First of all I would like to say I am a big fan of Idea Place and I can see our future in Idea Place. It will become the main way how can we, the members of the SAP ecosystem, be it customers, be it partners, be it freelancers and other members, will have the opportunity to influence products and services of the SAP company. I had the pleasure to meet Kuhan Milroy and Michael Schwandt, who are responsible for the Idea Place and would like to thank them here and now, because they´re doing a great job. Especially the SSO for market place users has changed the usability of the Idea Place significantly, thank you guys for this one as well!
Have you ever visited Idea place? Have you voted, submitted an idea, and/ or commented on one? If you have not, maybe you would like to w a Quick Tour video on Idea Place or read IP FAQ or just start exploring the Idea Place homepage on SCN.
Maybe you don´t see the “future”, I described, in the current Idea Place. I can understand, one has to try hard to see it in there. But that is because Idea Place is still something new. It is still only a BETA. Members of the ecosystem (or us, the SCN members) are still not used to use Idea Place and work together on the Ideas. It is a common problem: which was first, the egg or the hen?
In other words will we start submitting ideas and give SAP teams to start working on their part or will we complain about very little SAP people´s activity (by the way, it´s not like that, the SAP employees go there, read and get inspired and influenced by your ideas and comments) and wait for something happening before we will start being active there?
Idea Place in Berlin
Let me tell you more about the vision SAP has about the Idea Place. I have heard this vision at Teched Berlin 2010 from Michael Schwandt, who has been the lead of the SAP Community Network Collaboration Team. I had the pleasure to talk with him one on one at the Experts Lounge area and he joined the Mentors later to keep them updated on the Idea Place.
The most important part of the message was (is): SAP would like to create a transparent place, where all the ideas and suggestions about SAP products and services can be discussed by all the members of the ecosystem. SAP listens to the customers, the partners, the Community members and more and implements the changes and improvements based on their suggestion. But many of these improvements were not made based on a transparent public discussion and that is what SAP wants to change in the future. Let everybody submit ideas, vote on them and comment on them. We can even expect SAP teams to publish the ideas that their people are considering or working on and seek feedback from the developers, users and customers. This is what we can expect “one day”.
It will take some time to get there…
Wouldn´t it be great? But we must understand it will not happen tomorrow. Jerusalem was not built in a day and we will have to build the Idea Place with smaller ideas and suggestions before we will be able to work on the decisive features and changes.
SAP employees need some time to build reliable and transparent processes around the Idea Place – build the processes which will describe how to handle the Idea place submissions, how to handle the feedback, how to build the business cases based on the submission and much more. I am sure this will take some time but the result will be worth it, and it already has started
As you can see on the Idea Place, some of the fields are further than the others (many fields/ products/ services are still missing! If you cannot see the field you work in, please submit an idea about creating this new category/ topic!). So based on the observation we can guess some of the product/ service teams are more used to check Idea Place and engage with the members of the ecosystem than the others.
Current topics and ideas
Currently there are these areas, where you can work on the Ideas:
SAP CRM, SAP SRM and Procurement for Public Sector, Services and communities (where you can submit or work on ideas about SAP Community Network for example, you can also help improve the Idea Place here) and SAP BusinessObjects. Sessions by Invitations are not accessible for everyone.
Especially the ideas about Idea Place and SCN Improvements can work as a litmus test for us. The time needed for them to get implemented should be shorter than any suggestions about SAP NetWeaver or the Business Suite etc.
If you want to learn more about the SCN Improvements challenge, read the blog by Michael here: How is the SCN challenge doing?.
Success stories and a personal example
My first question about the Idea place was about the “success stories”. Are there any success stories I could tell you about to attract your attention, dear reader, and make you visit Idea Place? Well, there are some. Some small ones, but they do exist. You can see them on the main page of idea Place in the bottom left corner, where you can see Completed Ideas.
There is also one special idea submitted on IP, which was already approved by Mark Yolton, where the SAP mentors wanted to bring Natascha Thomson to Teched Las Vegas this year. Check the thread here: Natascha Schuberth/Thomson to come to TechEd Vegas! Do not forget to read the comment by Mr. Yolton: “With 22 very strong votes and 9 comments at 100% in-favor — and considering the power of those commenting and voting — I am calling this bluff. I will pay ALL of Natascha’s expenses to travel to and attend SAP TechEd Las Vegas.
[…] I hereby sign in blood, Mark Yolton”. Ok, this is not a serious idea about a SAP strategy product but it is so nice story that catches one´s heart. It took 4 days to make this happen. If this isnot an American story, then I don´t know what is.
Let me continue the story about more serious topics. To help you decide on whether you want to visit and use Idea Place, let me tell you about the idea I submitted. I posted two under the SAP Career Center topic: Business card integration and LinkedIn integr. enhancements. I also posted some ideas under the Help us improve Idea Place: Top level navigation and Refine the layout and also some under the SAP Community Network.
If you would like to blog about the Idea Place, please not there is an Idea Place blog category which would suit your blog the best. Hope to read your blogs soon!
It would be just great if you could visit Idea Place and tell us what you think, submit, vote, comment, or post your comments here and we can discuss them. Hope to talk to you about the Idea Place and use your ideas to improve the platform for our bright future.
All the best, Otto