“Better | Faster | Stronger” is Not Just for the Six Million Dollar Man Anymore…
Social media, social applications, social networks, and social business have dramatically transformed how millions of people connect and collaborate, and how businesses make decisions and operate.
And for years, the SAP Community Network (SCN) has been an innovator and leader in accelerating and advancing social business for SAP, its ecosystem of customers and partners, and across the entire spectrum of industries engaged in global business. We led the way in many areas, we have been regarded as a pace-setter and innovator — and now I’m excited to say that we’re taking the next giant leap forward.
Coming Soon to Your Community: Innovations, Updates, Clarity, and Massive Modernization
Since its inception in 2003 as the SAP Developer Network (SDN), what we now know as “About SAP Community Network (SCN)” (broadening in scope to encompass multiple communities, each serving groups beyond simply developers to also include sysadmins and IT professionals more generally, business process experts, business analysts, functional and solution consultants, university students…) has been community-driven.
What do I mean by “community-driven”? We measure and track hundreds of thousands of conversations and traffic interactions every day, observe consumption trends, listen to advice and requests in our discussion forums, blogs, and wiki, pore through SCN 2011 Member Survey results, gather feedback at FEATURED EVENTS, prioritize suggestions in the Idea Place, weigh the advice of SAP Mentors … and then we plan and execute changes and innovations based on the collective voices of our community members and other stakeholders.
We know, for example, that running a seamless and constantly evolving platform is invaluable to our community members: customers, partners, and colleagues. And we also know that while, over the past years our platform has served us well, we cannot innovate, extend, customize, and evolve this platform fast enough or in all the directions necessary to best serve the diverse users we need to serve going forward.
With this in mind, I’m pleased to let you know that we are — right now — planning a massive re-platforming, migration, and modernization of the underlying infrastructure of this SAP Community Network. Within the next few months, we will be running on the most robust, full-featured, scalable, extensible, integrated community and social networking platform on the planet… and you will benefit tremendously from this modernization.
SCN on JIVE
If you have been monitoring closely, you will notice that the comprehensive migration of the current SCN social media platform to the JIVE Social Business System (SBS) version 5 (not yet released) has begun. Internally we call this “Project SCNergy,” (pronounced to either emphasize “synergy” or “energy”), and the SCN team is working hard — and has been doing so for months already — to plan and execute a transition of the bulk of our community areas (for example thousands of topic pages, more than 20,000 blogs, and more than 8 million forum posts…) with new designs, capabilities, content organization, features, and much else.
Not everything will migrate to JIVE, of course. We will retain our SAP NetWeaver portal as an uber-front-end “welcome mat,” our LDAP, federated search across multiple SAP online properties, single sign-on, KM for our article library, e-learning, videos, events pages, and an intact wiki.
What will migrate includes the SCN business card, blogs, ratings, activity stream, discussion forums, points database and recognition program, our article cover pages and documents, and user profile.
Due to this dramatic move and the well-known leadership of SAP in the social business world, I was recently invited to keynote at the west coast JIVE New Way Tour event in San Francisco. In my keynote presentation, The Power of Social Business, I talked about the value of social business and the broad benefits of streamlining into one modern platform, with an emphasis on JIVE.
This gave me the opportunity to highlight SAP’s social business leadership — particularly with SCN but also with SAP’s internal employee communities and gated semi-private areas — to illustrate how SAP leverages social business technology and best practices, and to show how the migration fits into the overall SAP landscape and social business strategy. I share the video of this keynote with you in case you’d like to deep-dive further into SAP’s social business and JIVE.
So why JIVE?
We selected JIVE because it is the current leader in providing social collaboration platforms for social business, because SAP and JIVE have had a strong, healthy, and evolving relationship over many years, because some of the largest business-oriented communities in the world are running on JIVE so we expect they can handle our massive size and growth trajectory, because the platform has proved to be robust and reliable enough to deliver the global access and 24×7 availability our members expect and require, because we share a common vision of social business with the JIVE leadership team, and because we believe they will evolve and innovate at a pace and in directions we desire — so that the future can be very bright for our SAP community and its members.
We have experienced tremendous growth and expansion in SCN over the past nearly 8 years. Since our launch in 2003, the quick implementation of JIVE for our discussion forums, the early use of blogs, and expansion in 2006 to launch BPX, by 2007 we reached 1 million members and re-branded ourselves as “SCN,” then followed with the BusinessObjects (now Business Analytics) and University Alliance communities, in 2009 launched the SAP EcoHub App Store and the Career Center, in 2010 passed 2 million members and launched both the Code Exchange and the Idea Place. For 2011, our big undertaking is to fully modernize our community platform so that growth and expansion can continue unabated.
After hosting millions of people in 38 million visits to the SAP communities in 2010, the growth trend continues in 2011. We look forward to growing, evolving, and modernizing now, in order to increase the quality of interactions and benefits to current members, and to expand this value to new types of community members and collaborators in the years ahead.
This year’s migration and platform modernization gives us: a unified and consolidated view of topics including discussions and blogs and other published content, personalized content views to follow precisely what interests you, value-added connections to individuals and influencers including easier following of favorite individual members, easy publishing capabilities that make sharing ideas and insights more democratic and more broadly accessible to all members, more prominent and threaded interactions, simpler and yet richer search, smoother and more prominent personal connections, an updated recognition system, and much more.
Watch This Space!
You will hear alot more about this project in the weeks ahead, and then you’ll notice a dramatic (and, we expect, positive) change in a few months. In the meantime, please let us know your thoughts in the comments area below, and in the twice-annual SCN 2011 Member Survey. Obviously, we’re listening, and we’re responding, to your opinions, ideas, desires, and requests… this platform modernization project is one massive example of that responsiveness that we can’t wait to share with you!