SAP StreamWork: Picking up Steam?
Recently, Ilan Frank, SAP, provided an ASUG webcast regarding SAP StreamWork.
Figure 1, Source: SAP
As Figure 1 shows, StreamWork is a team collaboration tool and broadcast collaboration. Teams, targeted work, e-mail are not structured enough and transactional system is too structured.
Ilan explained at SAP StreamWork is used for Marketing, Solution Management to discuss alternatives and how to execute planning. For the sales side, it could be used for opportunity analysis, how best to respond, and what are the best products. It could be used for event planning (we have used it for ASUG event planning).
Figure 2 Source: SAP
Ilan said that StreamWork helps solve the problem of having ad hoc unstructured tasks to complete.
Consider how you work today. Today you work in e-mail, instant messaging, or phone, or conference room or WebEx – these are good for short collaborations. However, these break down when it becomes more collaborative and not a one way stream and everyone needs to make a decision, or using BI to bring in a report. You need recordkeeping. Today you need to go through e-mail and find a trace for a decision made or why a decision was made 6 months ago.
What is StreamWork? A cohesive application brings together people information – a SaaS, or Software as a Solution tool.
Sapstreamwork.com is available for within or across companies. Ilan says it is results-driven, brings in collaborators to do work, and brings in structure, based on information, documents, and enterprise data.
Ilan said there has been significant adoption: 11,000 different companies using StreamWork. He feels it because of design philosophy of an open architecture.
Figure 3 Source: SAP
As Figure 3 shows, and Ilan shows later via demo, you select a new product name and invite people, then apply structure and drive to a decision. It works synchronously or asynchronous. Instant messaging is allowed.
Figure 4 Demo
In Ilan’s demo, he is a fictional character called Moe. Ilan said it looks like Facebook but with productivity and innovation gains. You can see feed updates, and can update your status or activities.
Figure 5 shows that you can filter statuses (this comes in handy!)
Figure 6 Activities
Figure 6 shows two ways to review activities – Recent Activities will sort on when they were last worked on. Clicking on the Activities menu will allow you to select from Activities.
Figure 7 Source: SAP
This activity is to create a new product name. In Figure 7 on the left side there are the participants and by clicking the + you can invite more.
He created a goal, and on the right people can comment. You can create new tools or methods to the activity.
Figure 8 RASIC Matrix
Figure 8 shows another tool, a RASIC Matrix, showing who is consulted, responsible, informed.
You can also insert e-mails into an activity. You can forward from Outlook into StreamWork and automatically invite those in the to: or cc: of the e-mail line.
Figure 9, Source: SAP
Figure 9 shows another method is a Pro / Con table, listing the product names and listing the pro/cons of each.
Figure 10, Source: SAP
After voting you can see a Consensus in Figure 10.
Figure 11, Source: SAP
Figure 11 shows that after making a decision you can lock it and then archive it and reference it for the future. Third parties can create applications for StreamWork. The People tab is the “third leg of StreamWork”
Figure 12 People, Source: SAP
Figure 12 lists the people you collaborate with. It allows an administrator to connect with HCM/CRM and pull into StreamWork
Figure 13 Expertise Search, Source: SAP
You can search for a person’s expertise or Follow their status updates.
Figure 14, Source: SAP
Figure 14 shows where you can explore; this gives a similar feature to Linked In
Figure 15, Source: SAP
Ilan created a new activity, uploaded a file, and the file converts it in-line so you do not have to open Word anymore.
Figure 16, Source: SAP
Ilan says they use the Ranking for their StreamWork sprints for software development.
Figure 17 Settings Email, Source: SAP
Ilan said the easiest way to set up is to use the Vcard functionality (Figure 17). You can also create an activity by sending an e-mail to StreamWork.
Figure 18, Source: SAP
Figure 18 shows notifications, where you set up when and how you get notified in StreamWork
Figure 19 Source: SAP
Figure 19 shows use cases for StreamWork. Ilan says they use the use the Sales & Marketing use cases
Figure 20, Source: SAP
Figure 20 shows the architecture. It is a SaaS (software as a service) solution. The enterprise agent on the right sits inside the firewall so IT does not have to open port in firewall. It connects to LDAP. BlackBerry, Apple, Android can be used as clients. Figure 20 shows three editions.
Figure 21, Source: SAP
Figure 21 shows the systems already integrated with StreamWork. BusinessObjects Enterprise integration is planned for this quarter. On Demand, ERP are also planned integration. Ilan said StreamWork is a complementary, not a competitive product and leverage social media.
Question & Answer:
Q: You implied earlier that StreamWork could import things like BW reports. True? If so, what would be the method you recommend?
A. BW integration is not there today but is planned. StreamWork supports PDF, Word, Excel, CSV, and you can export from BW to those formats
Q: What would be the costs to buy the professional or enterprise edition?
A: Professional edition is $9 per user per month; Enterprise edition is $16 per user month (list prices)
Q: Any plans for StreamWork to integrate with SAP Solution Mgr for Project Mgmt, or Service Mgmt?
A: Solution Manager is on the list
After all this time in using SAP StreamWork with both SAP and ASUG, I am finally glad I understand how to use some of the features of the tool – especially the filters, the notifications, the templates and the ranking.
My experience is that a tool is only as good as everyone using it and for a tool like StreamWork to work successfully the whole team needs to use it.