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Dublin-based Jayanta’s SAP customers include Mercedes Benz (Germany), Velux (the Netherlands) and Nestlé (Switzerland).

As Product Manager, Jayanta is responsible for defining the market and business requirements; evangelising the product with the pre-sales, sales and marketing teams, and carrying out win/loss analyses on product. He works closely with the SAP engineering team – ensuring that they are fully aware of the specific benefits the product will deliver to customers. He is also responsible for organising demos and webinars for the internal sales and marketing teams, to ensure that they understand the value of the SAP solution compared with competitor products – a process commonly known as “preparing the battle card”.

Day to day, Jayanta spends quite a lot of his time managing internal and external stakeholders – customers as well as senior management and SAP engineers.

A strong endorsement from a fellow SAP colleague who had already completed the ISA-DIT Postgraduate Diploma in Product Management was one of the reasons Jayanta decided to sign up for the course.

The other motivating factor was that he wanted to ascertain how his team’s systems and processes compared with those of other industry leaders worldwide.

“SAP is already a market leader in software development and research, but I wanted to gain first-hand experience of how to do things absolutely correctly – learn from the experience of the world’s best practitioners, while simultaneously informing myself for my discussions with the SAP ‘Go to Market’ team”.

In terms of immediate benefits, Jayanta says that within weeks of starting the DIT course, it had already helped him identify one particular gap in his team’s system – a Market Requirements Document (MRD).

“This document is designed to ascertain what exactly the customer wants, why they want it, and how that aligns with our strategic direction. So, it is a very important piece of information. Once I highlighted this data defi cit with SAP senior management, we began preparing an MRD. Now, all SAP ‘Go to Market’ teams worldwide use the MRDs which originated on the DIT Postgraduate Diploma in Product Management programme.”

“The other clear benefi t of the course is the change in my own mindset. Whereas previously my mindset was more like that of a product owner, and my focus was 60% on the SAP engineering team and 40% on our customers, now my focus is 60% on our customers and, specifically, on getting them more involved earlier in the product design process.

“Interaction with the customer is now the most impont piece. First, I ascertain their precise desired outcomes. Then, I ensure that the engineering team creates exactly what the customer is looking for.”

“I am the design thinking coach in SAP, and the DIT course Customer and Market Analysis module gave me lots of information on the way documentation should be designed and implemented.”

“In terms of my own personal development, the course had a huge impact on my confidence. If I am making a recommendation to senior management, I can now cite best practice examples provided by my DIT course lecturers, many of whom are acknowledged world experts in their particular industry.”

Was the course more or less what Jayanta expected?

“Better actually. I would defi nitely recommend it – particularly to self-taught product managers who still have lots to learn, but maybe don’t realise exactly how much! The lecturers are really great – they don’t just teach from text books. They draw on their first-hand experience as consultants to the world’s top companies.”

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