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We dug deeper than we ever have before to crystallize thevalue of community participation, because we had to understand the baseline value we deliver now, and then expand it to incorporate what the new platform will enable.

We asked people to put into words the instinctive sense they have that this community is valuable. We of course heard from our trusted power users, who articulated revelations they had this year about the importance of the community connection. Another bounty was that we found new voices – of brand new and emerging members and of people who have relied upon us for years, quietly chopping away at their jobs with the help of the community.

Here are 8 themes and the supporting quotes:

(note member images may not be placed next to their own quote)

It has “just the answers I need”.

  • “I googled my question about Mobility on iPad 2. I can rely on SCN to have the most knowledgeable answer. I could see word for word what needed to be done.” Peggy Flowers, Bayer
  • “It a great place to contribute and gain knowledge. It has been recognized by IT industry experts as the best online technical community. Best place to get unofficial answers to your big and small, smart and stupid questions.” Hussain Sehoreala, IBM

It’s hard to measure, but the impact is REAL.

  • “At an event, I tweeted a customer problem and another mentor tweeted back. We had the problem resolved in short order and told the customer, who was next to me, what the fix was. The one thing that ties everyone together is that we want to help the community learn and we want to share information with people to make them successful and make them better.” Jamie Oswald, Arch Coal 
  • SAP’s first value is customer success. What’s absolutely critical to the conversation are engaged, motivated experts who are independent. Organizations want to buy product with pragmatic knowledge of what their challenges will be and what they can accomplish with the product. People need these communities. They’re well followed and keep the conversation going on important stuff. It helps us drive the adoption of new solutions. There’s value to the customer and value to the ecosystem.” Ray Kloss, SAP Australia 
  • It’s easy to measure with money b/c we could say our sales grew 20% much, but this is not like that.” Otto Gold, Xiting AG
  • For us it builds credibility that we know what we are talking about and we know how to use the technologies. SCN has helped our business in helping draw visibility to what we do both on service side and for product development and raise our level and visibility in marketplace. Ryan Goodman, Centigon Solutions(partner)

     

The connections are life-changing (within the sphere of work).

  • “Thank you so much for SCN. I live there. It’s my life, it’s my bread. I’m the only programmer in the company, so I pretty much live on there for answers. You get answers as quick as you possibly could.” Vyerah Yenda, Multiquip
  • “I use SCN more and more as the days go by…it extends the number of folks you have available on various areas. You can ask questions no matter how basic. The community changed my life.” Ralph Wood, Lockheed Martin

 

It makes SAP products better for you.

  • “What we discovered is that the mentors had a different viewpoint then our other product managers. We really took that feedback to senior management. We took the feedback and actually implemented it into our software.  Right now you will find the feedback from the community into our products.” Karthik, SAP Labs India

You are part of something historic.

  • “SAP is far and away the community superstar…”Comblu, State of Online Branded Communities
  • “SAP has quietly built a B2B social media juggernaut that puts most … groups (whether B2B or B2C) to shame on just about any measure.”  Drew Niesser, CEO  & Founder of Renegade for Fast Company.com
  • “In the software industry you can’t really have a discussion about communities without referencing the SAP Community Network. The community is not just a rudderless forum; it’s topical and has reputation standards for participants.” Sameer Patel, Sovos Group

   

It’s unlike any other community.

  • “I love being active on SCN, it is definitely one of best if not the best community in the enterprise software realm.” Tom Cenens, CTAC
  • “SCN is cool because it makes a difference…because we can reach out and connect with the brightest and best people in the SAP ecosystem, because it gives people like us a centralized place to put forward our ideas and opinions… and to engage with our peers.” Graham Robinson, Yelcho Consulting Systems
  • “I don’t know of any other software company that has such a great community online that supports people like this.” Tom Matys, FMC Corp.

   

The upcoming new SCN is going to make this community even more beneficial.

  • “Very simple, easy to use and impressed right away with the quality and thought that went into designing a new community. There was one feature I liked in particular with the new online community. It was the ability to follow, people, follow topics, customize layout and monitor activities I’m interested in.  Going to be very useful to use and I can’t wait for them to launch it.” Troy McClatchy, ISSI
  • I think it’ll be easier for the information we are looking for., easier to focus on the solutions we need and to connect with other individuals and companies that are doing the same work that we are. We will definitely save time navigating the site and getting what we need much faster.” Corrine Narreau, SAIC

 

In the end, all its personal.

  • I have seen such a great change in the past 4-5 years in the SAP culture. A lot of it driven by mentors but also support for the SAP Ecosystem from within SAP itself. Marketing has gone from old school marketing “This is what we want you to buy”to” what you want”. People are listening to us.” Martin English, Stream Technology
  • It helps us to work with people that have real lives, real hobbies, real families but they still spend their days at a job then they have another job being a mentor (being a friend in the evenings.) This is a real family of people.” Otto Gold, Xiting AG
  • It’s amazing to see how the network has grown. It has grown in terms of content, direction, but most importantly in the sense of people and community. It represents the community online, inside of SAP and outside of SAP and that is what so fantastic about it. DJ Adams, SAP Mentor

   

 

See our “What Customers Say” playlist and this featured video with some “new faces” from the community in 2011 talking about the value they derive.


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4 Comments

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  1. Ian Daniel
    Hi Gail,
    Great to hear this feedback, it seems to come mainly from consumers of the SCN and I would love to hear from contributors, and in particular from companies that encourage contribution to see how they sell the vision of “giving away” free consulting, other than via the karmic method. This will help me to encourage more of my team to contribute on the SCN as at the moment, we struggle to get them engaged.
    Cheers,
    Ian Daniel
    (0) 

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