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SAP Social Software

68 Posts authored by: Mika Sissonen

Editor's note: In this interview, Jeannine Ryan, Global Vice President of Sales for Enterprise Social Software at SAP, talks about how sales people need to adapt as organizations continue to transition to the cloud.

 

How is the transition to the cloud affecting sales people and their jobs?

 

jeannine_ryan.pngIf you’re a sales person, the transition to the cloud is fantastic because it empowers you. It gives you access to real-time updates, trends, and information – in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

 

For instance, many of the executives that you’re selling to may now have blogs, websites, YouTube channels, and Twitter accounts, so you can get a sense of what their passions are and what they’re involved in. That helps you have a much more informed and value-added conversation. It requires more research, but there’s no excuse not to prepare. For sales people early in their career, it’s especially important, because even if you haven’t spent years in an industry, you can still have a well-informed point of view and ask insightful questions.

 

The cloud makes it a lot easier to figure out who else is doing business with your prospects and customers

It’s also easier to get networked into a new account by using connections that you already have with their existing employees – or by making new connections with other sales professionals or vendors in the prospect’s ecosystem. The cloud makes it a lot easier to figure out who else is doing business with your prospects and customers.

 

Because they give you access to cloud technology, tablets and smartphones help you give much more tailored presentations. Customers don’t want collateral or brochures – they expect you to be able to sit side by side with them and go through a presentation on your iPad that’s customized for them.

 

From the standpoint of motivation and incentive, the cloud gives you much faster access to your sales scorecard. In the past, to see how you were doing compared to your target or your teammates, you had to wait for a monthly update in an email or wait for it to be posted on the office white board. Now, both you and everyone else can see what you’ve accomplished every day, so you’re more accountable. If you’re someone that likes keeping your goals constantly in front of you, that can be hugely motivating.

 

As a sales person, what do you need to do to educate yourself on the cloud?

 

One approach to educate yourself on the cloud is to figure out how it’s going to give you an advantage. If your customer is moving to the cloud, start by asking yourself how it will influence the dialogue you have with them.

 

What impact will it have on their IT department? Does it mean they can take on more projects? Will they have to redeploy resources? Will they need to reskill their employees or look for different talent?

 

Start by asking yourself how it will influence the dialogue you have with customers

Does the cloud give you the potential to get in and scale? Are they starting with a pilot project instead of a big once-and-done initiative? Will you have the opportunity to develop your relationship with the customer over time?

 

How does it affect their strategic initiatives? If their focus is on innovation or growing revenues, the cloud can help them get ideas into the hands of people who can act on them faster.

 

Are they using cloud technology to decrease their time to market for new products? Will it reduce timeframes of months or years down to days or weeks? If it’s making their cycle times shorter, that’s a good thing for you to know, because it’s going to drive how responsive they expect you to be – and maybe even the size of your deal. If it drives more revenue for them, they can spend more money with you.

 

How does the cloud change what customers expect of you?

 

From a customer’s perspective, expectations have shifted because of the cloud. They expect their vendors and partners to be better informed and more prepared – and to work together.

 

If they’re an existing customer, they assume you know what’s going on with their account across all of your departments and divisions. If they have a question about an existing invoice or if they’re dissatisfied with the progress on an implementation, they expect you to know that. If they’re waiting for a delivery that’s been held up, they want you to be able to tell them why. For example, was it because of a weather issue on the other side of the world?

 

Customers expect their vendors and partners to be better informed and more prepared

The cloud changes how customers expect to interact with you – for instance, to check the status of their order or status of resolution for a customer service issue. They also expect a user interface that’s as easy as the ones they use as consumers: very intuitive, point and click. They might even expect you to give them an app to download.

 

Customers expect you to be accessible whenever they need to reach you. Sometimes, that will create challenges for your work-life balance, but because of access to cloud technology, they’ll expect you to provide status updates in real time and be available to answer questions and join calls when it’s important to them, not when it’s convenient for you.

 

If they’re a new customer and you’re selling cloud technology, they may also expect a lower barrier to entry. The ease and speed of implementing something in the cloud means they’re more inclined to try something new – they no longer have to first provision server space in their data center and be responsible for backups and a stable supply of power.

 

In addition, because of the access to data that cloud technology gives you, they also expect you to provide deeper insights into your relationship with them. If you sell consumer products – office supplies, let’s say – your customers might want you to tell them that they order more supplies at the end of the month than at the beginning, and that if they order earlier in the month, you can provide a discount.

 

How does understanding social collaboration help you stay relevant?

 

As a sales person, you’re only relevant as long as you continue to add value. To move a sales conversation forward, you need to customize your message to your customer and provide insights or thought leadership that’s relevant to their business. Social technology allows you to interact with people inside your organization and do your homework – so that you can either create a new relationship with a prospect or learn more about a customer – and then share key insights or information that adds value and sets you apart from your competition.

 

As a sales person, you’re only relevant as long as you continue to add value

Social technology also helps you stay relevant by keeping your internal stakeholders informed more easily. Instead of waiting for you to fill out sales reports, they can monitor a feed to see how a deal is progressing.

 

If you work for a global organization, social technology allows you to work on your customer’s behalf seven days a week, 24 hours a day. If you’re trying to resolve a customer service issue quickly, it means teams around the world can basically follow the sun.

 

The sheer fact that cloud and collaboration technology makes you more productive is huge. Even if you’re in an airport or in your car – or walking between meetings – it’s easy to get on your smart phone to get the latest updates at the last second, just before you walk into a meeting with your customer. In the past, you had to VPN in, log onto your email and search for an email that might have an update. Now, you’ve got a system that pushes that information to you – and that’s awesome.

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

 


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Editor's note: In this interview, Sameer Patel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Social Collaborative Software at SAP, talks about how you should always think about the strategic importance of your existing knowledge as it relates to end users and business processes, regardless of what technology you’re talking about.

 

sameer_patel.pngHow is SAP’s transition to the cloud changing the jobs that exist within SAP?

 

Instead of focusing on particular jobs, I think it’s more important to consider what employees need to do to stay strategic. The cloud changes the way you need to think about technology, and that’s because it has two primary characteristics.

 

First, the cloud is about velocity. The cloud is the vehicle that allows you to respond to the velocity at which your business is evolving, your customers are changing, and your customers’ expectations of business are changing. The cloud gives you the ability to access people, data, and processes in a way that lets you outsmart your competitors faster than ever before.

 

Second, the cloud is about knowledge. To adapt fast and to adapt well, you need to understand who’s doing what and how people are reacting – so you can then make changes to respond to the trends you’re seeing.

 

In the old way of doing things, where customers installed software on-site, it was difficult to understand – at scale – what changes were happening in your market across different applications.

 

Now, if your customers are consuming your applications in the cloud – let’s say, for customer relationship management or sales force automation – you can look across hundreds of thousands or even millions of end users to see what the trends are. You can see how they’re using the applications, engaging with their own customers, and supporting those customers.

 

"Move beyond just thinking about the transactions that technology facilitates"

With talent management applications in the cloud, you can understand how people spend their time learning, how to train them and retrain them, and how performance is being measured in a certain industry or across the 50 largest organizations.

 

That’s the kind of insight and analytics you can get with the cloud – helping you understand and react to trends – that you can’t get when you break data up across multiple data centers.

 

So as an employee working for a company that’s moving to the cloud, you need to move beyond just thinking about the transactions that technology facilitates. You need to think about getting insight across a much larger user set and then setting benchmarks against that larger pool of data.

 

As an employee, that’s how you’ll stay strategic. As a company, that’s how you’ll ultimately bring value to your end customers.

 

What are the top industries or lines of business being impacted by cloud computing?

 

Historically, customer relationship management and human capital management are the lines of business that have had the most cloud noise around them. And in terms of industries, certainly high-tech has been embracing cloud all along. But I think that’s a bit misleading, because the cloud has just as much of an impact in the most regulated industries that you can imagine.

 

To understand why, it’s best to step back and look at things from the point of view of the end user.

 

In healthcare, the end user is the patient. In manufacturing, it might be the factory worker – the person actually on the field using your product. Those are the people whose lives you’re trying to impact with your product or service, and they don’t sit inside your organization. These end users are remote, and you need to serve them on their terms and using the right technology – whether on premise or in the cloud – to reach them and to connect them to each other.

 

"You can’t hide behind your distributors and retailers any more"

Sometimes, you might still need to store sensitive data on premise, if your industry requires that. But it’s not a binary choice – cloud or no cloud. Rather, think about breaking up certain parts of a process – some of those parts will be very ripe for the cloud and can be executed more effectively by cloud technology.

 

In almost all industries, the lines are flattening between the B2B and B2C worlds. Traditional B2B organizations are starting to realize that they have to behave like a B2B2C organization – one that understands what their end consumers are thinking about so that they can influence how they think about their products and services.

 

And guess what? Those end consumers are in the public cloud. That means if you’re a traditional B2B organization, you can’t hide behind your distributors and retailers any more. You need to have access to real-time data on the sentiments and preferences of your customers, wherever they might be.

 

Where do you see new job opportunities being created or older jobs falling away?

 

I’d rather look at it a little differently. When we’re talking about the cloud, we sometimes forget about the wealth of knowledge that employees have if they’ve been working in an industry for a long time. They might have 10, 15, or 20 years of deep, deep experience in their domain – and to discount that would be short-sighted.

 

"We sometimes forget about the wealth of knowledge that employees have if they’ve been working in an industry for a long time"

I believe there’s a huge opportunity for folks like that to leverage their experience if they believe that the cloud is the future. They already have invaluable insights on how their industry works, how customers buy, and how customers actually want to consume their products. So in a very important sense, those employees are standing at the forefront of the transformation that will occur when their industry moves to the cloud.

 

The most effective cloud companies today don’t just offer vanilla software as a service. They allow customers to drive competitive advantage by customizing and extending cloud solutions to fit an industry need. Employees who have a deep understanding of their industry domain will also have a wealth of insight on how to optimize cloud-based applications to serve their customers.

 

As an employee, what do you need to do to educate yourself on the cloud?

 

My advice is to first understand the specific industry that you serve before you can understand how the cloud will impact it. That will allow you to have a frank, objective discussion on whether a hybrid model is appropriate – where the cloud works best, and whether certain core applications and processes are better served on-premise.

 

What you can then start to do is build a strong point of view on how the cloud can help transform your organization and what processes are ripe for cloud innovation. You can be the one to drive the story if you understand the nuances of where the cloud can actually make a difference and transform your business.

 

How does understanding social collaboration help you stay relevant?

 

That’s a great question, but where I would start is actually not with social collaboration. I would start by asking what the white spaces are in terms of how people work today. When you think about typical transactional systems of record, what are the white spaces that they’ve never catered to?

 

"The lines between transactions and collaboration have been flattened forever"

What are the gaps left behind by those systems – in terms of how people sell, how people provide service, and how people build products? How can a network of experts wrap around these problems and opportunities?

 

If you can answer that, you’ll be able to tell your organization how social collaboration can bring better insights, faster turnarounds, and better service for your end customer. The lines between transactions and collaboration have been flattened forever.

 

Follow SAP Social Software on Twitter: @SAPSocial

 


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Collaboration, by definition, is a group of people working together to get something done. When you’re using SAP Jam to collaborate within your business processes, we want to make sure that it’s not only easy to get work done, but also easy to manage who you work with.

 

To help you do that, in the latest release of SAP Jam, we’ve made it possible to:

 

  • Invite people to sub-groups within larger groups
  • Create lists of members so you can invite them all at once to a group
  • Customize terms of use for groups

 

Sub-groups

 

Subgroup1, Overview with sub group menu open.png

 

If you often work with the same people, you’ve probably created SAP Jam groups that have grown quite large as more and more members have been invited. It’s useful to have everyone involved so they stay up to date, but sometimes it makes sense to pull aside a smaller group of people to work together when not everyone needs to be involved.

 

With sub-groups, you’ll be able to invite a subset of members from a larger group to a sub-group. A sub-group works just like a regular group and includes the same collaborative tools – like wikis, blogs, folders, and events – that the parent group includes. When there’s activity within a sub-group, notifications will be posted within the parent group’s feed – but they’ll be visible only to members of the sub-group.

 

For instance, the sales team in your company may have 1,000 employees that are part of a large group. However, if your sales team is also broken down by region – let’s say East, West, and Central – it may be useful to create three sub-groups within the larger group.

 

If you’re a member of the East region, you’ll see updates in your feed from both the larger group and the East group. However, your colleague in the West group will not see updates to the East group, and will only see updates to the West group and the larger group.

 

Likewise, if you’re in HR and are in charge of communicating benefits information to your organization, you may want to create a group that includes everyone in the company. But within that group, you may want to create one sub-group for new hires and perhaps another for managers – so that you can communicate information customized to their needs while also making it easy for them to see updates to the larger group.

 

Member lists

 

DL02, carla autocomplete.png

 

If you’re a company administrator for SAP Jam, you may sometimes have to invite large numbers of people to groups. Often, many of those people will be the same across a number of groups. To make it easier to invite the same people to many different groups, we’ve created member lists.

 

A member list is a group of people that is assigned a name – for instance, ACE HR. After it’s been created, a company administrator can invite all the people within that member list to a new group simply by typing ACE HR into the invitation list.

 

DL04, Using member list to invite.png

 

Terms of use

 

In large organizations, the legal or HR department may require that people agree to certain terms of use before joining a particular group. In the latest release of SAP Jam, we’ve made it easy to automate that process for individual groups.

 

If you’re a group administrator, you can now add terms of use specific to your group. Before members can see the group and its content, they will be prompted to accept the terms. And if you update the terms, all members will again be prompted to accept them. As the administrator, you’ll then be able to run a report to see which members have accepted the latest terms.

 

TOU01, Edit group.PNG

If you’re collaborating on date-driven work with a group of people, it’s imperative to assign dates and times for key activities and milestones to ensure your work gets done.

 

Without a deadline, people may assume a task can be done whenever it’s convenient. And without time set aside for an important activity – say, strategic brainstorming – people often prioritize other activities already in their schedule ahead of it.

 

If you and your team have a clear objective in mind, setting an equally clear timeline for what you need to achieve is paramount. That’s why in the latest release of SAP Jam, we’ve created a new Events interface that lets you schedule times for important things like:

 

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Conferences
  • Meetings
  • Milestones
  • Training sessions
  • Webinars

 

Once an event has been scheduled, it will appear in a calendar that you can view as a list – or by month, week, or day. And so that you can see and work on all date-driven items in one place, we’ve also made Poll deadlines, Timelines, and Tasks visible in the calendar.

 

Events are designed to be easy to use and help you connect even better with the people you work with. With the new functionality, you can:

 

  • Add events to a group calendar
  • Promote events via a group’s feed
  • Invite people to your event
  • Track who’s attending
  • Add an agenda to an event
  • See all the events you’re interested in quickly
  • Expose events on your overview and wiki pages via a new events widget

 

There are three ways you can use Events.

 

  1. In an existing group. If you’re already in a group, click Events in the left menu of the group’s overview page. If you’re a group admin, you can add the new Event widget to your existing overview and wiki pages
  2. In the Planning and Implementation work pattern. When you use this work pattern – specifically designed for groups working on programs with date-driven deliverables – you’ll be able to take advantage of Events widgets that we’ve already embedded within it.
  3. From the top menu. To see all the events you’re interested in, click Events in the top menu of SAP Jam. You’ll see all the events you’ve registered for across all the SAP Jam groups you’re part of.

 

Here’s a scenario that shows how you might use Events if you’re on a human resources team.

 

Your company’s benefits open enrollment period is coming up soon and you want to train your employees on how to choose the most appropriate benefits. To do that, you’ve invited all employees to a webinar, which they’ll see both in their group feed as well as in their calendars.

 

Events02, Calendar month view with hover card.png

 

When employees view the event, they’ll see more details and also be able to choose whether or not to join it.

 

Events13, Detail of event.png

 

If employees want to save a reminder for the event to their desktop, they can download its .ics file to their desktop and open it with a supported application such as Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar.

 

Events19, download ics file.png

 

To help people search for specific types of events they’re interested in, you can add appropriate categories and tags to them.

 

Events03, Calendar month view with filtering pane open.png

 

Adding tags and categories also lets you use the new event widget to decide which ones to expose on group overview or wiki pages.

 

Events10, Widget variation 2 with an event showing details.png

If you interact with customers in your role, you know how important it is to resolve customer issues as effectively and quickly as possible.

 

Happy customers lead to repeat business and higher order values. Unhappy customers lead to not only fewer sales but also – in worst case scenarios – angry reactions on social channels that poison your relationship with further customers and prospects.

 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sales person or a customer service rep – for anyone in a customer-facing role, getting clients from unhappy to happy quickly is imperative. What's clear is that resolving customer issues faster kicks off a chain reaction of positive effects.

 

If you:

 

1. Reduce time to resolution (for your service requests)

 

...you'll:

 

2. Increase customer satisfaction

 

...which means you'll ultimately:

 

3. Shorten sales cycles (for additional sales to those customers)

 

In other words, if you’re a sales rep who’s trying to close additional business with a customer, getting satisfactory closure on an outstanding issue may be even more urgent for you than for your colleagues in customer service. If you haven’t resolved their existing problems, will your customer trust you enough to do more business with you?

 

But if a customer issue is stalling your deal, how do you quickly marshal experts from across your organization – whether from customer service, engineering, or another department – to work together to fix the issue?

 

Sales people that use a CRM often have access – at least theoretically – to the same system that customer service reps use. That’s why it’s called customer relationship management, after all. But in practice, how easy is it for both sales reps and service reps to see the same detail about a customer issue and communicate within the context of that system without resorting to inefficient workarounds?

 

The latest release of SAP Jam, through its native integration with SAP CRM, addresses this problem head on. With its new Service Request Resolution work pattern, you’ll be able to bring together a strike team of experts from a wide variety of teams – not just from sales or customer service – to resolve the customer’s pressing problem.

 

Even if those experts from outside customer service and sales don’t have access to your CRM system, they’ll still be able to see – within the SAP Jam group – key customer data that’s being pulled live from the CRM to keep everyone on the same page.

 

Here’s a brief example of how it might work.

 

Perry is a sales rep who’s beginning to work on a new deal with one of his key accounts, National Rivera. To get an overview of the account before proceeding, he goes into his Account Management group in SAP Jam. In the service requests section, he sees several outstanding issues – one of which, worryingly, is marked as critical.

 

national rivera account group, service requests tab.png

 

He’s immediately concerned that it could affect his ability to proceed with his new deal. To see more details about the issue, he hovers his mouse over the request. In the description that pops up, he sees that the issue is currently being worked on but is marked as having a high impact. He decides to take initiative and create a strike team devoted to closing the critical issue before he continues with his new sales opportunity.

 

national rivera account group, service requests tab -detail bubble-v2.png

 

He clicks Create Group to initiate a new SAP Jam group devoted specifically to resolving that critical customer service ticket. The group automatically includes details pulled live from SAP CRM about the issue, and Perry is able to invite anyone from inside his organization to help drive to resolution, whether or not they otherwise have access to SAP CRM. And because the implementation in question also involves a regional partner, Perry is able to make the group available externally and invite a consultant from the implementation company.

 

Service Request03, completed template.png

 

In the group, the team can now discuss a strategy for coming to a resolution. Perry is able to keep track of the details, which of course, he’s keen on knowing about as soon as possible. As the customer service team updates the status of the issue in SAP CRM, everyone in the group is notified of those changes in their event feed. Once the issue is resolved, Perry is notified immediately, and he can go back to what he needs to focus on – his next deal with the customer.

We want SAP Jam to help you get your work done faster and more effectively – by giving you the full picture, a repeatable approach that saves you time, and the flexibility to adapt to your needs.

 

To do that, you need a way to collaborate within the business processes and applications you already use – rather than in separate, disconnected silos of collaboration that make information hard to share.

 

In the November 2013 release of SAP Jam, we announced a concept called work patterns that delivers on that objective. A work pattern is a pre-built collaborative process that combines expertise, content, and best practices with real-time business data and applications. It lets you connect the dots so that everyone can stay on the same page, make rapid, informed decisions, and act on them to deliver results.

 

Now, in the February 2014 release of SAP Jam, we’re continuing to build on that objective. We’ve introduced:

 

  • New work patterns that help even more teams get work done
  • Faster ways to find the experts you need to connect with
  • Better ways to work together using events and subgroups

 

New work patterns

service_request_resolution.png

Service Request Resolution: If you’re a customer service professional – or anyone that works with one – you’ll know how important it is to resolve customer issues as fast as possible. Often the best way to do that is to include people from a wide variety of teams – not just customer service – that have the expertise to answer tough questions. With the Service Request Resolution work pattern, you’ll be able to create a strike team within SAP Jam to do exactly that. Even if those experts from outside customer service don’t have access to your CRM system, they’ll still be able to see – within the SAP Jam group – key customer data that’s being pulled live from the CRM to keep everyone on the same page.

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Planning and Implementation: Have you ever had to plan an event or implement a program with key deliverables on certain dates? The Planning and Implementation work pattern takes advantage of SAP Jam’s new events and calendars functionality so that you can bring together a team to organize date-driven activities. It’s great for planning customer projects if you’re in professional services; training and company events if you’re in HR; tradeshows and conferences if you’re in marketing; or even sales training if you’re on the sales team.

 

Expert finding and endorsement

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Experts are the lifeblood of any organization – and connecting with the right ones is key to getting the right information so you can get your job done. To help you find the right people to help you, we’ve added the following to SAP Jam.

 

  • Self-identification of expertise. In SAP Jam, you can now identify yourself as an expert on a topic by adding an expertise tag to your profile.
  • Peer endorsement. Once you’ve added an expertise tag to your profile, others can then visit your profile to endorse you on that expertise.
  • Social expertise endorsement. If you answer a question within a forum and someone else marks your answer as the best answer, the tags on the question are automatically added to your expertise – and you can choose whether or not to make them visible to others.

 

To find an expert, use the search feature in SAP Jam to search for the topic you’re looking for. The search results will uncover experts related to that topic – in addition to any relevant groups or content.

 

On top of that, SAP Jam will now also recommend relevant experts to follow on your home page feed and within the new-user onboarding wizard.

 

Events and calendars

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We’re very happy to deliver on a popular customer request that goes hand-in-hand with the new Planning and Implementation work pattern – a way to work with events and calendars. All groups will include a new Events menu item, and groups created using the Planning and Implementation work pattern will feature a widget that shows a list of events.

 

In the Events view, you’ll be able to invite and track attendees, view the calendar in month, week, or day format, and even filter the kinds of events by category. To save an event to your desktop calendar, download its .ics file and open it with a supported application such as Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar.

 

To streamline your experience with events and calendars, we’ve updated the functionality of Agendas, Polls, Timelines, and Tasks. Agendas have been absorbed into the new Events feature, and Poll deadlines, Timelines, and Tasks now appear in the group calendar.

 

Sub-groups

subgroups.png

If you often work with the same people, you’ve probably created SAP Jam groups that have grown quite large as more and more members have been invited. It’s useful to have everyone involved so they stay up to date, but sometimes you need to pull aside a smaller group of people to work on projects when you aren’t quite ready to involve everyone.

 

With this new functionality, you’ll be able to invite a subset of members from a larger group to a sub-group. A sub-group works just like a regular group and includes the same collaborative tools – like wikis, blogs, folders, and events – that the parent group includes. When there’s activity within a sub-group, notifications will be posted within the parent group’s feed – but they’ll be visible only to members of the sub-group.

 

For even more details on what’s new, please refer to the SAP Jam What's New documentation for February 2014 available at http://help.sap.com/sapjam.

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In today’s demanding corporate environment, businesses are struggling to boost employee engagement. According to a recent report, only 13 percent of employees say they are engaged at work. Does that include your employees?

 

Collaboration, the act of working with other people to achieve a mutual benefit, is vital to employee engagement.

 

Now, HR departments can take advantage of solutions that bring productive, engaging social collaboration to the enterprise.

 

Download the “6 Ways Social Collaboration Can Boost Employee Engagement” paper now to learn how social collaboration can help HR departments answer the following questions:

 

  • How can we engage new hires and make them productive more quickly?
  • How can we reduce the cost of training, while simultaneously providing more and better training?
  • What can we do to improve our performance management?
  • How can we get more employees to collaborate and contribute?

 

To read the white paper, register here.

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Listen now:

The Rise of the Social Enterprise: What’s Up?

 

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[Above, L to R]: Michael Miscisin, Alan Lepofsky, Anthony Leaper

 

Today’s buzz: Getting social. Tell the truth. When it comes to “social status”, is your company a hider or a seeker? The experts speak.

 

Michael Miscisin, Ernst & Young: “Social media can no longer be the purview of the summer intern, a small group in marketing, or outsourced to a PR agency. The ‘Social Enterprise’ is a concept that leverages the full scale of any company, to build trusted relationships that benefit each function, division, business unit, and geography.”

 

Alan Lepofsky, Constellation Research: “Changing to ‘social’, just for the sake of it, is a losing strategy. You need to have a plan that maps the right tools as solutions to specific problems. No one tool is going to solve everything.”

 

Anthony Leaper, SAP: “By using the label ‘social enterprise’, are we in danger of focusing on it in isolation of the bigger picture, thus potentially diminishing its value? After all, social + nothing = 0. We can all be ‘Social’!”

 

Listen to the replay now

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Editor's note: This article by Anthony Leaper is reproduced from the Jan-Feb-Mar 2014 issue of SAPinsider (SAPinsiderOnline.com) with permission from its publisher, WIS Publishing. Read the article at SAPinsiderOnline.com.

SAP Jam delivers a fast, repeatable, flexible approach to driving business outcomes

anthony_leaper.pngOrganizations are always seeking more effective ways of doing business, particularly around communication, problem solving, and decision making — areas in which inefficiencies often abound and the abilities of social collaboration excel. With the tantalizing promise of revolutionizing the way people work, many solutions have tried to harness the strengths of collaboration for business use.

 

Early enterprise social software solutions fell short, however, because they focused on being simple communication platforms rather than enabling purpose-built collaborative processes. SAP has worked closely with customers to understand where people work on a daily basis, and how to use social technologies in a way that focuses on process and business outcome. The result — SAP Jam — leverages years of expertise from SuccessFactors and SAP to deliver a system that is rich in social functionality, including group discussions, feeds, and recommendations, and is infused with a real ability to connect people and integrate securely with business systems. For example, it can blend customer relationship management (CRM) data with social capabilities to support holistic customer account management or sales strategy development for opportunities.1

 

But organizations today need more than just social networking capabilities. They are looking for a way to connect the dots among data, content, processes, and people to, for example, uncover the sticking points that are stalling a deal or prioritize issues that are putting an account at risk. Connecting these dots is a challenge because it requires information and expertise that is scattered across various systems, organizational units, or locations. To meet this challenge, the latest release of SAP Jam introduces the concept of work patterns.

 

Taking SAP Jam to the next level with work patterns

 

Developed in close consultation with a 50-member customer advisory team, a work pattern is a prebuilt, customizable, contextual work space that brings together the real-time business data, applications, expertise, processes, and content that are typically used to achieve business outcomes, such as managing sales opportunities and onboarding new team members. Instead of trying to collaborate across silos, everything you need is available in one meaningful place, where you can put strategies into action in a manner that matches the way you want to work.

 

Work patterns enable you to take advantage of best practices, expert knowledge, and prior experience to create fast, repeatable, successful approaches for commonly required tasks that are as simple to use as document templates. Instead of starting from scratch each time, you can reuse your customized work pattern and simply adjust it to meet changing needs and priorities, saving time and optimizing the chance for success by using a proven approach.

In this initial release, SAP identified 13 work patterns that span key sales, service, and HR scenarios and use real-time data from SAP CRM. (SAP plans to expand this collection in future releases.) Existing SAP Jam customers with the enterprise edition can take advantage of several work patterns immediately, including those focused on learning or mentoring. For SAP CRM customers interested in sales and service scenarios such as account management, opportunity management, “deal rooms”, or service request management, SAP Jam is pre-integrated with SAP CRM and only simple configuration is required.

 

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Work patterns in action

 

Let’s look at how a work pattern helps support a collaborative process. To begin, a user simply selects a work pattern from a list in SAP Jam. The example in Figure 1 shows the deal room work pattern, which helps sales people manage the tasks, communications, and processes related to a particular sales opportunity.

 

Each work pattern contains placeholders for the elements that support the most common tasks associated with a particular use case. The deal room work pattern includes placeholders for elements such as:

 

  • Customer-related documents (such as spec sheets, proposals, videos, and presentation materials)
  • Customer contacts from SAP CRM
  • Details about the opportunity (such as dates, stages, and sales volumes) from SAP CRM
  • Team member profiles
  • Dynamic content that highlights all active participation in the group including new documents, newly assigned tasks, related information, and active discussions
  • Forums, idea boards, or question-and-answer sections for discussions related to the opportunity

 

The user customizes the pattern by simply filling in the placeholders — for example, by inviting people to collaborate and add content. The tight, secure integration with SAP CRM enables live data from the system, rather than copies of the data, to be used as content for the work pattern, ensuring that everyone on the team is strategizing and making decisions based on the same, up-to-date information. Content creators can also further customize the work pattern by simply editing it with the included WYSIWYG editor.

 

A better way to do more

 

With work patterns, SAP Jam helps people leverage the strengths of social technology to start connecting disparate dots into full pictures and resolve big challenges more efficiently, more thoroughly, and with more transparency. And by looking at how people actually work — within applications, using desktop content, and interacting with others — SAP Jam helps ensure that people will want to work this way going forward.

 

Learn more at sap.com/jam.

 

1. To learn more about SAP Jam features and functionality, see the Social Collaboration special report in the October-December 2013 issue of SAPinsider (www.SAPinsiderOnline.com).

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Tuesday at 9 a.m. Pacific Time / 12 Noon Eastern Time on The Business Channel

 

The Rise of the Social Enterprise: What’s Up?

LIVE: January 14, 2014

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[Above, L to R]: Michael Miscisin, Alan Lepofsky, Anthony Leaper

 

Today’s buzz: Getting social. Tell the truth. When it comes to “social status”, is your company a hider or a seeker? The experts speak.

 

Michael Miscisin, Ernst & Young: “Social media can no longer be the purview of the summer intern, a small group in marketing, or outsourced to a PR agency. The ‘Social Enterprise’ is a concept that leverages the full scale of any company, to build trusted relationships that benefit each function, division, business unit, and geography.”

 

Alan Lepofsky, Constellation Research: “Changing to ‘social’, just for the sake of it, is a losing strategy. You need to have a plan that maps the right tools as solutions to specific problems. No one tool is going to solve everything.”

 

Anthony Leaper, SAP: “By using the label ‘social enterprise’, are we in danger of focusing on it in isolation of the bigger picture, thus potentially diminishing its value? After all, social + nothing = 0. We can all be ‘Social’!”

 

Listen live on Jan. 14 and on-demand soon after the live show. Join the conversation on Twitter: #SAPRadio and @bizbreakradio.

As a large, global enterprise – with more than 65,000 employees and locations in more than 130 countries – SAP itself is a great testbed for its own solutions. Tools that facilitate mobile collaboration are especially vital, since teams are often split up across countries and time zones, and more staff rely on mobile access than ever.

 

SAP_re2.jpgTo show the continued evolution of collaboration at SAP, Mirko Friedrich and Oliver Pink presented at the World Class Mobile Collaboration 2013 conference earlier this month in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Oliver leads the mobile intranet topic at SAP and has a mandate of enabling internal platforms for mobile use. Mirko leads the enterprise collaboration team and guides the internal SAP Jam initiative. Together, that made Mirko and Oliver the ideal pair to present their session, “Successful Mobile Scenarios for Internal Collaboration.”

 

Successful collaboration isn’t just about technology, they explained. Although it’s imperative for companies to provide appropriate tools to their employees, creating a good user experience is also key. Solutions need to be easy and fun to use – and one way to do that is to learn from the simplicity of mobile apps, they said. Successful collaboration also requires integration: An ideal solution supports business processes by connecting platforms to places where people work instead of introducing additional tools.

 

In their presentation, Oliver and Mirko demonstrated how they were able to use SAP tools on mobile devices to collaborate while preparing for their workshop. First, Oliver showed how he could quickly scan the availability of his team in an iPhone team calendar app.

 

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Once he had a rough idea of their availability, he switched to his iPad, opened SAP Jam in its browser, and went to the mobile event group that he’d already created.

 

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Next, he invited people to the group to help prepare for the workshop.

 

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To confirm participation, he asked the group to check their availability in December.

 

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He planned to host a group dinner after the workshop, so he invited the team.

 

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For those who prefer a native application over a browser, Oliver showed how he could also use the SuccessFactors iPad app to access SAP Jam. First, he downloaded it from SAP’s internal app store.

 

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Once it was installed, he opened the SuccessFactors app.

 

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He found and opened the SAP Jam group dedicated to the mobile event.

 

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In the group, he saw that someone had asked for a hotel recommendation, so he suggested a hotel.

 

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Finally, Oliver showed how SAP Jam worked across business processes and applications like SAP Cloud for Customer – so that employees in teams like sales could benefit from a single collaborative foundation across the entire organization, rather than separate silos of collaboration for each tool.

 

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In this video, Ginger McCullough, Vice President of Change and Training at Brookshire Grocery Company, talks about how her organization is using SuccessFactors and SAP Jam. The transcript follows the video.

 

 

Ginger McCullough

Vice President of Change and Training

Brookshire Grocery Company

 

Background

 

Brookshire Grocery Company has been around for 85 years. We’re a family-owned company. We have 14,500 employees in 152 locations. My company’s mission is to provide a great shopping experience for our customers and to be a great place to work for our employees.

 

I focus on change and trying to transition where we are today to where we need to be tomorrow. The priority is to make sure we deliver knowledge, training, and information in a quick, efficient, and consistent manner. And that’s where SuccessFactors comes in.

 

SuccessFactors LMS and SAP Jam

 

SuccessFactors is a success story for our company. Currently, we’re using the learning management system (LMS) from SuccessFactors. Another solution we’re using is SAP Jam. We branded it BGC Connect. We love it.

 

We partnered with SuccessFactors because of the people and the end-user experience – very easy. And that’s what it’s about, your end user.

 

I think it’s important that people realize that the LMS is a tool. SuccessFactors is our vendor who we partnered with, but we’ve embraced it as our own. We branded it as “Learn” – a learning, empowerment, and resource network. It’s allowed us to store knowledge.

 

Sometimes people think an LMS is only for training – and it’s not. It’s for information and learning – and anything that you need to deliver to your organization that’s important to help them do their jobs better.

 

The future

 

When I think about the workforce of the future, I think about being able to deliver training in a different way, because today our attention span is not what it was yesterday. We have too much going on. So to deliver the message, it’s got to be quicker and more efficient – in a way that people learn today, which is mobile, on the computer, and visually.

 

If you think big picture – if you’re looking out five years ahead strategically for your company – then you’re already behind if you don’t have an LMS.

 

SuccessFactors is a great product. Being partnered with SAP makes them even a stronger company. They’ve got their cloud technology – they’re right where they need to be.

In this video, Marc Farrugia, Director of Human Resources at Sun Communities, tells the story of why Sun Communities chose SuccessFactors and SAP Jam. The transcript follows the video.

 

 

Marc Farrugia

Director, Human Resources

Sun Communities

 

Background

 

Sun Communities is a real estate investment trust. We are a national company with 185 locations in 25 states. We serve as a premier provider of manufactured housing communities and RV resorts.

 

One of the first things that I was focused on was taking our department from a very paper-based, manual-process-oriented department to something that was much more cutting edge.

 

Back as recent as two years ago, all of our new-hire onboarding was done via paper. There were probably five or six different systems that I can recall that we would manually enter folks into. Our time was spent doing administrative functions instead of really serving as HR professionals.

 

What I needed to do was really find a way – especially as our company was growing – to streamline processes, find a system that would be supportive of our needs, and be able to continue to grow with us.

 

SuccessFactors solutions

 

Our HR team is currently using the performance management tool, the succession planning tool, compensation, recruiting management, and Employee Central.

Employee Central has by far served as the most flexible tool that we have had in our HR department.

 

We have a team member who gets hired through recruiting that then flows into Employee Central as an active hire – and then is just automatically populated into our performance management tool. And that team member on their first day can access the learning management system – and can take training that they need to perform their job as soon as they start. And that’s awesome.

 

SAP Jam

 

Sun uses the mobile product with SuccessFactors - and we can even access our social collaboration tool, [SAP] Jam, to post comments to things and collaborate on different materials.

 

One of the things we started doing recently was taking on-the-job videos of team members performing certain functions on the job so that they can pull it up when they're out in a resident's home and figure out how to fix an air-conditioning unit or how to troubleshoot a plumbing issue. And that's all accessible from an iPad or an Android device through the SuccessFactors mobile app.

 

When you look at the type of backing and the resources that SuccessFactors and SAP puts behind the products that we're using, we know that every quarter, we can rely on another release with a number of different improvements across all of the different modules.

 

And that, to me, is invaluable.

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SAP's Mirko Friedrich and Oliver Pink are scheduled to present at the World Class Mobile Collaboration 2013 conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Their session, titled "Successful Mobile Scenarios for Internal Collaboration," starts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2013, and will cover:

 

  • SAP's mobile collaboration strategy
  • Mobile experience and integration scenarios: Best practices (demo)
  • Vision and next steps

 

For more details about the conference, including the full schedule, visit: http://www.wcmc2013.com

One of the principles that inspired us to create SAP Jam was the idea that you shouldn’t have to maintain a separate silo of collaboration for every business process and application you use. Instead, there should be a secure foundation for collaboration that runs across your entire organization – making it easier to see the full picture and include everyone that’s important to the conversation.

 

To that end, we’ve made it easier for organizations that have invested in Microsoft SharePoint to use SAP Jam as their collaborative foundation. With the new SAP Jam CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) integration for Microsoft SharePoint, when you’re in an SAP Jam group, you’ll be able to collaborate easily around documents stored in a SharePoint document repository.

 

The new CMIS integration gives you the best of both worlds – the ability to capitalize on the document management strengths of SharePoint and the enterprise-wide collaboration strengths of SAP Jam. Your discussions about documents in SharePoint won’t be limited to people who have access to SharePoint – instead, they can now include everyone that has access to SAP Jam. Conversely, when you use SAP Jam, you’ll be able to collaborate not only around documents in SharePoint, but also around other business processes and applications at your organization.

 

Setting it up

If you’re an SAP Jam company administrator, enabling the integration is as easy as choosing which repositories to make available the first time you connect SharePoint and SAP Jam. To select a repository, go to the company administrator configuration area and choose External Applications.

 

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Once the repository is connected, SAP Jam group administrators can select which folders within the repository to expose within a group. If you're a group administrator, to expose a folder, go to the group edit view in the Setup tab and click Add External Folder.

 

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Next, choose the repository and the folder you’d like to expose, and then click Add. To show everything in a repository, choose the top level. To limit what the group can access, choose a folder or subfolder within the repository.

 

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How to use it

If you’re a user in the SAP Jam group that the repository has been added to, you’ll see a new item with the name of the repository in the left menu. To see the folders in the repository, click the menu item.

 

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To see the files in a folder, click the folder.

 

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To preview a file, click its name.

 

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A document from SharePoint acts like other content with SAP Jam: You can see a preview of it, like it, comment on it, download it, feature it, or even copy it to the SAP Jam group. And if a new version of the document is uploaded to SharePoint, you’ll see the new version in SAP Jam immediately.

 

How it works

On the back end, what the new CMIS integration does is make it possible to use Microsoft SharePoint as a CMIS repository within SAP Jam. In other words, documents that are surfaced in SAP Jam continue to exist in Microsoft SharePoint, and SAP Jam acts as a conduit to SharePoint for users – without requiring them to connect to their company’s VPN.

 

The new CMIS integration does not replace but rather supplements the previously existing SAP Jam web part connector for Microsoft SharePoint. Whereas the web part connector allows an SAP Jam group feed to be visible within a SharePoint web part, the new CMIS integration allows SAP Jam users to access SharePoint content directly within SAP Jam.

 

The new CMIS integration supports Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and 2013. For more details, please refer to the SAP Jam What's New documentation for November 2013 available at http://help.sap.com/sapjam.

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