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Social networking tools can be useful in our personal lives, but how can we get the same benefits in a work environment, while still maintaining security and privacy?

The fact is, many social networks already exist in your organization. You don’t need to create new networks – what you really need to do is understand and leverage the networks that already exist. Watch this video to see how SAP StreamWork can help you plug into the social networks in your organization, so that you can:

  • Leverage the power of a social network in a business context
  • Immediately participate in the company-wide network without inviting or requesting connections
  • Quickly find experts by searching your network
  • Explore connections to learn the best way to be introduced

In this video, I log in to SAP StreamWork as a sales account manager at a fictional company called Peak Trendz. I have an opportunity that I’m working on with one of my accounts and there’s a possibility of a joint sale with Kohl’s. So I need to find out quickly who is responsible for the Kohl’s account.

I do a search within the new People section of SAP StreamWork for Kohl’s and I find Duncan Williams. I mouse over the result, and I get some key information – I see his title is Sales Account Manager, so I’m pretty sure I’ve got the right guy. I like to know more about the people I’m going to work with, so I click More Details to see a fuller profile.

I’m able to view some contact information for Duncan and look at his SAP StreamWork Feed to see the types of things he’s been posting. I can look at his Work History, which will show his latest actions on any SAP StreamWork activities that I’m allowed to view. Sometimes seeing what a person does at an organization is the most useful insight of all.

Now that I have an idea of Duncan’s job description and what he does at the organization, I would like to understand where he fits in the organizational structure and who he works with – to really understand his networks

Duncan is part of several networks, and we can see his place in the reporting hierarchy of the company. He reports to Brian Johnson, who rolls up to Bruno Anderson. I see that Bruno reports to Robert Dumant, who is the CEO of the company.

But these days, informal working relationships can be even more important than a formal reporting hierarchy. By changing the network view to Collaborates With, I can get some insight into who Duncan works with most frequently.

I can also explore the Account team network. I can see that, besides Kohl’s, Duncan is responsible for two additional accounts, JC Penney and Macy’s. By clicking on Kohl’s, I can see all the other people who are part of the overall account team.

It’s important to note that you can see these social networks without having to invite people or request connections, as in other social networking tools. That’s because of behind-the-scenes technology that auto-detects and generates the social networks based on company data.

It also means that people’s profiles will automatically contain rich, useful information about their expertise and what they do – so that you can search and quickly find the right people you need to collaborate with. This is what we call “social intelligence.”

Finally, I want to understand how I connect to Duncan. By clicking the Connect button, I see various paths that connect me with Duncan. For instance, I see that he works with two consultants who I also often work with, Christian and Luis, so I know that I can ask either of them to introduce me.

Now that I’ve found the person I was looking for and understand his background and social networks better, I can choose to take some action based on that insight. I can choose to Follow Duncan in SAP StreamWork – so that I can see updates on his latest status and work – or I can choose to invite him to collaborate with me in an SAP StreamWork activity. And if I find that I end up collaborating frequently with Duncan, I can add him to one of my contact lists.

It’s worth mentioning that all this comes with the robust security and privacy protection capabilities that you expect from SAP. And the basic edition of SAP StreamWork is free – you can start using it today:

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3 Comments

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  1. SherryAnne Meyer
    Loved this blog – and love the possibilities in Streamwork.  In the ASUG Human Capital Management community, we have been experimenting with it as we planned the annual conference material.  And Julie Lemieux will be joining us at our Pre-Conference Seminar (reference my blog – Casting for Talent….) on Sunday May 15th to do personal demos of Streamwork and more with all attendees.  Great to see more people talking about what Streamwork is and and do to enable collaboration
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    1. David Brockington Post author
      Thanks for your comments, SherryAnne. Yes, I could see lots of potential for this “social network exploration” functionality with user group communities such as ASUG, where the primary goal is to find and connect with like minded people.

      Also lots of opportunities in the HCM space, as well.

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  2. Jason Cao
    You look nothing like Susan Vogel! 😉

    Thanks for the blog David! I’m finishing off some schooling right now, and recently introduced my class and faculty members to StreamWork. Since they’re all geographically distributed, they’ve actually started using StreamWork for group projects, and consulting projects with clients. They picked it up in no time!

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