1 2 3 13 Previous Next

SAP Social Software

193 Posts

When everyone is on the same page, campaigns come together and ideas flow. Watch this video to see how organizations can use SAP Cloud for Marketing and SAP Jam to collaborate on a marketing campaign – whether they’re mobile or in the office.


In it, a marketing manager for a consumer coffee brand is on her commute to work. On her walk to the train station, she sees a weather report on a video billboard showing that a cold winter is expected – and it sparks an idea for a marketing campaign. She takes a picture of the billboard with her smartphone. While she’s waiting for her train, she opens SAP Jam on her smartphone and shares the picture with her team, asking them to come up with ideas related to it.


Her team sees the photo and responds with suggestions for a campaign. They’ve even suggested a name for it: “Cold winter. Hot coffee. Warm heart.” The team discusses ideas for visuals, offers, and what customer segments to target.  Before the marketing manager reaches her office, she’s got a full plate of ideas and information to talk to her team about further.


Watch all of the videos in this “Sweet Spot” series:



Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

I attended a presentation from Roland Hameeteman few days ago. He explained how he summarized his experience about running companies in his book titled Yellow & Blue (in Dutch). He describes the two aspects each organization has. Yellow is the human creativity. It is about listening and understanding the customer and coming up with new ideas. Blue is the process. It introduces structure and efficiency. As he put it “Yellow stands for creating and Blue stands for producing. Yellow & Blue are two 'cultural systems' with their own characteristics. Yellow needs trust and Blue needs control.”




Successful organizations find a good balance between the two. The management literature has nice words to describe such organizations as “Enterprise 2.0” or most recently “Social Enterprise”. For example Bosch has a well-known success story regarding their transformation. They call it “Social Organization”. They say “A “social” organization is like a brain. Networked. Intelligent. Adaptable. Fast.”




This Social Enterprise has roots in good old Knowledge Management. When I started to look at KM more seriously more than 10 years ago, when I started my PhD about it, KM was a hot topic (even though less hot as in the 1990s) and SAP itself had a solution called KM (in the portal). In the meantime a lot has changed in SAP’s strategy and I would like to ask the question:


How far is SAP with supporting the Social Enterprise?


We have seen many customers using the SAP Enterprise Portal and its KM feature. It has never been best of breed, but many customers used it for some extent, mostly for document and content management. SAP has stopped further developing it and now it is recommended only for smaller scenarios and SAP tells its customers to use the integrated partner offering from OpenText for more complex scenarios.


We have seen the “rise and fall” of SAP Streamworks and of course the main product in this space now is SAP Jam, which originates from SuccessFactors Jam (SAP acquired SuccessFactors in February 2012) with some features from Streamworks. Since this acquisition SAP has been executing its strategy, which is to combine social features into business processes and SAP applications.


SAP Jam has reached 15 million subscribers in May 2014 and Gartner puts SAP among the Visionaries in its Magic Quadrant (Sept 2014). A relatively new and very powerful feature of SAP Jam is the work patterns. Thanks to integration with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, it can now be extended, even non-SAP data can be integrated, etc.


Despite the obviously great improvements in SAP Jam and the impressive milestone of 15 million users, in my personal experience (among mostly non-SuccessFactors users from the Benelux) many SAP customers use SAP software to make their organization more Blue. What is your experience? Do you see many customers getting more Yellow thanks to SAP solutions?


GENBAND is a telecommunications provider based in Frisco, Texas, that delivers its solutions to more than 700 customers in 80 countries. It has a global employee base, with staff in more than 50 countries.


Darrin Whitney, GENBAND’s chief information officer, recently spoke to SAP in a video about how his organization has implemented SAP Jam to ensure that its employees can collaborate and exchange ideas freely, regardless of where they may be.


In the video, Whitney says the impetus was to enable innovation. “We have a global workforce, and we had no single place for those people to come together and collaborate. If you had software developers in Turkey and U.S.-based resources trying to work together, there was really nowhere to share, and it took a long time.”


With SAP Jam, GENBAND found a solution that eliminated the need to develop an in-house tool. “We were looking for a strategic partner,” Whitney says, “where we would have the ability and the content to bring it all together as a single solution.”


GENBAND is using SAP Jam to improve knowledge management, Whitney says. One benefit is that veteran employees around the world can now easily share their knowledge with new hires. “We have a lot of people that have 25 or 30 years in the telecom business.  When we bring in new people, it gives us the ability to have that 25 years of experience spread across a larger user base.”


The solution enables GENBAND employees to create forums for faster, better communication. “The thing users like the most about SAP Jam is the ability to make our large company intimate,” Whitney says.


It also provides channel partners and service contractors with a single repository for asking questions and finding technical information. “It’s actually allowed us to bring a lot of stuff that was happening outside of our organization back into our organization.”


The management team at GENBAND immediately saw the value of SAP Jam. “It’s a collaboration suite that we’re actually using,” Whitney says. “From an IT standpoint, the flexibility and scalability that the cloud provides is instrumental for our success. It’s a strategic enabler for us – from a business standpoint internally, and externally to our customers.”


Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

Understanding the Financial Value 

Introducing the WSS ROI Calculator for SAP Jam


biker.path.1.pngMany SAP Jam initiatives require a solid business justification before senior management will commit time, money, and resources.  The business case can address one or more of the following:

  • Revenues – Aligning strategic and tactical sales, profits, and margins with account plans
  • Customers – Engaging customers to provide value-add, collaboration, and communications
  • Employees – Providing an environment to maximize productivity, performance, learning, onboarding, and cross-team collaboration
  • Partners – Leveraging the channel to extend revenues, delivery, learning, and customer reach
  • Operations – Identifying and quantifying process improvements and simplification
  • Financial – Reducing costs and/or showing a realistic Return on Investment (ROI)

The assessment of SAP Jam begins with the value and importance of SAP and SuccessFactors.  SAP is the market leader for business software with over 253,000 customers.  SAP Jam has over 15 million subscribers. One only needs to look at the SAP Solution Explorer value maps, with a breadth of products and solutions, to realize that the current and upcoming investments (& alignment) with SAP Jam are part of the overall strategy to fuel organizational simplification, cloud and “digital transformation.”

Number.5.image.pngFive ROI Essentials

  1. Quantify – Understanding a project’s economic impact and business drivers can turn uncertain support into an endorsement to move forward.
  2. Stakeholders – Connecting ROI to a project can build confidence amongst key colleagues, cross-team members and influencers that a project is worthwhile.
  3. Benefits – Socializing a SAP Jam project can lead to finding additional benefits that were initially not recognized.
  4. Prioritization – Ensuring accountability. Once the decision is made to invest in a SAP Jam project the ROI can help management and stakeholders prioritize their time as participants.
  5. Change – Recognizing that an important business initiative needs help (i.e. by way of change management) and that SAP Jam can enable important outcomes.


Understanding the Financial Value

Measuring financial value can be complex.  Breaking it down into known components helps simplify:

  • Time – Accelerating productivity and reducing wasted time
  • Money – Aligning value around salaries (and cost savings) as well as supporting revenue initiatives
  • Volume – The quantity of people including employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders


Providing a base level framework around these values provides a business model and perspective.


How do we know it works?

In addition to World Sales Solutions (WSS) best practices and hundreds of SAP Jam and related community work experiences, consider an industry analyst’s perspective:

“According to an IDC White Paper sponsored by Adobe, “Bridging the Information Worker Productivity Gap: New Challenges and Opportunities for IT,” September 2012, reporting on a global survey of information workers and IT professionals, information workers waste a significant amount of time each week dealing with a variety of challenges related to working with documents. This wasted time costs the average organization $19,732 per information worker per year, amounting to a loss of 21.3% in the organization's total productivity.”


Now assess the impact
to your organization!

Based on a breath of data points, customer feedback, and findings, World Sales Solutions has built the first WSS ROI Calculator for SAP Jam (www.wssroi.com).

This tool provides an internal/external "customer-centric" framework (see diagram on right) for measuring the economic impact of Time, Money, and Volume when addressing:

  • Finding the right information
  • Searching for but not finding information
  • Realizing information is in disparate locations vs. a central hub
  • Receiving unfiltered information (including spam)
  • Finding the wrong information
  • Reworking unfound or wrong information
  • And many other “Business Driver” considerations

How do these examples affect your business goals & objectives? Consider the impact of each!


Paths.Vectors.1.pngThere are many paths!

In summary, there are many paths to realizing value from SAP Jam projects and initiatives. Using a combination of “ROI” and identifying “business drivers” (see WSS ROI Calculator for examples) these strategies and tactics can be centralized and guided by executive sponsors, business owners, and content (or community) managers along with end user contributions and collaboration.


Organizations that implement and adopt SAP Jam can gain higher productivity, performance, and a competitive advantage.


The use of SAP Jam allows organizations to invest in core competencies, achieve a solid ROI, and addresses important business drivers which form the foundation for success.

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 Work Patterns:  The Big $ or € &/or ¥ Game Changer for a New Product Launch!
- 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

sc-logo-new.pngFor 60% of companies, the top challenge is retaining and rewarding the best employees*. Additionally, did you know that there is a $1,772 cost per hour and 20% increase since 2009 to create learning content?** Attend SuccessConnect in Las Vegas on September 10-11 to learn how social collaboration can help to address these pressing issues. Hear directly from SAP Jam customers on the value that they derive from the solution.


SAP Jam Customers Share their Stories

Don’t miss SAP Jam customers such as Brookshire Grocery, Sun Communities, and Jo-Ann Stores, who are sharing their success leveraging SAP Jam with SuccessFactors solutions. An overview of the relevant sessions is below:


Wednesday, September 10

Thursday, September 11


Please also visit our demo pod to meet SAP Jam experts and witness the solution first-hand.  Get social, in-person or virtually. Follow the conversation using the hashtag, #SConnect. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!


* SHRM, 2012

**  ASTD Research 2013

In the latest release of SAP Jam, we’ve continued to focus on making it easier for you to incorporate social collaboration within your business processes. We want you to get real work done faster and more effectively – so we’ve added new work patterns for sales teams, new integrations, and additional flexibility to help drive user engagement.



Work patterns designed for sales teams


In this release, we’re introducing four new work patterns for sales teams. The new work patterns take advantage of new integrations of SAP Jam with SAP ERP central component (ECC) and SAP Cloud for Customer, SAP’s cloud-based CRM.


  • For SAP ERP central component (ECC)
    • Sales and distribution quote management
  • For SAP Cloud for Customer
    • SAP Cloud for Sales: Account management; opportunity deal room
    • SAP Cloud for Service: Service ticket resolution


SAP ERP central component (ECC) sales and distribution quote management


The new quote management work pattern takes advantage of SAP Jam’s new stand-alone integration with ECC. Organizations that use ECC in a stand-alone scenario – with a third-party CRM, or without a CRM at all – can bring ECC quotes into an SAP Jam work pattern to facilitate the quote process. A sales person can make sure the quote approval proceeds smoothly by keeping the order management, finance management, and sales management teams in the loop.


SAP Cloud for Customer


The three new work patterns for SAP Cloud for Customer join the similar work patterns for the existing SAP CRM integration. However, they’ve been tailored to take advantage of SAP Jam’s new integration with SAP Cloud for Customer.


The account management work pattern is designed to make the jobs of sales people easier. It not only helps them keep an eye on their accounts but also keeps their entire account teams up to date on the status of customer interactions. From within one SAP Jam group, an account team can see the current status of the account, active opportunities, and open service requests.


The opportunity deal room is designed to be used by sales teams to pitch to a customer. Sales can create a workgroup of subject matter experts who can address customer issues that come up and answer questions to facilitate the deal.


The service ticket resolution group is designed to be used by sales to expedite the resolution of service issues with customers. It brings together subject matter experts, engineers, and support teams together in one place.


Collaboration where you work


Collaborative learning programs with SuccessFactors Learning


In conjunction with this SAP Jam release, we’re happy to announce a joint development with SucessFactors Learning. To support multi-day learning sessions, the new “learning programs” feature in SuccessFactors Learning now includes SAP Jam. Within a learning program, the instructor can create SAP Jam groups and manage access to the groups directly from the learning program.


Microsoft® Office 365™ SharePoint® Online


In this release, we’ve  expanded our support for enterprise content management via our new integration with Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint Online. If your organization uses SharePoint Online to store documents in the cloud, you can now link document folders to SAP Jam groups. After your company administrator configures SharePoint to provide access to SAP Jam, the SAP Jam company administrator can easily select which folders and repositories to make accessible to users within SAP Jam. Group administrators can then choose which folders to expose within their respective groups.


When a SharePoint folder is linked to an SAP Jam group, group members can browse the folder and its contents directly within SAP Jam – and view, comment on, and download documents – without having to log in to SharePoint.


Flexibility to drive engagement


New layouts for the content widget


If you’re a group admin and you manage a lot of content, it’s now easier to promote it. New layout options in the content widget allow you to automatically display thumbnail images for documents, images, and videos. To display a linked thumbnail to a document, you don’t need to make a screenshot of your document and then manually add a link – instead, SAP Jam will do it all for you in one of three new graphical layouts.


  • Thumbnail. The thumbnail layout displays a thumbnail of the first page of the document next to the file name.
  • Gallery. The gallery layout displays multiple thumbnails – a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 9. This comes in handy if you want to showcase newly updated documents. Simply point the content widget to a particular folder and SAP Jam will automatically display the most recently updated documents.
  • Carousel. The carousel layout displays one thumbnail at a time in a loop that cycles through the thumbnails automatically.


New expertise filter for people widget


After we released the expertise and endorsements feature in a previous release, customers told us they wanted to showcase people within a group that have specific expertise. You can now use the new expertise filter in the people widget to do exactly that. For instance, if you’ve created an SAP Jam group focused on internal support for your CRM system, you can now showcase CRM experts by using the filter in the people widget to show only people with the expertise tag “CRMExpert” – so that other group members can easily discover who they are and ask them for help.


Minor updates


For more information on many other minor updates in this release, please refer to our release notes.


Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

Status Quo

Most learning management system already have a solid set of features that help employees find the right course. By accessing the Learning Portal, SAP Learning Solution allows learners to use the following mechanisms to find the appropriate training:


  • Search
  • Browse Catalog
  • Training Calendar


The different ways can be described as “pull”-mechanisms which means that the employee is proactively looking to improve his or her skills by taking a course. If the course is rather compliance-related than covering personal development other mechanisms can be used by the training department to “push” specific training offerings to the corresponding target group:


  • Assignment of mandatory training
  • Profile Matchup 


As the learning portal is personalized to the learning activities and needs of the user, it spots a notification area where mandatory trainings, missing qualifications and expiring qualifications can be found. If a qualification is missing from the employees profile but is required based on their position, job, job family and so on the system will recommend certain course types which impart this qualification.

Solid - but not state of the art

So what’s wrong with the options that are available for SAP Learning Solution users today? Why do we need another way to find the right courses?

The issue with these options is that the employee needs to hit a dedicated website (learning portal) in the first place in order to choose one of these routes. Formal training should not be hidden from the day to day work. Instead courses should appear where employees are already digging for information on certain subjects or collaborate with their peers – enterprise social networks.

Discover formal trainings on SAP Jam

Keeping these circumstances in mind we developed a concept on how formal trainings could show up in the context of SAP Jam groups. This integration to SAP Learning Solution can be used by course administrators to promote their training offerings where employees already communicate with colleagues on a certain subject. The following video shows the functionality in action:

As one might expect the promotion makes the most sense with SAP Jam groups that already built an active community. Therefore it was critical that course types can be featured into existing groups very easily.

Let’s have a look at how this works in detail: The course administrator or any other SAP Jam user has access to the “Business Objects” browser from the homepage. Here they can find objects from integrated 3rd party systems. If SAP Learning Solution has been configured by the company administrator to be one of those sources all classroom trainings and E-Learnings can be browsed within SAP Jam except for the ones marked as “no intranet”. The search box and the drop-down filter can be used to narrow the results. All data is pulled from the SAP Learning Solution system in real-time and is therefore always up to date.

Featuring course types has been moved to the SAP Jam interface so it’s not required to access the Administrator Portal or the SAP GUI at all. A course type can be featured to a group via the hover card:

LSO Jam wave3 - business objects browser - hover card.png

Once this step has been completed a dedicated “Learning” tab will automatically appear in the group menu which lists the course types by their delivery method group:

LSO Jam wave3 - delivery methods.png

After accessing one of these delivery method groups all featured course types will be listed. There is also a drop-down menu which allows for further filtering.

LSO Jam wave3 - featured course type in jam group.png

If it’s desired to increase the visibility of the formal trainings even more, the group administrator can adjust the overview pages and implement specific external business object list widgets. Once added all group members can view and access the featured course types right from the overview page:

LSO Jam wave3 - overview page2.png

The user can view more details like course type ID, delivery method, provider, person responsible and fee without leaving the SAP Jam user interface. For classroom trainings even the course dates are visible including location, language and the number of available seats.

LSO Jam wave3 - thing inspector view - hover card E.png

On the thing inspector view the user can choose to “like” the course or place a comment. Group members can leverage the built in functionality to further promote the course by tagging other jam users or feature the course to another group of choice. Instead of strictly controlling and maintaining the structure of your course offering, formal training can now go “viral”. This is a break with the past in a way where the course administrator has less control on where the courses will finally show up. However this is by design and does not create a conflict with the existing system as we keep the well-organized catalog structure alive within the learning portal.


In order to book the course or consume the content of the E-Learning the employee needs to follow the deep-link “View in Learning” which points to the corresponding course type within the learning portal. This step is necessary as the prerequisite checks and approval workflows remain in the on-premise learning system and have not been replicated in SAP Jam.


Prerequisites and implementation

If customers want to leverage this integration scenario it requires the following system setup:

LSO Jam wave3 - landscape.png

In case any assistance is required to implement the scenario SAP Consulting can offer the support needed.


The first two integration scenarios between SAP Jam and SAP Learning Solution have been focusing on recommending groups to employees based on their booking behavior or providing dedicated learning groups per event respectively. Instead the third integration is about to combine formal and informal learning even further. SAP Jam groups will not only connect employees and help them share information in an informal way they will be the platform to promote formal trainings as well and let them go viral throughout the entire social network.


Kind regards,

Martin Mueller


If you lead a service or support team, you know that being available and responsive is a key job requirement. Your team not only has to understand and resolve the immediate needs of customers but also has to be ready to predict their future needs. A close relationship with your sales team is critical - so that you can make the customer's relationship with your organization as seamless as possible.


idc_service.pngYou may already be considering an enterprise social network, because you know it can:


  • Help you parse information and data on all interactions with customers to help resolve their issues faster
  • Allow your organization to seamlessly and transparently transfer customers from sales interactions to support interactions, and vice versa


But if you need to get buy-in from stakeholders before you invest in an enterprise social network, you’ll need a good business case. And a good business case needs real KPIs and use cases – especially if you have to convince multiple departments of the solution’s value.


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


If your service or support team is considering the purchase of an enterprise social network – or even just curious about 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 customer satisfaction, handling time, and innovation – and improve cross-functional collaboration with other departments like sales, legal, and corporate communications.


Register and download the IDC report now:
Understanding the Business Value of Social Solutions in Service and Support


Editor's note: This article by Carolyn Beal, Senior Director of Solution Marketing for Enterprise Social Solutions 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.




carolyn_beal.pngFrom the perspective of retailers, shoppers are more empowered than ever, with a buying journey that ranges across many touch points and networks.


With greater shopping options available to customers through multiple channels, retailers are faced with decreased brand loyalty. In addition, these companies must connect and collaborate across a global supply chain.


According to Cisco, by the end of 2014, there will be more mobile devices than people on Earth.1 This mobile proliferation massively affects the way retailers interact with current and prospective customers. At the same time, retailers must reassess how to enable their employees to access key business applications anywhere, at any time.


In 2013, companies in the retail industry spent more than those in any other industry on advertising — roughly $16.3 billion, which accounted for more than 11% of total US advertising spend.2 Armed with large marketing budgets, it is essential that retailers execute their marketing strategies smoothly.


What can retailers do to address these pressing issues? Is social collaboration the secret ingredient that can provide that competitive edge?


How Social Collaboration Can Help


It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved bad experience.3 And $83 billion is thought to be lost by US businesses due to poor customer service.4 Through a concerted, collaborative approach to customer service, however, companies can take steps toward mitigating these effects. Using SAP Jam, a retailer can address customer service issues by taking a “SWAT-team” approach, in which a team of stakeholders quickly assembles to address an issue and provide a resolution (see Figure 1). Connecting the right people to help them find the right answers not only is powerful and effective, but also extinguishes customer service issues before they can damage the business.


Through social collaboration, retailers can work with strategic suppliers to jointly plan future innovations, perform supplier performance reviews, and conduct ongoing business. This collaboration network provides retailers greater insight into supplier behavior and capabilities, cutting down supply chain risks such as product delays, private label recalls, and disruptions.


Within SAP Jam, retailers’ marketing teams can create a virtual private workspace for collaboration with internal and external team members, such as advertising agencies, public relations firms, and design teams. Communication channels and structured tools help team members prioritize, vote on, and take action on important campaign decisions.


In retail, employees from store associates to customer service representatives are the “face” of the company. They must be empowered, engaged, and set up to succeed. Through the collaborative features of SAP Jam, retailers can motivate employees with direct and continuous engagement and transform performance management by putting people at the center of their strategy. To help retailers manage the frequent hiring of new employees, SAP Jam assists with the onboarding process through informal training videos and collaborative groups focused on training that reduce the amount of time required to become productive (see Figure 2).


In the retail industry, a large percentage of employees do not sit in front of computers while working. Being able to access information, collaborate, and communicate via mobile devices is essential. SAP Jam can be used on mobile devices to watch and record videos, view documents, add comments, access applications, and send direct messages (see Figure 3). SAP Jam’s mobile capabilities enable retailers and their employees to be more productive.


A Retailer’s Success with SAP Jam


A major US brick-and-mortar retailer is leveraging SAP Jam across its organization. In addition to connecting employees to the right experts and information, the company is using SAP Jam functionality to help increase store revenue.


Using the informal social learning capabilities in SAP Jam, the retailer rapidly trains store associates on the latest promotions and offers. Through interactive discussions, employees collaborate on how to promote merchandise. Additionally, the retailer uses SAP Jam to ensure that store associates are brand compliant, merchandising displays and promotions are consistent, and that top-performing employees are highlighted to help increase store revenue.


The retailer also uses SAP Jam to ensure that store and division managers can quickly communicate key updates to their associates regardless of shifts, locations, and schedules in a secure, confidential manner. It’s helping the retailer achieve its goal of a consistent brand experience across stores, regions, and divisions, both online and on the floor.


Get Connected: The Time Is Now


McKinsey reports that social technologies have the potential to unlock $1.3 trillion in annual value, double the value to be gained from better enterprise communication and collaboration, and to create a 40%-60% improvement in customer interactions.5 With retail being an industry that experiences fierce competition, social collaboration can provide a competitive advantage that produces bottom-line improvements.


Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial


1 Cisco, “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013-2018” (February 2014; www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white_paper_c11-520862.html).

2 Marketing Charts, “Top Advertising Vertical in the US? Retail, Again” (March 2013; www.marketingcharts.com/wp/uncategorized/top-advertising-vertical-in-the-us-retail-again-27732).

3 Ruby Newell-Legner, “Understanding Customers.”

4 Genesys, “The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience and Engagement in 16 Key Economies” (2009).

5 McKinsey & Company, “The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies” (July 2012; www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_social_economy).

The precipitous drop in the Twitter stock price earlier this year created lots of debate of the value and viability of the company.  Much of the criticism came from declining user growth and traffic. Clearly, there is a direct link between the revenue potential of the company and user adoption of its service. Similarly, the business value we can expect to realize from our enterprise social networks should correlate with our employee adoption metrics.

Let’s look at the user adoption metrics that the investors are focused on:

  • User Growth: User growth is measured on a quarterly or annual basis. The number of users measured is called the Monthly Active Users (MAU). MAU is the number of unique users in the past 30 days. Therefore you are considered an active user if you login once per month.
  • Usage Frequency: Daily Active Users (DAU) is the number of unique users that access the network every day.
  • User Consumption: Timeline Views are the number of views per monthly active user. A view is considered a timeline request, refresh or query. This is a measure of the average consumption of an active user.

mau dau.png

Active vs. Registered User Percentage

As you can see from the graphic above, Twitter is being compared to Facebook and not fairing very well. However, based on research from Forrester, Deloitte and Neuralytix, enterprise social network adoption is lagging even further behind. I believe that if we design our networks properly, we should reach adoption rates at least as high as Twitter and Facebook. After all, we all need to demonstrate business results every day and our enterprise social networks should enable us to deliver.


Not all Usage is Created Equal


Wall Street was up in arms because Twitter’s user growth dropped in half and timeline views were down 3% year over year. Twitter’s response was that while user & timeline view growth is slowing, engagement and monetization of the user experience is increasing. In other words, users are engaging with ads more, increasing ad revenue per view. This is analogous to higher levels of engagement in enterprise networks. If users are liking, commenting & downloading content, we can assume that employees are seeing more value from the network. Therefore, in addition to measuring the frequency of usage, we want to understand the quality of that engagement:

  • Consumption: This is a measure of how many times pages are being viewed. This is a passive engagement mode.
  • Interaction: This is a measure of lightweight engagement. It includes low overhead contributions such as comments, status updates, chats, questions, ideas, kudos, links, photos and poll votes.
  • Contribution: This measures significant content creation and work activity.  It includes creation of groups, blogs, documents, polls, tasks, videos and wikis.

Let’s take a look at what the usage pattern might look like for a typical enterprise social network:

usage pattern.pngExample Usage Pattern Heat Map

I recommend that you create this chart with your data to get a baseline view of your current adoption. You can then begin to create targets and plans to drive increased adoption. The expected growth curve will not be linear due to the nature of employee engagement. As the network grows, we should see usage frequency increase at a faster rate than engagement quality.  We also should not set a goal for the majority of users to be daily contributors; the majority of users will consume and interact.

usage growth.png

Example Adoption Growth Curve

Show me the Money


According to Community Roundtable research, 85% of best-in-class communities can measure business value. In other words, user growth and engagement analysis is fine to help you ensure your network is healthy but it is only a proxy. What really matters is the business results that the community is driving. While it is difficult to prove and quantify the impact, it is worthwhile to measure the correlation of user adoption with business performance. Some examples include:

  • Performance rating correlation: Can we show that those employees that are active users also have higher performance ratings? Do employees that take corporate education classes that have a social learning component have higher performance ratings? If our social network truly helps drive business productivity and transforms learning, why wouldn’t we expect this?
  • Win rate correlation: Do opportunities that have a virtual deal room also have higher win rates? If your sales VP gets wind of this, they will require social collaboration groups for every deal in the company!
  • Employee engagement correlation: Do active social network users also have higher employee engagement scores? Connecting with management, peers and feeling you are making a positive contribution to the company via social networking should all drive this business benefit.


So if you are struggling with how to measure and analyze your enterprise social network, gather the data points we highlighted above and begin to map out your goals on how you can drive improvement within each category. Please share your thoughts and experiences. What adoption metrics do you track? How did you determine your target adoption levels?


Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

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


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).


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.


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.


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


Filter Blog

By author:
By date:
By tag: