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How cool is SCN? No don’t answer. I’ll do it for you. As my 15 year-old daughter would say “SCN is way-cool, Dad!”.

Before SCN there was nothing. (Actually there was SDN but that is not my point.)

Before SCN if you wanted to find a resource for deep and dark SAP information you had few choices. You could go on a training course.You could teach yourself through experience. You could find a suitable person who would enlighten you.

Now it is different. Now you can go on a training course. You can teach yourself through experience. You can find a suitable person who will enlighten you. Okay, I’m not really making my point am I? (Actually SCN makes it far easier to do all those things but I digress.)

SCN is cool because it makes a difference. It makes a difference to us because we now have an extensive online source of tips, tricks, problems and solutions that we can draw on with a simple search. (Tip – I am told search will be much better in the new SCN platform. SCN team stop reading this blog and get back to work!) It makes a difference to us because we can reach out and connect with the brightest and best people in the SAP ecosystem no matter where they are. (Isn’t it interesting how the best and brightest are also the ones most willing to share. There is a lesson there somewhere.) It makes a difference because it gives people like us a centralised place to put forward our ideas and opinions, to start and contribute to discussions, and to engage with our peers.

But most of all SCN makes a difference to SAP. SCN allows everyone to have a conversation with SAP – not just the CIOs from the top 500 organisations in the world. Everyone. And SAP is listening. And in listening SAP is learning and maturing. They are learning that criticism is a good thing. Criticism, especially from your customers, is a great thing. After all, if your friends aren’t going to tell you the truth who will. (Okay “friends” might be a step too far but you know what I mean, right?) And once you learn that criticism can be a good thing, once you mature, you seek out suitable forums for more people to give you open and honest feedback. That’s cool. That’s SCN.

You know what else is really cool about SCN? There are about 18 gazillion members of SCN. That makes sense right because sign-up is free of charge? I mean Lady Gaga has over 14 million Twitter followers so 18 gazillion SCN members means nothing. But, in each calendar month half of the registered members of SCN logon for some reason or other. So that means 9 gazillion SCN members see enough value in SCN to come back at least every few weeks to search for something, contribute to something, or connect with someone. * I am not 100% sure about the total number of SCN members – but I am sure that about 50% of them are active.


This is not your Grandmothers’ SAP. For a start this SAP trusts us way more than the old SAP did. This SAP, while still somewhat thin-skinned at times, is happy to facilitate conversations even though they have no idea where they will end up. That’s pretty cool. And also a bit unusual.

So I wanted to share a few feedback comments I noticed this week that were triggered by a conversation I started on SCN.

In the comments section of an article by Frank Scavo were these little nuggets. You can see the full article

here

.

..SAP deserves some props for providing the SAP Community Network platform that allow<sic> this robust discussion to be engaged.” – Kevin Grove

..There is quite a bit of discussion right there on the SAP-sponsored SDN message board. SAP deserves credit for that. You would never, ever, see such a thing on a website sponsored by the other very large enterprise software vendor…” – Frank Scavo

SCN is way-cool!

* Update 12th March 2012 – the new SCN is cooler than the old SCN

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9 Comments

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  1. Jon Reed
    Graham, agreed – SAP deserves the credit especially the last two quotes in your post in italics. To provide a platform for an open discussion on this post says a lot about SAP. It’s why I engage rather than walking away. There is work to do but the honest back and forth does speak volumes.

    – Jon

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  2. Tom Cenens
    the eagle has not landed everywhere. SAP still has work to do to get everyone on board of the “new” SAP.

    Seeing things like Vishal Sikka talking with SAP Mentors is very positive and encouraging that SAP is indeed listening.

    There are signs where it’s visible SAP isn’t all new so they should stay alert.

    I’m excited for the release of the new SCN, it will further engage community members to connect, share and possibly make a difference.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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  3. Kumud Singh
    Hello,

    I am sure same would be the opinion of many other people.In fact at times I boast this in front of my friends working on other technologies.
    Thanks for writing.

    Regards,
    Kumud

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  4. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Graham:

    Great blog -:) I have been part of other communities before and after SCN…but none had made me feel like home…most of my best friends come from SCN…people I knew on forums, blogs, twitter and that I get to knew personally at TechEd or Sapphire…if it wasn’t for SCN my life would be completely different…so…yes…SCN rocks!

    Greetings,
    Blag.

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  5. Jarret Pazahanick
    SAP gets a lot of kudos for the SAP community network but I dont think it is fully appreciated how valuable it is for SAP, Customers and Consultants.

    I also think SCN sets SAP apart from the closed world of Oracle and will only become more valuable as time goes on.

    As far as the “exact” count Mark Yolton SVP of SCN mentioned in tweet

    “10,162 people are new members of #SCN last week. Who do you know who should join 2,739,363 others? http://scn.sap.com It’s all about #SAP”

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  6. Kevin Grove
    One other feature of SCN deserves mention is the SAP Mentor program. SCN would be OK, but much less cool, without a mentor program. Props are due to the team with the foresight to build the program of knowledgeable, passionate, committed and involved experts. The fact that mentors come from throughout the SAP ecosystem – not just employees – enriches the mentor program and SCN greatly. If you don’t know about the mentors, check this link: SAP Mentor Initiative
    Great work Graham, mentors and SCN!

    Regards,

    Kevin Grove

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  7. Kumud Singh
    Hello again,
    I was thinking I would write a blog but now I can comment here as both are for thanking SCN.
    Recently, we had a client meeting and there were demos stating how are we using new features/products of SAP. They talked about HANA,Businees objects,mobility,cloud computing and few more things.
    There was no mention of SAP Streamwork and Gamification concept.Also how are we preparing ourself to tackle HANA implementation.(in long term though).

    I could ask these questions only because I read a lot about them in SCN.But people around seemed to be very impressed and Client took it as valid points to be thought upon.

    Regards,
    Kumud

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  8. Gail Moody-Byrd
    Graham, Thanks for all the positive comments here. and yes we can read blogs and still work on the launch (smile). Question remains (from the Tech Ed Mentor meeting – how do we embed this idea of community value into the account sales teams? We left that room with some ideas but no definitive answers from your corner of the room….
    Cheers
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