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Marketing vs. Functionality (1 – 0 ) – Idea Place

Idea Place is launched!

It was an event I was looking forward to – a new solution to the tricky problem of how best to provide feedback to SAP about what we want changed. In particular I was very interested in how to provide feedback about SCN, the forums, etc. Many of us have been posting on a sticky in the SCN Support – Suggestions for forum improvements. Kuhan Milroy  gave us a hint some months ago that Idea Place was coming out.

So eventually it did – with some fanfare – well it was on the SCN front page.

[SAP Network Blog: Idea Place launching at the Innovation campus during SAPPHIRE | Idea Place launching at the Innovation campus during SAPPHIRE]

SAP CRM Idea Place – Live!

Now Open: Idea Place (beta) – Influence SAP Products & ServicesPerhaps it is OK to reduce the functionality of this site – it is a Beta after all… I mean there are some things I can’t do on Google Wave within my domain/google apps that I can do in normal Google Wave – and I don’t moan about that – much…  😉 But there the expectation was clearly set – here it wasn’t! No mention in any of the blogs announcing it that Service Marketplace users are excluded.

I was very much looking forward to this functionality, I’m passionate (can you tell 😉 about working as a community, and this was a great step forward. So that I’m blocked from using it really irks me.

h5. SAP response 

I did post against one of the Now Open: Idea Place (beta) – Influence SAP Products & Services that I hoped that SAP would announce just as loudly when service market place users could use the solution – and got this response:

+Hi Chris: </p><p><br />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. </p><p><br />Single sign-on and other integration capabilities will be implemented when we have higher confidence in the platform and processes. </p><p><br />Regards,
Mark Yolton +

I don’t agree I see this service marketplace user access as crucial for the product – which is what this blog is about – mostly. There is a clear and present need for some solution for raising and tracking “issues” with SCN. Idea Place is a Beta to provide this, not just for SCN but all SAP – but unless you have *ALL *the people involved in SCN able to take part it will not get a decent run.


I’m really hoping that the Idea Place works out, and that we all get access soon. It will be a great thing to be able to use the community to guide SAP and also to get feedback on those ideas that we put forward, both from the community and SAP.

The site (from a read only view) looks great – I like it! now I just want access!



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  • Hi Chris,

    You’re certainly not the only one who was disappointed upon finding out that the most appropiate userid didn’t work. I had a discussion with Kuhan on Twitter regarding this issue(!). If it’s really so much trouble ($-wise)to configure SSO, that isn’t much of an advertisement for SAP either (assuming they use their own software for this site 🙂 ).
    Let’s hope it will very soon be solved.

    Cheers, Fred

    • Hi Chris,
        We did know about the Service Market Place user problem from the beginning and it will take some effort to provide a full solution. Full Single Sign On support for all user is tentatively planned for Q4 this year. And Mark covered some of our thinking why. Perhaps we were too eager to get it out. With this all said, your and other’s voices have been heard and we are investigating a work-around in the mean time.



      • Thanks Kuhan for the update.
        I really do look forward to using the site.
        I think my thoughts about the high priority of SAP Marketplace user id login is pretty clear. And I am still suprised that there was no mention of the issue in the launch blogs.

        When a solution/workaround is put into place I hope that there is a fresh round of blogs/info about the Idea Place as it is really a far too good opportunity for a silly little thing like this login problem to stop its general acceptance and use within the community.

        • I appreciate your commitment. It was my bad for not pointing this out and making more people aware of it. And yes, we will put announcements on hold till we have this resolved… at least the ones we can stop. If we can get a short-term work-around that is acceptable we can start with that, otherwise we will push for the full logon solution.



  • By Mr. Yolton:
    … 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.

    1) …in case we don´t like…? So this is just an attempt and not a serious step forward? That can´t be true! So many hopes of the “ordinary” people would be disappointed! You cannot present a tool asked for years and than say, you´re not serious about it. The “marketing” disappoitment would be zillion times worse than the absence of SSO
    2) …would be thrown away… Sot that means that the whole Idea place can be cancelled (thrown away???) and the ideas and the dreams will just disappear again?
    3) I wonder how can SAP evaluate the beta of a page/tool which needs a user registration but doesn´t allow the passionate SDN users to participate. In fact, if I were a manager looking at the number of “ideas” and involved users (which is expected to be pretty low before we will get the SSO), I would cancel the project immediately, because there is “no activity” there (compared to the number of users and ideas, if one could use the SSO).

    • Hi Otto. There’s a difference between the solution (platform, tool) and the process or program. I do not anticipate we will ever “throw away” the program that asks for feedback, prioritization, etc.  Nor will we throw away the ideas.  But tools are inter-changeable and there are several options available to us right now.  In part during this beta phase, we’re evaluating the tool, the processes, the features, etc. all while paying attention to the ideas that are offered.

      Mark Yolton

      • Mr. Yolton, I highly value every line of yours (I still remember your comment on my blog:)) and would like to ask you to support the Idea place. I was very much looking forward to the IP launch and dream about a “ticketing system” for SAP/SDN ideas, where we could share our ideas/wishes/complains and feel somebody is reponsible for the problem/idea and a result will be found (The idea doesn´t have to be implemented, but if somebody would treat the idea/ problem with care, it would be enough…).
        By the way, I wonder if you do read the Community discussion forum time to time and/or few important, in my opinion, threads about the wishes and complaints, suggestions and comments on the SDN? Did Marilyn or anybody from the SDN team active members share these important links? In my opinion few words from your side would encourage those few dozens of the most active contributors to work even harder. At least I feel motivated by your lines…
        Again… any inititative from your side about the Idea place and about those mentioned thread would mean very much for me and not for me…
        Thank you, Otto
  • Uhm… Am I the only one or does anyone else think that we don’t really need another place where to put our ideas? Instead, we just need someone to actually listen to our ideas and DO something about them. Wouldn’t that be nice?

    We already have Suggestions forum on SCN and look at the results. Now we have this Idea Place. Does anyone really believe the result will be different there? I seriously doubt that.

    I might be a bit too skeptical, but I’ve been on SDN for quite some time (not since 2008, as my profile states – which is, by the way, just another SDN bug).

    By the way, you got that right with Marketing vs. Functionality. “Idea Place”, “Expert Exchange”, “Collaboration Workspace” and other “solutions” and “communities” and stuff. But all we need is just one place that works.

    • Hi Jelena,

      I don’t think you are alone in the frustration that we feel about not having our ideas listened to – well perhaps that is wrong, I am acutely aware that SAP listen to us (Marilyn Pratt for example regularly discusses with us in the forums.) My frustration stems from me being completely in the dark as to what happens after the listening – what’s the next step, what is SAP doing after that!

      From what I’ve heard and seen about Idea Place, one of its aims was to address this problem and allow for SAP to provide feedback to us users in a globally accessable format about our issues.
      _That_ would have been a huge step forward – and hopefully it still will be.

      Anything which makes the process more transparent for me as a user is a great thing. IMO 😉 I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Idea Place will eventually live up to the marketing hype and that transparancy will prevail. (Yes I’m an optimist!)