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 !