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I’m not going to pull punches – the sheer number of SAP and partner solutions can make finding the solution you need as difficult as locating the proverbial needle in a haystack. After all, there are hundreds of partner solutions available today, not to mention the dozens of product offerings and hundreds if combinations from SAP itself.  That’s great for choice, breadth, and depth of solution coverage, but it’s tough on ease-of-use in order to find the right fit for a particular business challenge. 

Fortunately, the SAP EcoHub solution marketplace has a unique differentiator that overcomes this challenge and transforms the SAP EcoHub resource from a traditional two-dimensional solution catalog into a three-dimensional community marketplace … and that differentiator is: solution reviews and ratings.

True community marketplace experience

Without the “customer voice” that solution reviews add to each partner storefront, potential customers wouldn’t get to take advantage of the vital community interaction or the knowledge that resides within our almost 2 million member strong community.

According to a Nielson survey, customer reviews are an important research tool for online consumers, with 71% of survey respondents agreeing that consumer reviews make them more comfortable that they are buying the right product.1  The ability of SAP EcoHub to deliver trusted insights from real people sets the site apart from traditional solution catalogs. Prospective customers can leverage the wisdom and the experience of other community members to better evaluate the full range of solutions through real-world learning and insights from actual customer users, allowing them to make smart, informed buying decisions around SAP and partner solutions.

Benefits impact SAP and its partners as well

And the benefits go both ways.  Not only do prospective customers get the benefit of other customer insights, but partners get direct and straightforward feedback from real-world customers that can help improve the partner product offerings, plus insight to take advantage of trends as they emerge in commentary from actual users.

 

Healthy reviews mean a thriving community – and happy customers

The impact of a healthy rating and review collection on SAP EcoHub grows exponentially as more community members like you participate. According to the same Nielson survey, 63% of respondents rate multiple ratings or reviews as the most important factor in evaluating a product.1

As you set your resolutions for the coming new year, I encourage you to share your personal solution experience on SAP EcoHub by rating and reviewing all of the products you have come into contact with.   Whether a sentence or two or an exhaustive examination of a solution, your feedback will help the community grow – and help your peers better find the solutions that will make a difference in their businesses.

We’d love to hear about any aspect of a solution you’ve come across – the purchase process, installation, daily use and management, end-user experiences, product support – and anything else that might be beneficial to your peers as they evaluate solutions. And, each of your reviews earns you 20 community participation points that helps position you as a thought-leader and an active contributor on the specific topics within the community.

And keep in mind that there’s no better place to post your reviews than on SAP EcoHub. Partner storefronts on the site provide a central location for any user interested in a solution, and allow your review to appear in context of those solutions. While collecting your thoughts around solutions will have an impact beyond SAP EcoHub to affect your discussions in the wider SAP ecosystem, on blogs, other SAP communities and even throughout your department, reviews posted first on SAP EcoHub can easily be found by those customers that can benefit most.

Looking toward a five-star 2010

By any measure, 2009 was a great start for SAP EcoHub. After launching just over a year ago at the SAP TechEd conference in Berlin, we’ve seen some significant milestones in our short lifespan:

  • 430+ solutions available
  • 230+ partners with one or more offerings
  • New service partner listings
  • ~ 900% growth in traffic from January to December
  • Visitors from >100 countries
  • Visitor profiles that help our partners reach their target audiences more effectively:
    • 49% IT professionals, 29% LOB professionals, 6% C-level
  • Fast emerging as the ‘Hub of Innovation’ – spurring an ecosystem effort to introduce, educate, and build awareness for new applications such as Enterprise Micro-Apps (Google Gadgets and iPhone apps)

We need your help to make this a true community-powered marketplace that fills a unique role in the outreach efforts of SAP and its partners. You can contribute by adding any of your experiences with our partner solutions or partner services.  Simply post a rating and review on SAP EcoHub, and we’ll thank you with SCN points as a token of our appreciation and on behalf of the future customer who will benefit from your insight.  

I can’t wait to see where the coming year takes us all.

1 Nielsen Online Holiday Survey, December 2008
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