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2009 in the SAP Communities: Surprisingly Successful

Before we get too far into 2010, I wanted to take a moment to recognize a small selection of the many achievements and milestones we hit in our SAP Community Network (SCN) in 2009. As we approach our seventh birthday, it’s exciting to see traffic and membership continuing to climb, new innovations launching, and to receive recognition as leaders in our field.  It’s especially gratifying – and somewhat surprising – against the backdrop of such a challenging year, when just treading water to keep pace might have been an acceptable approach.   

Below is by no means a comprehensive list, but represents just a few of the many highlights from 2009.

A smattering of numbers
  • SAP Community Network: We ended the year with healthy growth – nearly 2 million members across 229 countries and territories, with 6.6 million people paying 28.8 million visits to SCN and viewing more than 212 million pages.
  • SAP Mentors : 76 SAP Mentors ran or participated in 57 webinars, proudly sported their rugby jerseys at SAP TechEd events in full force, and continue to be trusted resources to the community and to SAP.
  • SAP EcoHub celebrated its first birthday in October, and now offers more than 430 partner and SAP solutions.
  • SAP TechEd had nearly 12,000 attendees join in Phoenix, Vienna, Shanghai, and Bangalore. Missed out? 135 recorded sessions are now available online via Virtual SAP TechEd.
  • International language communities continue to expand, such as in the Asia/Pacific/Japan region. For example, SCN China membership grew nearly 30% from 2008, ending 2009 with nearly 47,000 total members
Community Launches and Innovations
  • Our newest community, University Alliances Community, enjoyed strong growth throughout the year after launching late-January ‘09, adding around 2,500 members each month. It continues to be a valuable resource to support and nurture the future job force for our customers and partners – and it currently tops 100,000 student and professor members from ~1000 universities.
  • To aid and support our community members in the workforce now, we launched the Career Center. Four months after release, it continues to gain traction with job seekers and employers.  Hundreds of resumes and thousands of job openings can be found in this new resource.
  • We’re pleased to welcome about 30,000 new members to SCN each month, and we redesigned the SCN landing page to make it easier for new members to get started. For both beginners and advanced users, our team also released the SCN User Guide.
  • We added functionality to extend SCN’s reach outside our community boundaries, such as the SCN Widget Gallery and SAP Community Bio: Your Connection Between SCN and LinkedIn in partnership with LinkedIn.
Industry Accolades

Throughout the year, it’s been rewarding to see external recognition of the work our team and community members put into building and maintaining a strong community network. In late-2009, we released this eBook, which contains a collection of the accolades SCN received from customers, partners, members, SAP Mentors, analysts and influencers, and Standards and Open Source participants. A couple of my favorite quotes:

 

 

  • “The SAP communities [SAP Community Network] rank in a virtual tie with Intel.com for first place, and achieve an astonishing 18 ‘Good’ and ‘Best Practice’ ratings.”siteIQ ScoreCard

 

Just a Taste

Again, this is only a small slice of all the great progress we made together in 2009 in our SAP communities.  The contributions of a very wide range of community members – customers, partners, bloggers, SAP employees, and others – coupled with our community’s collaborative culture, made it possible. 

If you posted in the forums, published a blog, participated in an SAP TechEd or Tech Tour event, or contributed to our communities in some other way, we can’t thank you enough.  In essence, you helped “pay it forward” by sharing your experience and expertise to help someone else achieve their goals. 

Please take a moment to savor our collective success from last year, to set a goal for even more active engagement in the year ahead, and then let’s raise the bar together for what can most definitely be an incredibly rich and rewarding 2010.

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  1. Gregory Misiorek
    Mark,

    the biggest sccolade in my mind was when Vinnie who seems to be our biggest critic said that SAP has spoiled us by offereing SCN and SAP is using us, SCNers, as a free resource. hey, if it’s free i’ll take it anytime.

    what i find unique about SCN is the almost 50/50 participation between SAP internal resources and the rest of us, who use SAP products day in and day out and make a living, too!

    keep the community alive in 2010 and beyond.

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    1. Mark Yolton Post author
      Thank you, Greg, for your comments. 

      On the first, I agree that getting a compliment (even a backwards one) from any detractor or critic is rewarding.  Those little victories mean alot.  And the fact that all this is free (to our community members … it sure isn’t free or even cheap for SAP to provide) is important – and a value to our ecosystem of customers, partners, and individuals.

      On your second, you’re correct that our community members are extremely prolific, especially relative to the SAP employee engagement, which isn’t too shabby either.  We do watch other high tech and especially software company communities, and SCN is much more “grassroots” collaborative by community than “top-down” or “inside-out” pushing of messages from SAP to its members, and SCN is much more active and collaborative than communities of our peers.  We watch the mix pretty carefully and try to find the correct balance of active SAP engagement without being overbearing and certainly not dominant, and more importantly: we seek highly engaged customer/partner community members who share with each other. 

      Thank you for your role in our communities, and for your comments.

      Regards,
      Mark Yolton

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