Virtual Events / Conferences – some lessons learned (repost)

(originally posted on

Due to the Coronavirus situation at the moment, we had a special exercise in flexibility today: An event which we had planned for some 40 attendees couldn’t happen physically in the same room since travel restrictions are in place.

So we saw two options: Cancel the event or use the opportunity to leverage all of the fancy collaboration tools we have in place to make it a virtual event as good as possible.

We know a physical event can’t be fully replaced by a virtual meeting, but we wanted to see to what extent we can stretch it, so we saw this as chance to collect first experiences with virtual conferencing with multiple companies.

In this blog, I will share some lessons learned about virtual conferences in the hope it can help you as reader if you are setting up your own virtual conference. (I don’t know at which point we talk about an event or a conference – but as stated above, our audience is some 40 attendees big from 20 different companies).

Photo by Jaime Lopes on Unsplash ( our conferences look very similar though 🙂 )


In our case, preparation might have been a little special since we already had finished the invitation process for the planned physical event: We had a little of attendees who committed they are available on the specific day and willing to join on-site. We worked with this list, so I won’t cover the invitation process here. Continue reading “Virtual Events / Conferences – some lessons learned (repost)”

Innovation Culture – first thoughts (repost)

(originally posted on

If you work in the IT industry, you stumble upon the term innovation A LOT. Everyone wants to be innovative, innovations disrupt markets, innovative companies change our world, innovation is the key lalala…

But like some other hype buzzwords, this term is used so often that it doesn’t always seem to be clear what it means. Still, everyone seems to agree that innovation is an important aspect to be successful in today’s business world.

That’s why I’d like to collect some thoughts about what is Innovation and – you know that’s currently my area of interest – how can we create an innovation culture in companies / organisations / teams?

An attempt to define innovation

“Innovation is pain”

Ok, that’s not really a definition. This quote wants to adress the level of change that needs to happen for a true innovation to arise. Innovation wants to develop a creative solution, create something that didn’t exist before. The only way to get there is to challenge the status quo. If you don’t see the need for improvements or unsolved problems, why create something new? Continue reading “Innovation Culture – first thoughts (repost)”

Collaboration Culture: What is it and how to create it? (Repost)

(originally posted on

Why is a collaboration culture important and what can be done to „create“ a collaborative mindset in an organization or a team?

The importance of collaboration

Since I am working a lot with the topic of community building lately, it becomes obvious that one aspect of a community is crucial for its success: The community members. If those members are nice to each other, if they have a nice mood in their communication, if the members are polite and respectful, everyone will feel welcome.

But maybe even more fundamental is that the members are willing to contribute to the community. Contribution might be by answering others‘ questions, by sharing own experiences or just liking a blog post to show appreciation: Collaboration has to be high priority of any community.

by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Continue reading “Collaboration Culture: What is it and how to create it? (Repost)”

Project SURGE – hello world! (repost)

(this post was originally posted on

Hey there!

With this post I would like to introduce you to an initiative we just started and that we would also like to share here on the SAP Community. To name it, we thought of “SURGE” because (according to my dictionary) it stands for a rise of the water level, of something that is swelling – because we would love to see more successful innovation projects as consequence of our joint efforts.

But who am I and why am I writing these words? I work as a Customer Engagement Executive for SAP Cloud Platform. As Customer Engagement team, we have the vision to enable our customer’s IT organisations to use our Cloud Platform as the new platform for Extension, Integration and Innovation. Besides explaining the technical capabilities of our offering, I think it’s at least as important to understand how the methods and processes of software design, development and operations change for the members of IT teams. I feel that the massive amount of emerging new topics and the immense speed in which they are changing is a key challenge to be answered by every team out there that is using IT to run their business.
While preparing, I stumbled upon the term VUCA to describe this level of transformation and I think it’s quite suitable.

VUCA stands for: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Let me phrase my personal understanding based on several resources I went through: Continue reading “Project SURGE – hello world! (repost)”

Building Communities

Building Communities

There is this topic in my head for quite some time and I try to focus on it to add some clarity what it is really about.
I am consulting large enterprises to implement new development tools and methods. While of course, there are lot of open questions in terms of technology and its functionality, I see a maybe even bigger challenge in people’s mindsets. I noted some thoughts about Change Management and New Work on this blog already, but besides that, there is another big aspect which might help to sharpen my activities a little bit more.
The metaphor of self-help groups might be a little strong, but it makes a point:
Once you feel you are not alone with your challenges / concerns and you know there are others that also share openly their experiences (the good and the bad ones), it might be easier for you to get through it.
If you try something new and you see that others have already done it successfully, you might ask them how they did it and about mistakes they made in order to avoid them upfront.

I think one possible method to deal with the excessive need of education and challenging new technology is: Team up! We all struggle with the speed of evolution in the IT sector, some more, some less. But if we help each other, we can all have a more successful (and more fun!) journey, I’m sure.

by john schnobrich via unsplash

Continue reading “Building Communities”

codetalks commerce 2019

codetalks commerce 2019

This week, I had the pleasure to attend the codetalks commerce conference in Berlin, I would like to share some insights. My time there was a blast, I met interesting people which – as usual if you meet new people – helped me to explore new things and get some different light on things I though I already know well.

It was organized with a spirit of sharing experiences: Most speakers shared the story of their projects, what went good, what went bad, what unpredicted actions occurred? In exchange, they could profit from others’ learning in different topics… like this, everybody wins, right?
I liked the openness of the participants here. Facing the pressure that the latest speed of digital transformation brings on the table, the IT crowd seems to team up in order to be able to compete on the global market instead of competing within each other here – I like this mood very much!

By the way: The idea to host a conference in a cinema is brillant as the infrastructure fits perfectly: You have comfortable seats, huge screens in good quality and people are happy to have Nachos & popcorn at hand all day long 🙂 Continue reading “codetalks commerce 2019”

Colombia 3 – Caribbean Coast

Colombia 3 – Caribbean Coast

God, what an amazing country !

After we had a day-trip to Guatapé from Medellin, we took a plane to the coast up north to Santa Marta on the coast. We stayed at the Dreamer Hostel which I can fully recommend: you will be fed well by the restaurant they run, the staff is friendly, helpful and most of the time smiling! 🙂

Barranquilla Carnival

To be honest, we didn’t really enter Santa Marta city center. Kat had a little cold, so we decided to give us 2 days of rest relaxing at the Hostel’s pool. As we are usually lucky with our timing on travels, we had the fortune that during our Columbia trip, South Americas 2nd biggest carnival was taking place in Barranquilla, a city only 2 bus hours away from Santa Marta. So we joined a Hostel shuttle bus that went to see this outstanding parade. Continue reading “Colombia 3 – Caribbean Coast”

Colombia 2 – Medellin

Colombia 2 – Medellin

Before I came to Medellin, I wrote that my expectations are high because it was supposed to be so innovative. And I got to say: My high hopes haven’t been disappointed.

From Salento, we took a bus via Pereira and I got to say it was the most comfortable bus I ever sat in. Double-decker with seats that could lean back, I had way more space than in most planes! We checked in at the Black Sheep Hostel Medellin which I also liked very much. Location is good, staff is lovely and helps you navigate through the city. They also recommended us to spend our first day with a Walking Tour organized by Real City Tour Medellin. We had a fabulous local guide named Monsa who grew up in Medellin, worked afterwards in the US for some years and now came back and works as guide for tourists. Continue reading “Colombia 2 – Medellin”

Colombia 1 – Bogota y Salento

Colombia 1 – Bogota y Salento

When my girlfriend recognized that between the end of her semester in Lisbon and the start of her new semester in Karlsruhe, there are 3-months spare time, she decided to use the time for travel. Reasonable decision!

After she now spend a month in Ecuador, we decided to spend some time together traveling Colombia. So I booked a flight from Frankfurt via Madrid to Bogotà and now here I am in South America for the first time.

First, we spent some days in Bogotà to give the body some time to sync with the new time-zone and as well get some insights of the capital. We joined a free walking tour with a phenomenal guide that had the gift of telling the history of this country in a way that you don’t feel bored for one second. Continue reading “Colombia 1 – Bogota y Salento”

The term New Work

The term New Work

My last articles’ subject was the motivation for Digital Transformation from a company’s point of view.

But the movement in this area is also bringing questions for the “other side” on the table: How do we as employees WANT to work? If the work-life is changing, can we maybe make some wishes?

As more and more people are working as knowledge-workers or creative workers instead of working on a big industry machine needing tons of material resources, their workspace needs less space – if it’s enough to have a mobile and a laptop with you, you are far more flexible where and when to get your stuff done. Continue reading “The term New Work”