiration and great counsel to me.

    The MongoDB role sounds very exciting and I am wishing you all the best for it. I am sure your star will shine there even brighter.

    Looking forward to more updates from you further down the line.

    All the best!

    Michael

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  15. Vijay – I have always enjoyed working with you. Your disarming smile and shared passions on HANA will make it tough 🙂 all the best my friend.

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  16. But why 😦 Sad to see you moving away from SAP eco-system. Your blogs were nourished with new stuff every time. Do Keep writing – I will be here to read. Wish you all the very best mate.

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  17. Vijay – You are a good living example of “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters” We will miss you at SAP – I remember walking you into the office on your 1st Day at SAP and also when you turned 1 at SAP. Our loss is Mongo’s gain. All the best for the new gig and keep writing…and thanks for the kind words!

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  18. @vijay – you and I go back some years and it has always been a pleasure to work alongside you and I am sure we will do the same again in the future.

    Your generosity to the team that helps you succeed is an object lesson to anyone who thinks that climbing the greasy pole means stomping on others. Your willingness to surround yourself with smart people is an example others would do well to learn from – if they can.

    The AWS/BW on HANA thing was definitely a high point and something that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. That legacy will live long inside the company. As will other things we discussed which drew less but important attention among buyers.

    Onwards my friend – and as they say: don’t be a stranger. 😉

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  19. I have always said, people come into our lives. We may not always know why at that time … but it’s always for a reason. I know why you are in my live & I am grateful that we will forever be friends. I’m delighted to see that MongoDB has an office in NYC. 🙂

    Vijay, you are extraordinary!!!
    I believe that MongoDB is a very special place because of YOU!.

    All my support!
    Stacey

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  20. Vijay
    Good luck with your new job at MangoDB!! It’s a loss for SAP and the SAP community but I don’t think you are going to loose your followership! Have a great time off and I only wish the best things for you going forward
    KK

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  21. Such a pleasure to work for you. Many wishes that this new company brings you great happiness and success. Thanks for all your guidance on my future endeavours, your kind words and thoughts were much appreciated.

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  22. Vijay – Every action in life lies behind a reason. I hope that the reasons you mentioned here to leave SAP looks promising to your career.Wish you good luck to your career diversion.

    Like

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