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As the CIO of cable and wire manufacturer Southwire, Sheryl Fikse faces a large number of projects and a tremendous amount of email. Like many of us, she found it time-consuming to keep all the email threads straight and wanted a more practical way to manage information.

During an SAP demo, Fikse decided to try SAP StreamWork. “It worked a lot like Facebook,” she said. “It’s easy to use and allows me to be quickly updated on all important projects. I also like that it’s organized around activities and offers the option of embedding discussions around specific topics.”

Fikse uses SAP StreamWork as a workspace to support the implementation of Southwire’s SAP CRM system. She decided to try SAP StreamWork among her implementation team of 65 people as a beta test before rolling the solution out to other parts of the organization as a combined SAP CRM and SAP StreamWork offering. Currently, she uses the solution to collaborate with consultants, IT employees and people across the business and has found it helpful to have SAP StreamWork for a few reasons:

  • Easy organization of multiple topics and threads
  • Fast and easy way to stay up to date on activities /to keep her finger on the pulse of projects
  • Good way to collaborate with people outside the company; previously “external” collaboration consisted of email and phone calls
  • Good for collaborating among distributed teams
  • Keeps projects rolling in between the times when they’re able to get everybody together. It can be tough to simply get several busy people scheduled for a meeting. With SAP StreamWork, they update each other continuously and projects keep moving

Fikse and her team were able to implement the enterprise edition of SAP StreamWork in one day, and she liked that it’s so easy for people to use. The core users on her team were up and running in a couple of days. They have been using it for several months now and approximately 40 of the 65 people on the team are heavy users of SAP StreamWork. Fikse appreciates the flexibility in adding licenses as she needs them.

Some of the main tools Fikse and her team use are the decision matrices; the polling tool; the agenda for meetings and the timeline. “The timeline is not a replacement for Microsoft Project, but it’s good for a smaller project like an enhancement pack upgrade, to help visualize the time span on the project and the progress,” she said. Her team has also uses the checklist and the discussion feature frequently.

When asked if the team were reporting any benefits, she said that the simple fact that they use the tool is indicative.

“SAP StreamWork has helped me to reduce the amount of time I spend reading email,” she said. “With SAP StreamWork, I feel comfortable that a lot of what I need to know about exists in the StreamWork activity. It’s a great tool for a manager or executive who has multiple responsibilities where there’s a fair amount of detail that has to be managed, particularly if you have a distributed staff that’s decentralized.”

Up next for Fikse and Southwire is the integration of SAP StreamWork with SAP CRM, to help employees collaborate around sales and customer-related activities. For example, with SAP StreamWork and SAP CRM, sales reps can work together around a specific customer when the sale is outside of one salesperson’s area of expertise. Other benefits of the integration would allow workers in the field to enter call reports from a mobile device and help sales managers stay in touch with events as they are happening.

How are you using SAP StreamWork? Let us know in the comment section below, or contact us to share your story!

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