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Paul Townsend

I like change, and working in such a large company like SAP allows me explore my various professional interests. It also keeps SAP from becoming siloed.

Paul Townsend

I have been an employee at SAP since 2000 and working in SAP’s Application Innovation Services (AIS) department since 2018. Our department likes to think of ourselves as detectives, Sherlock Holmes style. Customers who are running SAP software encounter a problem, an error, a question. A first-level support team at SAP tries to solve that problem, but can’t find a resolution. So, the incident comes to our teams in AIS. We are the last line of defense, having to solve the toughest of the tough problems. It’s critical that our team finds a resolution, so our customers can get on with their business.

I began my career at SAP 20 years ago as a German to English translator. Over the years, I have done English language training for my German colleagues, freelanced and worked for an SAP partner, and worked as a communications specialist and user assistance developer. My role for the last two years has been within the Master Data Governance solution area. I like change, and working in such a large company like SAP allows me explore my various professional interests. It also keeps SAP from becoming siloed. Many employees move between departments – sometimes even changing geographic locations – thus keeping our ideas fresh and new and connecting the dots to make the best products and decisions for our customers. Our AIS team is spread across 16 locations, including Germany, India, US, France, Canada, and the Czech Republic. We bring our diversity of thought and ideas to help solve customer challenges every day.

One of the reasons I love my job is that I can explore new ways of doing things. Ten years ago, all documentation for our customers was in writing: user manuals and the like. Now, our customers want to watch a video to see how to fix something. Instead of merely updating a user manual, I now often storyboard a video script and create a user friendly video for customers to watch.

I have always had a love for words, and working now in video production and editing compliments my love of songwriting in my personal life. I started off as a poem writer as a young child, then began writing funny little songs. At University, I bought myself a guitar and I started songwriting. I love the musicality of words and the way you can convey any emotion with them. For me, it’s ideal that my personal and professional passions converge in my role at SAP.

Music at SAP
Paul Townsend
SAP employee and musician

When This Is All Over (I'm Gonna Hug You)

"My eldest daughter was the main inspiration for this song. I have 4 great, challenging, nerve-sapping kids, but she is without doubt the most “huggie” one of them all, the one who had been missing the chance to hug and see her friends more than most, especially during the early Corona months. It’s the same social contact many of us at SAP have been missing, and many of the lyrics focus on not being around the SAP buildings. At the same time, I had been making a few parodies for my SAP friends just to keep spirits up. I was then asked by a member of SAP News if I would like to come up with something original for their uplifting internal video series, which was also trying to raise the spirits of all those at home. That’s when the song was born. For my role at SAP, I sometimes like to try out new video techniques as it’s the best form of training in my opinion, so due to limited resources, lockdown, and a long standing wish to try a “multiple clone” video without making it yet another tiled zoom montage (I must add I was also inspired by watching Orphan Black a few weeks earlier), this was the result. I also hid a few Easter Eggs in the video to pay homage to areas and things I have big respect for. I’m incredibly proud of this one as it feels like a complete artwork for me – artwork that let me try new things which I can use in my role at SAP, that I could use to say “thanks” and express a personally important message, and that above all else shows you can make the most of any situation to come up with something new... hopefully brightening up someone else’s day too."

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