Of the many lessons learnt from Barack Obama’s successful presidential election campaign the most outstanding is how his campaign used the Internet. By using interactive Web 2.0 tools, Mr. Obama’s campaign changed the way politicians organize supporters, advertise to voters, defend against attacks, and communicate with constituents. The Obama campaign used the Internet to organize his supporters in a way that would have in the past required an army of volunteers and paid organizers on the ground. The campaign’s “official stuff” they created for YouTube was watched for 14.5 million hours. To buy 14.5 million hours on broadcast TV is $47 million.
The message is not lost and the analogy aptly translates into the economics of how companies select and procure software applications. SAP’s launch of the EcoHub is designed to capitalize on interactive Web 2.0 tools to assist customers select the most relevant software applications that coexist with their SAP investments.
IT sourcing and vendor management professionals, business managers and consultants can now find, in one single location, the solutions they need to perform their business operations. Better yet, they are able to select from solutions that have “certified” integrations with SAP software. Visitors to SAP EcoHub can search for solutions by:
- industry or solution relevance
- geographic availability
- type of integration certification the solution has with SAP’s core applications
- most frequently viewed solutions
- most recently added solutions
- key words describing business needs
Visitors can read about the details of the solutions, share their experiences and learn from the lessons of their peers. Online solution details, complete with screenshots, solution demos, white papers, and detailed solution descriptions and specifications, serve as comprehensive resources enabling well informed decision support.
Well placed YouTube-like video clips from industry and thought leaders add yet another dimension to the EcoHub by providing insights into trends and opinions. The ability to review and rate solutions provides the social interactive dynamic that yields value to both customers who can gain deeper insights and to vendors who can harness constructive criticism to shape future releases of their products.
Imagine the time and effort required to discover, evaluate and procure software. Now think EcoHub a one-stop online destination where customers can realize value in multiple ways by:
- Rapidly getting educated in the options available to them
- Accelerating the time to find relevant solutions from trusted sources (all solutions listed on the EcoHub are from SAP’s partners and have been certified by SAP)
- Reducing errors in software selection
- Connecting with the right vendors
The EcoHub is not only about learning. It is a commercially viable channel that allows SAP partners to reach SAP’s 75,000+ customers in unprecedented ways. Partners create a presence on the EcoHub while SAP promotes the EcoHub to its customers drawing additional visitors. Partners are able to develop micro communities around their solutions creating hubs of constituents interested in engaging in dialogs that foster learning, ideation, evaluation and selection. EcoHub offers SAP partners a platform to advertise and sponsor their solutions within a community that is actively seeking ways to enhance their SAP investments.
Mr. Obama has changed the course of history by tapping the power of the Internet. EcoHub aims at transforming the customer experience by efficiently connecting SAP customers with partners to attain success.