Today is UN International Day of Education, celebrating the role of education in social and economic development.
openSAP, SAP’s open online learning platform, is part of Learning for Life, a global initiative that signals the company’s commitment to building an inclusive, skilled workforce to power the digital enterprise, in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and Goal 4: Quality Education.
A View from the Project Management Office
Today’s IT professionals thrive at the leading edge of an unprecedented era of digitalization in business. The accelerated pace of innovation places heightened demands on this segment of the workforce to evaluate and implement the array of new technologies entering the digital enterprise.
As an IT project management officer for SAP partner N3XT, Lindsay Mayer relies on openSAP to keep pace with the latest digital innovations for business. She likes the flexibility, depth, and expertise of the content available on the SAP learning platform.
From the N3XT headquarters outside Paris, Mayer is responsible for overseeing multiple customer projects in parallel – managing project timelines, resources, scope, and complex customer requirements to deliver SAP implementation projects on time and within budget. Dynamic and ever on the go, she continuously builds her knowledge by relying on the openSAP learning platform to assimilate topics like SAP Fiori, screen personas, data migration, SAP S/4HANA, and SAP Solution Manager.
“As far as learning resources go, openSAP has been an amazing tool,” says Mayer, who has been using openSAP for more than two years. “There is so much content out there, and it is great to have it organized in a way that it is easy to follow, so you can learn independently. Also, you can directly contact the people who are giving the course with a question and they will respond to you. There’s no searching online or through other sources; you can get the information directly from the product owner.”
Mastering cutting-edge technologies is something Mayer does with the adeptness and zeal of someone who has a life-long love for learning. After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in French from the University of Kansas, the young American moved to France, where she taught English and continued studying toward a doctorate in economics, taking an additional year of mathematics. To gain practical experience, she switched her focus to supply chain management and began an apprenticeship at an international telecommunications company. It was here, in the bottom line-driven world of business, that she had her first experience with an SAP deployment during her department’s roll-out project, thus opening the way for her career in IT.
Employers Foster a Culture of Learning
In today’s workforce, education and skills training are taking on new urgency to meet the demands of digital innovation and changing business conditions in the Intelligent Enterprise. Forward-thinking companies like N3XT are seeking out educational opportunities tailored to their organizational culture as well as the preferred learning styles and skill profiles of their employees. To meet these demands, openSAP provides continuous, flexible learning that is geared to the needs of the individual learner, free of charge.
Mayer manages her learning by taking an hour at the end of her work day to do coursework on the openSAP platform. She and her colleagues sometimes enroll in courses together, which she says brings added advantage to their projects. “We have integration projects now having to do with SAP Cloud Platform,” she explains. “Those openSAP courses are definitely a lot of help in understanding the project better.”
Mayer’s employer takes an active role in supporting its employees in the learning process. The N3XT Skills Center Manager regularly sends out a company-wide email to notify the project teams of upcoming SAP skills courses that are of relevant interest. While the openSAP coursework is not formalized in the performance review process, Mayer and her colleagues are encouraged to report to the company human resources department which courses they have taken.
“The openSAP course offer is an opportunity for our teams to learn and master new SAP solutions for the Intelligent Enterprise: SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Leonardo, and so on,” says the Skills Center Manager at N3XT. “The time spent on openSAP is a profitable investment for N3XT because it allows us to be one step ahead of the market and allows us to communicate to our customers about SAP innovations, as well as put them into place.”
Learning in Real Life at SAP TechEd
Last year, Mayer attended SAP TechEd in Barcelona at the invitation of SAP after winning a contest for which she submitted a brief video detailing why she likes learning on the openSAP platform. While on site at the event, she made the most of the opportunity to enhance her knowledge by participating in sessions on topics like out-of-the-box integration, next-generation data management, and applied intelligence involving IoT, blockchain, and SAP Analytics. Mayer plans to use the knowledge for a new French-language podcast series, Welcome1, which focuses on SAP innovations.
“I felt like a kid in a candy shop because I had a really tough time making decisions, and jumped in and out of some sessions,” she says. “The experience was incredible. I did not expect the size and the amount of energy that was present.”
Watch Lindsay Mayer’s video to find out more about how she uses openSAP:
Learning for Life
Learning for Life is an inclusive education, training, and workforce-readiness initiative from SAP. With a portfolio of more than 30 digital literacy programs, Learning for Life opens opportunities and changes people’s lives by ensuring everyone – regardless of age or background – has the relevant skills to thrive, innovate, and secure meaningful work in a digital world. Learning for Life focuses on three areas to equip people with digital skills: 1) preparing the future workforce; 2) reskilling today’s workforce; and 3) ensuring access for all. By putting people at the heart of digital transformation, Learning for Life embodies SAP’s commitment to building an inclusive, skilled workforce to power the Intelligent Enterprise. Together, we can help the world run better and improve people’s lives.
Photo courtesy of L. Mayer.