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SAP Social Software

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Sales teams are on the front line to customers. They’re the ones involved in maintaining customer relationships and guiding customers to the support team when they encounter problems. Because of that, some would say it’s a no-brainer to deploy solutions that streamline the way salespeople can communicate not just with their customers but also with other employees, partners, suppliers – so that ultimately, the customer is served better.idc_sales.png

 

An enterprise social network seems like the answer for a few obvious reasons:

 

  • An enterprise social network can cut time and effort from the overall sales process by connecting customers, partners, and suppliers
  • An enterprise social network, with activity streams and simple ways to share information, makes it easier to develop a strong relationship with a new customers and then maintain it
  • An enterprise social network that both the sales and service teams can access makes it easy to streamline handoffs when a customer does run into a support issue

 

But if you’re the one tasked with getting buy-in from all the right stakeholders to actually get funding for – and purchase – that enterprise social network, sometimes it takes more than just saying, “It’s obvious – we need it.”

 

A good business case for a new cloud solution you want to invest in needs real KPIs and use cases – especially if you have to convince multiple departments before you get sign-off.

 

To that end, IDC recently crafted a paper that establishes and validates a core set of metrics for enterprise social networks for sales departments.

 

If your sales team is considering the purchase of an enterprise social network – or even just curious what the benefits could be for you – this is required reading.

 

Register now to download the report and find out how enterprise social networks can impact KPIs like revenue growth, opportunity qualification, and profitability – and improve cross-functional collaboration with other departments like finance, operations, and legal.

 

Register and download the IDC report now:

Understanding the Business Value of Social Solutions in Sales

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Editor's note: This article by Holly Simmons, Vice President of Marketing for Social Software at SAP, is reproduced from the Apr-May-Jun 2014 issue of SAPinsider (SAPinsiderOnline.com) with permission from its publisher, WIS Publishing. Read the entire special report on social collaboration at SAPinsiderOnline.com.

 

 

 

holly_simmons.pngOnly 9% of global companies over the last decade have been able to achieve sustained, profitable growth, indicating that it is more important than ever to understand how to differentiate your business.

 

Surprisingly, the key to differentiation is not to change your business model regularly or to take on more new initiatives — instead, the most successful companies build on a simple business core that takes advantage of repeatable approaches to ensure that they successfully deliver what they do well time and again.1

 

SAP Jam was designed with repeatability in mind. As the market-first solution that weaves social collaboration directly into your work via your applications, mobile devices, and business processes, SAP Jam enables rapid repeatability to help you drive closure and improve the bottom line. With its built-in work patterns based on how business leaders work, SAP Jam brings together what you need in a single place: people, data, documents, discussions, tools, and applications.2 With everything at hand, you have the power to begin work quickly, make decisions, and drive action.

 

Work Patterns Across the Business

 

SAP Jam can support any department across the organization. Whether you’re in sales, customer service, product development, or human resources (HR), you can collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers.

 

In sales, for example, an account representative’s role involves various work patterns, including account management, relationship building, and closing deals. To successfully close a deal, account representatives often collaborate with their colleagues to be better informed. SAP Jam can help here: The opportunity deal room work pattern enables sales executives to engage sales teams with customer service, product development, or marketing to define sales strategies, discuss customer requirements, or finalize a sales proposal (see Figure 1).

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In human resources, HR professionals can use SAP Jam to onboard new employees, for example (see Figure 2). In this scenario, the HR professional helps a new sales representative join a group in SAP Jam and collaborate across the business to have more access to the information and contacts the new rep needs to get started quickly.

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Repeatable Does Not Equal Rigid

 

Over the past 40 years, SAP has had a great opportunity to interact with customers to understand how work gets done across many departments and industries. With SAP Jam, that experience is incorporated into the solution’s design, and customers from over 50 companies provide regular feedback into the design of every work pattern. While the concept of repeatability might seem rigid, it’s actually quite flexible, with SAP Jam delivering work patterns that can be customized further by the business person or even custom-developed by IT.

 

Figure 3 highlights a work pattern that helps field and customer service professionals swarm around specific customers’ issues to enable fast closure and improve customer satisfaction. While this work pattern is provided out of the box with SAP Jam, any business person can change the look and feel or capabilities, such as adding a timeline of key events, a question-and-answer section, or group tasks. If an organization has a specific methodology, it can custom-develop work patterns.

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Achieve Sustained Success

 

Work patterns can help differentiate your business, aiding in the training and productivity of your users. SAP Jam’s rapid repeatability can ensure that your success is sustained over the long term.

 

For more information, visit www.sap.com/jam.

 

1. Chris Zook and James Allen, “Repeatability: Build Enduring Businesses for a World of Constant Change” (repeatability.com).

2. To learn more about work patterns in SAP Jam, see the article “Transform the Way People Work with Work Patterns from SAP: SAP Jam Delivers a Fast, Repeatable, Flexible Approach to Driving Business Outcomes” by Anthony Leaper in the January-March 2014 issue of SAPinsider (SAPinsiderOnline.com).

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee- Jack Welch


People are the most valuable asset of any organization. There could be buildings, machines, assets worth millions of dollars but if the right talent is not available, organizations could never scale the pinnacle of success. “Talent shortages” takes priority over “operational execution” reveals a recent survey involving 780 CEOs. Today, any initiative around people excellence is no more a cost item, its survival.

 

For any enterprise, addressing the people’s issues is of prime importance because it directly impacts its performance and growth. ‘People Excellence’ department is always on a quest to make employee’s performance optimal so that every employee is able to contribute his maximum to the organization. Inspite of such sincere efforts, the culture, practices & technologies used within the organization often hinder performance. Organizations make massive investments in building HR policies & systems but a shouting contrast to it is that the manpower still remains largely untapped.

Driving “People Excellence” Through Social Onboarding image aa21
IDC estimates that the average worker spends up to 35% of their time just looking for information. 89% of new hires say they don’t have the optimal level of knowledge to do their job. The typical mid-level manager takes 6.2 months before they start to add more value than they have consumed. What a waste!


Initial 45 days are critical for any new Hire. This is when 1/3 of the employee-churn happens. The cost of losing an employee is 3x the annual salary. Traditional onboarding adds lot of chaos to work. The induction program organized for new hires does not add much value. The new hires are bombarded with dozens of PowerPoint presentations in the 3 days program and are then expected to understand all of it and start performing next day onwards. When asked for more information they get numerous email forwards which only fill their inboxes up. When they need experts help, it’s really hard to find any.


If we have the right digital transformation strategy, we could barrel through all employees related problems. A better way of onboarding could be the social way by building strong internal employee communities. The employee could join a group relevant to his role & his interests. The news feeds give him constant updates on the activities taking place on a project, event or topic. Experts are added to the group where they could collaborate with the team, share ideas, best practices and the entire team could be in sync. Views/ comments could be corroborated & fast actions could be taken. Eventually, the load of unwanted emails is eased, there are lesser numbers of meetings, less time wasted and productivity shoots up.

 

Let’s accept the fact that the days of ‘9 to 5’ jobs are over. Employees today want more flexibility at work. Millennials who use Smartphones & Tablets at work want a more flexible & freelancing work environment. No wonder 60% of them are leaving their companies in less than three years.A recent ‘Millennial Branding’ report also found that 45% of millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay. It’s a radical shift in priority.

 

So what we see written on the wall is, it should not be just about how much time an employee spends in the office but how much value add he does. Unlike the baby boomers, the millennials don’t mind taking work along on their smart devices. For them there is a thin line between their personal & office lives. In order to ensure longevity of today’s ‘thumb-typing’ workforce its important to make work more engaging,  mobile, increase freelancing & make work hours flexible.

 

Thats where Social Onboarding could add value. It could improve employee productivity & reduce churn through better collaboration, sharing & communication.

Social Communities play important role in successful engagements with the employees, partners and customers. A successful social community could add lot of value to any enterprise. Enhancing brand loyalty, increase in sales, reduction in customer service costs, improving onboarding and learning process, better task and project management, crowdsourcing of ideas and content etc, social communities have many benefits which could directly add to the bottom line of any enterprise.


In spite of using best social technologies available, many enterprises are witnessing their communities becoming virtual ghost towns and the major reason for the failure is stakeholder’s disengagement.

How to address this issue? I have tried to present 10 steps which could help a great deal in ensuring community success. Here they are….


1. Never build your strategy around technology alone- People are equally important if not more. They have their own idiosyncrasies. Some favor and some resist changes. But most of the time we see resistance when there is a major overhaul in the way we work. Law of Inertia. It’s universal. Think how people would take the new change. Could it be solved just by technology or would need more human efforts. More than a technology or platform, a Social Community is about people. There could be technology worth millions but its people who actually make or mar any initiative.

 

2. It should have alignment with organization’s objective and should categorically have senior level buy-ins. The community manager and few of the social business enthusiasts cannot easily drive it to the desired success unless it has executive sponsorship. Involve the top bracket management.


3. A good way to learn is to observe people doing it. While suggesting solutions to a call center, we do an exercise called ‘agent shadowing’, that’s actually watching an agent taking calls and resolving queries for hours without interfering. We get to learn a lot about his pain points which even he might not know. Try this to study about social communities.  Do ‘Community Shadowing’ and get insight on how communities on social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook etc work. Test the waters before you take a plunge.


4. Let communities be an integral part of the enterprises’ workflow. Community as a separate communication channel won’t survive. It should be a part of the day to day business processes of the enterprise. Can the social community reduce the TAT (Turn Around Time) of a business process? Improve First Call resolution Or improve the CuSat score? That’s the Litmus test. Social should be what people use to get their work done on a daily basis.


5. It should not just be the marketing or the IT which should drive the community but a cross functional team comprising of IT, Marketing, HR, operations etc. The senior management should keep a tab on all important matters related to community management.


6. Use methods like gamification for community adoption & engagement. Gamification is not just about leaderboards or badges. It’s the secret sauce to drive engagement loyalty. Game mechanics could help a great deal in motivating people share, engage and leverage on collaborative efforts.

7. Build strong community advocacy program. Empower advocates to drive engagement through training, content sharing, answering queries etc.

 

8. Measure. What can’t be measured could be easily missed. Social community too has defined metrics. Each community should be measured based on KPIs. Use analytics, dashboards and data visualizations to have insights about how the community is fairing, where it lacks and what needs to be done.


9. Keep all community related matters well documented. Must have are strong community guidelines & playbook. Enforce Security, Safety and ethics through proper moderation but the objective should be to harness and not hinder engagement & creativity.


10. Follow industry best practices and build an internal ‘Center of Excellence’ for social business and community related activities. Tune in to Social Business leader’s/ products community pages and blogs to learn more. Be always pumped up to take new initiatives and execute qualified ideas received through ideation.

I made an amazing discovery recently. After years of trying to teach my daughter Spanish, I finally gave up. No matter how I tried to bribe her, she was simply not interested. Then I found Dualingo, an application that uses game mechanics to teach foreign languages.  All of a sudden, my daughter was excited to do her Spanish homework and to my delight, learning Spanish very quickly. Apparently, it works for adults as well; an independent study found that Duolingo trumps university-level language learning.


The good news for us is that we can leverage game mechanics to drive adoption of our enterprise social networks. Why does it work? According to Bunchball,game profile.png gamification taps into our basic human needs of self-esteem: reward, respect, prestige, achievement, and mastery. If done properly, it can add a motivational dimension that drives behavior change and user adoption. We at SAP have had amazing success with gamification. Several months after deploying Bunchball on the SAP Community Network the level of activity and community engagement is still well above previous levels (a 100% increase on average). This uptick in user activity is directly attributed to implementing game elements like badges, missions, reputation dashboards and point leaderboards.


There are several different ways can you leverage gamification to drive user motivation and adoption:

  • Onboarding: Gamification is a great way to get new users excited about trying out your newly introduced social network. For example, you can create an “All Aboard” badge which is awarded when a user uploads their profile picture, joins a group and posts a status message. You can setup the challenges of each mission to focus on the actions that you want your users to learn and begin using immediately.
  • Events: Creating a competition during an event is a great way to add some excitement while motivating users. For example, you may be trying to drive increased mobile usage. At an employee event, you can create a competition such that users must download the mobile application, join the event group and post or answer a question. Everyone who earns the “Mobile Master” badge is entered into a raffle ticket for a new iPad.
  • Social Learning: As my daughter discovered, gamification makes learning fun. By integrating game mechanics into your LMS, you can create missions and competitions that motivate the learner to explore new ideas while reinforcing and building on the course concepts. These experiences can then be used during class time to create interesting and engaging dialogue.
  • Innovation: Many of us are using social networking to brainstorm new innovative ways to drive our businesses via new products, marketing tactics or operational efficiencies. We can jumpstart that innovation with an “Innovation Badge” which gets awarded to those users with the most contributions or whose contributions get the most votes, likes or comments. 
  • Sales: We all know how competitive sales people are. Let’s use that fuel to get maximum value for the company. You can create missions and reward sales reps for sharing valuable information about deals, strategies and competitors using multiple levels of recognition with increasing difficulty. Reputation levels and point leaderboards serve as strong motivators.


Different game mechanics can be leveraged at each stage of the social networking maturity model: pioneering, strategic or cultural. Rewards and recognition can be organic from user to user or they can be planned and structured. Given there are so many game elements we can choose from, how do we select which ones to deploy and when? I recommend that you create a gamification rollout strategy.  This provides several benefits:  (1) new game elements are introduced in a way that allows users to absorb them easily; (2) you create new experiences to keep current users interested & engaged and (3) you have levers to help you reach new users and continually increase adoption levels. The table below shows an example of how you might deploy game mechanics based on type and maturity level:

game strategy.png

Gamification Strategy Example


So if you are struggling with how to drive increased adoption of your social network, try out some game mechanics. Please share your thoughts and experiences. Have you had success with gamification? If so, how did you do it? If not, what went wrong?

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

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Editor's note: This article by Sameer Patel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Social Software at SAP, is reproduced from the Apr-May-Jun 2014 issue of SAPinsider (SAPinsiderOnline.com) with permission from its publisher, WIS Publishing. Read the entire special report on social collaboration at SAPinsiderOnline.com.


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For the last 40 years in enterprise computing, innovations have focused on automating processes, digitizing connections to people, and outsourcing demand and supply chains to strengthen core competencies (see Figure 1). Many of the most recent innovations have been around social and cloud computing. These technologies give business professionals tremendous access to their employees, partners, and customers, but also to transactions and data in the cloud.

 

In light of these developments, the fundamental question is whether work has changed — whether sales processes, customer service operations, capacity for learning, and supply chain methodologies were transformed — or if the analog world was simply digitized. If there has been such monumental change, then why do the following inefficiencies persist?

 

  • The average worker still spends 28% of his or her time managing email and 20% looking for internal information or colleagues.1
  • Sales representatives spend 65% of their time hunting for information and expertise rather than selling.2
  • Only 7% of consumers say that customer service experiences exceed their expectations.3
  • It costs $1,398 to create one hour of learning content.4
  • 43% of companies still do not have complete information about suppliers.5

 

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The Reality for End Users

 

Digital transformation has occurred in specific business areas, but end users still face this reality:

 

  • Ad hoc processes and fragmented systems are centered on point functionality instead of conforming to how users want to work.
  • An avalanche of data is being generated across applications that are not aware of end users’ specific roles and what information is important to them.
  • Silos of collaboration have resulted from stand-alone social software applications that cannot leverage the power of customer, employee, and supplier networks and have limited or no connection to meaningful data, processes, or content.

 

Meanwhile, users are witnessing incredible digital transformation in the consumer world around them. For example, in the last two decades, businesses such as Travelocity and Expedia changed how hotel rooms were sold; now AirBNB wants to sidestep the hotel altogether. Several taxi-locating mobile apps emerged soon after the iPhone was invented; now Uber is trying to eliminate the traditional taxi. Customers are experiencing digital transformation in their lives from 5pm to 9am, so their expectations of how effective the technology in their lives must be from 9am to 5pm have also risen.

 

Essential Components to Accelerate Performance

 

Today’s systems are fragmented, with ad hoc data generated by multiple systems that don’t understand the insights users need to get work done. Networks of customers, partners, and employees are completely disconnected from business applications.

 

To solve this problem, we at SAP looked to our 50-member customer steering committee to understand the two or three work patterns that command how the majority of employees — from support professionals, to product managers, to knowledge workers — work and engage with customers. In sales, for example, the work patterns include prospecting, managing accounts and opportunities, building customer relationships, collaborating on preparing the sale, and learning about products.

 

work_patterns.png

 

When you look away from the rigid lens of transaction-based applications and the loose design of stand-alone social apps and put the end user in the center of the experience, you can start to identify how people, processes, data, and content need to come together to drive each work pattern. Each work pattern is designed around best practices and the specific needs of your own business, leveraging four specific characteristics (see Figure 2):

 

  1. Designed for you: Instead of having to go to multiple systems, data from multiple systems must come to you in one experience — in your application, social network, or device of choice, combining your data with your access to experts.
  2. Repeatable: Empower people to harness successful business processes and provide a way to templatize and repeat these best practices across your workforce.
  3. Flexible: To gain a competitive advantage from technology, you should be able to build new applications or extend existing ones to differentiate and win in your market.
  4. Network-aware: The best minds among your customers, employees, and partners must wrap around problems and opportunities to give you the best information possible.

 

This is the essence of work patterns in SAP Jam. We have co-innovated with over 50 SAP customers to transform the process of engaging and delighting customers; how to build, market, and sell products; and how to procure materials. SAP Jam is designed to connect to all your SAP on-premise, cloud, and third-party applications, and avoid disruptions while helping you reimagine how you work. Our line-of-business customers see work patterns deliver on established business key performance indicators (KPIs), and IT leaders can leverage work patterns to discuss transformation with their functional counterparts. This is how we think about the future of work at SAP — and it’s here now.

 

To learn more, read the other articles in this report and visit www.sap.com/jam.

 

1. McKinsey & Company, “The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies” (July 2012).

2. Jeff Ernst, “New Rules of Sales Enablement” (2009).

3. Echo Research Group, “2012 Global Customer Service Barometer” (2012).

4. ASTD, “State of the Industry Report” (2010).

5. Aberdeen Group, “Supplier Lifecycle Management: Measuring Performance While Mitigating Risk” (August 2012).

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

Last month, the SAP Social Software team announced that SAP Jam reached 15 million subscribers and launched a developer program.

 

At SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 in Orlando, ASUG News reporter Craig Powers caught up with Sameer Patel, SVP and GM of Enterprise Social Software at SAP, to talk about the announcements.

 

With Sameer were Ulf Kossol from T-Systems Multimedia Solutions, an SAP Jam partner, and Martin Wanitschke from Itaricon Management Consulting, an SAP Jam customer, who are taking advantage of the developer program.

 

Watch the video or read the edited transcript below to learn more about how Itaricon is embedding social collaboration into their sales process using SAP Jam.

 


Craig Powers: Today I'm joined by Sameer Patel of SAP, Ulf Kossol of T-Systems, and Martin Wanitschke from Itaricon. We're going to be talking about SAP Jam and all the latest developments. If I could start with you, Sameer – tell us what you do at SAP.

 

Sameer Patel: Sure. Thank you for having us. My name is Sameer Patel, and I run our collaboration business at SAP. I'm the SAP general manager for products and go-to-market which includes SAP Jam.

 

Craig Powers: Right. I think Sameer, I think collaboration. Ulf and Martin, if you could also introduce yourselves.

 

Ulf Jost Kossol: Thank you. My name is Ulf Kossol, I'm from T-Systems Multimedia Solutions from Germany. I'm responsible for a team of social businesses consultants covering all things for customers who want to build up social collaboration systems in their enterprises.

 

Martin Wanitschke: Hi, I'm Martin Wanitschke. I’m head of sales at Itaricon Management Consulting. Together with T-Systems, we've integrated Jam with our CRM, which we'll talk about later.

 

Craig Powers: Sameer, Jam had some news last week, if you can get into that for us.

 

Sameer Patel: Sure. First, I’d just like to say thank you to a partner and a customer for joining us here today. There’s two things that we really wanted to share today. One is that, in the last eight quarters, we have surpassed 15 million subscribers on the platform. The second piece of news is the launch of a developer platform and program for Jam. What this means is that our customers and our partners can do three things:

 

First is that they can extend and customize work patterns – to help manage deals, to manage accounts, to manage customers, learning, on boarding across the organization. The second thing is – because our customers live in heterogeneous environments with SAP technology and non-SAP technology – we've allowed Jam to be able to use live data and content from back end systems that are both SAP and non-SAP. Third, they can now build net new apps that are collaboration-first, using the HANA Cloud Platform and Jam. So that's the news.

 

Craig Powers: Ulf, talk about, from partner's perspective, how you're approaching this new ability to develop on SAP Jam.

 

Ulf Jost Kossol: Let me say first that our approach is to be a consulting partner for our customer. It’s a multi-vendor approach. We deal with a lot of leading social software companies from all over the world. With Jam, we are partnering with one you know. We've been very excited about the invitation to join the early development program before the launch.

 

The reason why it’s a good opportunity for us is that with the new release of Jam, it's different to the approaches of other social collaboration technologies. What’s important is that social collaboration will take place not next to a process but within a process. Some vendors also have integrations, but only in the activity stream, for example: You have an activity, and you can share the activity.

 

But in combination with work pattern methodology from Jam, we can combine it in one community. That was the reason we recommended this solution to our customer Itaricon. Because our recommendations are always based on use cases, we bring the best technology for the specific customer’s case.

 

Craig Powers: Martin, obviously Ulf and T-Systems made the recommendation, but you still had to make the decision. Why did you choose SAP Jam and what was the purpose that you wanted to fulfill with it?

 

Martin Wanitschke: Before I explain the technology decision, I should probably explain why we chose social collaboration at all.

 

When I joined Itaricon, my task was to find processes within the sales organization that could be speeded up. What I found was that when any employee for Itaricon had a sales opportunity, he had to put it into the CRM. Then he’d send an email with a link to the CRM to all the people that he thought might help win that deal. But then collaboration stopped. They all worked in silos on their own laptops. They had a couple of meetings or telephone conferences to make the deal happen. It worked, but there were things that could make it better.

 

After putting the opportunity into the CRM, there was kind of a black box. No one really knew what happened – even the person who initially found the opportunity didn't know what happened with the opportunity. It was quite clear that we needed a tool or a technology that made this black box a little bit more transparent. Social collaboration can help make processes transparent. That's what Ulf just said: You don't put a collaboration suite next to a process; you put it onto the process.

 

Our process trigger is the opportunity. We work together within the sales organization – and within our whole organization – on the opportunity in Jam.

 

Why did we choose Jam? It was a pretty easy decision. SAP is one of the core technologies that Itaricon provides technology services, professional services, and consulting services for.

 

We have several technologies of course, but Jam is just easy to use – easy to integrate. That's what they promised, and that's what we’ve realized.

 

Sameer Patel: That's why we're here, and we appreciate that. Thank you. Because this is a developer program, we paid attention to two specific things as we rolled it out. The first was that large partners like T-Systems, with 60,000 plus employees, can use this platform to develop these social solutions.

 

The second thing is we also wanted to make it available to individual developers. Individual developers who bring deep domain expertise in certain lines of business can now build deep solutions that enhance business processes and then sell them as products in the HANA Cloud Marketplace.

 

Craig Powers: Great. I'd like to go back to you, Martin. You were talking about siloed emailing and collaboration. Talk briefly about what SAP Jam looks like and how that leads to collaboration.

 

Martin Wanitschke: First of all, let me briefly explain what we did with Jam. As Ulf said, it’s not only SAP technology that needs to be integrated with it. At Itaricon, we use SugarCRM for our CRM system, and we've integrated SugarCRM with Jam – bidirectional, by the way. When the opportunity comes into CRM, it also appears in the list of opportunities within Jam. That's where the collaboration really starts.

 

You have the list of opportunities and everybody who can see that list can create a group from one of the opportunities. You open up a group because you think you have the best expertise and you have the time to make that deal happen. You open up the group and you get into a very familiar design. Social collaboration within business might be kind of new, but social collaboration – Facebook and stuff like that – is really familiar to everyone now.

 

If you get into one of these groups in Jam, if you have ever seen Facebook before, you will be able to deal with the group. There are group templates that are already predefined that we can also change.

 

Sameer Patel: The work patterns.

 

Martin Wanitschke: Yes, work patterns. We can design the work patterns. You open up a group and there's already a template for the details of the opportunity coming right from the CRM. You have a list of the members of the group. You have an activity stream, which is the most important part at Itaricon, at least. It’s just easy to handle, it’s really easy to handle. Whoever has a chance to look at it should do so.

 

Craig Powers: To wrap it up, I'll go back to you, Ulf. For other developers, are there tips on how to get started with this program?

 

Ulf Jost Kossol: Not just for the developers. My most important tip is to not only to look at the technology. When we look at a project with customers who are running social collaboration initiatives, there's more and more emphasis on qualification training and change management. And it's really important to think about these things not only from the technology side but also the developer side. My advice for developers is to go deep into the developer tool kit. SAP did a brilliant job with many best practices. Test – do it. Test and go your way.

 

We created the integration together with Itaricon in three weeks. So it is simple. SAP is simple.

Editor's note: This article is a guest blog post by Rich Caballero, first published on the SAP Business Innovation blog.

 

Are you struggling to drive an important cross-company initiative? You have an innovative idea and a sound game plan, but every day feels like pushing a boulder up Mount Kilimanjaro. The key to keeping your sanity is to get an executive sponsor and supporter. They can single-handedly open the floodgates to provide the awareness, resources and budget you need to surf to success.

 

Dream it. Say it. Do it.

 

Here is a simple three-step process to attract the attention and secure a commitment to action from management.

 

1. Dream it: Get your executive excited about a vision

 

The secret to step one is to package your compelling vision in a way that will resonate with your target executive. To do that effectively, you must understand what makes your manager tick. David Merrill & Roger Reid have defined four social styles that define the way that people interact with each other:

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Merrill-Reid Social Styles

 

This matrix can help you position and communicate your vision and plan with maximum impact. Let’s take a real problem many business professionals are tackling: how to convince management the value of enterprise social networking. It turns out that getting management engaged in social networks has a huge impact on user adoption. According to Community Roundtable, C-level participation in a community drives 2-3 times more collaboration. This should make sense since a connection with our leadership drives employee engagement, motivation and satisfaction. A recent Deloitte Core Beliefs and Culture Survey found that access to management and leadership was one of employees’ top requests. Therefore, convincing management to become a good social citizen is a critical component to any social network’s success. You may have defined several goals, use cases and value propositions for your project. However, we want to be selective and highlight only those components of the vision and plan that are most interesting to our audience.

 

For example, once you have identified your manager’s social style, you can position your plan as outlined below:

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Social Network Positioning Aligned with Social Style

 

2. Say it: Get them to articulate this vision publicly

 

Once management is on board with a vision and plan, we want to encourage them to communicate this plan as far and wide as possible. Think about all the potential communication channels available to your champion: board meetings, executive staff, all hands meetings, employee newsletters etc. This is an important step because communicating the vision will (1) bring awareness to your solution (2) engender a sense of ownership and commitment by the executive and (3) therefore, create motivation for them to see the vision executed.

 

3. Do it: Make it as simple as possible for them to execute

 

In the context of our example, the last step is to make participation and contribution to the social network as low maintenance and stress free as possible for the executive. Some practical ideas include:

 

  • Align the communication channel with the manager’s preferences. Do they like to write or talk? Do they prefer video, images or audio? Propose that they communicate via the media which allows them to shine.

  • Enlist one of their trusted advisors to create content on their behalf or actively look for threads where they should be commenting.

  • Managers are frequently on the move, make sure there is a mobile app installed and working on their phone and tablet.

  • Provide a dedicated technical resource that will initially make sure their account is active with single sign on and on an ongoing basis, solve or answer any technical issues or questions they may have.

 

So if you are struggling with how to enlist an executive to champion your initiative, follow the “Dream It, Say It, Do It” methodology. Please share your thoughts and experiences. Have you had success influencing an executive to commit and take action? How did you do it?

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

In this video recorded at SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 in Orlando, San Jose Sharks COO John Tortora talks about how his organization uses SAP to run their business.

 

Starting at 11:35 in the video, Tortora explains how SAP Jam helped them tackle the challenge of cross-departmental communication, and how it allows them to share key information and make better connections.

 

During his presentation, Tortora said that SAP Jam has taken collaboration at his organization to the next level. He said that it’s been especially helpful in the marketing department, which supports every department in the company and works with external agencies and vendors. Because of the number of staff and the variety of projects in progress, it had become harder to collaborate using only meetings, email, and phone calls.

 

With SAP Jam, the San Jose Sharks now have a single platform that anyone can access from anywhere. They can now share dynamic timelines and documents with the entire company, edit and review commercials with outside agencies, and create special project groups to enhance brainstorming and improve the execution of projects.

 

Three months after going live with SAP Jam, 90% of employees in the San Jose Sharks organization are now using it.

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Find out how social collaboration can transform the way you work. Listen as Sameer Patel, SVP and GM of Enterprise Social Software at SAP, moderates a discussion with SAP Jam customers Cargill and Grundfos. Jennifer Cupp from Cargill describes how social collaboration is transforming employee learning programs, and Thomas Asger Hansen from Grundfos talks about how social tools can help his organization collaborate effectively across borders.

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Recorded live in Orlando at SAPPHIRE NOW in June 2014.

The overview page is the face of your SAP Jam group – it’s the first thing people see when they join your group. Its job is to communicate what your group is about and to point people quickly to the things that matter most to them.

 

Because building an effective overview page is so important, we’ve created a new overview page designer that's even easier to use. The new designer makes creating and maintaining overview pages a snap – and gets you up and running faster than ever.

 

What’s in the new designer?

 

The new designer features a grid-like layout of content blocks that you can rearrange easily to add and remove columns and rows, change the width of blocks, and then easily add content by dragging and dropping it from your desktop. It includes many of the features from the previous editor and adds new features.

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Grid layout. When you create your overview page, you can now select a grid that’s up to three columns wide, with as many rows as you need. For each row, you can select one, two, or three columns. If you select a row to have two columns, they can be of equal size or one can be larger than the other. You can resize the columns dragging the divider between the cells left or right – and it won’t affect any of the other rows. If you select a row to have three columns, the columns are automatically set to an equal size. If you wish, you can choose a premade layout when you create the page.

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Easier content placement. There’s now a widget for everything: text, images, and videos. That’s in addition to the special dynamic content widgets that we’d already added for people, events, tasks, feed, related groups, content, and forums. Any content you add will automatically align to the top of the content block it’s in and resize to fill the entire width of the block.

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Easier images. You can now drag and drop images directly from your desktop or choose an image from the content in your group.  SAP Jam will automatically resize the image to make it as big as the content block it’s in. You can crop the image and even zoom in to a specific area. Use the “Edit Image” dialog to link the image to a URL and add text overlay captions.

 

No need to use HTML. To make it simpler for people who aren’t familiar with HTML, we’ve removed the ability to add HTML when creating an overview page.  If you’re a power user and are comfortable with HTML and CSS, you can still use the old wiki editor, but you won’t have access to the new designer’s functionality.

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Customize group templates and work patterns to business processes. You can now design a group template that matches your company’s unique business needs. After you build your overview page the way you want it, ask your company’s SAP Jam administrator to go to your group and create a template based on your group. The administrator can manage customized templates and turn off pre-built templates that your company doesn’t use.

“A knotty 'puzzle' may hold a scientist up for a century, when it may be that a colleague has the solution already and is not even aware of the puzzle that it might solve.” 
― Isaac Asimov (on Collaboration)


How a ONE team approach can bridge internal & external boundaries!

Car.Road.pngFor profit and non-profit organizations around the globe have a common mission to launch new products and services to obtain front-line revenues and customer value objectives. For most, the investments (i.e. Dollars ($), Euros (€), Yens (¥)) are large and the stakes are high.


Many people and groups must come together to achieve ONE common set of goals and objectives.  The adoption of SAP Jam can make a huge difference to accelerate (& streamline) a successful roll out that requires the collaboration and cooperation of "internal and external" stakeholders.


market.trends.shutterstock_58743079.jpgGo-to-Market momentum takes place through consistent, repeatable, flexible, and efficient small steps which add up to larger efforts and leads to an ongoing set of important milestones (& deliverables).


The key to success requires:

  • Combining leadership and expertise with a 360 degree project management view
  • Cross-teaming around business priorities
  • Enabling formal and informal training
  • Providing user access to content and real-time data
  • Achieving speed to market and measurable results


Taking a step back helps senior executives and their leadership team(s) identify "work patterns" which allows companies to save time and money as well as work smarter.


Leveraging SAP Jam allows organizations to put the enterprise social collaboration foundation in place while allowing for the "many changes" which will happen along the way.


The recent SAP Jam product release and new developer program provides powerful tools and resources to customers, developers, and partners to simplify the work patterns that impacts stakeholders participating in a new product launch. By enabling SAP Jam to receive data and content from people and technology (SAP and non-SAP), the virtual collaborative environment bridges the gaps between face-to-face meetings, conference calls, and time zones to address the business requirements.  When assessing SAP Jam it's important to consider what exists today and the power of SAP and SuccessFactors in strategically investing in the SAP Jam roadmap as part of the overall portfolio of industry and line of business solutions. As a result, the ceiling is very high to address customer's business priorities which intertwine with collaboration.  

Auto.Network.pngBased on numerous SAP Jam go-live customer successes and feedback, my team and I have developed an “Automobile Company Dealer Network"[1] SAP Jam prototype (see image - right side) to demonstrate a repeatable work pattern for a prospective new car launch which includes: 

  • Connecting the company to the dealers
  • Ensuring a full view of the new product launch
  • Providing formal "certification" (highlighted in orange rectangle - right side image) training around the new car (integrating SAP LSO [2] or LMS to SAP Jam) as well as specialized 3rd party subscriptions for industry or line of business learning materials
  • Enabling informal learning around vehicle sales based on best practices and experts
  • Deploying a flexible process that can change quickly


Work patterns are designed to bring the various components together.

From a business perspective they play a major role in a return on investment in productivity and accelerated performance. From a technology perspective the SAP Jam Open Data Protocol (OData) and Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) provides advanced capabilities to access and provide visibility to data and content with the ability to search for the information that that the users need (see "Definitions" below).

next.level.pngCustomers, developers, and partners who learn more about the new SAP Jam developer program and related advancements can take their initiatives to the next level and maximize competitive advantages.

Keep in mind that SAP Jam implementations and solutions are based on both "technology" and "business" adoption (vs. 100% technology) so organizations that take full advantage will be in a better position to achieve their goals. The many capabilities of SAP Jam including working with cross-teams ranging from Sales, Marketing, and Services....to HR/Onboarding/Learning... as well as lines of business (i.e. Finance, IT, Operations, Supply Chain, Procurement, Legal, etc.) and industry specific adoption allows SAP Jam to stand apart from the competition. 

The proof of success is not just in the go-live launch, but rather how successful the initiative is 3 weeks, 3 months, and 3+ years later!

As a result, companies can protect existing investments and make more informed decisions as they move forward with strategic, compelling business initiatives such as a new product launch that takes place inside and outside the boundaries of their organization.

puzzle.success.shutterstock_85903774.jpgAs the acclaimed bestselling author Isaac Asimov once shared...
…the answers that we seek may lie with an internal "or" external stakeholder (“colleague” or expert) who connects to us through a planned or chance interaction. By putting SAP Jam in place and leveraging repeatable work patterns and business processes the foundation for inter-enterprise collaboration is established. Often success (or failure) hinges on finding the right "puzzle piece" at the right time.

And once found, we can share this "puzzle piece" (i.e. knowledge, wisdom, content, data, solution or answer) on SAP Jam so that other stakeholders might benefit and as a result the ONE whole team wins together!

---

Definitions

  • Work Patterns
    Formal work patterns are generally understood to be systems of coordinated and controlled activities that arise when work is embedded in complex networks of technical relations and boundary-spanning exchanges. But in modern societies formal organizational structures arise in highly institutionalized contexts.
    Source: Wiki Answers

  • Open Data Protocol (OData)
    OData is a standardized protocol for creating and consuming data APIs. OData builds on core
    protocols like HTTP and commonly accepted methodologies like REST. The result is a uniform way to expose full-featured data APIs.

    Source:
    Open Data Protocol | YouTube

  • Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS)
    CMIS uses Web services and Web 2.0 interfaces to enable information sharing across content
    management repositories from different vendors (i.e. SAP Jam and SharePoint).
    Source: OASI


Sources:

[1] SAP Solution Explorer - Auto Value Map

[2] Social And Collaborative Learning powered by SAP Learning Solution and SAP Jam - Martin Mueller


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RDB.jpgAbout the Author
Richard D. Blumberg, President, World Sales Solutions, LLC, (WSS) (www.WorldSalesSolutions.com) provides 25+ years of thought leadership on a variety of "View from the Top" strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building. 

WSS is a SAP Service Partner for SAP Jam and long-time supporter of the SAP Community Network and the SAP Ecosystem.

 

Prior Blogs:
- View from the Top: Bill McDermott shares his success secrets at a #fireside chat!
- SAP Jam: The ROI Impacting Sales Productivity

- Split Second Selling with SAP Jam - 7 Use Cases!

- The Customer Go-to-Market Imperative - Transforming Silos to Social Business and Community Building

With the May 2014 release, SAP Jam continues to deliver social collaboration when and where people work – building on the work patterns concept that we introduced just six months ago.

 

Work patterns help you make it easy to repeat successful work processes. They combine expertise finding, content, problem-solving tools, and templates with real-time data from business systems – so that you can make informed decisions quickly and act on them to deliver results.

 

In this release, we’ve added even more new capabilities, like the ability to customize work patterns and include the right business data.

 

Here’s a summary of what’s available now in the 1405 release of SAP Jam.  For more information, please refer to the detailed release notes.

 

 

For departments and lines of business

 

Customizable work patterns. If your department often needs to create a certain kind of group, you can now ask your IT or company admin to create a work pattern template for it – saving you time every time you need to recreate it. For example, if your sales team follows a specific sales methodology, you can create customized account and opportunity work patterns for it. If you’re the admin for a group that you want to create a work pattern template from, start by customizing your overview page and including relevant content like polls, documents, and agendas. Then, when you’re ready, ask a company admin to create a work pattern from the group with a single click.

 

Custom business object filters for data widgets. Company admins can now customize the filters in data widgets. For example, if your organization considers a high-probability sales opportunity to be one that has a 75% chance of closing, you can specify 75% in your filter.

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SAP ECC integration. To help you collaborate around orders and invoices – for instance, when you need to resolve an issue with an account before processing an order – SAP Jam now integrates with SAP ECC ERP out of the box when you’re also using SAP CRM.

 

Order-to-cash work pattern for orders and invoices. Speed the processing of orders by using this new work pattern that pulls in business data from orders and invoices via the SAP ECC integration. In the account management work pattern, an “Orders” tab is now also available so that you can see orders from that account.

 

For users, group admins and content owners

 

Business object browser. If you’ve integrated a system like SAP CRM with SAP Jam, users can now browse business data in that system and create new SAP Jam groups to collaborate around it. SAP Jam respects the security model of the integrated system – so for example, users in SAP Jam can only see those accounts, opportunities, and service requests that they would normally have access to in SAP CRM.

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Overview page designer. The new overview page designer makes it easy to customize the layout of group overview pages by dragging and dropping content.

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SAP Jam add-in for Microsoft® Office Outlook®. With the new add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook, you can continue collaborating regardless of whether you’re online or offline. As you view an email message, you’ll be able to post a status update directly from inside the email – or create a blog post, discussion forum entry or a wiki page.

 

Expertise actions in the feed. When your feed notifies you that colleagues have been endorsed for their expertise, you can easily do “me too” endorsements directly from your feed, and the recipients can quickly choose to show the endorsements directly from their own feed. Your colleagues can initiate endorsements by recommending expertise tags on your profile. Search results in SAP Jam now include expertise. For example, if you search for “government,” the search results will include users with expertise tags for “government.”

 

For IT and company admins

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Customizable work patterns. When a department or line of business at your organization customizes a work pattern to suit its business needs, an IT or company admin can preview it, edit it, copy it, and choose to enable or disable it. If pre-built SAP Jam work patterns aren’t used at your company, they can be disabled.

 

SAP Jam profile customization. Company admins can now customize SAP Jam user profiles by hiding certain sections or fields, modifying the order of fields, and adding custom, SAP Jam-only fields.

 

Preloading of expertise and other tags. To align tags with another system like an HR skills database – and make it easier for users to choose them – a company admin can now preload expertise and other tags into SAP Jam.

 

Embedding of SAP Jam feeds into company portal. To help you promote the use of SAP Jam in your organization, we’ve created SAP Jam widgets for feeds and recommendations that you can embed in systems that your employees use often – like your company portal.

 

Real-time SuccessFactors Foundation profile sync. When new employees are added to SuccessFactors Foundation in Employee Central – or if a user’s basic profile is changed manually – those changes will be seen almost immediately in SAP Jam.

 

System-managed member list API. With this new API, you can create and manage member lists using your company’s system of record – for example, LDAP or Microsoft® Active Directory®. This capability requires custom development by a partner or developer.

 

Usability enhancements

 

We’ve listened to requests from our customers and have made the following enhancements to make SAP Jam even easier to use.

 

Anonymized activity reporting. To comply with local requirements, organizations that operate in the European Union have asked to be able to anonymize user activity details. When you enable this option, user detail reports will no longer include personally identifiable information.

 

Anonymous polling. It’s now possible to create anonymous polls.  When you vote in an anonymous poll, your vote won’t appear in feed notifications, and the person who created the poll won’t be able to the names or details of people that voted.

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Gallery view of sub-groups. To make it easier for users to see what sub-groups are available and join them, the sub-groups page now shows a graphical, tiled layout by default – and includes more information about each sub-group.

 

Overview page renaming and reordering of tabs. Managing tabs on your overview page is easier: You can rearrange them and even rename your overview page, if you like – for instance, you could change it from “Overview” to “Home.”

 

Group template preview and work pattern recommendations. Before creating a group, you can now preview it to see what it will look like. If you create a group based on data from an integrated system, SAP Jam will only recommend work patterns appropriate for that type of data. For example, if you create a group based on SAP CRM account data, SAP Jam will show you work patterns for account data but not for opportunity data.

 

Widget changes. To make widgets more legible and easier to use, we’ve removed their borders and adjusted their fonts, colors, and titles.

 

Deprecated and disabled features

 

As we work to make SAP Jam even easier to use, it sometimes makes the most sense to remove certain features. For this release, here’s a summary of changes.

 

Newly deprecated feature: Status nudge has been deprecated, but will still be available until at least August 2014.


Disabled features: Company quiz and personal information in user profiles have been disabled.


Discontinued support: Microsoft® Internet Explorer® version 7 is no longer supported, following Microsoft's discontinuation of support for that version.

In the May 2014 release of SAP Jam, we’ve made it easier for partners and developers to customize, extend, embed, and integrate SAP Jam – so that they can support their customers with innovations specific to their department, company, or industry.

 

  • Customize. Tailor work patterns to address the unique needs of a business and enable repeatable work.
  • Embed. Add SAP Jam capabilities to SAP and third-party applications to facilitate collaboration.
  • Extend. Add in-context business data to SAP Jam from SAP and third-party systems, using OData-based APIs.
  • Integrate. Incorporate SAP Jam into enterprise landscapes using APIs and prebuilt integrations.

 

To support you and ensure your success, we’ve also created an SAP Jam developer community, where you’ll find the tools and documentation you need. Along with API reference documentation and sample code to help you get started, you’ll also get access to a special developer sandbox where you can create and test your new work patterns and integrations – and even submit support tickets for any bugs you find.

 

Customize

Create custom work patterns. Tailor work patterns to address the specific business needs and processes of your customers. Include built-in SAP Jam content such as forums, content, widgets, tools for structured collaboration, and third-party data. For example, you can now customize the account management and opportunity deal room work patterns that include SAP CRM data to fit the unique needs of your customer’s sales team.

 

Link a work pattern to a business object. Connect a work pattern to a specific business object, such as an account, opportunity, or service request within SAP CRM.


Facilitate work pattern recommendations. When someone creates a new group, SAP Jam will automatically recommend a work pattern for them to use, based on the appropriate data or business object. For example, when someone creates a group related to an SAP CRM account, SAP Jam will show work patterns recommended for accounts. When someone creates a group related to an SAP CRM opportunity, SAP Jam will show work patterns recommended for opportunities.

 

Create custom business object filters. When you add data from third-party systems to SAP Jam, you can filter that data when you expose it in a widgets. For example, if you’re integrating data from a CRM system into SAP Jam, you can create a “high probability of closing” widget that only shows deals that have a 75% chance of closing – or whatever percentage your customer defines as high probability.

 

Customize the group overview page. Use the new overview page designer to redesign the layout and content to address the things your customer needs to do most often. You’ll be able to create a template out of the customized overview page, allowing others in the organization to use it to create overview pages for new groups.

 

Embed

Embed SAP Jam feeds into third-party systems and custom-built apps. Use the widget builder directly within the SAP Jam admin user interface to create JavaScript® code that allows you to embed an SAP Jam group feed and recommendations into another application.

 

Embed SAP Jam feeds into company portals. If your customer’s company portal permits use of JavaScript, use the widget builder to create code to embed feeds and recommendations into the portal.

 

Extend

Add SAP on-premises application data to SAP Jam. Use a connector for SAP NetWeaver to add data from SAP applications into an SAP Jam work pattern – in the same way that we’ve added data from SAP CRM and SAP ECC to existing work patterns.

 

Add SAP HANA Cloud Platform data to SAP Jam. Use an OData Connector to include data from applications created on the SAP Hana Cloud Platform inside work patterns.

 

Expose data from third-party systems within SAP Jam. Use SAP Jam’s built-in “business object list” and “business object detail” widgets to expose third-party-system data in a way that matches the look and feel of SAP Jam – allowing users to collaborate around the data and business records important to them.

 

Integrate

OData-based API. We’ve already used this new API for SAP Jam to create the new SAP Jam add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook. This add-in allows users to collaborate from their favorite email client and even while on the go with offline collaboration capabilities.

 

Third-party application integration. Using the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, you can write custom code applications that act as the OData middleware between SAP Jam and third-party applications such as SugarCRM.

 

SAP CRM and SAP ECC (ERP) integrations. Use these two integrations, built using the OData-based API, to add collaboration to SAP CRM and SAP ERP business processes.

 

CMIS integrations. Use these previously announced integrations out of the box to connect SAP Jam to Microsoft SharePoint and Alfresco One.

 

System-managed member list API. Using the member list feature that we previously introduced, you can invite multiple people to a group using a system that’s as easy to use as an email distribution list. Instead of inviting 100 people individually, simply choose a member list to invite them all.  With the new system-managed member list API, we’ve made it even better. Now, you can manage member lists automatically, using a system of record within your organization like an LDAP server or Active Directory.

The new SAP Jam developer community

If you’re a partner or developer and you’ve wanted to customize SAP Jam or build integrations for your own customers, now you can.

 

For the May 2014 release of SAP Jam, we’ve created a new OData-based API that allows you to create innovations that support the company, departmental, or industry-specific needs that matter to your clients. They’ll be able to get social collaboration right where they work – including customized work patterns and in-context business data.

 

sap_jam_developer_community.png

To support you and ensure your success, we’ve also created an SAP Jam developer community, where you’ll find the tools and documentation you need. Along with API reference documentation and sample code to help you get started, you’ll also get access to a special developer sandbox where you can create and test your new work patterns and integrations – and even submit support tickets for any bugs you find. You’ll also get access to a community of developers – and the SAP Jam team – and be able to provide feedback for future additions to our API.

 

For more information about the developer community, visit the SAP Jam developer community page.

 

The new SAP Jam OData API

In creating the API, we’ve considered requests we’ve received and also spoken to leading partners to ask what they need to do to address the needs of their customers. Taking that feedback into consideration, we’ve built the API to offer the following functionality.

 

  • Group manipulation
    • Create groups, read groups, update groups and delete groups
    • Copy groups
  • Group membership
    • Manipulate group membership (by adding or removing members), group admin data, or the group picture
  • Group content
    • Create, read, update, and delete group content like wikis and blogs
    • Create, read, update, and delete forums, questions, discussions, and ideas
    • Add or feature complex business objects to a group
  • Get notifications and accept or dismiss them


Non-OData-based APIs

 

We also provide REST endpoints to:

 

  • Create, read, update, delete kudos
  • Trigger and get usage reports
  • Create and delete bookmarks
  • Search SAP Jam

 

For more information about the OData API, visit the SAP Jam developer community page.

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