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SAP Social Software

29 Posts authored by: Keith Hamrick



Blog series: #social biz dynamics

Editors Note: This is a blog post by Niclas Otte (@ottenic).




It’s certainly a key trend impacting business today. You can see related actions everywhere and it was very evident at SAPPHIRE NOW Madrid – our flagship customer event – as well as during a recent #SOMShare trip to Zurich where I met with a diverse set of IT, marketing, and social media managers from various companies: Today, companies are investing in transforming operations that help them get closer to their customers.


Not only was this the overarching topic in the workshops, but when reading the newspaper on my trip home a few headlines caught my eye including:


  • Toys“R”Us is bolstering its online presence and announced a kid-run news network, new international web stores, as well as mobile apps. Besides the multi-channel aspect, executives stated that the moves were targeted at getting closer to the customer.*
  • Unlike its traditional real estate strategy, IKEA is going to open downtown stores in major cities with a company spokesperson stating that the move aims at getting closer to the customer.**


Being close to customers – also known as customer-centricity – is certainly ot a new concept. However, it’s become one of the hottest topics today. Executives talk about it over and over again and give related concepts top priority (see the IBM CEO Study). In fact, in today’s competitive world with socially connected and digitally armed consumers, being customer-centric requires us more than ever to appropriately touch people’s lives and look for direct engagement whenever, wherever, and however customers choose. So we must be able drive the transaction to closure with the same excellence and branded experience, independent of the channel.


SAP has been very committed in evolving its CRM or customer experience solutions like SAP CRM to address such challenges.  Combined with the advent of new technologies such as social, big data, and predictive analytics, the potential for companies to predict, understand, and meet their customer needs and design smart experiences today is vast.


That brings us to the key role social is playing in such enterprise dynamics because companies are now taking customer-centricity far beyond traditional hubs like marketing and customer service into other areas of their business including research & development, HR, and even supply chain operations. This is heavily impacting the need to collaborate internally. Therefore, the question you need to ask yourself now is “Do you have an employee-centric culture and technology foundation that allows for customer-centricity?”


At SAP, we are strongly committed to helping companies become best-run social businesses and achieving superior customer experience by taking advantage of modern social collaboration capabilities in our new SAP Jam solution launched last month.


SAP Jam brings a completely differentiated way of thinking about social by connecting customers, partners, and employees with information, applications, and processes to drive results – in your social network, applications, or while mobile. By integrating into enterprise applications including its CRM and customer experience related solutions, SAP Jam adds collaboration right where people work. The revolutionary result is that you avoid broken processes.  Unlike traditional collaboration environments, SAP Jam adds valuable business process context which means work is now continuous and uninterrupted.


The only way to achieve superior customer experience is by having your complete organization buy into the importance of related concepts (corporate culture) and by equipping each individual with social intelligence as part of an integrated social business environment. SAP Jam now offers the social foundation that enables your company to seamlessly connect people, teams and organizations from across the enterprise into the respective customer-facing process, such as serving your customers.


Here’s an example. Imagine the important role of customer experience in the hospitality industry, in which many hotel chains across the globe have spent significant effort (and $$$) on implementing high and consistent standards for how they treat their guests and the intended customer experience they want to derive.


SAP now changes the game in the way companies can manage customer experience as it not only delivers a secure social collaboration environment that enables companies to seamlessly connect experts from across the enterprise into the CRM-related processes, but it also allows companies to refine and improve related corporate programs driven by HR including social learning and social onboarding activities related to sharing best practices around customer experience – all integrated into your SuccessFactors BizX Suite.


Given the nature of today’s rather complex business models which usually consist of a combination of internal and external business networks, social also needs to allow you to seamlessly connect across customers, employees, partners and suppliers. SAP Jam connects your value chain and enables you to get the team to commit to a cause, keeping everyone on the same page with notifications and action items which brings order to the typical chaos that can occur when you work together with people from inside or outside the company and across geographic boundaries.


When such social ways of working and technology enables companies to better manage customer relations or conduct business more efficiently by complementing existing process technology investment, it starts to get in line with how organizations expect to measure value (see SAPPHIRE NOW video and SAP Social Software Solutions general manager and global VP, Sameer Patel, showcasing SAP Jam.)


As self-titled and well-respected “change agent for future of work” Simon Scullion (@sscullion) was saying: “We’re seeing the end of the ‘Mickey Mouse’ chapter of #socbiz”.


Please let us know your related thoughts and projects. More real-life examples coming up in the next blog from the series.



** FTD, DPA (November 21, 2012)

See the conversation from the December 12th #SAPChat featuring experts from the social software industry!


We covered social software market trends, and how social software helps enable companies to run more efficiently by increasing employee productivity. We also discussed SAP’s social software strategy, how SAP Jam helps deliver on the social strategy, and what our participants wanted to cover with our panel of experts. The #SAPChat was hosted by @SAPSocial.


Our panel included:



See the conversation here.

An #SAPChat is an SAP-organized online conversation, held at a pre-arranged time, between a group of Twitter users, using a specific Twitter hashtag (#SAPChat) to identify the discussion.


How Do I Participate?

On the day of the event, log-in into tweetchat.com and enter #SAPChat into the search bar. We like using tweetchat.com because it will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets as you participate in the chat. Alternatively, you can use your favorite Twitter client (i.e. Tweet Grid, TweetDeck, TweetBot or TwitterSearch) to follow the chat hashtag.  During the event, you can follow the discussion, contribute questions, and submit your own comments by using the same hashtag.


Here’s an overview of a previous #SAPChat that was held in July: http://blogs.sap.com/cloud/2012/07/17/join-us-for-a-cloud-sapchat/


We hope to see you there, come and join the conversation! #SAPChat

During the average workday, there are numerous interruptions and challenges when pulling together data, people, and content to get work done. These challenges pose a barrier to executing efficiently. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a social collaboration solution that enables you to quickly drive business results across your colleagues, partners, and customers?


SAP Jam is the solution that can help. Attend our free webcast on December 5, 2012 to learn about the latest release of SAP Jam. The session will highlight ways that the solution connects people, data, applications, and processes to help you drive business results. Over a live demo, learn how you can use SAP Jam to reduce training costs, better engage customers and partners, and share best practices among employees. Also hear how to streamline work for sales, service, marketing, and HR.


Date: December 5, 2012

Time: 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET

Recording Link: http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=538401&s=1&k=A189024CCA33921C2FB729486D57D98C


During the webcast we will cover key topics that will help you:

  • Learn how SAP Jam enables you to connect with your customers, partners, and employees with information, applications, and processes
  • Understand how SAP Jam enables you to structure conversations and work quickly to drive action, make decisions, and solve critical business issues
  • Get an in-depth look at the SAP Jam product experience


You will hear from Sameer Patel (@sameerpatel), SAP’s Global VP and GM of Enterprise Social and Collaborative Software.  Sameer joined SAP from The Sovos Group, a consulting and execution planning firm working with leading organizations to accelerate employee, customer and partner performance through the use of social and collaboration technology. Prior to The Sovos Group, Sameer held positions as managing director of Span and director of Strategy and Business Development at LiquidThinking and marchFIRST.


Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how SAP Jam provides a better way to help you communicate, collaborate, and connect to get work done. Don't forget to register!

Keith Hamrick

Hiring @SAPSocial

Posted by Keith Hamrick Nov 8, 2012

sameerpatel.jpg Note: This is a blog by Sameer Patel (@sameerpatel)


We’re looking for a Director of Product Management to join our Enterprise Social Software team to help deliver high business value social solutions. The chosen individual would work with the inbound product management team to deliver product roadmaps, design specifications, workflows and use cases as a single, cohesive strategy.


To give you an understanding of our view on Enterprise Social Software, we believe that as social software evolves we have to inject business context to where we socialize to be successful. In turn, we need to put social where people need it the most – in their applications, on their devices and anywhere else where they need to tackle business problems. That’s the kind of social we’re building here at SAP.  



With the general availability of SAP Jam, we have a social software foundation that brings together people, information, applications, and processes to drive rapid and meaningful business results. We’re going to continue building on this foundation to deliver high business value social software solutions. The announcement of SAP Jam, and our approach to social software have been garnering enthusiasm and media attention. Here's what a few different sources are saying about us:


An enterprise-wide vision for social business: SAP’s new take

"I can conclude that SAP is seriously attempting to provide an effective solution that's aimed at what the industry largely believes are the remaining gaps in making social business perform at its best. …Yet I suspect…given the careful intent to get deeply into what companies do using social engagement (and its enormous captive audience of installed base), that SAP can get some big wins and stay there."

- Dion Hinchcliffe, ZDNet.com



Here’s SAP’s Latest Challenge to Marc Benioff

"Truth is, SAP isn't willing to concede this market to the likes of Salesforce.com, Jive Software, Lithium, or Microsoft, which now owns Yammer as well as SharePoint…SAP is trying to snag a big, fat portion of the next frontier in enterprise software: tools to manage interactions with employees and customers in social media  In a brash challenge to Salesforce.com, SAP is selling new social tools for salespeople and call-center workers."

- Julie Bort, Business Insider


SAP Jam: Social Collaboration the Way People Want It


“With SAP Jam, SAP moves to the front of the pack for enterprise social collaboration solutions. It is a rich, social platform that supports multiple collaboration modes, making it much more useful to wider swaths of a mid-sized to large company.


- Tom Petrocelli, Enterprise Strategy Group, Senior Analyst, Social Enterprise


So are you fanatical about social software? Do you believe that the best way to make companies “run better” is to enable employees to connect with the right information, people, tools, and data when they need it?

If you subscribe to a similar view that social in the enterprise can be much more than what we’ve seen to date, and you know how to build products that radically enhance how people work, then we’d love to hear from you. Take a look at the job requirements and please consider applying.

Today SAP announces the introduction of SAP Jam, a secure, social collaboration solution that extends across SAP’s entire technology landscape to give you social capabilities where and when they’re needed in business processes.


When musicians play together, a jam session highlights just how important improvisation and harmony are. When your employees work together, harmony and teamwork can be just as important. SAP Jam is designed to facilitate creativity, energy, spontaneity, and teamwork for your enterprise by bringing together your people, information, applications, and processes.


SAP Jam provides intuitive and powerful tools for social collaboration to help you drive results wherever you work. With it, you can add structure to conversations and work to quickly drive action, make decisions, or solve business critical problems. It enables you to drive and track the offline work that occurs when exceptions arise or teamwork is required to attack business-critical issues. You can work with customers, partners, and employees directly in your social collaboration environment, in your business applications, or while mobile. SAP Jam does all of this while also enabling IT to protect key corporate data, avoid social silos, and deliver social collaboration across an entire technology landscape.



Read on to see how SAP Jam can help you:


Then, start using SAP Jam today!


Bring everything together


SAP Jam helps every business person bring everything together to help them get their work done. From across a company, you can use SAP Jam as an enterprise social networking tool that helps you improve communications. You can better connect employees across different geographies, and enable them to find subject matter experts quickly and share best practices. And, you can empower employees to drive decision making by helping teams tame project chaos, build consensus, and make informed decisions.




Connect and communicate


SAP Jam unites people, information, applications, and processes across your extended business network of customers, partners, and employees. Find experts quickly by being able to easily locate those who can help you solve problems or learn best practices. Learn from prior work by saving all conversations, documents, feedback, and decisions for later reference or re-use.


With SAP Jam, you can keep the team on the same page by leading or participating in discussions, posting or commenting on status updates (feeds), monitoring notifications, and chatting with others to ensure you’re up to date. Engage partners and customers easily and securely via an extranet with social collaboration features.




Sharing documents and information is simple with SAP Jam—you can post and annotate documents, add links, or share information on wikis or blogs. If it fits the way you work, you can also post and view content via email.


Want to quickly get complex concepts across? With SAP Jam you can bring key topics to life with video by recording video on your computer webcam or with a mobile device to share with the team. You can even capture video from your computer screen and record a voiceover to create tutorials, and give PowerPoint presentations without needing to download any additional software.



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Drive work, action, and results with work tools


Organize and structure your work with business tools inside SAP Jam. You can align your team using a dynamic agenda, collect feedback on options and identify pros/cons, monitor key events and milestones, prioritize input via a group ranking, or build consensus and track approvals on decisions. You can even incorporate survey data from polls in SAP Jam to make data-driven decisions.   




Organize and keep deliverables on track with task assignment and notifications in SAP Jam. You can also motivate and reward your colleagues for a job well done by acknowledging superior participation with badges and employee of the month surveys.




Be up and running quickly with the friendly SAP Jam interface that allows you to avoid lengthy training and be productive in minutes. For first time users, it’s effortless to learn how to start collaborating with their team by using the first-time login wizard.




Work from anywhere with SAP Jam clients for the iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, and Android—while you’re on the go you can get the latest updates and make just-in-time decisions to keep your business running smoothly.




Find what you need, when you need it. With SAP Jam, you can follow people or groups, or view related, most viewed, most liked, or featured content, and use filters, search, and tags to identify and find important information.




Discover information in SAP Jam with update tiles that provide you with recommendations on people, content, groups, data, or tasks. You can also monitor SAP Jam usage to see which groups and content are the most valuable with on demand reports.


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Streamline business processes

Increase HR efficiency with improved onboarding, learning and goal alignment


If you’re an HR, learning, or knowledge management professional, you know how difficult it can be to get new employees onboarded, keep employees up-to-date on their training, and facilitate the performance and goal process. You can keep these work streams running smoothly when your company runs SuccessFactors BizX with SAP Jam.


You can use SAP Jam to decrease time to productivity for new employees through social onboarding. Automatically have new employees join an onboarding group that will help ensure their success by connecting them with the right information and people.




Using SAP Jam for social or blended learning allows you to reduce training costs. With SAP Jam’s integration with SuccessFactors Learning, collaborative groups can automatically be created to complement training courses. In SAP Jam groups, trainees can be connected with key course information, their peers and the course instructor so that they can learn the material more effectively. Subject matter experts can also create informal learning groups where they share content or video and lend their expertise to a group.




SAP Jam can be used for collaborative performance and goal management as well. You can create and share goals collectively for better goal alignment and faster completion. By creating increased transparency in the work that people are doing, it’s easier to measure employee contributions and performance.


You can keep up with all the latest updates from SAP Jam directly from SuccessFactors Employee Central. See what’s happening with the Jam Today tile. 



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Align sales initiatives, find expertise and collaborate to close deals


For sales and service professionals, learning product pitches, getting the latest competitive information, finding the right people and collaborating effectively to close deals can be challenging, but with SAP Jam you can easily access the resources you need for success. SAP Jam is integrated with SAP Sales OnDemand and SAP CRM so that your sales people can seamlessly collaborate with the right resources to shorten sales cycles and win more deals.


Bring together all key participants to collaborate on the opportunity process (sales, product management, service, partners, etc.) to reduce analysis and proposal development time.  With SAP Jam, you can keep key stakeholders updated in real time regarding opportunity progress.




Increase engagement with customers and partners with external groups in SAP Jam to build relationships and to keep deliverables on track while improving transparency and gaining customer loyalty. By bringing in customers to external groups, you can respond to their needs and give them top-notch quality service by providing sales teams the ability to respond to questions or issues as they arise.


10-30-2012 3-00-50 PM.png


Decrease the time to contribution for new sales hires by using SAP Jam to connect them with the people, processes, and content they need to start driving sales. It’s also easy to enable sales teams to find and connect with subject matter experts needed to close key opportunities. Get the right people from cross-functional teams in your company to help with the RFP process, product issues, or anything else that is necessary to ensure the success of your customers.



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Accelerate financial processes by connecting people with resources

Updating, sharing, reviewing and tracking financial information is tedious and time-consuming when done through email and other disconnected systems. SAP Jam integrates with the SAP Financials OnDemand mobile application so you don’t spend as much time searching for and sharing information.


Quickly share budget information, processes, discussions, status, reports and documents with departmental teams across the globe with SAP Jam.  Collaborate with stakeholders to manage expenses, cost controls, and headcount.  Use groups in SAP Jam for project coordinating where you can plan and track corporate key performance indicators.




Enable key business organizations to stay up to date on financial, compliance, or regulatory policies via sharing and informal learning in SAP Jam. You can even communicate important policy changes via status updates and offer informal training with shared documents and videos.


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Extend, customize, and manage


SAP Jam is hosted in the cloud, giving you the ability to bypass lengthy implementations and enjoy streamlined management.  It allows you to deliver social collaboration with a single foundation, which allows you to avoid multiple collaboration silos and deliver a unified experience to the business. Plus, you can deliver SAP Jam in multiple languages to suit a global workforce:  Chinese (simplified), English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish are all supported.


Extend your existing applications with RESTful APIs, you can enable your applications to query and manipulate resources in SAP Jam. Create a seamless work experience by integrating with third party applications such as Microsoft SharePoint, Google Calendar, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, along with posting and viewing content via email applications.




SAP Jam administrative and content controls are provided including compliance filters, ability to enable/disable features, and user management.  SAP Jam ensures protection of key corporate information with SSL technology, at rest disk level encryption, password protection and session timeouts safeguard information.  SAP Jam gives your company’s employees quick access with single sign-on (SSO) with user provisioning and de-provisioning, integration with enterprise identity providers, and automatic synchronization of user profile data.


For more information on back-end integrations, please see our SAP Jam ABAP Integration Configuration Guide.


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Start using SAP Jam today!

You can start using SAP Jam today for free! Deliver secure, social collaboration where you work—experience the difference of bringing together people, information, applications, and processes to solve business-critical problems.


Visit www.sap.com/jam to begin!


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Guest post by Sameer Patel, Global VP and General Manager, Enterprise Social Software


I'm pleased to announce that we've taken another important step in accelerating our social software strategy with the addition of Anthony Leaper to the the Enterprise Social Software team.  Anthony will be driving our go-to-market strategy and follow through for our social software strategy focusing on collaborative solutions for sales, aleaper.jpgservice, and marketing.  I've known Anthony for a  long time and am excited by the wealth of experience he's bringing to the table.  Most recently at SAP, Anthony led solution management and go-to-market for all of SAP's solutions for sales, service, and marketing globally and prior to that led go-to-market for the SAP Business Suite.  Before SAP, he helped drive cloud CRM in EMEA for Oracle providing product development direction, customer consultations on business and technology strategy, and defined solution landscapes and architectures.  Additionally, Anthony was a founding member of Siebel's European sales organization focusing on tools, data models, and integration.  In all cases, Anthony focused on delivering value to companies and their customers, enabling key insights, improving intimacy, and delighting customers beyond their expectations.


Anthony's 22 years of experience provides the perfect foundation for delivering on SAP's mission to provide social and collaborative capabilities for customers, employees, and suppliers to shorten sales cycles, increase customer engagement, improve campaign effectiveness, and reduce service response times. 


Please join me in welcoming Anthony (@aleaper)!

Private messages are new with July Release, and Kudos have been reworked and are now Badges.



Private Messages in Jam

Communications in Jam are public by default, which helps others—including co-workers we may not even know—discover and benefit from the knowledge exchanged. However, every conversation cannot be public; to address that issue, Jam now provides private messages. As a result, you can get more work done in Jam without having to switch to email.



On your Home Tab, there is a new Messages item under your name and photo in the left column. Clicking on it will take you to the Message page where you can read, reply and create private messages.




We've replaced Kudos with Badges, and the Badges are now the same as those in the SuccessFactors Employee Profile. Badging your co-worker is easier than ever -- you can put your pointer over their name in the feed and then click on Give a Badge. Choose the badge, add a sentence or two explaining your action, and you've recognized a colleague for their help, insight, teamwork or a job well done!




You can also give a badge from someone's profile page.


In this release of SAP StreamWork, you won’t have to spend as much time finding and including the people and information that are most important to critical business decisions with the addition of the Company Network, enhancements to the People to Follow widget, and improvements to @mentions.


This release will also help you to get the information that you need quickly and get work finished faster with the upgrades to work items and features including versioning, visualizations, references, and tables among other enhancements within SAP StreamWork that help you to complete work faster.


Read on to see the ways that these new features and enhancements in the latest release of SAP StreamWork will help you do the following:


Connect better with your colleagues


Reduce Confusion of Multiple Email Accounts

Do people try to reach you in SAP StreamWork by a different e-mail account than you have registered by? We have the solution for you! Now you can leverage all of your existing e-mail addresses to connect and join activities within SAP StreamWork. You can add multiple e-mail addresses to your profile by going to your profile settings. One e-mail address will always be your primary, but you can add secondary e-mail addresses to receive activity, notifications, and login to SAP StreamWork.


Increase Visibility within Your Company

Now you can connect to your colleagues across your company more easily, and stay up-to-date on what is happening around your business by seeing updates from colleagues across your company in real-time, without the need to follow them directly with the addition of the "Company Network". 


You can also make sure that you are involved in the activities that are pertinent to your job by exploring activities posted by others in your company. You can streamline work processes by using templates that are posted from other individuals in your company, and you are able to find any content that is posted publicly within your organization including updates, activities, templates, people and items.




People that have their accounts managed as a part of an organization or company will see the Company Network menu in the left navigation. This is a quick way for you to access the directory of SAP StreamWork users in your company. You can also use this space to share content such as files and text with the entire organization to access and read outside of an activity.


Quickly Find and Follow Colleagues Central to Your Work

Find, and understand why, you should follow people from your organization in SAP StreamWork with the updated People to Follow widget. Your suggestions on who to follow now include the reason why you should follow someone, and will update more frequently.




More Ways to Stay in the Conversation with Email Enhancements

Stay in the conversation with your colleagues by quickly sending updates to your activities with enhancements to e-mail notifications. SAP StreamWork now fully supports replying to notification e-mails that will create a new reply to comments or @mentions in status updates that will appear on the same conversation.


Quickly Invite Colleagues with @Mention

Now you can quickly invite colleagues to activities where their participation is needed. Updates to the @mention feature help you to invite your colleagues to the activities where you use the @mention to reference them.




Easily make sense of work items


See the Difference… By Comparing Side-by-Side

Seeing the differences between text item or file versions from within SAP StreamWork is simpler than ever. In addition to providing notes on updated versions, you can also compare side-by-side any two versions of a text item or file. All you need to do is click the “Version History” option, and you can see a preview using the Scribd service inside the comparison window.




Allow Data to Speak for Itself with Customizable Visualizations

Sort through data more effectively and illustrate your point clearly with data exploration and visualization enhancements. You now have the ability to compare multiple metrics without grouping by a dimension value by simply pressing a button on the comparison chart. You can also compare multiple pie charts at once




Once you have established your visualization, you now have the ability to fine-tune the look and feel of it by changing aspects such as legend placement, colors, and title information. You can do this by accessing the visualization properties, which can be found by clicking the tab to the right of the data exploration.




Know what’s happening with the metrics that matter to you most. Get the most up-to-date information from visualizations, and compare data at multiple points in time by using the manual refresh option. This will capture a version that allows you to compare visualizations at different points in time with respect to your data.




Understand Changes Faster with Enhanced Table Updates

You will now be able to sort through updates faster with the enhancements that have been made to the work history of table items. You will find a better-summarized and more informative work history in your Feed when the contents of a table are updated.


Enable Planning and Execution for Milestones with References

Provide more information to your timeline events with the ability to add references to specific events. When you need to create timelines that will contain information about specific dates, you can add references to your events that point to the necessary information. You can now also create references that point to collection objects.



Get work finished faster


Assign Administrators for Your Activities

Keep your activities flowing when you go on vacation, or are just simply too busy to keep up, by assigning activity administrators to help with the logistics. These administrators that you assign have all of the power of the activity owner without actually owning the activity. These administrators can manage the details of an activity, such as accepting people into public activities, and they will receive all of the notifications that owners receive.


These administrators can make sure that the activities you assign them to are completed according to deadlines, and close the activities when they are finished so that your colleagues’ productivity is increased by focusing on activities that are incomplete.




Make Faster Changes to Tables with Keyboard Shortcuts

You can now navigate and edit the table quickly and easily by taking advantage of standard keyboard commands such as Tab, Alt + Tab, and arrow keys. You can also use the new context menus to quickly add or remove columns and rows with ease.


If you would like more technical information about this new release, please see our release notes. For an overview video on how to use these new features, please watch our tutorial video.

What is happening in enterprise software today that is different from the traditional social IT tools such as email and instant messaging? What’s the value of these socially enabled enterprise solutions, and how do these tools help us do our work better than before we had them?


tom_petrocelli.jpgI had the opportunity to talk with Tom Petrocelli (@tompetrocelli), a Senior Analyst from Enterprise Strategy Group, who recently published the Market Landscape Report on Socially Enabled Enterprise Solutions. Tom shared his views about the current state of enterprise collaboration and how things will change as socially enabled solutions evolve. MLRcover.png


Keith Hamrick: Tell me about yourself, and Enterprise Strategy Group’s focus.


Tom Petrocelli: Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) is a market research and consultancy group that has been around for about 13 years. We do all the traditional things that a traditional market research firm does. Most of our analysts come out of the industry as practitioners.


My background is as a marketing person as well as a software engineer, and that is similar to many of the analysts and senior analysts at ESG, who tend to come from the IT industry. We look at enterprise solutions through a lens of industry knowledge. We have the ability to look at solutions and imagine if we were buying, selling, or using them, and we back up that perspective with world-class research.


Keith Hamrick: What motivated you to write the report on socially enabled enterprise software?


Tom Petrocelli: The reason we wanted to look at socially enabled enterprise software is because we realized that it’s the kind of software that a lot of people operate in every day. In many people’s jobs, part of their work is managed by processes, and some of that process is enabled by an enterprise application.


Some of those processes may extend outside of the enterprise application in informal social interactions. We wanted to look into how social enterprise helps enable those informal processes. We asked the question, “How does social enterprise help people to get their jobs done better on a regular basis?”


Keith Hamrick: What’s going on in the social collaboration space today, and how is it different than Email and IM?


Tom Petrocelli: Social collaboration is a really lively space, and ESG started looking at this space because we realized that it’s at an inflection point—74% of companies we surveyed use some sort of social software in their toolkit, and there are many others interested in the space.


Social tools are beginning to be framed around the context of workflows that make sense for enterprise users. For example, there are many informal processes that occur within an organization are forms of social collaboration, and now some enterprise software can enable them with social tools in order to confront particular collaboration problems. The social tools are so flexible that the processes don’t need to be charted-out ahead of time.


Let’s take the specific example of sales automation; there are a series of steps that are taken from having a lead to an opportunity to a prospect and then to closing the deal. To create this end-to-end process takes a lot of effort. Inside of that end-to-end process there is a lot that goes on that currently takes place outside of the formal software tools organizations have to tackle those problems, such as generate a proposal, and that is really the great realm of the social collaboration space for two reasons:


  1. It is a more socially interactive part of the process.


  2. It changes all the time.


Now with tools like SAP StreamWork we have the ability to create a proposal and get the people involved to help in that process, which will be different every time depending on the circumstances. This creates a great agility in organizations, and that helps them respond to the changing environment.


One of the problems with these social tools is that once you extend them past the physical firewall and the corporate firewall, you can’t talk about certain things. You need a different toolset for that type of communication, and a lot of these socially enabled enterprise solutions haven’t addressed that yet.


Keith Hamrick: Do you think that companies that don’t invest in socially enabled software will have trouble competing against companies that do?


Tom Petrocelli: I do. On the other hand, our survey data indicated that most companies are considering adoption of these tools. One of the things we are seeing in the research is that companies that have socially enabled software are at an advantage because they tend to be much more responsive to the forces within their organizations than companies who don’t have these tools at their disposal.


Companies that are able to collaborate better are at an advantage because they are more innovative, and they are able to respond to potential customers more quickly, and how can you win against that?


Keith Hamrick: Could you give us an illustration of how people can benefit from a socially enabled enterprise solution?


Tom Petrocelli: Sure, I can give you several.


IT Support

I’ll give you the example of an IT troubleshooter at a call center with an escalation use-case. Let’s say a customer calls into the tech support hotline because there is a problem, and the IT person isn’t able to solve their problem.


The IT person is going to need to escalate the issue, which typically results in the customer being put on hold while the solution is being found. That isn’t the best experience for the customer. However, if the IT person is able to continue to talk to the customer while also talking with an engineer through a socially enabled tool, then a better customer experience is created, and loyalty is created—the customer is grateful that they aren’t put back into a queue again to be put on hold.


Customer RFP

Another example is when creating a proposal for a customer. There are many different people that are involved such as a product manager, subject matter expert, sales contract person and so on. Most people have a basic proposal template, but every proposal is different.


What many organizations do is have meetings, and send emails back and forth. However, using collaboration tools everyone can work on a document together—so the workflow is on the fly. Bits and pieces of the proposal are created fluidly while the combining efforts of individuals from the organization, which is much more efficient and the proposal can be generated much more quickly for the customer. This responsiveness of the organization makes the customer feel good.


Hiring Manager

One of my favorite examples is that of a hiring manager who needs to hire employees—engineers, IT people, marketers, business developers, salespeople, etc.— the process is similar at any large company where they fill out a recommendation and give that document to a subject matter specialist.


The way that hiring managers traditionally go through the resumes is very inefficient, because they need to share their recommendations with certain groups of people and it is traditionally done through email. On the other hand, a socially enabled enterprise solution which allows them to give the ability to show the specialists the recommendations is very beneficial for this process.


Everyone is able to discuss and share with each other quickly, which gives the hiring manager a chance to get better candidates for the job because of this ability to collaborate in a flexible way. Furthermore, the hiring manager wastes less time on the backend trying to share information through email, and saves money because they are not wasting time interviewing the wrong people. Simultaneously, they market their organization much more effectively because of their responsiveness, and that gives a warm-glow to the interviewee who will be more predisposed to accepting the offer when given to them.


This same thing is going to happen when HR has to put together the offer, there are lots of people involved in accounting for the budget, HR, hiring managers, and other people that are all necessary to make a decision. There are different people that are involved every time. This isn’t necessarily a formal, step-wise workflow; it screams out for a social workflow that can be tailored to that moment and situation.


These social collaborative workflows exist but organizations tend not to have the software to be able to handle these types of interactions. The one big payoff with social software that we should be able to say in 10 years when we look back is that “I didn’t have to sit in so many meetings and I like my job better because of that”. Because we use these kinds of social tools here at ESG I’m in a lot less meetings, and I’ll tell you I’m more efficient in my job because of it, and I’m happier with my job because of it.


Keith Hamrick: What do you see as some of the barriers to adoption of these socially enabled enterprise solutions?


Tom Petrocelli: The big barrier now is poor alignment. The social collaboration tools are not aligning with everyday work problems. Many of them are similar to Facebook for the enterprise, or microblogging such as Twitter. However, we see a whole other wave of social enterprise really taking off, for the large part now because it is becoming more relevant to the way that people work. Also, there are many questions about privacy.


Furthermore, there’s a sense that people aren’t seeing the value in socially enabled enterprise solutions. There are responses from companies such as “end user resistance”, “lack of executive buy-in”, “too costly”, and so on. If something is really worthwhile, then cost is irrelevant. Basically the big inhibitor right now is that it’s not connected to the way people do their work right now.


Keith Hamrick: Where do you see social collaboration solutions going in the future? What are the types of innovations we should expect to see in this space?


Tom Petrocelli: Workflows—the most innovative companies are building the tools that allow people to create social workflows that allow people to get work done instead of just chat.

Secondly, I think we are going to see integrations with social analytics for these socially enabled enterprise solutions, which will create “social business intelligence”. We’re going to see much more analysis of what’s going on socially within organizations for two reasons:


  1. Managers will start to understand and see what’s going on in a company, so they can manage better and be able to pick-up insights and ideas that might be missed otherwise.


  2. Employees will more easily find out what other people do in their company and connect with them so they can get things done better. At all levels of a company this will help build the right teams and get people to do their jobs more effectively.


We will also start to see the ability to reach-out beyond the corporate and physical firewall. It’s hard to do this in a way that satisfies this within the regulations of corporations, but I think this extension will be important. This is something that we’re currently doing with social media, but we need to have this interaction between specific groups of people and be able to adapt things for specific customers. These interactions need to be done safely so that all company regulations are followed.


In a nutshell, social enterprise needs to be more enterprise.

What are your thoughts on enterprise social software? What would you like to see? Please share your ideas with us in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This is a guest blog post from William Newman – Managing Principal, Newport Consulting Group.



In our work with small to midsize businesses, corporate enterprises and not for profit groups, one thing is clear.  Executive sponsorship is definitely needed to drive strategic initiatives such as sustainability across all aspects of the triple bottom-line: financial, environmental, and social performance.  We have found that social business platforms like SAP StreamWork in a highly participative manner.


Social business tools – essentially social media and other communication platforms used inside the enterprise – allow participants to contribute opinion, make decisions, and add to thought flows in a contextual and not necessarily quantitative manner.   This is important for executive support. Executives don’t want to “put their hands on” performance management systems – they prefer to comment on management initiatives. Which makes SAP StreamWork a great tool for busy executives  who want a mobile, on-the-go platform without the systems responsibility associated with SOX 404 compliance and other corporate policies which can lead to jail time if a simple metric is reported incorrectly.  Words can be redacted, but systems data is forever and legally binding.


So how does SAP StreamWork affect issues across the triple bottom-line? Well for starters SAP StreamWork has the potential to connect into significant business analytics tools which drive and monitor business performance, including financial. SAP StreamWork can be connected through links and integrations to both BI and SAP EPM platforms.  This can be helpful in both communicating the direction of the company based on strategic focus, as well as organizing the information and providing comment on that information as it is being generated.




Figure 1: Internal working group activity for assessments and discussions for sustainability programs.


We use SAP StreamWork to help support and facilitate sustainability efforts. It’s flexibility and available integrations with other SAP reporting tools makes it an effective solution to analyze and incorporate the right data, while its social capabilities capture executive opinion and help increase employee engagement.


On the environmental side, you can consider how different environmental health and safety (EHS) programs are operating, as well as carbon reporting and monitoring of other greenhouse gases (GHG) inside SAP StreamWork.  Your SAP StreamWork activity can be structured so that feeds of information from different SAP operational programs illustrate key metrics and goal accomplishment.  All within the social and team environment SAP StreamWork provides.


Finally with respect to social performance, SAP StreamWork can work with your internal supplier management as well as external supplier teams to report, collect and share many questionnaires, surveys and forms required for comment before actual filing.  This can affect social performance standards including business improvement programs and audits by facility and location.  SAP StreamWork provides a non-threatening collaborative environment where teams can work together without the fear of committing officially to “binding statements” and other outbound communications where issues may or may not be properly managed.


As in any social business environment, SAP StreamWork does not operate in a vacuum.  Organizations need to review their corporate policies for mobile and cloud applications and determine what is “official information” versus “working papers” with respect to internal and third-party collaboration.  Often e-policies are sorely lacking in this area when it comes to social business tools.  Once the operational environment is structured properly for employees and suppliers to engage, social business tools such as StreamWork can provide significant benefits in open communication for initiatives like sustainability and other far-reaching programs.




William Newman, CMC, ASQ, SA is managing principal of Newport Consulting Group, LLC, an SAP influence partner focused on EPM and GRC solutions, and a member of the Sustainability Executive Advisory Committee (EAC) of SAP. His 25 years of experience in the development and management of strategy, process, and technology solutions spans Fortune 1000, public-sector, Inc. 5000 and not-for-profit organizations. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and in process to become a Certified Trainer for the Social Fingerprint® method of social performance and business improvement (both professional certifications meeting ISO 17024 requirements).  In addition Mr. Newman is a qualified ASQ trainer since 2000. He holds a BS degree in aerospace engineering from the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, and an MBA in management and international business from the Conrad L. Hilton School of Management at Loyola Marymount University. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at Northwood University in the area of management studies, as well as the University of Oregon Sustainability Leadership Program. You may contact him via email at wnewman@newportconsgroup.com or follow him on Twitter (@william_newman) or Google+ (William Newman).  Mr. Newman is a frequent contributor to the SAP Community Network.  For more information on Newport Consulting Group, please visit http://scn.sap.com/community/www.newportconsgroup.comwww.newportconsgroup.com.


Editor's note: this is a guest blog by SAP's Sameer Patel, Global VP and GM of Social & Collaborative Software.



Six years ago, the term Enterprise 2.0 emerged, laying the groundwork for new approaches to connect workers and information across enterprises. Since then, organizations have implemented a number of collaboration tools and processes, understanding that it would become absolutely critical to business success. However, many companies are still struggling to naturally adopt a social strategy or technology in a sustainable way.


Today, there are many untapped opportunities to revise the value proposition for organizations that want to understand how social strategies can enhance their business performance. This week at Enterprise 2.0, where I have served as an advisory board member and track chair, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the latest approaches and social business technologies and sharing how SAP aims to make collaboration possible in a way that emulates how we need to work – across applications and structured process but with your expert network available right when you need to make decisions and drive action..


After three months in my current position at SAP, I’m excited to kick-off Project Robus, which focuses on developing the next generation of social software products that bring data, process, people and content together to drive performance for our customers. Our vision moving forward is organized around three goals:

  • Bring Social Where You Work – SAP is delivering social and collaborative capabilities to every business process for problem solving, exception handling, and decision making. This enables true adoption of social by solving business critical issues. Structured process almost always has an unstructured cousin, and our solutions for informal learning, sales cycle collaboration, demand forecasting or even governance, risk, and compliance processes are unique examples of how we practically bring unstructured and structured worlds of work -- together. That’s how you put the social back in social business.
  • Create an Open Platform Delivery – By eliminating social silos inside and outside companies, SAP is creating an open and seamless experience across SAP, ecosystem and 3rd party applications, web, and mobile. The larger ecosystem will be welcome to contribute technology to make the lives of every organizations customers, employees and partners simpler and more effective.
  • Offer Hybrid Support – In the real world, business activities span many applications that often exist in the cloud and on premise. For instance your CRM application might be in the cloud but order to cash processes may be on premise. And so your social software platform must securely connect to systems whereever they reside. SAP’s hybrid secure commitment promises to meet customers on their terms and places SAP in a unique position in the market.


With these three key goals in mind, SAP has the ingredients to drive operational and financial performance for our customers—truly putting the “Business” back in Social Business.

If you would like to learn more about the event and register, here’s the link to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. Feel free to follow event with the Twitter hashtag #e2conf


Editor’s note: this is a guest blog post from Erik Boos, Co-Founder of Mikogo.


For years now online collaboration platforms have assisted businesses achieve their project goals in less time at reduced costs. However we live in a fast-paced world surrounded by rapidly-developing technologies, and therefore in order to get ahead of the competition businesses require further means to increase productivity while still reducing costs. One way to achieve this is to harness the combined power of multiple online collaboration and social cloud services integrated seamlessly together.


Via a new partnership with Mikogo, an established provider of desktop sharing technologies, you can create and participate in real-time online meetings from within your SAP StreamWork Activities, bringing you a further means for increasing your social collaboration abilities. Online meetings with the Mikogo Cloud Service within SAP StreamWork allow you to present and share your computer screen in real-time over the Web to your colleagues. Anything you see on your screen, they will see on their screen.


Traditional face-to-face meetings are an integral part of any workplace. However with social collaboration on the rise, online meetings are now commonplace for a wide-range of industries, such as:


  • Financial Advisory – discussing financial planning concepts with clients, strengthening the advisor-client relationship.
  • Consultancy – presenting project results to clients as well as for internal team meetings.
  • IT/Software Development – for internal development meetings and later supporting customers.
  • Legal Services – revising legal documents by literally getting everyone on the same page.
  • Insurance Agencies – immersing prospects in presentations and shortening the sales cycle.
  • Business Services – for making initial trainings with customers more hands-on and personal.


While the aforementioned list names just a few industries benefiting from online meetings, the technology is also widely used within companies, including management, sales, marketing, support, development and more.


Use Case: A Sales Team Meeting Live Within SAP StreamWork


Meet Brian. Brian is the Global Sales Manager for an international insurance company who’s responsible for a team of country managers across the planet. He and his team live in SAP’s social collaboration platform, SAP StreamWork, which allows them to organize their collaborative work tasks and facilitates communication. Brian wishes to meet online once a week with his country managers to discuss the sales figures. The problem is that his country managers are spread out around the world. Continually updating their activity items and leaving chat messages with questions and responses for each other to receive later works wonders within SAP StreamWork. However Brian frequently needs everyone together on the same page at the same time to collaborate online in real-time.


With the new addition of the Mikogo Cloud Service to SAP StreamWork, Brian not only has a way of organizing his team’s work items and distributing work files, he now has a way of getting everyone together to discuss their recent projects in real-time. By starting an online meeting from within SAP StreamWork and inviting his country managers, any team member can open any work item or file and present it to the team. Communication and transparency are enhanced, the context is quickly given, a vast amount of time is saved, and problems are addressed immediately.


Furthermore, by utilizing the SAP StreamWork functionalities, prior to his online meeting Brian can set a date and develop an agenda for him and his country managers. During the meeting, the team can create and save timelines based on any plans they develop. And as agenda items are completed, Brian can cross-off tasks in his checklist. Following the end of the meeting, SAP StreamWork enables Brian’s team to log their meeting decisions as well as record their meeting minutes – all of which can be saved in the SAP StreamWork Activity.


Your First Online Meeting with Mikogo and SAP StreamWork Directly from within your SAP StreamWork user interface, the Mikogo Online Meeting Cloud Service enables users to effortlessly schedule, start and participate in online meetings. The Mikogo integration works seamlessly inside SAP StreamWork, providing you with an easy-to-use solution to meet with your SAP StreamWork collaborators with just a couple of mouse clicks.


To organize an online meeting in SAP StreamWork, open an existing or create a new Activity. If it’s a new Activity, you should first invite your participants via “Add Participants”. Your participants will need to accept your invite to later join your Online Meetings.


Starting an Online Meeting


By browsing the Tool Catalog, you will find “Online Meeting” under the Partner Tools category. Click Add and a new Online Meeting item will appear in your Activity. You will then find two options: “Meet Now” and “Schedule a meeting”.






By clicking Meet Now, you can immediately create and start an ad-hoc meeting with your Activity participants. The Mikogo online meeting application will load and appear on your screen. Within your Online Meeting work item, you will see a status of “Meeting in Progress” and an elapsed time stopwatch.




Attending an Online Meeting


On the participant side, the Online Meeting work item appears automatically in their Activity List with two options: Join View-Only and Join Shared-Control. By clicking Join View-Only, the participant will join your online meeting in a presentation mode meaning they can just view your screen. Alternatively they can click Join Shared-Control which will prompt the Mikogo application on their side providing further features for the participant including switch presenter, remote control, file transfer, and more.




As each participant joins your meeting, the greyed-out filter disappears from their profile pic.


Desktop Sharing Inside SAP StreamWork


Now you and your participants are literally on the same page, in an online meeting within SAP StreamWork where you as the presenter are sharing your screen with your participants. You can open any of your SAP StreamWork items and present them. Alternatively, you can open other applications on your computer, all of which will instantly be shared with your participants.




When you are done, you can exit the online meeting, which will cease the desktop sharing, by clicking on the “X” in the top right corner of the Mikogo application.


On the other hand, Schedule Meeting allows you to select a later date/time and organize an upcoming meeting. The Online Meeting work item is then saved in your list of Activity Work Items, ready for you to start the meeting at your convenience. Your participants also receive the scheduled meeting in their Activity List.


Further Benefits of SAP StreamWork Online Meetings





With the Mikogo Cloud Service inside SAP StreamWork, you have a robust set of collaborative features at your fingertips, including:


  • Whiteboard
  • Switch Presenter
  • Remote Control
  • Recording
  • Chat
  • File Transfer
  • Application Selection
  • Change Languages
  • Picture Quality


Already used across the board in a wide range of industries, the Mikogo Cloud Service can assist you in achieving your SAP StreamWork goals.

Brainstorming iPad Application



Utilize the collective creativity of your team for the idea generation process with SAP StreamWork Brainstorming, a new iPad application that you can use on your mobile device and from within activities.


Traditionally brainstorming takes place in a fairly unstructured way, collecting ideas on a whiteboard, or in a document as they are shouted out by your colleagues. And then what happens once you have all the ideas? Now SAP StreamWork can take care of the logistics so that you and your team can focus on creating the ideas that will help support your business.


With SAP StreamWork this process of brainstorming is effectively managed so that your best ideas are noticed and properly executed upon. You will be able to quickly get consensus on the best ideas with the built-in voting system, and the actions or tasks you need to take from those ideas will be clear. Furthermore, you can increase accountability by tracking the completion of the tasks to ensure that everyone has done their job.


Let’s say you will be working on developing a product that is a news reading app, and you need to come up with a name for it with your team.




You can begin a Brainstorm session to start rattling off ideas, freely contributing along with all participants of the activity with real-time collection and display of idea submissions. You can set time and contribution limits to the session to ensure that it is completed in a timely fashion.




You might know how hard it is to get consensus on what ideas people like most after a brainstorming session. With Brainwave, it’s much easier to collect people’s opinions. Once your Brainwave session has come to an end, submissions are discontinued your team votes on which ideas they like most.




Increase accountability and assure that actions are taken from the ideas that are chosen by assigning Tasks based on voting results. You can track the completion of these by visiting the activity.




Easily keep records of the result of the ideas by continuing your projects and taking your next steps by continuing to use the SAP StreamWork activity once your brainstorming session is completed.


It’s easy to access your Brainstorming session from anywhere. Everything that takes place in the Brainstorming app can also be seen from the corresponding SAP StreamWork activity.




In short, SAP StreamWork’s new Brainstorming application helps you and your colleagues in four key ways:

  • Adds structure to the brainstorming process—from both mobile and desktop
  • Ensures everyone’s ideas are heard
  • Makes it easy to gather consensus on ideas
  • Assists the tracking of actions initiated from ideas


These benefits help you tap into the creative talent of both you and your colleagues, and makes sure that the ideas are effectively used within your business organization.    

Feed Updates iPad Application



Stay in the collaboration loop from wherever you are so that you can shorten business cycles and drive the results that help your bottom line. SAP StreamWork has introduced its first iPad application called Feed Updates, which will help you stay informed with what’s going on in your organization and enable you to respond accordingly.




You can stay connected to your business processes, and keep in-touch with the SAP StreamWork Feed Updates app by being able to see activity changes, mentions, and status updates from the people in your organization that you manage, collaborate with or follow.




The Feed Updates app helps increase accountability by improving visibility of the work that is done within your organization. While on-the-go you can see the way that work is accomplished within activities that your team or organization is responsible for finishing.




Stay on top of the information that is most pertinent to your business objectives by interacting with tools (such as visualizations, decision items, text items and so on) that are posted within activities.




With Feed Updates, you can keep your team members informed by posting status and activity updates, adding comments to tools, and assigning Tasks.




See the benefits of collaborating on-the-go: Shorten sales cycles


Imagine you are the vice president of sales for a global niche manufacturing company. You work with a team of sales representatives who are your direct reports. You want to monitor their work to assure that they follow best-practice techniques throughout the sales process, have proper support when an issue with a customer is escalated, and keep record of their sales history.


You have SAP CRM to help you keep track of and assign sales opportunities to teams or individuals within your organization. With the SAP StreamWork integration in SAP CRM, you can seamlessly collaborate around these sales opportunities to effectively close deals by creating activities directly from the sales opportunity.




You want to streamline the sales process and ensure the quality of contact with each of your customers to maximize the time of your sales reps. To do this, before initiating contact with customers, your sales reps create SAP StreamWork activities for internal-use from pre-defined sales templates that include best-practice material, such as your sales pitch, sales scripts, customer presentations, competitive analysis, text tool, and a discussion tool.


You are interested in ensuring the quality of each of the sales interactions and you want to be kept up-to-speed on what’s happening. You accomplish this by including pre-defined tasks in your sales template that the sales reps will check-off as they move through the sales process with the customer. When your sales reps create the template activity from the CRM opportunity, they invite you as a participant so that you are able to monitor their progress.




When the sales rep calls the customer, they are able to easily move through the streamlined sales process using the material that is preloaded within the SAP StreamWork activity. As each component of the sales process is completed by the sales rep, you are able to see the work accomplished through the Feed Updates app.




Once your sales rep has initiated the sales process, what keeps you updated on his status during the sales process? What if there is an issue with the sale that needs your attention? With the SAP StreamWork, when there is an issue during the sales process and your sales reps need assistance, you are able to quickly identify the problem and take action because your sales reps keep you informed by posting updates to the activity. Each update is sent to the Feed Updates app, and you can easily tell when an issue is escalated and needs your attention.




You can easily move through issues that come up during the sale to shorten the sales cycle. You resolve escalated issues as they occur because you stay informed with Feed Updates from anywhere, which allows you to enable your sales team and effectively sell your products. All of the information in the activity and feeds is saved and stored in SAP StreamWork for future reference.




In summary, with the use of SAP StreamWork in this example you have the added benefits of:

  • Improving efficiency by streamlining business processes
  • Increasing accountability with transparency and work history
  • Resolving issues as they arise through Feed Updates


Ultimately, these benefits will shorten the sales cycle and lead to the results that you want to see in your organization.

In this release, we've added several new features that enhance the learning experience - formal or informal - for both learners and instructors.


Introducing Jam Learning Communities


In November, we launched integrated search capabilities between SuccessFactors Learning and Jam. Now, we've deepened the integration with Jam Learning Communities, where instructors can build an online Jam community for each of their formal courses with just a few clicks. Learners can go between formal and informal to get the most out of a course and learn continuously.



Blending instructor-led programs with online communities will improve learner engagement and training effectiveness. Jam Learning Communities can be used as part of the curriculum where instructors and learners can:



  • Participate in weekly discussions
  • Upload pre-work and post-work
  • Share relevant news articles and blogs
  • Post agendas
  • Ask questions
  • Stay connected with alumni for continued learning long after the course has ended


SuccessFactors Learning Admins can create Jam Learning Communities directly within Learning, or choose to associate an existing Jam group to a new learning item.



Invites are automatic, and can be configured to be sent when the item is assigned, a learner enrolls/registers for a learning item, or when a user completes the learning items.




New! Copy Group Content



We've made it easy to replicate content for courses that are often repeated or projects that use the same materials with Copy Group. You can set up a template group with videos, documents, folders, links, and other content including the About page. With a single click, copy the group and then invite new members. This significantly reduces the time it previously took to setup similar groups, and allows you to leverage best practices from other groups.



Content Viewers



Ever wonder who views your content? Now, not only can you see how many users viewed content, you can also see who viewed it. Similar to "Likes", content owners or admins can see who viewed content and the latest version viewed by clicking on the Views link. A full report is also available for download. Additionally, when you direct message users on a document, videos, wiki, etc. you will be able to check if they have viewed the content and which version they last viewed by clicking on the @members link.




Other Notable Changes 


  • The user interface for Auto Groups has been enhanced with a select list that lets you choose fields more easily and review the membership rule as you build it. If you add a field by mistake, easily correct it by clicking the X. (Available in FireFox, Chrome, and IE8+).
  • Trash your groups by accident no more! We've added a confirmation step so you can back out if needed.
  • Email Defaults have been updated to send less email overall. You can still customize your email settings through Account > Email Settings.


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