Meet Espresso Tutorials Author Jelena Perfiljeva

Espresso Tutorials

Fabian Bentz

Jelena at Legoland
Author Jelena Perfiljeva at LEGOLAND with her son

Meet our newest Espresso Tutorials author Jelena Perfiljeva! Jelena is the author of What on Earth is an SAP IDoc?. Stay tuned Friday for an excerpt from her book.

How did you get your start with SAP and SAP development?

It started purely by accident. I was working at a company that was migrating a legacy mainframe ERP system to SAP and there happened to be an opening in the project team. As Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

What are you most proud of in your SAP career?

To be nominated SCN Member of the Month and a SAP Mentor in 2013. It is a tremendous joy and honor to be recognized by the community.

What are some of the most important trends that you see currently impacting SAP teams?

Keeping the balance between maintaining existing systems, landscapes, and interfaces while trying to learn and adopt new technologies is more challenging than ever these days. Migrating a legacy system to SAP ERP is not a walk in the park, but maintaining modern SAP landscapes is like repaving a road while thousands of cars drive on it every day. It requires a lot of creativity and resourcefulness!

Also I believe we will see an increasingly need to integrate SAP ERP systems with other applications, which may or may not be SAP products.

What professional organizations are you associated with?

Through my employer I am involved with ASUG (Americas SAP User Group). We have a very active local (North Carolina/South Carolina) chapter and meet regularly at fun locations, such as a BMW plant or NASCAR track. These meetings are great opportunities to network and hear customer stories.

How do you stay up to date on SAP development topics? What resources do you regularly use?

My go-to place is SAP Community Network (, ASUG also offers subscriptions and webcasts. For more in-depth education there are online courses, like openSAP.

There is a lot of information available online but sometimes it is still difficult to find specific and simple technical information among all the marketing “fluff”. In such cases I find the personal network to be invaluable, like it’s 1999. 🙂

What is the most interesting trip that you have been on?

Our most interesting trip did not feel like that at the time. Over 10 years ago we were moving from New Jersey to Minnesota (about 1200 miles / 1930 km). All of our humble belongings were in the car and it was Thanksgiving week (major holiday in the U.S.). Not even mid-way through, somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, our car broke down. The mechanic could not tell us how long the repair would take. Because I was starting a new job and had to be there on time, we rented car and continued our journey.

Two days later, on Friday, the mechanic called from Pennsylvania that our car was ready. My husband and I quickly calculated that driving in shifts we could complete a round trip and still have most of the Sunday to sleep and what not. So, off we went from Minnesota to Pennsylvania. We drove day and night through 6 states, stopping at rest stops and getting a glimpse at the eerie nightlife along the interstate. We picked up our car and made the same trip back, staying away from the meanest state troopers in Ohio and wild wolves lurking in the night shadows in Wisconsin.

We learned so many things (including to check the car more thoroughly before a long trip), were helped by the kind people we never met before, and pushed our own limits. An unfortunate incident became a trip of a lifetime. Now I’m a firm believer that one does not have to travel across the globe for an adventure. Sometimes it is just a blown gasket away.

130Jelena Perfiljeva is a Technical SAP Analyst at Elster Solutions, LLC in North Carolina. Since her SAP career started by accident 10 years ago, she has worked as an ABAP programmer and general SAP problem solver in the wholesale, professional service, and manufacturing industries. Her duties include implementation and support of numerous EDI and IDoc interfaces.  Jelena’s lack of any official SAP credentials has not prevented her from becoming an SAP Mentor, an SCN blogger, and a speaker at international SAP events. She was SCN Member of the Month in April 2013.  When she is not debugging SAP or answering questions on SCN, she enjoys using Google for finding new food recipes to test on her unsuspecting family members. Jelena is the author of What on Earth is an SAP IDoc?