“Successful SAP Consultant’s journey” – Alexander Lee shares his experience and tips for mastering SAP consultancy journey.

28 Feb, 2024 | By Hari

Welcome to our first episode, where we delve into the dynamic world of SAP consultancy and deployment. In this insightful discussion, we explore crucial aspects that SAP consultants need to focus on, such as adaptability to evolving technologies, effective deployment strategies, and the significance of building strong client relationships. For our end customers, we shed light on the evolution of project durations, the importance of choosing the right deployment model, and how to thrive in a remote or hybrid working environment post-COVID. Whether you're an SAP professional or a business leveraging SAP solutions, this podcast offers valuable insights to navigate the complexities of SAP implementations successfully.

Podcast Transcript

Hari: Welcome to BizTech Tech Talks, a technology and leadership podcast from BizTech Solutions.
I am Krishna Hari, president and CEO of SAP solution provider based out of Woodlands, Texas.
Our guest today is Mr. Alexander Lee, senior SAP consultant with 23 years of SAP consulting experience across industries like high-tech Manufacturing, Media, Life science, and Consumer product forms.
Mr. Lee has functional expertise in several areas, including revenue accounting and profit analysis, financial, and cost management, capital investment management, and planning, project accounting, and fixed asset accounting.
He has taken various roles like project manager, solution architect, functional lead, roles to big global organizations like HP, Intuitive Surgical, Juniper Network, Viacom, to name a few.
Mr. Lee did his undergraduate from Northern Illinois University, and he’s a multilingual fluent with English, Korean, Spanish, and conversational Portuguese.

Hi, Mr.Lee. Welcome to our podcast. Please introduce yourself, and let’s share your SAP journey with our audience.

Alex: Thank you for having me. Really excited to be here. Really excited to talk to your audience about my journey.
And hopefully, I’ll be able to, you know, share some good information for those who are thinking about SAP careers or thinking about your company as, uh, we have worked together for many years.
So thank you for having me once again.

Hari: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Alex. Alex, can you share some insights from your earlier SAP projects.
I know you have done R3. You have done ECC and how the industry has evolved since then.

Alex: Sure. Sure. I was one of the lucky ones to have actually started my career within ERP and the package that we all know as SAP.
It was my first job, actually. Korean conglomerate and I was fresh out of school.
And I was thrown into this, environment where this Korean Manufacturing site was doing a global rollout in in one of the key places in North America.
So since then, of course, many things have changed within SAP space, but one thing that does not change is how companies are run, those core processes that involve people.
Because at the end of the day, people are the ones that are running these organizations.
They’re still the ones that are making decisions for the companies.
And it’s very much still valid, to this date.
The business requirements, the discussions around, you know, compliance, and because, you know, my domain is finance, I was, fortunate enough to be involved in different industries because there are some common grounds across different industries as well.
Just going back to the basics the company still need to run their books, companies still need to purchase, run their procurement, to be able to produce some things, either products services, add value, and turn it around and and and service their clients and customers.
So those core things that make up an organization, a profitable one, hasn’t really changed a lot.
Of course, the underlying technology that we use has evolved, you know, our hardware has evolved.
The way we do things has also evolved a little bit from a methodology standpoint and what have you.
Because, you know, we’re constantly evolving as humanity. And and, you know, everything around is, evolving.
But the core things, things that go back.
The core things about, you know, how businesses run and what’s underlying, what drives that business running operationally day in, day out, hasn’t really changed a lot.
You know, we still have to produce purchase orders. We still have to produce, sales orders.
We still have to, you know, book entries in accounting to, produce, you know, financials, etcetera.
So those things, you know, are still very much in play. Right?
So I just wanted to give that perspective, from what has sort of evolved from what I’ve seen.

Hari: Given, given your experience, so, earlier, how long the projects used to take.
And now nowadays, have they shrunk the deployment time? Or, I mean, I I wanted to Get a Yes.

Alex: Yes. Back in the days, when I first got started, things were a little little bit slower because people were still embracing the technology.
It was very new at the time. It was cutting edge. SAP was was cutting edge. It was fast.
FAST Financial closed. Everything was integrated. Out of the box, things were running.
We just had to make few setting changes and and what have you, and things were can be run, but it was very new.
Meaning, not a lot of people knew how to, set things up correctly.
There was a huge emphasis in educating the business community.
The decision makers had to understand certain things to make the right decisions.
And all those sort of, activities had to be carried out within the project timeline.
Now SAP’s been around for decades, the knowledge about ERP and integrated systems and especially the the companies that who has gone through several ERP transformations they have gained this knowledge.
And, you know, a lot of times, things can be accelerated a little bit.
So over the years, what I’ve seen is that the time that it took, do a go live or or do a a rollout has significantly been accelerated.
And I think, also that, the the acceleration really came because of, a lot of tools that are available now.
You know, the knowledge back in the days, which is hard to come by.
We would go to SAP conferences and get any kind of, informative or documentation available from SAP directly, we would just get them in in CD ROMs and what have you.
And not everything was on on the website either.
So we would we would just search for this knowledge everywhere we could and and make use of that information nowadays you know, a lot of tools, a lot of documentations, a lot of knowledge, Sherry, has been made available because of, you know, SAP putting everything out there on the web side, with proper credentials, etcetera.
So those things contribute to the accelerated model of deployment and the goal live and then etcetera.
So, yes, so over the years, things have changed in that aspect, for sure.

Hari: I know you you have been done a lot of a global, deployments from, I mean, project management and execution standpoint.
I just wanted to ask you how has that evolved?
I mean, globally nowadays, I think, when you do all multinational projects, what are the challenges if you can share your experience.

Alex:Sure. Very good question. A lot of times, the companies or the customers that are in this journey of transforming their organization into ERP and and having SAP as the platform to be able to run their businesses you know, are usually multinationals that have presence, not only in one country, but several regions, several countries, continents, even across continents.
So many of the companies that I had the privilege to work with were Multinationals.
And there’s 2 models stand out in terms of rolling this out or or doing the transformation.
You know, one is the big bang as we may have all heard of.
Big bang, meaning, you know, we’re gonna just go all at once, meaning everybody will get their day day 1, and it’s because the strategic decision behind this big bang is to to get our hands dirty and get the benefits right away.
Because SAP was confident that, you know, at the end of the day, this is a packaged software.
If we can get the core things right, we can survive and, you know, and be okay.
So realizing the benefits right away, if that is the the focus, then then people would strategically plan their global deployment as big bang to go all at once.
But, again, we we would still go through the different phases to get there.

The the phase design phase to do the blueprinting phase to be able to do multiple cycles of testing development and, you know, finally planning for go live conversion if you need to a lot of cutover activities and then go live.
So that methodology doesn’t go away. It’s just that how do we deploy as a new system in the organization?
And the big bang would dictate that we would do it all at once for everybody.
The other model, which I sort of like is the deployment phase approach.
So you would you would take the time to, develop a, what’s called Global template.
Global template. Yeah.
Exactly. So in in this global template, you would, create this sort of, a standard processes and everything that goes around that process within SAP, you would design it, including the master data including the the configuration and and how we’re gonna do things the the same way, whether it’s in the US or Japan or Australia, the way we do generate purchase order is to x, y, and z and go through several approval process to get it out there.
The vendors, etcetera. So we would actually create a global template and pick a site or pick a region to deploy this, goal lives in a phased approach.
It’s a little bit, you know, risk averse, if you will. It because you’re you’re just doing it, regionally.
And and the teams are not burden as so much.
You know, you don’t have to go globally all at once.
So there’s less activity or less, things to, you can focus on a specific region and, and, and that would be okay.
So it’s a little bit manageable in that that respect is just so those 2 competing models is what I’ve seen, and they both have the pros and cons.
And both of these approaches are are great. It’s just, different ways to do it. Yeah.

Hari: Yeah. Yeah. And this one, I think, is it is it, something, a more mature organization globally where the process are a little bit more standardized.
They use Big Bang or which organization prefers to have a big bang and which organization? Just for
Alex: So I think if I looking back, yeah, organizations that are fairly have homogeneous processes, meaning
Hari: Okay.

Alex: Yeah. Would would would have actually go with the big band because it’s less risky to do so.
Multinationals involving complex manufacturing and also complex distribution would rather package those things, regionally to handle those in a phased approach.
So take a, um, consulting firm that doesn’t manufacture anything. Their product involve consulting services only.
You know, those types of organizations are poised well to go big bang.
I think in my mind, multinationals that have complex logistics they probably have, you know, manufacturing in one country, distribution centers in another country, and sales offices sprinkled all around all all of the globe it might be too complex to just go all big bang.
Yeah. It’s not impossible, but I would rather set up the manufacturing first and then, you know, build a distribution on top of it, etcetera.

Hari: Yeah. You you you little bit covered my next question.
I think, I know the you have worked in various, industry, high-tech, life science, telecom, manufacturing, and entertainment help me understand if somebody wants to go across industry, what does it they need to do and, how do you gain this experience?

Alex: There’s no right or wrong way to embrace your experiences.
I think you can sort of, make your own path. Yeah. That’s for sure.
But but again, being in the finance domain was great because every organized organization needs a little bit of finance.
In that respect, I was a little bit lucky, but if somebody is very interested in focusing on manufacturing environment, this person can align themselves with that and focus with that.
But at the same time, be open to experience other industries if the skill set is repeatable.
There are certain places that complement each other.
If a consultant is a a finance consultant, definitely, there are repeatable skills across different industries with different focuses, of course.
All these industries will have their core finance, and and depending on organizations too, because of their preference, how they wanna run their businesses, they’ll have their core finance processes, which tends to be really, really interesting as we, work closely with clients and the decision makers, we will get to know the core of that particular organization. And what really makes up their finance and then the decision making process. To be able to experience across industries, I think just be open minded what comes along. If you wanna focus on specific industry, I think that’s great also.
If that’s how you want to design your, your career. But as a finance person, I think you can be a little bit open in the beginning of their careers. As they mature, I think they can dive into a specific industry and stay there and develop the depth of knowledge that they can.
That’s also not a bad career path, but you have to also be mindful about, you know, what’s around you. Because, you know, if you think about the US, manufacturing was very, you know, light few years back.
I know is coming back. Coming back now. So manufacturing was more prominent in other countries as opposed to US. So I think the individual consultants needs to be mindful about their environment and what’s around them.
And what’s their interest to develop the depth and the breadth that will help them in the years to come.

Hari: You being a functional expert on the Copa side or wanted to understand how the global tax a project which you did in China, the localization or a global tax, how do you gain a experience in such areas, which niche areas.
I know we started talking because of this global tax opportunity in China for intuitive surgical wanted you to share your experience, sir.

Alex: Obviously, Copa is one of the modules in SAP. And, the tool used for contribution margin analysis.
So it looks at the revenue and the cost involved to it, to the level 12, you know, not the full PNL, if you will, but detailed analysis of what makes up my revenue and how much am I making?
It answers those questions, Copa. Right?
So it’s, interest of many, right, because all the all the companies are are for for profit. And revenue is on top of everybody’s mind, especially the CEO and CFO and all the T Suites. Right? Right.
So being around that competency area is tremendous by itself. You get to work with the important folks.
And you are exposed to a lot of good information about the company and how they may decisions.
So that’s one thing about Copa. And even within finance, how you, as a consultant, within finance, practicing finance modules, how do you pick and choose which area to develop more skill set?
So revenue is one of those areas. That are in the minds of a lot of customers and a lot of upper management.
So definitely a good area to begin. Taxation is definitely another area that it’s interests a lot of folks within, any corporation because they wanna be compliant.
Absolutely. Now without any compliance, the business gonna be at risk. Without revenue, the business gonna be at risk. So these are these are a couple of the most important areas that a consultant can spend their time consuming.
A lot of knowledge, whether it’s, specific tax in China or Taiwan, you know, at the end of the day, concept of tax is not very complex.
Once you understand this taxation worldwide, whether it’s a VAT or use tax or something, there’s a handful of methods that you’ll come across.
If one can study those and have a good understanding and understand how the technology is used to to handle those textations in different parts of the world, it’s more power to the consultant.
So I would recommend or suggest that any one of these areas are exciting areas.
Tax is not a rocket science. You know, we would we should embrace it.
And it could be one of the specialty areas that are very hot in years to come.
Tax will never go away. Revenue is the bread and butter of every company.
It’s a good place to be in.
I’ve been focusing on revenue, accounting, and reporting in past 5 years, both revenue and compliance.
So There is a hot area that everybody should know about.

Hari: The RAR . Right?
Yes. Yes.
The next question that I have is, especially people who they they talk about the certification for suppose as the in the entry level candidates.
, always, there are a couple of folks come and ask me, hey. What module should I get certified?
Give me your perspective of how this certification helps when it helps or it may not help.
Again, I think why I’m asking telling you this is, sometimes ask, a good consultant in our own company.
He got certified in Ariba, but it took him 3 years to get an Ariba project.
Oh, wow.
So he was an MMPP guy, but I think that to get him that the he went through the certification process, but project did not come by.
Right? Give you a perspective. Do you go through certification process?
now that you have 23 years, or, how do you approach this?

Alex: I have, and I do, and I strive to, but it’s not everything.
But but definitely it cannot purch you, and it would it will definitely help you in the long run.
It will help you stand out among pool of as a consultant starting out in this journey. Definitely. Yes.
It’s something that you’ll have to gain knowledge anyway.
Why not get the certification if the resources are available, readily available for you to take on.
If the resource is not reachable because, you know, course is too expensive or, you know, it you know, what what whatever the reason But there are many ways to gain that same knowledge.
That’s what’s good about these things. Very good.
The knowledge is everywhere now You can download this stuff, stuff that was published by SAP. Right?
There are many books that were written that are available. So the knowledge is everywhere.
If certification is available, it’s easy for you to grab. Why not do so?
Cause you’re gonna be learning the content and diving into the details anyways.
If you’re part of the, the company like I am with consulting firm, then then those, training slash certifications are somewhat available.
You can take the advantage of those as well. So, yes.
I mean, definitely, It will not hurt anybody more power to you if you have the certification.
It’s not everything. Knowledge can be gained, from everywhere.

Hari: Good. Good. Good. I think, yeah, that makes sense.
I know a lot of folks, I think, with the so much of s for Hannah deployment coming in, licensing licensed sold by SAP.
A lot of work comes in as for S4 Hana, and a lot of people are looking for as for Hannah sort of an experience.
Right? Could you share a particular challenge challenging SAP project you worked on and how you navigated the some challenges?

Alex: This is just a very good question. Very good interview question, actually.
So every project is a challenge. I mean, every day sometimes is a challenge.
You know, clients are getting tough, especially in the Bay Area.
People are, you know, up to snuff You know, they’re they’re very sharp.
But we as consultants, as long as we are couple steps ahead, we’ll be fine.
That’s one of the first advice I had when I first started in in this journey.
We may not know everything. Stabbing clients who’s gotten consulting services in the past, they are more realistic.
They sort of understand. And then they will try to get most out of us by helping us.
So it’s it’s important that we connect with the clients in this journey and have sort of, a working relationship that will create synergy.
Having said that, going back to your question, the the challenges.
I think a couple years back, COVID hit I mean, that’s, you know, I have many challenges, but something that jumps out is the right around COVID.
All of a sudden, our working environment completely changed world is upside down, and we’re in the middle of a deployment.
We’ve never done this before, you know, working remotely, people are distracted. My team is distracted.
The plan is distracted. Everyone is distracted. We’re losing days. Wow. You know, without any progress.
But at the end of the day, we got it done because of key things, And I think trusting everybody, having open communication about things.
And striving, get this done. Because we knew, oh my god. The world is changing.
It’s gonna stay this way for a little bit and better make it work.
Otherwise, we’re gonna all head back to the office, and we don’t wanna do that. Right. Yeah.
So it was not one thing that we did, but it was many things that we did that to make it work.
You know, sometimes turning on the video for the first time so we can look at each other’s faces and expressions while we’re exchanging ideas.
It was,scheduling things more mindful about people’s daily schedules because at the end of the day, I mean, during COVID, it was all calls during the whole day, we couldn’t get anything done because everybody was having calls.
So so sort of, um, having quick stand up calls and things like that exchange ideas, use the chats, using communication methods that are unconventional using WhatsApp because teams were spread all over the world.
And you know what? Whatever we learned during that COVID, is what we do today, everywhere.
It’s not one thing that we did, but we sort of, as humans as a working person sort of adapted to work in this environment, being flexible and being patient, a lot of times being patient with people and having the strive to get it done.
As we all know, we can get distracted very easily. I mean, it’s first things first.
I tell my team members, you know, gotta invest on it starts from you.
Gotta invest in, in an environment where you don’t get distracted.
Gotta invest in the hardware where you have a good headset on a microphone.
Gotta invest on the, connectivity, make sure you have a good strong internet connection.
All those little things matter. You know, without the connections and all of that, things are very finicky and client will not love a session we just had, and it can create problems.
So being sharp being couple steps ahead, being prepared, all those things will matter, and it will come through.
It will come through. The the way you try, the the way you act in front of them, even if it was, during a conference call or what have you, the thought process that you put in, the the amount of time and effort to put in the content in front of them, it will come through.
They will understand. They’ll realize that hey, these guys spend the time and effort to put, you know, not waste our times.
Absolutely. And then
and they will respond. They will respond to you.
That’s how you would create this great, working relationship so that, you know, that relationship turns into more business and, etcetera.

Hari: . Sure. it’s a good point. COVID definitely brought the remote working environment, especially for the consulting world. Right?
I’m not talking about the product companies, but in the consulting world, I think customers saw their costs coming down no travel and work got done.
I mean, that impacted in the post COVID world also. Now the hybrid has become a standard, I would say.
Mhmm. Mhmm.
What is your thoughts on that?

Alex: I think hybrid is is good. Sometimes having a face to face conversation goes a long way.
I realized that a couple times that I had to travel on-site for a couple of workshops, Once you make that face to face connection, it goes a long way.
Yeah. There’s no doubt about that. Being remote is all good. We can get it done. But the relationships.
Maybe I’m just old school, but just having a face to face connection, having a a meal together, having casually talking about families over a beer.
Yeah. All those little things matter in relationships. So I am all up for hybrid.
If one can make it work, it would be great. It’s better than 5 days. Right? So Yeah.

Hari: Of course. Yeah. Other one, I think, with everybody talking about genai and other stuff.
So, I mean, what is your thought process?
Where will genai play a role in the SAP consulting or even in the product area.

Alex: You know, Krishna, I see it already. I think it’s here, and AI is being used.
I mean, even within SAP work, AI is being used knowingly and unknowingly by some tax savvy folks.
We operate under, client issued or the, the consulting firm issued hardware laptops.
And they have blacked out, chat GPT everywhere because they don’t they don’t understand they’re not ready to make this available to their employees and to the third parties and the consultants, etcetera, because it poses some threat.
We we post something unknowingly and it it can be some information can be lost or be out in the open and what have your piece of code or what have you.
But first hand, I’ve experienced some demos about using chat GPT to create an ABAP program rather quickly.
Having something getting debugged, which requires for us to cut and paste into the tool.
So I think It will definitely play a part and will definitely be a tool for us, the consultants, a very powerful tool.
But I think we need to play by the rules.
The way I use it now is to actually understand some of the that I may not be familiar with.
It’s a great tool to have it in your pocket just to generate some literature about something that you wanna learn, whether you’re creating a documentation, etcetera.
You just wanna tap on, you know, chat to see what it comes up with.
So I’m very careful, and everybody else is very careful how we embrace this technology, but it’s definitely here to stay.
And it’s very powerful. I hope companies will create some sort of a compliance type of rule that we can sort of still or a framework in which we can utilize the tool to our advantage.
I don’t think SAP will fully be powered by AI.
Maybe one day, but I don’t think it will be done by in my lifetime, to tell you the truth.

Yeah. SAP itself, still be SAP will be run by the people, people process, and what is it?
The SAP really is a remediation of, Systems Applications and Programming. And programming or something like that. Yeah.
Which is basically run by people. So the people piece of it is, still very much relevant here.
I see AI as as a tool in the near term.

Hari: Awesome. Awesome. Someone wants to start as an SAP FI consultant or a CO consultant.
What is your advice and, in terms of opportunity, in terms of do they definitely need to have an accounting or a finance background?
Someone else, can jump in and, just want your thoughts on that.

Alex: My first advice would be get on a project.
Get on a project, and get your hands dirty, and be a learning sponge.
Whatever that is, if competency areas will fall through, If you’re a finance person, no brainer.
But if you this person is not a finance person, then, you know, you can experience different things, different areas, order to cash, purchase to pay, manufacturing, Whatever it is, you would, align or experience many things as much as you can.
Even within a project, the role or tasks or responsibility that will be given may not be, process related or functional related, but more in terms of project management or or some sort or reporting or technology development, there’s many things goes on in in in these project, these types of projects.
So for somebody who’s starting out, I would just recommend that you get on a project.
If you get on a project, get a role, and be a learning sponge, absorb and learn as much as you can.
And the knowledge that you gain from an experience cannot be replaced.
There’s no comparison about knowledge that you gained from experience over over reading a, a, a book or, or a blog post.
So I would strongly recommend that you find a project do what you need to do to get on that project, even if it’s free.

Hari: That’s true.

Alex: Well, the first one might be free, but you you might become, you know, billable next month is what I’m seeing.
It’s but what I’m seeing is it the important is the first step. It doesn’t matter what it is.
You should get on a project and see what’s happening and what see what things are offered in these projects that interest me would be the 1st priority.

Hari: You your thoughts on collaboration in a diverse skill set or diverse people in a team?
What are the challenges, also in working in a multi vendor client situation? What are your thoughts on that?

Alex: Right now, I work with the client who’s multi vendor.
It’s not easy because outside of the client, we’re also competitors. One can find this type of situation.
But over the years, you’re looking back and everything.
Even if this person or the team is different, works for a different vendor.
The SAP world is small in a sense that you may run into this person and find out that you’ll be working together in one company in the future.
Absolutely. It may it may happen. So I would say be the collaborator you can.
The practice of, you know, sharing practice of me providing something that I found out and and this person receiving it and benefiting it.
And he or she will actually return that.
And these two people that have shared this can actually grow together, create more synergies.
It doesn’t matter what company you come from.
If you’re, solutioning something together and if you have spent x amount of time, Don’t be shy.
Don’t treat this as a trade secret. Share this with the team. Make it better.
The team can expand on that idea and actually come back with something you never thought about, exploring.
So the collaboration comes from that attitude and and the attitude about being humble, being ready to collaborate for the common goal and being able to share and and, you know, counting on this person to share back something in the future, you know, even if this person doesn’t, it’s okay.
Life goes on. One has to be collaborative in this world. Again, SAP world is not that big.
You’ll ask somebody and they’ll know somebody and so on and so forth. So
Hari: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Never know what’s gonna happen.
I should congratulate you, for how in projects intuitive as well as, in HP, you have created an impression where even if the project is ending, they want to keep you going other projects.
I want you to share that not everybody gets this opportunity. Let me be very clear.
Okay? Because I I do have other consultants.
What I like about you is you have brought so much value to the table for the client And even if the customer project is over, they still want to keep you in the team so that they are finding other jobs for you that this guy is really good, and he will be able to do this.
Your thoughts on this, I mean, I I feel I felt that’s one of the success for a successor, being a successful consultant.

Alex: Yeah. Sure. Sure. Thank you for the kind words. And and, yes, absolutely.
Goes back to all these things, that the consultant or I I did that was appreciated by by by people that was was around me.
So being the team player, being the guy who shares information, collaboration, and, you know, focused on client success.
At the end of the day, yeah, I’m not the focus here.
The focus is the guy who’s climbing up the corporate ladder. We need to help them to achieve those goals.
That’s why they’re paying the big bucks for us to come in and work towards whatever he wants to achieve.
I think being the partner really is. Hey.
I’m here to be a consultant that you hired me for, and I’ll do my best.
To make sure that that you achieve those goals.
In the process, you learn and and you’ll also develop as a person But, also, you you become this, trusted advisor that people wanna keep you around because of the work that you had that speaks volumes.
So I think for everybody who’s practicing consulting, if you keep those things in mind day in and day out, you’ll find many success.
At the end of the day, it’s people that are doing these things. And technology is just a tool.
And of course, you have to know the technology to to be able to work.
So you you need to create that expertise, that deep knowledge, whenever you can, but cannot shy away from importance of these people.
That we work day in and day out.
So I’ve
been I’ve been I’ve been fortunate also, Krishna. So
No. No. I think, you you you have the right attitude, and, I know there were tough times sometimes for various issues like, timesheet not getting signed.
They have some system. New system that is falling through and things like that.
You you had a lot of patience to stay through the whole thing and, do the right thing.
So that’s what I’m it amazes me, but not all consultants are not like that. So that is number 1.
Now from the vendor standpoint where people like us what is I mean, I I know payment, billing, and other stuff, but anything else we can do to make, consultants like you to be happy and stuff like that.

Alex: Krishna, for me, I mean, this is personal experience, you know, you were always there.
Every time I called, you answered. You were good with your messaging and your phone call.
So that was greatly appreciate it.
I know you have, you know, many people like me around you that are that always want things but, um, you know, your voice that’s always there.
Thank you. That’s great. Yeah. I mean, and we’re easy to be happy, to tell you the truth.
If the client is happy, we’re happy. If we’re happy, I guess you’re happy.
So we’re easy to please. And just being available for us, you know, whenever we need something, I remember I I was in Taiwan, you know, hotel bill came out to some x amount, which I didn’t have the funds with.
And I called you and you were like, okay. Let’s find something to work with.
But at the end of the day, we got it work we got it worked out, right, because, some guy with a corporate card had the, balance to be taken care of, etcetera.
So put it that way. But I remember calling you from Taiwan, and and it was you know, you were there, ready to do whatever required to get me checked out.

Hari: Sure. Sure. Thank you. Yeah. No. This thing happens. I’m just thinking how to increase your marketability.
I mean, Are you interested in writing a book on Copa or write a small blog about Copa and things like that?
I don’t know. I really
haven’t thought about that. Yeah. I mean, I don’t I don’t know. We can definitely develop this idea. Sure.
But up to this point, I wasn’t compelled to write anything.
Because I’m because I’m so busy with client work. But, sure.
I mean, it would would be very interesting and different experience.
No. Actually, I mean, I can also help and, with whoever.
I mean, do some research work and do some I mean, it’s it’s, again, that will also help you help us and showing the customers that, yeah, we are investing in the right area.
Right? That’s number 1. Is there any funny moment in your consulting carrier, which you want to share with the audience?

Alex: You know, nothing jumps out. It’s funny. I thought about this, question.
You know, but, I try not to take life too seriously because then it becomes too depressing. Right?
Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, we we all have our moments. See, it depends on the relationship.
Again, I mean, I remember funny people, not funny moments necessarily.
But I share great memories wherever I went, you know, whichever client. Nothing nothing really jumps out.
I’m sorry. I this is the tough one.
This is basically a fast question around 6 questions just to give you.

Hari: Are you ready to put these 6 questions?
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sure. Let’s do it.
So so are you a night owl or a morning person?
Definitely night owl, but I became a morning person because I have calls every day with India.
Oh, okay. Okay. I think you’re a coffee guy or a tea guy?
Alex: Definitely coffee.
Hari: Okay. you like hybrid on-site remote?

Alex: I think, hybrid remote is okay also, but little bit of hybrid doesn’t doesn’t hurt.
Hari: Sure. Sure. Favorite sports, is it American football or baseball or basketball?
European soccer.
Oh, wow.
Okay. I European soccer.
That’s good. That’s good. Oh, that’s So with a team, do you have
anything? Hotspurs.
Oh, okay.
Yeah. Because, you know, I’m South Korean by origin. My parents of Koreans.
And, our country man is a captain of that team. So
Oh, that’s nice. That’s nice. Awesome. And, um, in terms of your favorite, exercise.

Hari: Are you a indoor person and outdoor person?

Alex: Outdoor hiking. Hiking. Wow. Yeah.

Hari: Recently, did you do any, memorable hikes?
Yeah. Yeah. All around this area.
I live I am fortunate enough to live in the Bay area, so there’s no shortage of, mountains.
Yeah. I would love it out here.
It’s it’s kinda cold right now, but, when the weather’s nice, I’m always hitting the trails.
Good. Good. Good. The next question, what sort of music do you like, genre?
You like country music, classical, just hip hop?
You know, the stuff I grew up with, it’s mostly, I think, just hop and classic rock, I would say.
Like, eighties rock. Eighties rock. Yeah. A little bit of hip hop also.
In terms of book, do you have the habit of reading books fiction, non fiction?
You know, I’m I’m a big fan of Malcolm Gladwood.
All of his books are very interesting.
This guy backs out, he backs up his theory with data, a lot of research, I love
that guy. I have and, yeah, read all his books and the outlier. I mean, you name it.
Right? I think blink. Actually, he he has, Malcolm Dadwell, has a master class, session in, , or how to write.
Oh, wow. Interesting.
Outright. It’s got amazing content of that. I’ll be more than happy to share that with you.

Alex: Okay. Okay.

Hari: And any good book in the last 6 months you have read?

Alex: I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ve read anything in the last 6 months.
Last book I bought was an SAP book.
So, yeah, it was by SAP Press.
I buy some of these books time to time because I use it as a reference material, and some of these, authors actually put in the effort of, explaining some of their project specific experiences.
So it’s not like a, like, a technical reference book, but rather they’re project related things, which are kind of interesting.

Hari: Okay. What about any podcast you, listen to regularly?
Alex: Unfortunately, I don’t. I used to listen to Wall Street Journal podcast when I was commuting by bus, and that was very good.
I would be always up to date on a daily basis about key happenings.
But nowadays, I just go to, YouTube and headlines. That’s it.
That’s my source of information most of the time.

Hari: Sure. Sure. If, anyone wants to, reach to you, are you okay with sharing your LinkedIn address and, yeah, LinkedIn address so that if any of the audience wants to reach out to you for any discussion.

Alex: Sure. Sure. but I’m not very active in my LinkedIn for various reasons.
But if you reach out to Krishna and if he if you relay the information, then, yeah, I’ll I’ll be more than happy to chat, have a conversation, and take it from there.

Hari: I just wanted to thank you personally for taking the time, to help me with this.
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Thank you.