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I am not a big fan of Facebook, mainly because they own all the content you share, but also because of their difficult privacy settings and their bad user interface (just my personal opinion).

I think that’s also the reason why it caught my attention when I heard our new Sales OnDemand solution called a “Facebook for the enterprise”. Frankly, I think it’s more than that.

Let’s have a look.

1. What’s so great about Facebook?

There are mainly two features that are really impressive in my opinion, and I apologize for going into detail here, but I think it’s worth it knowing.

Groups
Most of the people don’t really know about it but I also don’t think that a lot of people are using this feature, but you can actually create closed groups for yourself and selected people. You can have multiple groups with different people. And whatever you do within this group stays within. In former days we would have called that a collaboration room 😉
The great thing about this is that you can use every feature of Facebook within such a closed group: Status updates, link, picture and video sharing, events,… 

Messages
Wherever you are, Facebook can send you messages – or better: People can send you messages through Facebook. If someone writes you a message on Facebook and you are currently online, you will see this message popping up in your chat. On the other hand whenever you chat this will be saved as a thread of messages/conversation in your messages. That’s already pretty cool. But not only can you also access all this through the Facebook mobile apps, but if you don’t have a smartphone yet you can also get text messages (=”SMS” for German readers ;-)) for every message from Facebook and respond to it via the same. Also these messages will all be saved in your Facebook messages in the same than chat conversations or messages that have been written on a browser. So, once again: Wherever you are, you can communicate via Facebook.

 2. What’s so great about SAP?

Sales OnDemand is of course different to Facebook in a lot of ways, but it has few similar features:

  • Status Updates
  • Following people
  • Mention and link other people in your status updates, including customers, customer contacts and even business documents
  • Available on mobile devices

But it’s a lot more than that:

  • You can not only follow people but also objects/documents and you will get a status update from them based on configured conditions (e.g. status changes)
  • And Sales OnDemand has a clear business purpose. It’s not meant to be for private use, but it will rather help your sales people sell more and make more money.

Or as Cindy Jutras describes it in her blog: It’s the salesforce automation part of CRM. But maybe just have a look at a demo video of Sales OnDemand yourself here.

So Sales OnDemand is great for collaborating with your team mates. Whenever you need something more open, StreamWork comes into place.

StreamWork allows you to pull together the people you need and start activities with them. The activity can be open or closed, it can include only internal colleagues or everyone else with a valid email address – including your customers, suppliers, external accountants, tax advisors, you name it.

Within an activity you can

  • share information
  • comment and discuss
  • vote on questions
  • update your status
  • create and complete action items
  • even integrate OpenSocial compliant third-party tools that are useful for your specific need

Now, coming to the point: Why do I mention Facebook, Sales OnDemand and StreamWork in the same blogpost?

Because all of these product have a social component in common. This social aspect and the combination of products such as Sales OnDemand and StreamWork will boost productivity in businesses into new spheres in the future and therefore we will see even more social aspects in all of our software, I’m sure.

And the best thing is: When you are using SAP products, you own the content you share, not SAP!

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