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This is the first blog (and some more to come) in preparations for the presentation I am giving at  SAP Community Bonn 2010    It should give some readings and some insights in the discussion around Web. 2.0 in SAP landscapes.

In preparation of the presentation, I was looking for customers who could give first hand experience in using Web 2.0 technologies. In the last year I was working at about a dozen customers, mostly midsize and large companies and enterprises in Germany and Switzerland.. But none of them had any kind of Web 2.0 in operation, neither as Intranet nor as a part of SAP solutions.

While the world is full of discussions, how great and promising Web 2.0 is, the real world seems to be slow in adopting these new (and not so new) technologies.

Is this true? Is there really no use of WIKIS, Blogs, Community platforms, Twitter and other elements in enterprises?

First, this is a question to the audience. If you have any examples, of your own company or a customer, please, by all means, respond with an example.

But while looking at the phenomenon, I was also looking for reasons, why companies obviously don’t have this theme on the radar screen.

The very first and immediate response to my question from the customer is usually: “Why should we? We are no encyclopaedia company, our employee should focus on work, not posting in forums and we are doing (selling) something, that is not Internet-related “

The reply in the same short form would be: “You should. It is your money. Because, in these times, information as value is everywhere, from office to shop floor. And by valuing your employee as an equal communication partner, you foster productivity. And productivity gain is money gain.”

An Enterprise as a social system is simpleminded. According to system theory, it is binary: It can think in terms of “Value Gain” and “Value Loss”, nothing else. Selling something, creating something is a value gain and people watching movies during work time is a “Value loss”.

The secret in make enterprise think is to put a numbers on creative ideas about information as a value.

How valuable would be amazon without the users that have post comments to the products? How many additional revenue was generated, because people are using the information “Customers who bought this book also bought that book..”.

Whenever you look at Web 2.0 technologies, you need to put a price tag on the usage, to make enterprises think about it.

It is the tag to quantify information inside the company . But not only the information itself, Web 2.0 is the value of the RELATION between these information, the value that a community can add to the information. It is the value of a catalogue entry in amazons book store and the value of the comments and ratings from the customers. Both create a new value and both can be quantified and valued.

In order to make companies think about it, you need a pricelist of the Web 2.0 itself.

The use of blogs speeds up information exchange. Saved time is money. The use of Wikis reduces the amount of memos, binders, corporate handbooks and the like, plus the cost of making it. Add this on the sticker price. Video as learning material gives a new dimension to education. Take this price off the regular training cost and you have a discount sticker.

This can be a fun discussion on Community Day: What is your price tag?

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  1. Axel Krausen
    Hi Holger,

    I gathered similar experiences over the last years especially with the Portal. Most customers do not see the benefit of a location-independent, central and state-of-the-art access point to all relevant information.
    I think it is a good idea to start that discussion.

    One of my arguments for a portal solution is:
    Reduce the orientation time of new employees by giving them exactly the information and application they need plus the possibility to use collaboration tools they already know from buying books etc.

    Best regards
    Axel

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    1. Holger Stumm Post author
      It is a very good point. Ususally at this time in Portal implementation, companies are looking for something like the Guided Procedures “My First Days”. But when you tell them, it is just an example and they have to fill in all the blanks –  what are actually the requierement for newhires in your company – the enthusiasm disappears suddenly.

      That would be a good point: What money would that save, to have the desktop, laptop and logon right in place at day 1, have the corporate manuals ready, the welcome videos etc, workflow for badges etc. And of course “with the tools they know”  – intuitive use is one of the Web 2.0 essentials, you are absolutely right.

      I will put this on my agenda as a good example for a case study in Bonn .

      Thanks for your input

      Holger

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