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Author's profile photo Former Member

Now Open: Idea Place (beta) – Influence SAP Products & Services

Welcome SAP’s new idea crowdsourcing site

As my colleague Idea Place launching at the Innovation campus during SAPPHIRE before SAPPHIRE NOW, a new idea crowdsourcing tool launched during last week’s event at the Innovation Campus. I’m pleased to share that the beta version of Idea Place is now open for the community and wider ecosystem to search, submit, comment and vote on ideas to enhance SAP’s future.

Today, there are many ways to share ideas with SAP, be it via on-site meetings or influence councils and focus groups, just to name a few. These historic methods are tried-and-true but leave some opportunities open in today’s social innovation world. For example, how can we collect feedback from thousands? How can we empower customers, partners and the greater ecosystem to collaborate on feedback? And finally, how can we ensure the appropriate SAP solution manager or other owner can respond and take action on the potential mass of feedback?

Please welcome Idea Place – http://ideas.sap.com/

 

 

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Idea Place is a step change in the way SAP solicits feedback from customers, partners and the greater ecosystem. It is an open, crowd-based, collaborative way to embrace ideas and feedback from the ecosystem to help improve SAP’s products, processes and solutions.

Let’s get into some of the actions

Idea Place is a straightforward interface, primarily designed to make the process of submitting ideas and feedback as simple as possible. There are several ways to participate, including submitting new ideas, commenting on existing ideas, voting and watching via notifications.

As a new user, search for your topic or idea of interest. Searching will provide the opportunity to discover ideas similar to your own. If you find an idea you like, then raise the popularity by voting it up. Voting will help identify the priority of an idea within a topic as established by the community and help set expectations on what features are deemed important. This brings a unique qualitative measure to feedback and ideas not possible with typical enhancement systems or forums.

 

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Now let’s say you find an idea that is similar to yours. Do you create a new one and risk the community splitting their votes? Perhaps it is worth adding a comment to the existing one.  A comment can extend an idea’s scope or value. The stronger the case for an idea, the better chance it has of being prioritized and possibly being implemented.

After searching, if you are unable to find your favorite idea, then here’s your chance to create a new one. Submitting an idea on Idea Place is as easy as selecting a topic, filling in a title and description and clicking ‘Create Idea’.  Make sure to provide clear and concise descriptions as the community will be more likely to reward your ideas with votes.

And finally, a subtle but critical piece, is notifications. After finding or creating an idea, simply ‘select, receive email notifications’ to keep up to date on commenting activity and the status of the idea.

Take a Quick Tour

For a 90 second intro to the site, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHt9AGnICK4&hd=1

 

 

Benefits to SAP ecosystem

As SAP pushes forward to be a more innovative company, it is clear that these innovations do not come solely from within the organization’s walls. Customer-centric innovation accelerates maturity and usability of products and solutions by SAP and by the ecosystem. Taking this activity to the next level requires opening communication channels to a greater breadth of users and allowing the ecosystem to elaborate on ideas and help identify the priority of any ideas or feedback.

SAP has been listening. By addressing the specific areas above, Idea Place provides a stronger voice to the customer and the greater ecosystem. This will not only provide an opportunity for feedback at all stages of the product development lifecycle but will also be able to touch all levels of the product development organization.

And SAP has been listening in other areas too. The SAP Community Network forums are very active with many ideas and good deep discussions. Unfortunately, these inspired activities have no organized way to be attached to a topic or gain visibility in a greater context than the forums. Besides being difficult for the community to track feedback and ideas, it also makes the task extremely demanding for the solution manager. By providing a centralized area for ideas and feedback to be discussed, it will be possible to access ideas around a topic in a more scalable way.

Finally, Idea Place has taken a page from the feedback of using enhancement systems. Though Idea Place is not meant to be a replacement, it does provide a way for the ecosystem to bring visibility to feedback and ideas that may have been aging in a system somewhere before.

Solution from Partners and the Community

I’ve referenced SAP solution managers as one audience for submissions to Idea Place, but  there is no governance that solutions to feedback can only be provided by SAP. Idea Place is open to the ecosystem to encourage addressing feedback and ideas in a collaborative way – in fact, partners are encouraged to comment on ideas for which they have already developed solutions.  A niche feature may never be part of the formal SAP product or solution and if a partner has a solution to solve a customer’s burning need in a timely fashion, then all the better to let interested parties know. The community itself can provide solutions as well, with code-sharing projects like Code Exchange or even just some basic details on how to solve a problem.

Idea Philosophy

One failing of many enhancement systems is that idea submitters receive little to no feedback on their submissions and thus lose faith in the system itself. Therefore, we believe it is critically important to only on-board solution and other managers that can monitor their respective topics. This is why not all SAP products, solutions and services will be available immediately. Idea Place will contain a small set to start and will add more and more topics and teams over time. So if you have an idea and your product or solution is not available, then let us know the topic area. https://ideas.sap.com/community/community_and_services/idea_place_proposed_idea_sessions

If the topic is already there, vote it up and help the Idea Place team build a stronger case for on-boarding the respective SAP teams.

Pilot to run for 2010

Idea Place (Beta), is a pilot project, starting with some topic areas from CRM, EPM, Imagineering and SCN. Over the months, as momentum builds on the site more topics will be added. It will be critical that the site is adopted and used to ensure the site provides a continued benefit to the community and SAP. Please help make Idea Place a success by submitting ideas, commenting or voting for your favorite: http://ideas.sap.com/

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      9 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Tobias Hofmann
      Tobias Hofmann
      but when accessing it, Idea Place won't recognice my SCN logon, but it says: "Please use your SCN login username/email and password"

      No SSO between SCN and Idea Place? If have an Idea ...

      Author's profile photo Kuhan Milroy
      Kuhan Milroy
      Hi Tobias,
      If you are using a Service Market Place account then you will not be able to logon at this time. We are addressing this issue.

        In the mean time, you can still browse anonymously or create a public SCN account to share ideas/comments/vote.

        And the idea has been submitted here: https://ideas.sap.com/ideas/1022

      Cheers

      Kuhan
       
      Kuhan

      Author's profile photo Tobias Hofmann
      Tobias Hofmann
      I'm using my SCN account to access Ideas and not my Marketplace account.

      Looks like SCN is giving me an SSO ticket for the domain sdn.sap.com and Ideas runs on ideas.sap.com.

      br,
      Tobias

      Author's profile photo Kuhan Milroy
      Kuhan Milroy
      Yes, you will need to enter your SCN username and password to logon to Idea Place. SSO using SCN user accounts is planned for V2.

      If you continue to have trouble, please send me a direct mail to ideas at sap.com.

      Thanks
      Kuhan

      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine
      Hello,

      If you could ensure that when the application is fixed so that you _can_ log on using a service market place account we see some posts/ links again in SCN - I'm not going to create a new user account just to try to use something that many other people are also blocked (same issue) from using...

      I understand that the ideas place launch was timed to go with SAPPHIRE - but launching with a bug as huge as this - was it worthwhile?

      In the meantime - back to the forums and their limitations...

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Chris:

      As Kuhan explains in the comment above yours, we are testing this "Idea Place" platform and the back-end processes in beta form now.  During that beta test period we chose not to invest lots of $$ in single sign-on integration, in case we don't like this solution or it doesn't work as we'd like... because all that integration cost would be thrown away if we don't stick with this solution, and also because we can move faster with testing this live rather than doing behind-the-scenes work.  So, it's not a bug, but was a choice in favor of speed and lower cost investment.

      Single sign-on and other integration capabilities will be implemented when we have higher confidence in the platform and processes. 

      Regards,
      Mark Yolton

      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine
      Hi Mark,

      SSO would be nice - but that I can't use my S user id (and log in using it - not SSO!) is a major limitation.

      It is really going to impact on the numbers that you get for the beta phase - we've been waiting for this solution for some time - see thread in forum "Suggestions and Comments".
      The functionality I saw when logged in as a guest was great. But the no logon as S user "decision" means that I and, I believe, many others will not choose to be part of this beta trial. Which I see as a great shame.

      I can't even add my vote to the idea "fix the S user login issue"...

      The solution as a whole looks great, but I would have perhaps given greater importance to the user account access than perhaps you have - and would even have stalled the public trials until this was fixed. If getting feedback from SCN members about SCN is part of the beta - then having to "launch" in two parts to get that feedback (once for those users with just SCN access and then again for service marketplace users) is disenfranchising for those users who cannot access.

      Author's profile photo Kuhan Milroy
      Kuhan Milroy
      Just to close this thread.
      Idea Place now supports SAP Service Marketplace (SMP) users.

      If you are a SMP user, you will need your SAP Passport (certificate) which you can easily retrieve from SMP.

      More details in my blog
      Idea Place NOW OPEN for business to SAP Service Market Place users

      cheers

      Kuhan

      Author's profile photo Zal Parchem
      Zal Parchem
      To quote: "One failing of many enhancement systems is that idea submitters receive little to no feedback on their submissions and thus lose faith in the system itself."

      From my experience you already have "idea centers" called Product Development Collaborations forums and they have been in existence for quite some time.  However, as you say, those folks willing to submit ideas receive little or no feedback from (and this is extremely important) from SAP AG itself.

      A person can have a million ideas about this or that, but what good is it if it just falls in a black hole?  As an implementor of SAP Business One, I keep a list of enhancements, changes, requests, and ideas from the customer, but then to keep the customer's faith and for me to be effective I MUST communicate WHAT is being done.

      How does SAP plan on letting submitters know that SAP is actually working on or considering their ideas?  "Open Item Lists", "Ranked Enhancements", "Considered Ideas", "Ideas with Most Votes"???  A very simple uploaded Excel Spreadsheet or Access Report could do wonders for you regaining the faith of your customers. If the new Co-CEOs are serious about their recent statements, then this could be one avenue.

      I would gladly share ideas (and I have quite a few) and I would probably vote on each and every idea pertaining to the areas which interest my customers, but SAP would first need to show and/or develop some kind of true commitment to providing feedback on what is being done with those ideas and votes.

      Thanks - Zal