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In SDN & BPX land we started almost 5 years ago with blogging , from the beginning enabling customers and partners to post on our site. Shortly after we introduced the point system, face to face meetings like SDN meets Labs and then the Community Days. We also are using wikis first to support our face to face meetings and for over a year now as an ever expanding community tool. Many of these features first introduced and developed here have made it into or greatly influenced the development of the NetWeaver community features.


A consequence is that when I go to events or conferences covering community themes, 90% of the problems covered and solutions offered, we have lived through already, solved, or know about it and waiting for the solution to be implemented. Not a lot of new take aways.


What a breath of fresh air when I was sitting down with Sean O’Driscoll the other week. He was responsible for growing the Microsoft MVP program from 1000 to 4000 members within the last 4 years (more details see bio further down.) He really crystallized my thinking around the SAP Mentor program as well as the bigger picture regarding engaging your constituencies as a company. I was so impressed, that we hired him for a day next week. 


As community is always on top of our minds, we thought we share his insights with you via an SAP Salon that is open to the public. If you are in Silicon Valley please join us next Tuesday 26th of February from 10:30-11:30am at SAP Labs in the Co-Innovation Lab 3410 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto.

We will also webcast, have a chat running for your remote questions/comments and tape the event too (details to follow soon).  Please RSVP so we know how many people are coming, even if you want to participate remotely, so that we know how big the pipe should be.


It is going to be an interesting discussion. I can hardly wait. 



Social Media and Online Communities:  If you could only leverage what your customers know.


We’ve been inundated with a wave of new buzz words…Web 2.0, Social Media, Communities, Social Productivity, Influencers, Marketing 2.0…This session will provide a business explanation of what Social Media is, why it matters to a business and most importantly how to operationalize it in a global business environment.  We’ll explore a strategy development model for engaging with Social Media  and a framework for establishing a long term approach to ROI.  And finally, we’ll look at the Microsoft MVP program as a best practice and framework for tapping into the influencer/enthusiast population to drive word of mouth, brand affinity, product quality and online success. 



Sean O'Driscoll Sean O’Driscoll is a recognized industry leader on social media and founder of CGT Consulting, an independent consultancy focused on applying social media and influencer programs to driving business strategy and long term results.  CGT was founded to bridge the enthusiasm for social media and communities to real world business objectives that drive value across the innovation, sales & marketing and customer service & support functions. 



Prior to founding CGT, Sean was a 15 year veteran at Microsoft Corporation.  In his most recent capacity as General Manager, Community Support Services, Sean was responsible for developing social media and community-based support models and leading the worldwide MVP program. The MVP program was designed to award and recognize amazing individuals in technical communities around the globe who share a passion for technology and the spirit of community.  Sean continues to support Microsoft as a strategic advisor on customer communities, Word of Mouth and Influencer program strategy. 

Sean graduated from Pacific University (92) in Forest Grove, Oregon, with degrees in business administration and philosophy. He now lives just outside Seattle, Washington, with his wife Kari, and two daughters, Erin and Lauren. 

Co-Innovation Lab

The SAP Co-Innovation Lab is a physical facility that offer efficient working environment for SAP, its customers and partners to execute joint projects and work on proof of concepts to discover and promote new business applications and technology solutions.


The lab has a simulated heterogeneous datacenter with hardware and software from our sponsors – HP, Intel, NetApp, Cisco – and other COIL members. The lab also offers convenient location where project teams from different organizations can meet and work together to develop and architect now business processes and applications.

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  1. Mark Finnern Post author
    As promised here are the remote access coordinates for the Social Media and Online Communities SAP Salon with Microsoft’s Sean O’Driscoll next Tuesday 10:30am PST:

    Meeting number: 741 648 207
    Meeting password: sapsalon

    Audio Conference:
    US & Canada: 866-331-0889
    International: 803-477-2002
    Participant Code: 899684

    It is going to be really interesting. See you all there, Mark.


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