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Matt Johnson

What's next for SCN in 2012

Posted by Matt Johnson in About SCN on Apr 9, 2012 4:53:51 PM

Greetings SCN members!  We've received many questions on what the next steps are for the SCN platform in the coming months, so I wanted to take some time to outline the high-level roadmap and give you a taste of what's to come this year.

 

First off, I acknowledge, as Mark Yolton does with Dennis Howlett in Dennis's Video Blog and Oliver Kohl explains in his blog, that we're still experiencing some challenges related to launching the new site –challenges with migration, indexing, a few remaining performance tweaks, etc.  I'm extremely confident that our teams will resolve these issues in the coming days and you will be able to focus on exploring and collaborating with one another here on SCN. 

 

While launching the new site was a massive undertaking, we've effectively only taken the first steps —that being laying the foundation, enhancing the social functionality, improving the tools to contribute, and harmonizing the systems.  It's this foundational step that will allow us to add further features and functionality that we know the community wants and that we're looking forward to providing in the future.

 

So… What about mobile?  What about search?  What about <fill in the blank> functionality?  Allow me to briefly lay out what we have on the roadmap with a quick word of caution: This is the high-level view and is subject to change of course if budgets, capacities, or acts of God change the priorities at SAP.

 

Coming in Q2, early Q3:

 

Mobile SCN:

We are all voracious mobile app users and fully appreciate the need to have SCN available for smartphones and tablets.  Due to security and resource bandwidth, we prioritized getting the migration and new full site launched before branching into mobility.  This is our first priority beyond resolving the current platform challenges and here's what is planned.

  • We'll roll out an initial mobile app for Smartphones in the next 2 months.  This will offer basic use cases to satisfy immediate needs (taking part in discussions, following and messaging, and commenting on content).
  • The same will be available for iPads as well, while we investigate mobile format for tablets to make better use of the real estate.
  • There's also some indications that a couple of SAP Mentors are working on hobby projects, to make mobile much more interesting….  Unfortunately I have to leave it at that for now, stay tuned

 

Social Sign-On:

We are planning to add the ability to login to SCN through other well known social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.  This will come with other enhancements to the profile and registration process to make it easier for new members to get started and for existing members to keep their info current.

 

Next generation Idea Place:

We're working with an industry leading Ideation vendor to up the ante on how Idea Place encourages, facilitates, and rewards your innovative ideas.

  • We'll be releasing the new solution in parallel to the existing Idea Place for some very strategic challenges where you will have the ability to make a quick, direct impact to SAP's ecosystem.
  • The new solution will offer staging/leveling to ensure the best ideas rise to the top and you will be subsequently rewarded through robust game mechanics as well.
  • The rest of Idea Place will transition to the new solution toward the end of the year.

 

Additional functionality:

We already have a big stack of requirements we couldn't squeeze into SCN before our launch.  We're combining that list with what we've learned by listening to you in the Pilot and days since go live.  Highlights from the list of over 200 items that we'll begin implementing in May and continue to process until we've completed it:

  • Improving Search usability
  • Moderation features
  • Points fixes and tweaks
  • (drum roll...) Navigation changes

Bugs will continue to be a priority as well and we working to have all, what we've termed "critical" bugs, resolved by the end of April.  I encourage you to bookmark Oliver's Release Notes to stay current.

 

Coming in Q3 and Q4:

Gamification --We'll be putting the reputation into turbo mode and offer full fledged gamification across the site

Video —We have a new, robust video application and management system in the works internally to SAP.  We are aiming to bring that to the community as well in Q4 to make sharing and managing videos possible on site, rather than relying on external providers.

 

So that's the high level picture.  I empathize with many of you who want this functionality now —believe me, I've tried snapping my fingers and clicking my heels.  We're working hard to stretch our budget as far as possible and to deliver the most bang for the buck.

 

If you have other ideas about what would make SCN better, please use our session in Idea Place!  It's going to be a great year in the evolution of SCN and I'm honored to be sharing the excitement with you.

 

Best Regards, Matt

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