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Confessions of mixed emotions about the coming new SCN

Perhaps you are thinking: good grief, woman, it’s still SCN, and it hasn’t changed in quite a while. We’ve all (or most of us, anyway) adjusted to the seemingly weekly changes to Facebook, so what’s the big deal?

For starters, my personal experience with the Jive platform has not quite been a bed of roses. When I changed employers, suddenly there was the “old” Gretchen Lindquist, that owned and controlled all of the content on that site prior to my new job, and the “new” Gretchen Lindquist, that had no control over any of it. It took months to get the two accounts merged. The same thing was true on my Collaboration Workspace accounts, which are hosted on SCN but utilized by ASUG Influence Councils. In fact, for several months I was told that the accounts could not be merged, but lo and behold, eventually they were.

I am also one of the people who had problems with the LinkedIn application that connected to SCN. No one on either side of that problem was ever able to figure out the root cause of the problem, and I finally had to disconnect the accounts, which was very disappointing while I was in job search.

I also have two SAP Streamworks accounts: one that was created while I was between jobs, using my personal email account, and one that was created with my email address with my new employer. Maybe it is too late for this plea, but could we please get away with these hard links to email accounts? People change jobs quite a bit these days, and it is quite tiresome to have to remember which account was “invited” to which activities.

I also have two Google accounts, one tied to my gmail account, and one to another email account. I have to stop and think each time, now which one is it that has my YouTube channel and my Google+ and access to the right Google calendar.

Thank goodness I have only one Twitter and one Facebook account. Now we are going to have another activity stream to monitor and update. I have mostly kept my Twitter stream for SAP activities and my Facebook statuses for close friends and family. So do I have to post everything in my SCN Activity *and* in Twitter? Or will they be linked? Then what happens if I happen to have another change of employment?

What about all the people whose employers block social media sites? Where I used to work we could not get the Pathable social media service that was used for connecting attendees of SAP TechEd. I suspect that there are already SCN members who cannot connect from computers on their employer’s network, and those numbers could increase as SCN becomes even more social.

Howver, I would be remiss if I did not add that I did see some exciting new features of the new SCN. Blog editing appears to be improved, especially if you are adding photos or other media. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that, after the initial shock of newness settles down, I will be happy with the new SCN after all. The jury is still out.

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  • Hi Gretchen,
    You bring about an interesting issue that your career in SAP applications can transcend your employer.  When you participate in SCN and ASUG, you can make yourself better in your job, but you also make yourself better for any job.  It will be interesting to see how the new SCN handles “identity” as this is a big issue for “cloud services” in general.
    • I agree, identity in the cloud is a huge issue. My skills and experiences go with me, and my statuses and content online should, too. As gamification elements become more widely adopted and prominent, users are just not going to want to start all over at the n00b level every time we change employers.

      Thanks for your comments, Greg!


      • Agreed. I really think it would be in SAP’s best interest to have a full profile that could have multiple email accounts attached and would work on Streamwork, SCN, River, BI OnDemand, etc, etc. Even if certain areas (the support portal, for instance) were tied to individual emails (so once you left a firm, you couldn’t access their data in said portal) it would still be nice to only have to remember one login and to see your personal stuff (like on Streamwork) in line with your work stuff.
        • Jamie,
          Your suggestion sounds like a challenge for SAP’s identity management team. Let’s see if they can make it happen.
          Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  • I saw the new SCN and at times, I was like “where am I” but I agree, new blog features will greatly help.

    I think the issue of multiple IDs would help too.  I too lost my points when I changed employers and I lost access too to my ASUG content (albeit not as much as you produced).

    It’s like an SAP implementation – we will need a good change management plan.


    • Losing points/ status and starting all over again just because you change employers is crazy. You are still the same person, and in the terms of usage of these sites, generally you are the copyright owner of your content. It seems to me that something equivalent to SAP’s “central person” number should be built into these applications so that you are still you regardless of your email address.

      Thanks for your comments, Tammy!


      • Couldn’t agree more with this specific problem. When I changed employers I hardly had any points/publications, so in practice it was no problem. But like you say, it’s crazy that an SDN user account, whichever symbol I want to use for it (be it my s-number, email, or something else) is tied to the company behind my s-userid. I’m very glad you raised this point in your blog.

        Cheers, Fred

  • As much as having my S-userid linked to SCN was nice, I think most people who want to “manage their identify” need to switch to a “public account” on SCN.  Unless the something radically changes on the new platform, I don’t think this problem will be solved.

    I’m still using my “public” account and handling the drawbacks of no SSO to because I don’t want to migrate again my stuff.  I made the transition because their were some limitations of moderation when using a “customer account” vs a public id.

    The master data / CRM part of me says we all really only should exist “once” in a profile system.  There are some great tools available to solve this problem, but I won’t say who makes them ;).

    Take care,


    • Stephen,
      Regarding keeping a public SCN account, I did exactly as you have done, but as a security professional, I am disappointed to have to do such an end around. A more granular level of security ought to be achievable. We are all used to having different security levels in different SAP solutions and even within a solution’s components. Perhaps SAP has “spoiled” us with their very flexible authorization concept, so now let’s see such flexibility extended here.
      Thanks for adding your comments!


      • I could speculate on technically why this can’t be done, but I can tell you that unless you make the external facing relationship the core instead merging things to together you are going to have problems.

        S-users and accounts on are two great examples where company + individual is considered the “unique key” which causes this problem.  The solution is you have to make a contact a unique entity and only “relate them” to a company.  You then need to add in some sosphicated deduplication logic to detect you have the same person but updated information. 

        I’m sure some very large software company sells tools that can solve this problem ;).

        Take care,


  • Gretchen – I’m glad you posted this.  SAP has around 60 days to get their ducks in a row before the curtain is pulled aside on the new look + feel of SCN.  Not having gotten my hands dirty on a working demo, it’s hard to say what the fit + finish will be like.

    Twitter et al:

    I have four Twitter accounts … Me, my dog, the @SCNotties administrator (yes, it’s me), and a Tweeter to be named later (which still managed to collect 13 followers without tweeting anything).  I don’t think I will have a problem keeping this straight, but it’s good to bring this up. I have problems sometime with accounts that seem to not have a person behind them, other than obvious marketing ploys, or fun accounts (like the dog). I have one account on most other social systems, but I do have 2 on SCN (see below – Moderator).

    Identity in the cloud

    What a classic case of misdirection. I’ve got an identity that travels with me.  It’s called “me, myself, and I”. And I’ve got an identity, or several, that are accounts on a site.  Bringing in the term “cloud” has zero to do with how well that site permits me to do what I want, or prevent me from doing what the administrators don’t want me to do.  You’ve highlighted a specific issue that moving between jobs creates issues.  In the CW system, spaces were supposed to be managed to prevent outsiders from seeing secret information, but the side effect was that is was harder for people we wanted to share that information with from getting to it.  The new SCN will have similar dilemmas, as we would still have private areas (like the SAP Mentors and the SCN Moderators) where frank discussions are encouraged.  Please don’t drag the C word into this, anyone.

    Moderator functions

    As a forum, blog and wiki moderator, I’ve had a few challenges.  One, consistency of action, is being handled by a council working on best practices.  Another, using moderator tools while holding an “S” account, will only become more difficult as blogs and forums are migrated to the new space, while wiki is left behind on the old space.  My sense is that the wiki space will wither and die, because Jive 5 will have equivalent capabilities in the documents area (that’s how we do it on


    • Jim,

      The point of the wiki is very valid as I have already had some conversations talking about the need for wiki information or can you do the same thing in a different fashion.

      Private “spaces” will be an interesting view along with the moderator tools.  Hopefully the team has a lot less work left than those of us watching from outside in see.

      Take care,


    • Jim,
      I hope that SCN has better luck with usage of Jive’s “document” functionality than ASUG has had. All too often, I find random documents out there that really should have been posted as blog posts, created by members who perhaps just didn’t know any better.

      Thanks for your comments!


  • Gretchen,
    Thanks for leading the good dialogue about your concerns with our upcoming new site. We want to hear it all – supportive and challenging – so we can address things in advance. Everyone should know there is a active change management workstream on this project that is focused on making the transition easier for experienced users as well as beginners. We’ve done testing, previewed with Mentors, etc. We will be watching this thread and others for more. An FAQ is in development based on questions that come in.