Do I have an unhealthy obsession with Baylor College of Medicine? I’m starting to think so. I paid them a personal visit a few years ago and have been tracking their vital statistics ever since. I had a chance to run another check up recently (yes, I love puns) and I am happy to report that their current IT prognosis, which involves the installation of a materials management application, running on SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.1, looks good. Baylor is also an active participant within the SAP Community Network (SCN).
Before we scrub up and dissect Baylor’s SCN activity, let’s first take a trip to their materials management project, shall we?
Similar to their asset tracking initiative, which is now running very smoothly thanks to SAP Netweaver Mobile 7.1, materials management for Baylor involves maintaining accurate records of sutures, bandages, over the counter meds and more. Materials have bar codes that are scanned out of store rooms and are issued electronically. At some point during the shift (determined by the user), data is synched from the mobile device that triggers the middleware into a transaction. This generates an actual material document and goods issue within Baylor’s SAP back end system. Under the prior process, users logged into their desk top computers to record issuance of goods from (gasp!) paper forms which is time-consuming and much more prone to errors.
Paul Sammons, Senior SAP Business Analyst and Wireless Goods Movements Project Lead for Baylor tells me this middleware application comes from Fringe Mobility and is a Microsoft .NET application running on SAP Netweaver Mobile 7.1. Which is a good thing. It proves that SAP doesn’t have severe allergic reactions when introduced to new solutions. So what happens when Paul hits a hiccup with his daily SAP dealings? He refers to the SCN before opening a support ticket with SAP.
“If you have a problem the SCN is a great place to visit to see what other people are doing about it,” said Paul. “I have found a lot of great insight from some of the communities within the community that rally around a certain module or topic like mobile applications. It’s also great for day-to-day tips setting up configurations. If you take the time to explore the SCN you can generally find answers to your problems and it’s very easy to understand.”
Rick Pearson, Senior ABAP Developer and Wireless Goods Movements Project Programmer who works with Paul, sings similar praise for the SCN and is thankful he learned of the influential organization at a SAP TechEd event.
“The first I heard of SCN was when a group of folks approached me at a TechEd event and asked me if I wanted to sign up,” recalls Rick. “They said if I signed up I’d get a free tee shirt. Thankfully, they had my size so I signed up and I’ve been using it ever since.”
Rick relies on the SCN primarily for training purposes, gleaning details from the likes of Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman. “There’s a lot of great information made available on the SCN for folks to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to successfully navigate their SAP journey.”