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SAP Social Software

89 Posts authored by: Mika Sissonen

SAP Jam Bridges Systems and Processes by Promoting Social Collaboration Among Users

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Editor's note: This article by Stephen Hamrick, Senior Director of Product Management at SAP, is reproduced from the Oct-Nov-Dec 2014 issue of SAPinsider (SAPinsiderOnline.com) with permission from its publisher, WIS Publishing. Read the entire special report on social collaboration at SAPinsiderOnline.com.

 

steve_hamrick.pngCarl Sagan once wrote, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”[1] Sagan alludes to the fact that even simple actions require major foundational elements to be in place. In business, many companies are at some stage of setting up a social collaboration program to help employees achieve better efficiency and meet goals. Establishing such an initiative might feel like creating an entire universe, but with SAP Jam, we’ve made it as simple as baking pie.

 

For any employee, completing a given business activity requires quick, real-time access to business data with the proper context. Imagine you are a salesperson preparing to talk to a long-time customer about a new opportunity. Before visiting the customer, you’d want to know key customer relationship management (CRM)-related information such as other open opportunities, service requests, and escalations. You’d also want to know more information beyond what is typically stored in a CRM application, including key conversations and presentations. You might even want to bring together everyone in the company who works on the account, regardless of their role.

 

Unfortunately, gathering all of this information can be time consuming or not even possible without access to certain data and systems. This is where SAP Jam comes in.

 

A Bridge Between Systems and Processes

 

SAP Jam builds a bridge to any existing business application via an open data (OData) protocol, giving companies further agility when integrating their business applications with SAP Jam. The OData format provides key information about business records that SAP Jam can natively understand, such as how records like accounts, opportunities, contacts, and service request records in SAP CRM or orders, invoices, and quotation records in SAP ERP systems relate to one another. Having direct access to the business data makes it easy for organizations to build customized line-of-business or industry-specific collaboration-driven processes, known in SAP Jam as work patterns (see Figure 1).

 

figure_1.png

 

The recipe for creating effective work patterns is simple:

 

  1. Using a simple web-based admin console, configure a set of service end points to let SAP Jam know where to access the data and what kinds of data will be used in work patterns, such as a list of items from an inventory application matching a certain part number.
  2. Build work pattern templates that create user-customizable, loose structures around the data via a drag-and-drop designer.
  3. Associate the work pattern templates with specific types of business records. When users want to interact with a given business record from within the SAP Jam experience, they will be intelligently advised which collaborative process they should use. SAP Jam will allow them to start a new workspace based on that process that includes key social and collaborative capabilities, such as pro vs. con tables, surveys, or shared checklists, to make the process run faster and more consistently.

 

By performing these tasks, companies can transform their existing formal business processes with new collaborative tools and capabilities from SAP Jam that allow their employees to complete work faster with fewer errors and better results. Let’s take a deeper look at what companies can do with SAP Jam.

 

Deliver the SAP Jam Experience Anywhere

 

Note: To make implementing SAP Jam easier, SAP has released the SAP Jam developer program, aimed at improving IT’s ability to respond to the needs of the business by allowing an even deeper level of access and visibility to key process data within the social collaboration environment.

 

For more information about the developer program, visit http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-55050.

To ensure that collaboration is available when and where people need it, you can now port pieces of the SAP Jam experience to any application — desktop or mobile, SAP or third-party, on premise or cloud, and in any development language. This includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and JavaScript components that can be added to any business application, giving users the ability to bridge multiple business systems without forcing users from other departments or functions to use the same transactional business application. For example, a sales user working in an SAP Business Suite application, such as SAP CRM, can collaborate and problem-solve with another user in a completely different department, such as research and development or IT, who doesn’t typically use SAP CRM on a daily basis, but can provide key insight and information on how to resolve service requests or build a winning customer opportunity strategy.

 

Leveraging open standards supports keeping the development environment and tooling completely open and agnostic — any developer, using any platform or language, can build an OData-compatible interface with which SAP Jam can communicate. SAP Jam provides a real-time, secure connection. This ensures that a user can only see and interact with business records that he or she has access to see, even down to an individual data field level.

 

Browse, Explore, and Display Data Directly in SAP Jam

 

Another new capability in SAP Jam is the ability to browse the records that users can access. Developers do not have to bring the SAP Jam user experience into their existing application, which is useful for solutions that have a modifiable user interface.

 

In the SAP Jam home feed, users see updates and changes from the business records and groups that they are following. A business user might want to post and highlight several service ticket records to a single group dedicated to managing ticket escalations for a product or service, for example. This SAP Jam group could contain all the ticket data, content that was generated in response to the escalation such as diagrams and drawings, and conversations among experts trying to resolve the issue.

 

Organize and Focus Your Business Collaboration

 

While feeds and updates can help simplify certain tasks, the majority of businesspeople do not want to work solely through processes using these capabilities. Conversations and commentary around a single update or business record do not materially improve the business process, and users want more than just a news feed of what happened.

 

To address this challenge, company administrators can now develop group templates that include structure for important aspects such as business tools to focus on solving problems or moving through a given process, or recommendations on the placement or use of key business data on overview pages or in groups.

 

Group templates can be associated with specific data types from the OData-based connections that a company administrator configures. SAP Jam can recommend a specific work pattern or group template when a user encounters this particular type of business record. This recommendation can be made in the SAP Jam user experience or the user’s native business application.

 

Giving Users What They Need

 

SAP Jam helps take the stress out of everyday work by giving businesspeople the flexibility and capabilities they need to get their work done faster. By giving IT the easily extensible foundation they need, we’ve made the process of transforming your business as easy as pie. For more information, visit http://www.sap.com/jam or http://help.sap.com/sapjam.

 

[1] Carl Sagan, Cosmos. New York: Random House, 1980, pg. 218.

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

Two years after the launch of SAP Jam, its customers are showing up all over the news. With more than 15 million subscribers, it’s now being used across a wide variety of business and industries. Here’s a cross-section of recent stories about how organizations are using SAP Jam to improve collaboration within business processes like sales, service, marketing, and human resources.

 

TELUS Uses SAP Jam as "Glue" in Corporate Culture Transformation

In IT Business, Brian Jackson writes that TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications firm, rolled out SAP Jam to 22,000 employees. Dan Pontefract, the chief envisioner of the TELUS transformation office, says SAP Jam has become “the systemic social glue that ties the organization together.”

 

Is SAP Jam Where Enterprise Social is Headed?

The director of human resources at the Village of Schaumburg, Illinois, says that SAP Jam has virtually replaced email for their 650 employees – in part, because it’s easier to request feedback in SAP Jam than by email. “We wanted it to be the one place that people knew where to go for all the information they needed through their work days to be efficient.”

 

 

Incorporating Social

Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Company chose SAP Jam to complement its social learning activities. Brookshire’s VP of training and change management says the company plans to rebrand it as BGC Connect and use it for initiatives like its female manager networking forum, as well as for project teams, where it will make it easier to solicit feedback from store managers.

 

 

Making Social Media Work - At Work

The CEO of Synergium, a translation company based in Lithuania, says SAP Jam has become a tool for communication about complex projects.

 

SAP Jam: Ready for Enterprise Collaboration

Itaricon, a consulting company based in Germany, uses SAP Jam to facilitate collaboration around data stored in their CRM system – to make it more efficient to sell and create proposals.

 

Failure Must Be an Option

In a personal blog, an employee of TELUS writes that a year after consolidating their social tools into SAP Jam as the company’s single collaborative platform, 75% of the organization has accessed it, and they’ve reduced total cost of ownership and support resources needed.

 

How the San Jose Sharks Organization is Using SAP Jam to Improve Collaboration

In this video recorded at SAPPHIRE NOW, San Jose Sharks COO John Tortora talks about how SAP Jam has helped his organization tackle the challenge of cross-departmental communication and how it allows them to share key information and make better connections.

 

 

San Jose Sharks Win Over Employees with Social Software

Sharks Sports & Entertainment wanted a social platform that would help keep its employees updated and foster a sense of community – and that would make it easier for its marketing team to collaborate with business partners and associates.

 

Video: The New SAP Jam Developer Program

Martin Wanitschke from Itaricon Management Consulting explains how a social collaboration solution like SAP Jam – with work patterns that pull in opportunity details directly from their CRM – can help speed up processes in Itaricon’s sales organization.

 

Telecommunications Company Unites Global Workforce with SAP Jam

In this video, Darrin Whitney, CIO of GENBAND, says the company’s management team immediately saw the value of SAP Jam. “It’s a strategic enabler for us – from a business standpoint internally, and externally to our customers.”

 

 

Genband Brings in SAP Jam, Keeps Workers Connected

GENBAND, a Texas-based telecommunications company, turned to SAP Jam to help its globally distributed workforce come together and collaborate, to help experienced employees share their knowledge with newcomers, and to help it connect with channel partners and outside contractors.

 

Reshape Processes Today to Design for Tomorrow

Three SAP Jam partners – World Sales Solutions, T-Systems Multimedia Solutions, and EnterpriseJungle – are using the SAP Jam developer program to extend SAP Jam to support departmental and industry-specific needs.

 

The Born Again CIO

The CIO of Kaeser Kompressoren says that SAP’s cloud solutions help his organization integrate its partners and SAP processes, allowing them to share information and gather insight from across the business. Kaeser uses SAP Jam to improve collaboration and capture innovation inside and outside the company.

 

 

What do Treatment Plants, Leather Furniture, and Luxury Cars Have in Common?

Kaeser Compressors, a compressed air systems and services company in Germany, uses SAP Jam with SAP CRM powered by SAP HANA to scrutinize sales process lifecycles, including lead management, requirements analysis, solution planning, and solution implementation.

4 Critical Questions to Ask Before Beginning Your Journey

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

 

sameer_patel.pngWith more than 40 years of experience and investment in ERP- and e-commerce-enabled operational efficiency at their companies, business leaders have now entered a time in which entire industries are being digitally transformed.

 

Uber and Airbnb are fundamentally changing the definition of products in transportation and hospitality, for example, by creating a more efficient networked economy of sellers and buyers.

 

Digital businesses that have effectively built strong bonds with customers are now encroaching on the established market share in adjacent industries. Chinese internet retailer Alibaba, for instance, is repurposing its trusted digital relationships with millions of consumers to create Yu’e Bao, the second largest mutual fund in China, disrupting traditional banks’ revenue sources.

 

Digital transformation differs from previous innovation spurts. At its core are three elements:

 

1. Purpose-built networks of employees, customers, and partners collaborating to build and sell meaningful products

2. Real-time analytics that provide rapid optimization to improve the customer experience and drive margins

3. Radically more engaging experiences for customers enabled by sophisticated data analysis and micro-segmenting

 

How can established companies seize these digital transformation opportunities to lead their industries through today’s changes — and keep upstarts from threatening their business?

 

4 Critical Questions

 

"It’s not as simple as selecting siloed, cookie-cutter applications"

Organizations can look to technology to help foster change and improve efficiency. Technology platforms provide a plethora of functionality that enables companies to transform their businesses — but it’s not as simple as selecting siloed, cookie-cutter applications.

 

Rather, leaders should be asking four imperative questions before implementing any solution:

 

  1. How can I assemble the right people, data, processes, and content around each discrete task to drive customer, employee, and partner performance?
  2. What networks do I need to create or be a part of?
  3. Can my technology and vendor choices help me respond to shifting market needs over the next several years?
  4. In the face of emerging one-size-fits-all cloud solutions, how do I leverage the speed of the cloud but still differentiate my company from the competition?

 

SAP kept these questions in mind when thinking of ways to help our customers not only defend their turf, but take a leadership position as this new footprint for doing business emerges. In 2012, SAP began this journey by introducing SAP Jam — our flagship collaboration platform that creates networks for employees, partners, and customers to collaborate and co-innovate around core business processes. The platform also removes significant latency in how information and knowledge flow across demand and supply chains. Fifteen million subscribers later, SAP Jam is helping leading organizations create the needed network effects that accelerate performance across diverse channels.

 

Moving Forward

 

This year we commenced the next phase of helping organizations digitally transform by announcing the SAP Jam developer program. The developer platform is designed to help customers drive competitive differentiation and win in their markets. Integrated with SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP Jam now provides our customers with the agility and flexibility to customize and continually optimize how they bring together people, data, content, and processes to get work done and to transform how they operate and engage with customers and partners.

 

With the broadest set of cloud applications in the industry, a powerful foundation to extend these applications and build new ones on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, and leading networks such as Ariba and SAP Jam, SAP is in a unique position to help customers not only defend but lead in the coming age of transformation.

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

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Editor's note: This article appeared in the Oct-Nov-Dec 2014 issue of insiderPROFILES (insiderPROFILESonline.com) and appears here with permission from WIS PUBLISHING.

 

Sameer Patel serves as Senior Vice President for SAP’s Enterprise Social and Collaborative Software business at SAP Cloud/SuccessFactors. With SAP Jam, he oversees products and go to market for one of the fastest-growing cloud products in SAP’s portfolio, now with more than 15 million subscribers. Patel, who joined SAP in early 2012, has more than 15 years of technology product leadership experience and has worked on collaboration and application technology with some of the largest organizations in the world.

 

 

sameer_patel.jpgQ: What is the direction of enterprise collaboration, and how does your experience help shape what SAP is doing in this space?

 

Enterprise collaboration is at a crossroads today. Customers are well aware of the adoption challenges with new social tools in the enterprise and so, the bar has been raised: for any collaboration technology to be considered a critical part of an organization’s business execution machinery, it must directly solve real business problems. Given what I’ve worked on throughout my career and what SAP has set out to do as it re-entered this category in 2012, this evolution in thinking about the value of collaboration makes it an especially exciting time for me. Looking back to when I researched the promise of collaboration and knowledge management for my master’s thesis, the expectation for collaboration was largely limited to moving files around between aging experts and new recruits as a way to retain organizational knowledge. Many of the theories were extremely uninspiring to me, and starting back then, I began to advocate that networks or clustering of experts would ultimately be much more powerful than features in a file-sharing application. And I’ve continued to do so today as you can see on my blog.

 

Thanks to consumer social media, today, organization leaders now see that collaboration is not about moving files around. Rather, they innately understand the power of network effects that come when human beings are connected around a topic or purpose, and are looking to understand how this applies to their employees, customers, and partners.

 

"Collaboration technology is finally headed swiftly toward solving for very purpose-built outcomes by bringing networks of experts, data, processes, and content together."

I feel that my 15 years of work in this area is coming full circle. As far as product strategy goes, if I sum up the primary role I’ve played over the last decade, it’s been to help organizational leaders strip out the complexity in how their employees, partners, and customers connect. Horizontal platforms such as collaboration and messaging are a white canvas. That’s mostly good because you can imagine your own use cases, but it also gives organizations the license to run amok and waste money building capabilities that don’t get used or require significant behavioral changes. My career, spent mostly with line-of-business leaders in the areas of sales, marketing, service, and the supply chain, as well as some very forward-thinking CIOs, trained me very early on to stay focused on operational trends and transformation opportunities versus trying to find problems to solve with shiny new technologies.

 

Collaboration technology is finally headed swiftly toward solving for very purpose-built outcomes by bringing networks of experts, data, processes, and content together. At SAP, we saw this over two years ago and have built for it, with SAP Jam. Today, we are lucky to be trusted by hundreds of customers and have a substantial offering that’s globally subscribed to by 15 million users.

 

Successful horizontal products and platforms will demand such business proficiency, and I am proud to say that we, as a team, live by this ethos. I’m also truly fortunate that the leadership at SAP, starting with our CEO, has been extremely supportive from the get-go. And other leaders, such as our CTO and founder of SuccessFactors, have played a big role in shaping this culture.

 

Q: How does innovation in collaboration technology relate to the big market trends that are on the minds of leaders today?

 

As far as market trends, the last few years have brought about rapid innovation in how organizations are using social and mobile technologies to build out networks of buyers and sellers in very unconventional ways. A CEO of a large global bank told me that his worry isn’t another global bank, but rather, he is concerned that new competitors will capture the mindshare and mobile screentime of millions of customers, such as Alibaba in China, which controls a majority of ecommerce transactions, or even Apple, which owns 40% of the world’s smartphone users.

 

Companies such as these have very agile methods to connect with their customers and create powerful networks amongst them. And just as importantly, employees of these organizations are highly networked internally so that they can keep up with their customers.

 

"Building well-networked organizations is at the center of this new way of doing business."

The potential and threat are well understood by incumbent businesses, but the technical barrier has been high-latency IT systems that were never designed to meet this need for networked capability and collaboration or easy exchange of information about products, solutions, and services. Today’s customers are informed consumers, often with fickle tastes. Organizations must deliver information about what they build or sell with the same speed and agility that customers have come to expect in the public realm. This means collaborating with customers with much more context, having the agility to learn and adjust business strategies as market conditions change, and being able to act and make decisions as fast as your customers and faster than your competitors.

 

This is the challenge and opportunity in front of our customers, and building well-networked organizations is at the center of this new way of doing business. I couldn’t be more excited and privileged to have this opportunity to help our customers, and we have everything in place here at SAP to help our customers win in this new economy.

 

Q: How do you see SAP advancing the enterprise collaboration space in the months ahead?

 

The market has moved beyond trying to build a social enterprise; that’s not the business SAP is in and frankly not what is keeping customers up at night. Now, we are looking at holistic digital transformation as the next wave that organizations are embracing. If one looks at the dotcom era as internet commerce changing the way we purchased goods and services, digital transformation extends this to actually transforming the very definition of a product and ultimately an industry, much like Uber fundamentally changed the idea of a taxi, and Airbnb changed the idea of a hotel room. These new upstarts are leveraging analytics to optimize the product and network effects to connect employees, buyers, and suppliers. Suddenly, social collaboration and networking with your customers and partners at every touch point must become an integral part of this transformation that you undertake in order to compete.

 

And so customers will expect that collaboration will be woven into the very fabric of their work canvas — their applications, networks, and devices. And given that SAP has the broadest set of business applications — and with Ariba, SAP Jam, and FieldGlass, three extremely high velocity networks — we are uniquely positioned to deliver a platform that drives transformation for our customers.

 

This is precisely why we developed and launched work patterns by SAP Jam that create personalized work experiences that bring the best of applications data, process, content, and people together in one contextual workspace. The idea is to help organizations adapt to this digital transformation with three fundamental types of capabilities:

 

  • Operational transformation work patterns to drive efficiency between employees
  • Ecosystem transformation work patterns to create new ways to connect with partners, customers, and suppliers
  • Industry transformation work patterns to differentiate and drive competitive advantage

 

Q: Can you provide an example of an organization you have worked with that is breaking out of the transactional mindset and beginning this transformation?

 

Let’s look at an example of operational transformation: One SAP customer is moving from selling air compression systems to selling compressed air to drive margins. Think about what needs to happen in order to transition from selling a machine to becoming a service provider where renewals and customer satisfaction are now more important than ever. Work patterns by SAP Jam enable the agility to do this by giving everyone who engages with the customer — sales, service, and marketing — a holistic view of all customer activity. So all of the sales data, customer information, service tickets, active marketing campaigns, and your network of experts, etc., it’s all consumed from your collaboration environment, instead of sitting in different siloes.

 

The work experience centers on truly satisfying and delighting the customer in every interaction as opposed to closing out transactions. This is a clear example of digitally transforming how sales, service, and marketing collaborate with each other and with the customer, but with minimal disruption to the existing technology landscape.

 

We have similar examples of customers looking at ecosystem transformation where most of their distributors or suppliers are not full-time employees, but they know more about the end customers or each component of the product than the customer. Our ecosystem transformation work patterns can be applied to more cohesively involve outsourced talent pools as if they were full-time employees, thereby significantly broadening the expertise base of the customer.

 

Q: What is the competitive differentiator in creating a contextual work experience?

 

"The domain expertise that customers bring to the table should not have to take a back seat just because they adopted cloud."

That question brings us to work patterns for industry transformation in SAP Jam, which is the biggest thing we’ve done since launching SAP Jam two years ago. The central idea here is that for an application to be transformative, a customer must be able to derive truly differentiated competitive advantage from it. Everyone understands the benefits of the cloud, but one of the central truths is that when all technology is deployed in the cloud, there will be little that differentiates one organization from another. SAP Jam, along with SAP HANA Cloud Platform, now allows customers to extend what we have done out of the box or to completely re-design their own work pattern to reflect either a unique way in which they work or to represent the process transformation they seek. Also, live data from any application, SAP or third-party, can now come into SAP Jam for a true 360-degree view of everything that an employee, customer, or partner needs to know.

 

The domain expertise that customers bring to the table should not have to take a back seat just because they adopted cloud. You can now have it both ways — benefit from cloud consumption but still apply your secret sauce that will let you win in your markets.

 

Q: What will the enterprise collaboration environment look like in the future?

 

One of the transformations on the horizon will likely be the very nature of business applications themselves. Applications will be network-first, and they will be about finding the right use case to engage your network, with processes or transactions serving to bolster this relationship as needed.

 

We’re already seeing this in consumer applications. If you look at Amazon, the catalog, the reviewer network, and the marketplace are what is front and center. The shopping cart button is hidden in a corner of the website. Our Ariba network powers many transactional capabilities, and SAP Jam along with SAP learning management systems bring the best of network-based peer-to-peer learning combined with formal training.

 

We will continue to look at the usefulness of business applications to complete transactions, but the network where your employees work, your customers engage, and you collaborate with suppliers will become the primary canvas where work gets done.

 

Q: Can you draw any parallels between your personal and professional interests?

 

I have been cooking for 18 years, ever since I left Mumbai. My time in the kitchen and on my workbench complement each other. To me, cooking, much like the pursuit of building and selling products that drive organizational performance, is more of a craft than an art. You always look for patterns, but no canned recipe ever produces the same results twice. No two ounces of coriander or legs of lamb are the same. Likewise, no two customer environments, opportunities, and appetites for transformation are the same.

 

On one hand, our customers need to embrace and feed off of inbuilt characteristics of good ingredients and so we ensure that our products are simple yet sophisticated and fast to deploy. And on the other hand, they need to know how to use additional flavors to enhance the experience to outdo the competition, and that’s where our platform lets them make the solution their own.

3 Examples of How the SAP Jam Developer Program Enables Business Transformation

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Editor's note: This article by Holly Simmons, Vice President of Marketing for Social Software at SAP, is reproduced from the Oct-Nov-Dec 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.pngTransforming your business requires you to transform the way you work. That’s never easy — but it’s necessary for your business to remain relevant, agile, and competitive. SAP Jam provides a social collaboration platform to reshape processes today while helping you to design for tomorrow.

 

Every business has unique challenges and opportunities, and no solution is going to solve every problem on its own. This is where the SAP Jam developer program comes in. It’s designed to deliver the flexibility needed to customize work patterns, which are collaborative processes that bring together people, content, data, and applications; to integrate with other data and systems; and to extend SAP Jam to support departmental or industry-specific needs (see sidebar below). The SAP Jam developer program, available to customers and partners, provides the tools, approaches, and support needed to extend existing investments and to drive new revenue for customers, developers, and partners. See how three partners are delivering new business value through SAP Jam in this program.

 

World Sales Solutions: Building Partner Networks with SAP Jam

Launching new products such as automobiles is both exciting and challenging, especially when you consider the complexity of connecting a manufacturer with its dealer network. Launch success depends on full visibility; timely training and certification; as well as clear sales, marketing, and go-to-market execution (see Figure 1). World Sales Solutions (WSS) understands the manufacturer-to-dealer complexity as this services organization is regularly called on to assist manufacturing and service companies in making these necessary connections.

figure_1.png

WSS relies on the SAP Jam developer program to provide its customers with a social collaboration platform that bridges the gap between manufacturers and dealers with a central hub that:

 

  • Brings together a company’s marketing, sales, service, and cross-team staff with external parties such as advertising agencies and key suppliers
  • Provides formal learning and certification using SuccessFactors Learning Management System (LMS) or SAP Learning Solution
  • Delivers informal learning (via SAP Jam) such as sales best practices among dealers or quick access to experts
  • Onboards new partners and employees expediently to ensure the shortest time to revenue by optimizing SAP Jam
  • Supports strategizing and decision making among the entire network for product innovation, including integration with SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), SAP Cloud for Customer, or third-party innovation management systems
  • Enables coordination among the entire network for product or new service launches, including large-scale activities requiring visibility into events, tasks, and deliverables

 

The SAP Jam Developer Program:
Extend Existing Investments and Drive New Revenue

 

Customize

  • Develop work patterns (custom processes)
  • Add pre-built third-party apps

Integrate

  • Bring SAP and third-party app data into SAP Jam with OData
  • Collaborate with documents from content management systems
  • Embed SAP Jam in your business apps

Extend

  • Build collaborative customer apps on SAP HANA Cloud Platform
  • Add capabilities with OpenSocial
  • Incorporate third-party capabilities (gamification, for example)

SAP Jam helps align companies with their partner networks to drive efficiencies that save time and money based on the volume and scalability of their network, boosting return on investment (ROI). To use auto manufacturing as an example, each dealer has the opportunity to access SAP Jam to engage with its local sales and service staff for receiving training, learning best practices, finding experts, keeping up with regulations, managing rollout of sales and marketing plans, and sharing feedback from customers.

 

“As a partner, the SAP Jam developer program presents market-first options for solving complex business problems such as enabling more successful automotive product launches,” says Richard Blumberg, President and CEO of WSS. “We can now create new work patterns or bring business data directly into SAP Jam from our customers’ existing SAP or third-party systems to support customer-specific processes. This has helped us position unique social collaboration services to our customers with a strong ROI.”

 

T-Systems Multimedia Solutions: Transforming Sales at Itaricon Management

Sometimes being a leader in technology means you spend a lot of time educating others. That’s what Ulf-Jost Kossol, Head of Social Business Technology at T-Systems Multimedia Solutions, has been doing in evangelizing how social collaboration can transform business. One of his customers, Martin Wanitschke, Head of Sales at Itaricon Management, shares the same passion and immediately embraced how social collaboration and work patterns from SAP Jam could help him quickly ramp up a new sales organization.

 

Wanitschke was interested in speeding up sales team assembly, driving faster decision making and turnaround on sales proposals, and improving visibility and access to the latest updates across the team. While Wanitschke was well acquainted with SAP applications and the SAP Jam work patterns for sales that integrate with SAP CRM and SAP Cloud for Customer out of the box, his company uses SugarCRM. Was it possible to take advantage of the existing sales work patterns with SugarCRM to address the goals for a more modern sales organization’s working experience?

 

SAP Jam is designed to integrate with any SAP or third-party business application using open standards such as OData. Kossol and Wanitschke were able to quickly implement the sales work patterns, bringing SugarCRM data directly into SAP Jam in real time (see Figure 2). Because SAP Jam knows the context of the business data, it can recommend work patterns to the sales executive based on where he or she is in the sales process.

figure_2.png

“The SAP Jam developer program brings together all of the necessary elements to ensure that T-Systems Multimedia Solutions can transform any process across extremely diverse technology landscapes,” says Kossol.

 

Additionally, Wanitschke wanted sales users to be able to collaborate directly in SugarCRM so they could initiate deal rooms — functionality that allows salespeople to collaborate with external and internal participants — when entering a new opportunity. With SAP Jam widgets directly embedded into SugarCRM, his sales executives could collaborate whenever and wherever needed (see Figure 3). Lastly, Wanitschke’s team took advantage of the business object browser in SAP Jam to explore account, opportunity, or service ticket data for problem solving or updates.

figure_3.png

EnterpriseJungle: Transforming Knowledge Sourcing and Team Building

Today an employee’s information resides in many places inside and outside of the organization, making it difficult to find the right people and expertise needed for project engagement, mentoring, informal learning, problem solving, or decision making.

 

EnterpriseJungle, an SAP partner and fast-growing startup focused on helping companies drive employee engagement to improve retention and business performance, believes that bringing social collaboration together with data and applications is necessary for driving the right kind of engagement that produces results.

 

The company’s debut extension, EnterpriseJungle for SuccessFactors solutions on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, works with the SuccessFactors solutions with integrations into other internal and external data sets. This team saw a great opportunity with the SAP Jam developer program to incorporate social and collaborative capabilities into extension applications to enable social discovery and knowledge extension. EnterpriseJungle developed its profiling and recommendation extension application to:

 

  • Allow users to push proactive content recommendations from across the enterprise with a way to act on them via the SuccessFactors homepage (see Figure 4)
  • Bring together data from LinkedIn, the SuccessFactors profile, SAP Jam, and other internal and external data sources into SAP HANA Cloud Platform
  • Include the “Who Can Help Me?” intelligent search option, allowing users to find in-house experts or potential project team collaborators within SuccessFactors solutions via SAP HANA Cloud Platform (see Figure 5)
  • Expand upon social profiles and improve communication in SAP Jam directly from the application with the data from SAP HANA Cloud Platform

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EnterpriseJungle’s application uses SAP Jam feeds and groups as the communications backbone, allowing users to take advantage of exclusive next-generation search and discovery functionality across their workforce and for information to find them intelligently. Additionally, the introduction and connection actions that users can start within the SuccessFactors extension take advantage of the new SAP Jam work patterns by triggering the workflows in SAP Jam to fulfill. It transforms the latent power of any organization’s key assets — its people — into the equivalent of a supercharged, effortlessly connected, expertise-based peer-to-peer network.

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“The SAP Jam developer program, combined with the power of SAP HANA Cloud Platform, enables partners to rapidly develop social extension applications that can transform any business process,” says James Sinclair, Principal at EnterpriseJungle. “The program heralds the arrival of dynamic future power for the social business with accelerated collaboration at its core. Its simplicity and ease of use makes collaboration implicit and easy, rather than challenging.”

 

Learn More

To learn more about the SAP Jam developer program, please visit http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-55050 or http://help.sap.com/download/documentation/sapjam/developer/index.html#intguide/concepts/intro.html.

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

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

 

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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).

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Register and download the IDC report now:

Understanding the Business Value of Social Solutions in Sales

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Work Patterns Across the Business

 

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

 

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

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

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Repeatable Does Not Equal Rigid

 

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

 

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

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Achieve Sustained Success

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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The Reality for End Users

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Essential Components to Accelerate Performance

 

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

 

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

 

work_patterns.png

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sameer Patel: The work patterns.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Dream it. Say it. Do it.

 

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

 

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

 

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

MR-Social-Styles.png

Merrill-Reid Social Styles

 

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

 

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

Network-Positioning.png

Social Network Positioning Aligned with Social Style

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

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