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Author's profile photo Bala Prabahar

Innovation Weekend Business Cases

I am excited about attending Innovation Weekend in Las Vegas. This is going to be real fun. It appears I would learn a lot in about 30 hours. In addition, I would get to meet several interesting people. This idea-Innovation Weekend-is just great. Whoever came up with this idea of hosting an Innovation Weekend just before TechEd deserves the “think-outside-the-box” award. I am looking forward to attending IW and TechEd ’10.

I see a lot of information on IW in Blogs, recordings, wiki pages etc. The amount of information generated by a few motivated, dedicated, devoted individuals in less than a couple of weeks is just amazing. I am really blessed to be working on SAP technologies surrounded by people like IW team and others. Just because of people like you, the technology – 25+ years after college graduation – still exhilarates me. I stay young as a result. Thank you, SAP!

Now let me discuss other thoughts on IW. I reviewed wiki pages and two recordings of online meetups as thoroughly as possible. I found one common factor in first 5 business cases: lack of data. This doesn’t mean we don’t have data. We’ve plenty of data; however we haven’t taken adequate steps to manage that data and as a result, we don’t have actionable information.

Surprisingly instead of discussing ways and means of converting data into actionable information, it seems we go-off on a tangent by offering a solution to a problem not well defined. I mean the sixth business case Social Media Integration(SMI) sounds like a solution to a problem not well-understood and/or well-defined. “Go where the people are” – is this something really new? 10-15 years ago, I used to receive several tele-marketing calls. A few of them used to come from non-profit organizations. Then with the advent of internet and email technologies, their strategy changed. They used new technologies(email) to “Go where the people are”. Now social media sites are popular so people want to employ new technologies to implement old strategies.

Unfortunately I try to be very careful when I decide to contribute to non-profit organizations. In the past, I’ve made a few contributions to tele-marketing calls I received. As a result, I started receiving several more calls than I was receiving before. It appears the organizations who benefited by my contribution sold my information to other tele-marketers. So other tele-marketers followed a slightly modified strategy “Go where the people who give are”(their organizations could’ve taken a little time to analyze and understand what made me give to other organization. Instead they wanted to take a short-cut by modifying the strategy “Go where the people who give are”). After learning the lesson that more contributions would only keep me busy 24×7 answering tele-marketers, I’ve stopped making contributions online or over phone. These days I’m really very careful.

What surprises me is that there are a lot of discussions on SMI than other business cases. Why we even IT professionals don’t want to discuss the challenges. Without discussing the challenges, how are we going to come up with a solution. 

On the one hand, I’m really happy to see five business cases discussing the challenges in improving the availability of data. On the other hand, I am a bit disappointed to see a lot of focus and discussions on implementing old strategies.

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      Author's profile photo Richard Hirsch
      Richard Hirsch
      I'm glad you are excited to be attending the Innovation Weekend. The IW wiki is tool that is open for collaboration and lives from the ideas from the entire community. If you think that some of the existing business cases don't have enough information, then feel free to ask questions on the wiki pages or even better add content yourself. 

      Since it looks like I'll be focusing on the Social Media integration business case, I'd appreciate your comments on the detailed wiki pages for the business case:



      Author's profile photo Bala Prabahar
      Bala Prabahar
      Blog Post Author
      Sure. I'll. I didn't have Edit option in any of wiki pages. (I had this option a few weeks ago, disappeared(emailed SAP team about missing Edit option) and reappeared again today).


      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt
      Your access should be available.  I've checked the authorizations and you are good to go (as is anyone following these contents)so I'm looking forward to your active participation in Business Case 6 (SMI) or any other segment of the conversations on the wiki.
      I'd also recommend taking a look at some of the work that was done last year in the Process Design Slam as a model of collaborative thinking.
      While that doesn't address the very real issue you raise around "lack of data" it does represent some of the very interesting thinking about collaborative design activities with a team that is both geographically separated and also might need to work especially hard to bring all players into an equal playing field of domain expertise and definition of the business challenges the design slam was created to resolve.  A pretty daunting challenge.
      I'd definately like to hear more about new strategies applied to "old problems" especially in the realm of non-profits. Go for it! and looking forward to seeing you in SAP TechEd Las Vegas