I love working for a company that no matter where I am in the world, people recognize the name. When we were in Delhi last weekend, we passed a building with the SAP logo on the side. It was the headquarters of one of our partners; apparently they are as proud of their association with SAP as I am to work there. First time I’ve seen a partner include our logo and “Authorized Partner” on the side of the building. Made me smile.
Our customer also knows the company well. He said that when he was offered the chance to have free consulting from SAP, he was thrilled. He figures we work with the biggest and best organizations in the world, and would be able to help them streamline their processes to run better, as our motto states. Of the many people we interviewed during the effort, only 1 or 2 hadn’t heard of our company. One even said that SAP is so well-respected in India, everyone wants to work there. That’s awesome to hear.
Today during lunch at the hotel, our server mentioned that he didn’t realize we work for SAP (except he pronounced it sap instead of s-a-p; I tried not to cringe). Turns out the hotel we’ve been living in for the past 3.5 weeks runs SAP. Crazy, right? I wasn’t sure he knew what he was talking about, but then he started talking about how much easier it is to close the books each month, and even the bartender can see his current and consumed inventory every day. He said that it was hard it first because they were a little overwhelmed during training, but they have all grown to really like it. Who would have thought that eating at the lunch buffet, I’d find out that the guy who brings us naan and water every day is an SAP fan! Then he mentioned that another server’s son works for a consulting firm doing SAP work and how proud his dad is because it gives his son a good future.
My real-world job is so much easier than if I were a freelance consultant, because working directly for SAP gives me immediate credibility in most companies. I may not always deserve it, but it is a benefit I appreciate. I just didn’t think that while I was halfway around the world volunteering with NGOs, that name would carry as much if not more weight. Most of the Villgro team members have educations that make mine look pretty paltry, yet they are happy to listen to me because of where I am employed. Then they see what a goofball I am and are less impressed. 🙂