Technical Learning Events — With Customer-Generated Content

September 12, 2006

As somebody who earns a pretty penny designing and developing learning content for big technology shows, I’m attracted to new (and scary) trends.  One of the most interesting is referred to as a “Foo Camp” or a “Bar Camp“, among other names.  The idea is that the inmates build the asylum, and then live in it.  My buddy Thom Robbins has had wild success with this in the New England area.

Simply put, anyone at the show can propose a session, a discussion, or some type of sharing/learning experience.  If enough people are interested — it happens.  (This idea makes most marketing drones quake in their Gucci loafers — what happend to our carefully crafted messages, to help people better understand our product planning map as it relates to the positioning of our solution-based selling system?)

I love it.  My only focus is on customers — and what their pain points are, what issues they need help with, and how to help them be more successful using our software. 

So when I saw that SAP designed a whole show around this, and followed up with a Business Product Expert Community, it really got my attention.  Anyone who does technology training and doesn’t jump on this is going to be very lonely at those big convention centers.

Here’s some information from the launch of the community, with a little PR-speak removed for clarity:

“The Business Process Expert Community is the premier online destination for sharing best practices in process innovation.

In keeping with the SAP tradition of open communication, we’re dedicated to an ongoing dialogue with our customers and partners about their needs.

Discussions with customers make it evident that it’s not simply a question of how to use enterprise services. Rather, it’s a question of who in the organization has the expertise and knowledge to do so. We’ve found that a broad range of professionals is entrusted with the all-important task of improving existing business processes and delivering new ones.

As we continue to expand the community, we’ll look to you to make it a success through your contributions. Suggest changes and improvements through forums, or express your ideas through blogs. Share your knowledge by submitting an article. With your help, we can make the Business Process Expert Community an extraordinary resource for business process innovation.”

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One Response to “Technical Learning Events — With Customer-Generated Content”

  1. Mark Yolton Says:

    Appreciate your comments on our “unstructured” SDN Day this week in Las Vegas. Mark Finnern of SAP’s SDN (SAP Developer Network) team gets all the credit. The day was extremely successful. Anecdote: one presenter didn’t show up, so the people who intended to *consume* his presentation instead rallied around to *create* their own session. A great example of turning spectators into participants.

    Also appreciate your highlight of our new Business Process Expert community at http://bpx.sap.com. This set of roles, and the community we’ve formed and launched, has huge traction. SAP has hit on an unmet need and a fast-rising trend in the market. We invite anyone who is interested to join free at the site.


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