The ES Community was launched in April of 2006, and finished that year with just 6 groups completed. This was an impressive pilot for a program that was breaking new ground for SAP in terms of private, enterprise-level co-innovation, and our success that year helped to validate the potential of the overall program. Let’s just say we were pleased. But our success also set us up with several significant challenges for 2007: to scale the program to engage more companies, to strengthen the program to provide a more reliable connection to SAP product development, and to expand the program to include more flavors of co-innovation. With the help of our community, we were able to meet all three of these challenges … which has also set us up for a new set of challenges in 2008.
Here’s how I see the 2007 year-end report of the ES Community from the inside:
- We scaled our membership significantly in 2007, and will close out the year with more than 280 companies signed-up to our membership agreement. Of course, each of these companies has several (some times as many as 10) people actively involved in the work of creating specifications and white papers, so the total size of the ESC engagement has scaled quite well. (And I’m very proud that our membership is still half customers and half partners – a well balanced community.)
- We expanded the program to have two flavors of Definition Group – one for definng the service interfaces for SAP’s products (Product CDGs) and one for influencing the service interfaces of partner products (Outward CDGs). This was an important innovation to the program that enabled us to have even greater impact for our customers within the Banking Industry for example.
- We also drove a significant number of new groups through the process – collecting valuable use cases, defining key service interfaces, and then getting them implemented and published to the ES Workplace. We will close the year having completed 22 Product Community Definition Groups, and 12 Outward Community Definition Gorups – that’s alot of collaboratively created specs. For example, with Enahncement Pack 3 (which will be available soon), the ES Community was involved in more than half of the ES Bundles – an impressive investment for both SAP and our ecosystem.
- Finally, we also drove important alignment internally with development to ensure all of the specs created in the ESC get integrated into the SAP product. An important step forward that enables community members to invest in the work of the community with the confidence that the resulting specs will get used.
Have I missed anything? I’d love to hear other perspectives as well – either send me your thoughts on 2007, or post them as comments to this blog entry. Either way, on behalf of the ESC Program Office and all of SAP, I want to thank the ecosystem for your continued investment with us in this community. We collectively had a great year in 2007, and now we’re looking at several new challenges for 2008:
- One project I’m especially excited about is an upgrade of our collaborative tools in Q2, to enable a more robust and “web 2.0” collaboration model for all ESC groups. (This is by far the most requested change to our program, by the way.) We’ve been working on this project with the community for more than 1 year now and it is being built for the community, by the community with a collection of partners in SAP’s Co-Innovation Lab. (Look for future blog entries on this new tool in January …)
- We will also be expanding our operations to tackle roughly 3x the number of groups we completed in 2007, thanks in no small part to these new tools. This expansion will enable us to come closer to meeting the demand we’re seeing from inside and outside SAP, while keeping the quality of the results high and maintaining the efficiency we’ve been able to achieve so far.
- Finally, we will drive more deeply into the early phases of the specification process by expanding our use case roll-in groups to more areas. The impact of the ecosystem on SAP’s eSOA plans will expand in 2008, and the ES Community will remain the primary collaborative way for the ecosystem to influence those priorities. More industries, more applcaitions, and more integration to other communities, like IVNs, BPX and SAP user groups.
If your company is not already an ES Community member (current list of members), please visit our Join Now page and we’ll get you signed up. If you are already a member, feel free to contact me directly with your own priorities for 2008 – or send a comment to this blog entry. We’re always looking for ways to make sure the community is meeting our member’s needs.
Have a safe and happy new year – and I look forward to seeing you (physically and virtually) around the ES Community in 2008!