Most blogs I have read talk about the social revolution with regards to individuals (as below indicated - image borrowed from the web)
I wanted to put the evolution in a slight different perspective.
The last three decades have introduced three different "ages" for enterprise software.
The 90's were about process change, re-engineering the business and defining clear lines of responsibility between departments through
process flows and workflow. This was and still is the stable platform required for business. I'll call this age the Enterprise Process Age (as I can't think of a better name for this period).
The new millennium brought on the Information Age, structured reporting, dashboards, exception management etc which is now really ramping up to drive the big data discussions and of course, SAP's favourite girl, HANA.
This decade sees ~30% of the worlds population connected to the Internet, largely driven by mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Most interestingly ~22% of the world population is connected to a social network! These social networks are removing traditional borders and boundaries and connecting people and companies like never before. Enter the Social Age!
SAP, unquestionably plays a pivotal role in the Enterprise Process Age as well as the Information Age through providing a stable a consistent platform for those "ages".
So you may ask, what is the role of SAP in Social?
Like the previous "ages", SAP provides the platform for social which is relevant for all social communication whether that is internal, with partners or through social media but more importantly connects the all ages together to allow everyone to collaborate (socialise) in a business context.
The business platform has the ability to deal with Social Collaboration as well as Social Media through the following solutions:
1. Social Collaboration in business context - SAP Jam - http://www.successfactors.com/business-execution-software/jam/jamoverview/
2. Social Media analysis and engagement - SAP Social OnDemand and SAP Social Media Analaytics by Netbase. - http://www.sap.com/solutions/tech/cloud/software/social-customer-engagement-on-demand/index.html
So what - The insight available from social media, ability to better service customers and combining the power crowd sourcing used across the enterprise to solve business problems creates a new level of differentiation for enterprises.
I am planning to follow up on this blog with some specific examples where customers have gained value by combining information from across the "ages".