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SAP Apollo Group

Jeff Nolan pointed out that he setup a new blog behind SAP’s firewall – it means it can be reached by only inside SAP. He said the reason being that he has stuff he can’t distribute externally, or just confidentially. If you are an SAP employee you can try to look at Jeff Nolan’s (internal) Blog. I am wondering that all SAP employees have an internal blog!

He is also mentioning SAP Apollo Blogs, and even we can see a test site that is available to the public. I liked the design of this blog! But what are SAP Apollo Blogs? We know SAP SDN Blogs, but they are public. We just know that Jeff Nolan is Director of the Apollo Group. Tom Foremski says about him:

Mr Nolan has an interesting job. He runs the Apollo Group, it is a strategy and communications organization within SAP, that is sometimes referred to as the “Attack Oracle” group–because Oracle is SAP’s largest competitor in enterprise applications.

Mr Nolan’s goal is to make sure that SAP develops a strategy that enables it to compete against Oracle, whether it is through acquisitions, investments or just pure communications of SAP’s message–the goal is to rise above any noise that Oracle produces.

So what is SAP Apollo Group?

Ross Mayfield took some notes from Jeff Nolan’s speech at Enterprise Software Summit.

Got interested in blogs three years ago.  Now working on new methods for competition, distruptive non-linear strategy.  Initial challenges are “How do I use social media to expeand and improve SAP’s reach, both internally and externally.”
Social meadia enables content, choice and conversations.  No way I will ever get through all my email, stuff gets forgotten and SAP is still an email culture.

Biggest challenge internally is changing culture, not the infrastructure.  Now we have Apollo Blogs, set up in a couple weeks. Finding people who have voice, willing to communicate, is the challenge. People have to be conversational, not formal.  If you write like a press release people will think it is a press release.  One of the reasons I havbe been able to susstain 3 years of blogging is that I write like I speak.  I don’t have a lot of time in my day.  If I treated it formally it would take two weeks to get a post out.  Boundryless information — there is far too much information that is labeled as confidential, isn’t.  We start with the assumption that nothing is confidential until after a review process.

We published our product roadmap.  I packaged it up and sent it to the VP of Engineering at Oracle and said this is what SAP is going to do, we are still going to beat you and out execute you.

We use Socialtext in a bunch of business units.  Ross may have coined the term SAPedia.  An SAP Encyclopedia on products, people, technologies.  My team is using them for extended project management. Shows his Apollo Wiki.    Shows his project page with all the things his team is working on.  Shows how to email to a wiki to create or update a page.  Lets me take constantly streaming information and share it with a group.  Uses Categories (tags) effectively.  Socialtext lets you blog your wikis as an output — which allows people in my chain of command and the rest of the company see what we are working on.  Eliminates the need for status reporting, reduces his need for useless paperwork, self service resource.

Social media strategy is embodying blogs, wikis and search.  How do you deal with bloggers?  You can’t manage them.  People blog for personal and social reasons.

You can find Zoli Erdos’s notes about this event.

One member of SAP Apollo Group who Mark Crafton pointed out The SAP Apollo Wiki on his blog.

My understanding is SAP Apollo Group is a group which is under charge of Jeff Nolan. I don’t know there is any other objective but I think its first goal is to compete with oracle by using social web tools. What are social web tools? Of course firstly blogs, wikis, RSS, etc… How they do that? What kind of projects they have? What is their strategy and approach for competing to Oracle?

I think beside competition to Oracle, this group has another objective: Searching possibilities of using social web tools, Web 2.0 tools in the Enterprise Software of SAP. SAP certainly should think about using social web tools in its products. As you know that SAP projects –implementation, upgrade,etc.- are very complex projects and lots of people involve in those projects. It is not easy to manage an SAP project. As you know that mostly timeline and documentation are big problems. There are different implementation methodologies like ASAP. But how they enough? For example using a wiki tool inside an SAP project makes a great contribution to Project. Phone, consultant cell phones even when driving and e-mailing are major tools for communication in a project. It is clear that project managers and all project folks need a different approach to communication.

I maybe need to look some news about SAP and SocialText.

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