Growing up, Libby Wilkins devoted her time to classical ballet training and even earned a scholarship in New York when she was a junior in high school. As she eventually set aside her pointe shoes and began her career outside of the ballet studio, she transitioned from trainee to trainer.
The Start of Her Career
In 1995, Libby worked full time while she was pregnant with her daughter and earning her master’s degree in Education. Although she intended to become a teacher, she moved to Washington and landed a job as the Director of Training at a manufacturing company. She recounts, “3 months into my employment with them, they came to me and said ‘Hey, we’re starting this new project. It’s called SAP, and we need a Training Lead.”
As she was well on her way to pursuing a successful career in Organizational Change Management (OCM), Libby joined Deloitte in 1998 as a Training Lead. She explains, “As the years went on, I started morphing out from just training into communications and change management...the rest was history!”
In 2015 she took a brief hiatus from OCM, but she found herself missing client services, and joined LSI, an Invenio Company, which she considers her “home.” Her passion for the field persists because “Every day there’s a challenge, every day there’s an issue that needs a solution. That motivates me because there’s constant change. Every client is different, and every client helps me grow.” She asks, “How lucky am I to be doing this since 1995 and still be excited to get to my computer in the morning?”
Picture this: You've spent the past few months studying for expensive online certifications. You're scouring the depths of LinkedIn, searching for open positions. And then you see it. Again. The dreaded "entry-level" position that calls for 6+ years of work experience.
LSI, an Invenio Company strives to eliminate this barrier of entry for SAP newcomers.
In March 2019, we created a training program that targets a key demographic: our future generation of SAP consulting experts. From recent college graduates to professionals who are making a career transition, LSI Grow is committed to the development of our program recruits. Through this program, Associate Consultants can learn from subject matter experts and learn firsthand about SAP. The company has been in business for over 22 years and has amassed a comprehensive and vast database of proprietary knowledge that our leaders are eager to share.
Early in the LSI Grow onboarding process, our program coordinators pair each Associate Consultant with a mentor. Through this mentorship, along with the support of other senior colleagues, the mentees develop a deeper, more tailored understanding of a particular area of SAP. This individualized training prepares them to actively contribute to client projects and begin working hand-in-hand with the customer.
While they gain the knowledge to succeed in their current Associate roles, the program also equips them with the skills that will help them to expand their opportunities in the company. Tim Carlin remarks of his mentee, “He has an impressive ability to take on areas of expertise he was not familiar with and run with them.”
Since its inception, the Grow program itself has evolved immensely, exponentially growing in size and expanding into more modules of SAP. This summer, we celebrated the largest cohort yet, with six graduates of the program.
Sempra Energy, an LSI, An Invenio Company customer, is one of North America’s largest developers of infrastructure facilities for the export of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). The company is currently developing five LNG facilities, which will help it to achieve its goal of supplying up to 45 Million Tonnes per year of clean natural gas to the world's largest markets.
To reach this expansion goal and keep up with its business demands, Sempra needed to overcome a number of deficiencies that were caused by its lack of a standardized Contract Management System (CMS). Thus, Sempra called upon LSI, An Invenio Company to guide it through an implementation of SAP Ariba Contract Management. Using a phased methodology, LSI, An Invenio Company integrated the new CMS with Sempra’s existing ERP solution. This unified solution would streamline Sempra’s Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), which would fix the company’s faults and help it to reach its goals.
The following project objectives reflect the vast influence of SAP Ariba:
Every month, LSI an Invenio Company celebrates our hardworking employees with “Champagne Awards,” a token of appreciation for those who go above and beyond to support their colleagues. Max Gluck, an Associate Consultant, recently received an unparalleled number of nominations. As someone who has dedicated his career and personal time to serving others, Max epitomizes a model Champagne Award recipient.
Ever since his childhood, Max has dreamed of serving his community. He bears the same dedication to service as his parents, whose heavy involvement in their community inspired him to join local law enforcement after he graduated college. After three years on the job, he recognized an opportunity to make an even greater impact on his community through other means. Max reveals, “I enjoyed policing a lot, but there were a lot of things I was hoping to change at a local level that are easier to change outside of policing.”
Accordingly, Max pivoted into nonprofit accounting at the Boys & Girls Club. Soon, he found himself amid technology projects, including various process improvement initiatives. Thinking back, he states, “Nonprofits sometimes lack in the technology space, similar to the public sector. I realized that if I really wanted to work with technology, I needed to learn best practices.”
In the hopes of more effectively advising nonprofit or public sector customers on where to allocate their money, Max pursued his master’s degree at Georgia State University. There, he propelled his education with an SAP course that taught him about business processes and configuration. He recalls his professor intentionally misconfiguring the system and instructing the class to identify the incorrect configuration; practicing complex problem-solving in SAP inspired Max to “keep learning how the systems work.” Max states, “Coming from an accounting background, I used software like SAP before, but I had never had the opportunity to see behind the scenes. I enjoy exploring the complexities of how systems work.”
As he launched his SAP career, he explains that working at LSI was “a way to continue working with the clients that have a big impact in the community.” Joining LSI not only allowed him to stay true to his passion for serving his community but also allowed him to apply his policing experience to SAP consulting.
De-escalating situations, counseling citizens, and making them feel heard are skills that translate well from policing to consulting. Max shares, “successful policing relationships are all built on communication.” He continues to explain that communication and problem-solving go hand-in-hand. He elaborates, “People call you because there’s some level of need, so communication helps to understand what the need is and how they want you to help.” To be an effective police officer, “You have to learn to adjust and solve whatever problem comes your way,” regardless of the problem’s severity. He continues, “Most of the time that’s all the citizens want.”
As Max adjusts to life as an SAP consultant, he appreciates having built these skills early on in his career. He explains, “When you’re seeing a situation that is new to you, you can draw on prior experiences to come up with a creative solution.”
Max’s approach to problem-solving is a key part of what makes him an asset to the Budget Practice and LSI. His solution-oriented mindset allows him to “face the problem head-on and not be intimidated by the fact that there is a problem. In addition, he advises others to “put yourself out there and try to solve things,” which proves useful in alleviating coworkers’ workload. When those coworkers are just as willing to help others succeed, lending a hand to them is especially compelling. Max reveals that “the best thing here at LSI so far is the people and the budget team. Working with good people makes the biggest difference.”
Charlie Collins, Budgeting Practice Director, recently offered Max an opportunity to draw upon his policing experience and put himself out there. Charlie discovered that Max did field training in an area with a large Hispanic population, where he was able to practice speaking Spanish. When LSI needed to put together a demonstration for a prospective client in Costa Rica, Charlie called upon Max to translate the slides and the script. LSI always prioritizes customers, and Max pulled through in delivering the flexibility needed to accommodate them.
His efforts impressed his elder coworkers, earning him a total of five nominations for the Champagne Awards. Charlie raves, “Max Gluck performed well beyond the call of duty. His presentation was well prepared and rehearsed, reflecting a level of professionalism and accomplishment well beyond his current position.” Another coworker, Kaushal Kurasa, adds, “Max is always eager to help wherever he can, whether it is taking meeting minutes, helping with analyzing and cleansing master data loads, or looking at automating the process so it can be done iteratively much quicker.”
Six months into his career at LSI, Max is still absorbing a lot, keeping an open mind, and trusting the guidance of his mentors. One of his mentors advised him to “‘Try everything out. Don’t close any doors for yourself until you try it and know if you like it or not.’”
Max has been quickly learning the budgeting systems by sitting in on both technical and functional knowledge transfer sessions. He shares, “My biggest goal is to try to figure out which area interests me the most. I feel like every day I’m learning new parts of SAP Business Warehouse or SBP (SAP budgeting and Planning for Public Sector) that I haven’t really seen yet.” Matthew Tripp agrees, exclaiming, “His knowledge of consulting and SAP are growing by the day!”
To unwind from long days of learning, Max spends time with his girlfriend and their three rescue dogs. He shares, “we like to take them on a walk after work to keep them a little calmer and wear them out.” Max first began fostering strays while on the police force, frequently coming across animals in need of an overnight stay in a warm home. Last year, he put food out for a cat that had been eating from a nearby dumpster, and eventually brought him inside. He recalls, “I got him a heated box on our porch and then he started coming in more.” Soon enough, Max found a permanent owner to adopt the cat. Although he finds it difficult to part with the animals that he fosters, he always finds more to help.
Coming from working inside the public sector, Max has a firsthand understanding of our customers’ challenges, and brings to LSI an admirable enthusiasm to learn and help others. LSI celebrates Max’s spirit of generosity and strives to reflect his service-oriented attitude in all aspects of the company.
“They are pioneers in the Public Sector Market” Kiran Mehendale recalls of LSI. Nearly seven years ago, he ran into Hannes Lombard, EVP of SAP Technical Solutions, and Shyam Jajodia, EVP of Finance Solutions, at a conference in Northern Kentucky.
It is always exciting to hear how our consultants spend their personal time outside of work, so when we heard that Alli Onni spends her time giving back to the tech community through her involvement with Women Leading Technology, we knew we wanted to learn more! We sat down with Alli Onni, an SAP Organization Change Management Leader at LSI an Invenio Company, to discuss what she is doing to cultivate diversity, inclusivity, and equity awareness in the technology industry. As an Executive Board member of Women Leading Technology, she also shares her insight as to how mentorship and leadership play a role in these efforts.
Dave Carlin is a recent graduate of LSI Grow—our SAP training program—and current Cloud Hosting and Support Associate Consultant. We caught up with Dave to share his insights on the life of a Grow Consultant.
LSI an Invenio Company’s municipal government client, The Department of Purchasing and Contracting (DPC) for a major county in California, faced the challenge of mitigating the risks of non-compliance with contractual terms, missed expiration and milestone dates, and lack of resource planning. To address these concerns, DPC enlisted LSI to introduce a single supplier and contract management system. The new system replaced a process that used multiple software systems and was unique to each department's preferences. The objective to replace the current system also required a vital interface to Oracle Financials with a complex integration capability.
Executive Summary Sempra Energy, an LSI, An Invenio Company customer, is one of North America’s largest developers of infrastructure facilities for the export of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). The company...
Every month, LSI an Invenio Company celebrates our hardworking employees with “Champagne Awards,” a token of appreciation for those who go above and beyond to support their colleagues. Max Gluck, an...
It is always exciting to hear how our consultants spend their personal time outside of work, so when we heard that Alli Onni spends her time giving back to the tech community through her involvement...