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Results of the Satisfaction Survey

“SDN is simply the best & most important community network for enterprise software!”

Last December, we launched the 2010 SAP Community Network Year-End Satisfaction Survey. The survey is now closed and we thank all 1,276 members who took time to respond. We especially appreciate the fresh insight from the 66% of you who were taking the survey for the first time.

The survey results show that you, our members, feel very positive overall about the value of SCN. They provide insight into who you are, why you go to SCN, where you spend your time, and what you value the most.

“The SCN team really rocks and I think you`re on track in making SCN the most ‘frickin’ awesome’ community in the enterprise space – keep up the good work!”

Net Promoter Score

A key metric that we use to measure satisfaction is Net Promoter Score (NPS). The basic idea is to measure the likelihood that you would recommend SCN to a friend or colleague: We ask, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend SAP Community Network to a friend or colleague?” (Where 0=not at all likely and 10=very likely.)

NPS defines Promoters as those who answer the question 9 or 10, and Detractors as those who answer 0 through 6. Those who answer 7 or 8 are disregarded as being neither Promoters nor Detractors.

In this survey, our NPS, which is calculated by subtracting the Detractors from the Promoters, stands at 63%. This represents the high number of members that would give the Community Network a strong recommendation to the people they are most connected with.

“SCN constantly improves. It is simply THE SAP SOURCE. Well done! Just keep going …”

Who are you, anyway?

“My company is just me. My major Client is $1-10b. I`m not sure  how I found out about SDN. I still have “The SAP Developer Network  Newsletter #1” dated November 2003 … Thank you for posting great  articles and other documentation that other software companies might not  freely distribute.”

SAP Community Network is a community with a healthy mix of partners, customers, consultants, and SAP colleagues. 50% of the respondents are either technical consultants or software developers, illustrating a strong technical tilt to the community.

Nevertheless, Functional Consultants, BI Consultants, and Application Consultants together make up 35% of the respondents. These categories are more interested topics dealing with lines of business or industries.

Taken together, Consultants count for 59% of the survey respondents.

“I enjoy reading the blogs. As I indicated, my focus is more functional than technical, so I like the fact that the functional offerings on BPX continue to be expanded.”     

             Relationship to SAP                   Job Description
    27% Partner                                      24% Technical Consultant
   
19% Independent Consultant               18% Functional Consultant
    19% SAP Customer                           15% Software Developer
    18% SAP Employee                            9%  BI Consultant
                                                              8%  Application Consultant
                                                              5%  System Administrator

You go to the communities to learn, to collaborate, and to troubleshoot

“Can`t imagine my all-SAP consultant career without SDN. Each new engagement, each new innovative/risky project, no matter how hard it seems, you can go for it playing with SDN on your team.”

We asked, “What is your primary reason for using SAP Community Network?” Here are the top reasons:

•    41% to troubleshoot a technical issue
•    27% to find tutorials or samples to help use or learn a product
•    15% to network and collaborate with others in the community
•    10% to find product documentation

Top 10 Most Useful SDN Areas 

“I just start using the community two months ago and I am very satisfied about it. I usually use the forum and without needing to ask a question I have been able to solve many issues and I also try to help any time I can. I have recently sent an article for your review, so I will hopefully keep growing on my contributions. I am very glad to have found the side. You do a great job.”

Here is how you ranked Community Network areas and programs in terms of usefulness:

1.    Forums                                           
2.    Articles, How-To Guides                 
3.    Wiki                                                
4.    Blogs                                               
5.    Search
6.    eLearning
7.    Webinars
8.    Software downloads
9.    Area homepages                              
10.  Recognition program

What would you like to see more of?

Here are a few of the many comments from members:

“I would like to see more of how to guides in which as a consultant one can easily understand and implement new scenarios in an organization.”

“There`s some content that usually the moderators contribute – that`s very good and informative. Let`s have more of that.”

“I feel that there is too much emphasis on ramp-up & beta products which I`m sure most of your customers will not use until they are out of ramp-up You should focus more on existing technologies e.g. ERP 6.0, NetWeaver 7 and how to get the most benefit out of using those platforms instead”

Articles, How-to Guides, and White Papers recieved the most votes for what members would like to see more of, followed by eLearning, Blogs, and Forums.

Top 10 Topics

1.    Software Development
2.    SAP Solution-Specific Information
3.    Ad Hoc Query Reporting and Analysis
4.    Business Process Management (BPM)
5.    Information Management
6.    Enterprise Architecture
7.    Data Integration
8.    Advanced Analysis
9.    Analytics
10.  Industry-Specific Information

Some Areas that Need Fixing

We know that you value the community and that you go there to seek  answers, solve problems, to learn, and to network with your peers. Members identified several areas that are in need of improvement. Here are some of the frequently-mentioned pain points:

Search

“The search functionality is primitive and klugey. It takes a long time to find useful information.”

Being  able to easily search and find the information you need and the people  you want to connect with is a key enabler. It’s easy to understand the frustration in the following comments:

“Search is horrible! When I search for a person, the first result should be a business card. Everything else should work like a simple Google search. The results list is so hard to search through, too.”

“The search engine on SDN is extremely poor. Sometimes I cant even find my own blogs quickly typing in the exact title. Should be looked at and improved.”

The good news is, we have a very high-end team at SAP who are working to address these issues and others to improve accuracy and relevance of search results. We expect big improvements in site search in 2011.

Content Quality

“The strength of the community is possibly also one of its weaknesses. The total number of members is enormous, as is the number of (active) contributors. This has a serious impact on the volume and quality of the contributions. So on virtually every search, one gets a lot of hits (way too much in some cases). In the end this makes it hard to find the right answer, and leads to yet another question in the forums.”

This member understands that members use SCN as a tool. Sometimes as a learning tool, sometimes as a tool to get info you need to solve a problem, sometimes as a tool to connect with other members in your area to share knowledge, know-how, and innovative discussions. You want the information to flow as smoothly as possible. You hate noise.

Even supposing that the Search Engine is working optimally (I wish, I wish), if it retrieves 100 threads that ask the same question over and over, and you have to open each one to find out in which, if any, the question has been answered, you’re not going to be happy.

Some members think the cause of noise is the points system:

“Please get rid of the recognition systems – we don`t need all of the clutter it promotes.”

“A lot of answers provided by contributors are plainly wrong, and are obviously just answering for points.”

Other members point out that repetitive questions are a big problem,

“The same stupid questions with useless answers show up  multiple times in the [search] results.”

“there are still way too many “lazy” people on here, meaning: they don`t even look whether their problem has already been discussed and solved”

Be Kind to Newbies

It’s a known problem in every mature community that newbies often ask questions that have already been asked, and answered, a thousand times. The old timers who populate the forums rightly get annoyed at this and are ready to scold the newbies and tell them to first try search before they ask another question. The newbies, who maybe have tried search, but not been so successful in finding the answer might feel a little intimidated by this hostile behavior from the entrenched community. How to break in without offending?

I’d like to remind all the old-timers to do whatever needs to be done with nasty point-scammers, but to be tolerant of newbies — we were all newbies once —

“I just want to thank you for all good work you did to make SDN such a wonderful place where a newbie can enhance their skills with expert guidance provided here. Thanks and keep up updating and helping others :-)”

“People are always ready to help others by sharing their knowledge. I must say, without the presence of SDN it would be difficult to solve SAP issues.”

“SAP is like a planet for me, where I can learn and earn lot.”

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6 Comments
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  • Hi Keith,
    I know there a quote about lies and statistics and I know from my stats 101 course that any population over 1004 is significant but only 1500 of a population of over 2,000,000. It goes without saying that it is more likely that the people who responded are more engaged with the site and are happy with it than those who did not.

    I have always tried to fill out the survey and didn’t get to it this year because it went under my radar – perhaps because for a time last year I was less engaged with SCN. It would be more interesting to get the surveys from people who engage with the site less frequently. That’s the survey I would like to see and the survey that is very hard to get.

    Also what’s the chance of getting this data set opened out for independent analysis by the community? I am sure the BI community would love that.

    Thanks for all the great work you people do at SCN. It is the best technical community I have every been a part of.

    Cheers,
    Nigel

    • Hi Nigel,
      Sorry you missed the survey this year.
      You’re certainly right about the method of data-gathering. A more scientific approach would be for us to contact members randomly, as they do in public opinion polling. (I recently read a public opinion poll from one of the major news services that had a sample size smaller than the number of respondents to our survey, yet, because of the methodology used, they can claim that the results represent the opinions of the American people.)

      But even if in our survey we are only hearing from members who are more engaged and more positive about the community, I think that’s okay. From my perspective, these voices are our core community who are really the drivers (and potential drivers)that create community value by their engagement.
      And anyway, you have to be an SCN member even to take part in the survey, so we’re already selecting the more engaged, similar to a public opinion poll that only looks at registered voters. Nevertheless, 2/3 of these members were taking the survey for the first time, so I assume that these folks are relatively new to the community and bring in a fresh perspective.
      Personally, I enjoy reading though the many comments that we get. It’s a fun read because, frankly, most of the comments are positive and many are complimentary to our team, which is a great moral-builder for us.

  • Thanks Keith!
    I liked the footnote on being nice to newbies in a mature community. While folks might not be experts (yet) they can still behave professionally and SCN should make it less intuitive for people to make childish mistakes.
    There is also much aggitation with the affects of the points system in the community – nice to see this shining through in the survey and SAP taking the issue up.
    Cheers and thanks again,
    Julius
    • +1 =>> I was reminded to be nicer to the newcomers few times, but sometimes it is very difficult to understand who is a lazyguy and who is a newbie who does not understand how SDN works.
      I will try to keep this in mind for the future, not to discourage newcomers.
      thank you for the survey and the results,
      cheers Otto
      • Thanks keith

        Otto, Julius,
        Dealing face-to-face with people who refuse (or are too lazy) to learn is very difficult for me.  Imagine how I feel when I look at the forums 🙂 Unfortunately, it took an incident (on SDN, but unrelated to forums) where I severely stuck my foot in it before I learnt that everyone’s perceptions are different, and that I need to be very clear about what I mean.  It gave me the perspective that others may have NOT learnt this yet…..  So be nice to them, point out the error of their ways, but above all be nice to them – We may need them one day !!

        HTH

  • Hi Keith – great insights.

    SCN is now of a size that solving the problems which get surfaced year after year should be a priority. Heck – this is supposed to be the company that drips ‘innovation’ every time it has something to say and yet its 2 mill + registrants can’t find stuff?

    Search – everyone knows it sux and so newbies end up asking the same old, same old stuff and old times get pissed off and on and on.

    Sort out search, think about adopting a Quora-like approach (Darren Hague thinks Stack Exchange would be a better alternative) and many problems go away.