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SAP StreamWork: A World Without Email?

Part of a series on how SAP uses SAP

Laura Jamieson, director, Cloud and Collaboration Solution Management, SAP


Laura Jamieson logged in to email one morning and wondered whether her team had disappeared. In her Inbox: a handful of announcements from corporate communications, some junk email and a few emails from people outside of her team. What happened? Her entire team had migrated over to SAP StreamWork.

Jamieson, a director in Cloud and Collaboration Solution Management at SAP, said the infamous morning when her inbox went empty signaled a behavioral change in her team. “The critical moment was when the whole team started to use SAP StreamWork,” she said. “Now, spending less than 60 minutes a day on email is the norm.”

How did SAP StreamWork replace email?

Jamieson and her team did not set out to eliminate email; they simply gravitated toward SAP StreamWork as they became more and more productive using the cloud-based collaboration tool. Here are some of the ways Jamieson and her team have put the solution to work:

Staying current: “When I wake up, I turn on my Android tablet and look at my Facebook updates. When I come into work, I look at my SAP StreamWork updates. It’s become natural to check on what people are doing on their SAP StreamWork feed statuses,” says Jamieson.

Jamieson adds comments or updates to colleagues’ feeds. When asked if this is just like reading and replying to email, Jamieson says no. “Having a feed in SAP StreamWork is like navigating a Facebook feed… You read it, enjoy the message and don’t have to delete or file it. It’s just reading a status update, so it feels more lightweight. When I’m in my email, the process is clunkier and more time-consuming.”

Reducing duplicate efforts: Jamieson, based in Canada, works on a team with colleagues in the United States, Germany and Israel. “We’re so busy and there’s so much going on that it can be hard to stay up to date on everything that’s happening,” she says. “So we follow each other in SAP StreamWork. Whenever I notice that someone has started an activity on a topic I’m an expert in, I’ll say, ‘Hey, I know something about this, let me help.’ With email, I’d never know one person sent an email to another on a topic where I have expertise. SAP StreamWork has been incredibly useful in helping us all to quickly marshal the expertise we have on the team and not waste time ramping up where we don’t need to.”

Spreading best practices: Jamieson also notes that her team uses feeds to share information on best practices. As team members learn interesting things, they post their findings in their status updates. Jamieson notes, “Over the past week I have read at least two articles that I found through colleagues posting them on their feed status updates. What’s great about it is that colleagues would never email the entire organization to recommend an article, but they will post it in their status update. Because we’re all using SAP StreamWork feeds, we’re sharing information that we wouldn’t otherwise share, and this is helping our entire organization keep up to date on analyst feedback and industry best practices.”

In addition, the team will post comments to feeds, capturing in one place a discussion that could have happened over a dozen emails. “Email exchange is typically 30 to 40 emails on one topic on my team,” says Jamieson. “Whereas in SAP StreamWork, all of those 30 or 40 comments are captured in one activity.”

Connecting people and onboarding: Jamieson also uses SAP StreamWork to connect people new to a project with other colleagues. Deeper than an introductory email, Jamieson says SAP StreamWork lets her connect people who need to work together in a way that lets them start an activity together and share resources right away. “I recently met a partner management team in Europe that was working on a project that was similar to a project ongoing with a partner management team in North America. I sent an @mention introduction to the two team leads via SAP StreamWork so that they could connect and share their activities with each other.”

Avoiding the email Bermuda Triangle: Jamieson says that, “Sometimes I most notice the difference between life before and after SAP StreamWork when I refer back to old projects.” A year ago, she and her team scoped out requirements for a new project and sent it to the team managing the project. The project was de-prioritized, only to emerge a year later as a high priority. The team pinged Jamieson saying they needed the requirements. She told them she emailed it to them a year ago, but they couldn’t find it. And neither could she. Due to email size requirements, she may have deleted it.

“If I had been using SAP StreamWork, it would have been there,” says Jamieson. “I use SAP StreamWork every day and I’m nowhere near my space limitation and would never have a reason to delete it.”

Jamieson finds SAP StreamWork to be useful in keeping in touch with her global team, reducing email traffic and avoiding duplication of effort.

How are you using SAP StreamWork to become more productive individually and as a team? Let us know in the comments section!

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