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Author's profile photo Owen Pettiford

Turning the Marketing Megaphone round on the SAP Train Race

During the SAP Train Race, the team from CompriseIT (code-named the Inebriati), created a working application using seven different technologies. This application  posted data into SAP ERP from an Xbox Kinect and facebook.

Much of this was made possible by using SAP NetWeaver Gateway which enabled the SAP ABAP stack to be exposed in an OData format (RESTful webservice).

The scenario that CompriseIT set up was a facebook application, designed for community Influencers (called Influenza), that they could use to provide feedback on a new product (in this case the CompriseIT Whistle Blower Mobile App).

Influenza facebook app

This facebook feedback was stored directly in an SAP ERP system in the Audit Management Module (think an ABAP version of Survey Monkey) via PHP calling an OData service. This service also had a method that pumped out an average of the last 25 facebook posts which drove a Sentiment Gauge (Google Graphs) / Wordle (using PHP).

Google Graphs power sentiment monitor

It was also “listened” to by an SAP BPM process which had a business rule configured that represented a threshold for “bad” feedback.


When the average feedback was below the “bad” threshold value, the BPM process triggered an alert to the product manager for Whistle Blower, and the OData service also posted an acknowledgement to the Influencers’ facebook walls informing them that the problem was being looked into (something that some fruit-based tech companies might want to consider as “best practice”).

facebook wall posts direct from SAP ABAP Stack

A jQueryMobile application was then used to surface the BPM task using the BPM API which allowed the product manager to include the appropriate people from the organisation to “fix” their poor feedback. In the demo scenario this involved contacting the development team. Both the product manager and the development team could also provided feedback from a mobile device via a jQueryMobile application. In both cases their feedback was posted to the influencers’ facebook pages and an internal alert monitor.

jQueryMobile on a iPhone to update BPM task using BPM APIs

The solution is designed so that other Social Media feeds (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Streamwork etc) could be plugged into the Sentiment engine – linking companies directly with their Network – Turning round the marketing megaphone.

Finally, as a bit of fun, (thank to Tommy from Microsoft for encouraging us), we linked an Xbox Kinect to the Influenza alert monitor and showed that we could also trigger the above process by the Product Manager putting his head in his hands as he/she saw their sentiment rating fall with negative words spreading across their wordle.

It was a great 4 days on the SAP Train Race with great organisation from the SAP and SpinText team. I would like to thank the CompriseIT team for their determination, innovation and sense of fun – well done Mark, Lewis and Paul – who proved that “After slightly less than 2 drinks – Anything Really is Possible !”

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