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The new SAP Community Network launched over the past weekend, and we’re proud to be able to show you and other members of our community the results of more than a year of planning, testing, migrating and caring for thousands of details.

While the site still provides access to nine years’ worth of content (including more than 20,000 documents, 22,000 blogs, 389 topic spaces, and 377 discussion topics [former “forums” with 2 million threads and 9 million messages alone] and more), we’re now also able to restructure the content according to topics rather than mode or platform, and to offer a far more robust set of community tools that enable our SCN members to interact and collaborate in ways not possible in our old environment.  In essence, we’re  enabling a truly modern and reorganized online community with much richer “social” engagement at the core of our social network.

Early Positive Reactions

The new site has been live for just two days, and we’re already seeing a flood of positive feedback from users:

“The new #SCN looks great! Fixed the layout of my last blog. Syntax highlighting for blogging is a huge improvement :)” – Leo van Hengel (@lvhengel)

“SAP Community Network is renewed, absolute improvement, visual and functional; also very much like my “own” blogspacescn.sap.com/people/william…” William van Strien (@wvstrien)

“My dream became reality today” – Huseyin Bilgen

“…congratulations to the SCN Team. They really have pulled it off..” – Sandip Agarwalla, Associate Manager, Accenture Technology Solutions, New SCN Comment, March 12, 2012

” Dream come true! “ – Nabheet Madan, Developer, Infosys, New SCN Comment, March 12, 2012

“the new layout is really attractive and easy to access required information. Simply, sdn.sap.com is the #1 platform to get SAP knowledge. Great work and congrats on this great achievement.” – Ma Jamil, SAP Business Administrator, Orient Group Of companies, New SCN Comment, March 12, 2012

“..the #SCN site outlook is looking promising & I firmly believe the SCN team will make the site work like magic soon.” – Pratik Talwar, SAP Analyst, Colgate Palmolive, Twitter, March 12. 2012

The sentiment we found on social media channels over our first couple days was leaning positive.  This is just one snapshot of time (we get 2x per day updates):

/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/sentiment_81365.gif

Far From Perfect

We’re also aware that there are some issues with the site, and it’s important for you to know that we are committed to fixing these quickly. Our primary goals for SCN are to make it user-friendly and valuable to the community. We are not nearly at 100% in terms of meeting those goals right now, but we are aware of issues and will make things right over time.

The site continues to officially be in beta. We launched this way because a site of this size and complexity needs time to get the kinks worked out, and because we get the benefit of user feedback to help inform how we can prioritize to improve it. We plan to keep the site in beta until we’ve addressed key issues and until we are very comfortable for an extended timeframe that it’s “right.” 

We’re seeing user feedback that’s educating us on a variety of things that need to be fixed, but we’re also learning about user behavior, some of which echo feelings heard during our extensive user testing. Other user feedback is new and will inform our upcoming rounds of site functionality implementations.

Our development team in Walldorf and Berlin (primarily) is working with the SCN content and collaboration teams in Palo Alto, Newtown Square, Israel, and Vancouver to identify, prioritize and solve known issues.

Amazing Team Providing Engaged Hands-On Member Assistance

Here’s just one of the physical locations where SCN team members are hard at work and focused on providing around-the-clock support, guidance, assistance, and hot fixes to the community members (this is a subset of the Palo Alto, CA team):

team PA new SCN.jpg

And below are screenshots of the open-to-the-community online video chat – to provide personalized service and interactions – that had been running 22 hours straight in a follow-the-sun model at the time we captured these screenshots:

virtual community clubhouse.gif   video chat.gif

Near-Term Priorities

The key issues we’re working on now include:

  • Performance: the site is slower than we expected at full load. We’re experiencing it ourselves, and it’s frustrating. We’ve identified this is in part a result of how one of our standard widgets interacts with our search database. A fix has been identified and we’re working on implementing it.
  • Login: many of you are getting bounced out of the site after logging in. While you can still navigate the site, the lack of persistence is a challenge to using the site and prevents members from acquiring points for some activities. And in all honesty, it’s just plain annoying. The root issue is related to our registration system, to SSO, and to load, and we hope to have a fix in place shortly.
  • Discussion threads: we migrated 377 discussion forum topics, with 2 million threads, and 9.2 million messages. Some threads are currently missing, and we apologize for the confusion that is causing some of you. We should be able to add the missing threads back into their discussions soon.
We’re Listening to You on Bugs or Simple Annoyances

There are a variety of other issues that have been identified by our team and the community. If you experience something that isn’t right with the site, please add it as a bug in our Bug Reporting space. Our team is processing those and updating a  list of known issues to keep users informed of progress.

Use It and You’ll Learn It (and maybe love it) 

Change is hard. It’s disruptive at first. It requires a different mental model.  But we are convinced that the more you use SCN, the more you’ll get accustomed to it, and the more you’ll like it as much as we do.

Our Getting Started and About Us resources should point you to helpful content and tools to assist you with navigating the site in these early days.

Thank You

We appreciate your patience as we work through our initial set of bugs and issues, and we thank for joining us on the new SCN!

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174 Comments

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  1. Suchita Phulkar

    Its similar to like they say ” You had solid rock Linux – Brainy but not Beautiful” and now you have ” Windows Vista ” !!

    I experience the same with New SCN…Too much polished on beauty but ignorant on brain. Do we really need SCN like FaceBook or So ? We are professionals here so do we really need to get so much connected with connection requests and twitter like activites and follow-ups ? I am sure that will anyway bug a lot to the guy who gives some good article with many request from Novice and others connecting and asking solutions for their present issues on project directly via messages rather than putting it on Forums.

    I am a SAP CRM UI Consultant and so i can understand the pain SCN developers would have taken to give the new look and feel..new UI. I am not completely negative about it but I would have appreciated if simple thoughts would have given to most used features of OLD SDN either to keep as it is or give the similar new ones. For ex. – Finding a forum is simple but what about searching a thread in Forum ?? I had a doubt on my IQ after some time when i could not find the search anywhere in the forum !! and i still have not found it ..so is it me dumb or the new SCN ? is still the Question. I wanted to search something in CRM Webclient forum, and i am still unable to find the search box for forum. The search in top right corner searches in all SCN but no option to search in current forum, no filter on forum !!

    Similarly in earlier SDN, when you clicked on your points, you can see the threads that awarded you points, the blogs that awarded you points etc…Now I dont know where from 297 points came exactly ? Nor i know for what thread the last 10 points awarded.

    You dont know if a thread you have visited already, or you have a watch set on it…all this i am missing or not easily able to find in new SCN.

    So its overall a Windows Vista for me and I miss the Linux….but i hope our concerns are getting heard and I trust SCN so much that i am sure everything will be sorted soon.

    Seems like a half tested product is launched !! But still, I appreciate the efforts put-in and thanks for the some new great features in SCN.

    (0) 
  2. Arun Jaiswal

    Dear Mark,

    Thanks for the update. Frankly Speaking, The above user’s
    response statics is NOT at all correct.

    I am agreeing with this statics only for the New SCN look as of
    now. There are so many issue needs to correct before perfectly working.

    Actually we were very used to with Old SDN. New SCN is definitely
    better than Old one. But issue needs to fix as soon as possible.

    New known issues always come with post
    production for any software. There is no doubt about it.

    We are looking forward for getting new updates on existing
    issues.

     

    Best Regards

    Arun Jaiswal

    (0) 
  3. James Folkerman

    What I’m really missing in new SCN/SDN is a direct link to forums on the header of the page, in block with:
    — Solutions
    — SAP Services & Support
    — About SCN
    — Downloads etc.

    Please, add link to forums to this main navigation block.

    (0) 
  4. nm srm

    I agree with Yuval Perry…The new SCN only looks good….But as a long time user of SDN,even I was not able to navigate smoothly on this new SCN even after 2 days os it gling live…There are no of issues as many people have mentioned like logout issuess which are very minor but the main reason for people to logon to SDN was to share information and find answers to their queries which is certainly not easy as the old SDN….I know we need to get used to this new interface but still somehow the new layout is not very appealing to me as a forum user….Looking at other people’s responses I dont think the other areas like BLOG etc have alos improved but worsened!!!

    The only change which I’m requesting and the featuire I didnt like is the FORUMS….It is so difficult to look for threads on FORUMS and post new ones….In addition to that all our old thread links are now useless!The 2 years of hard work is just lost for me.

    (0) 
  5. Mark Yolton Post author

    Hi everyone:

    There are currently 108 comments to my blog, and it continues to rise rapidly, so apologies that I haven’t been able to keep up with you and respond individually after late yesterday.  I have read every single comment in their entirety and take this feedback seriously. I am also watching twitter, many other comment areas (bug tracking section, for example), to get a sense of mood and priorities.   Thank you all for sharing, venting, complaining, joking, encouraging.

    I can tell you that many people are working very hard to get this right, and are making progress by the hour.We are attuned to what the high points and low points are, and we are committed to making this the best, most vibrant, and valuable community on the planet in support of our customers and partners. You will see improvements on a regular basis, as we view this as a new beginning point from which to move forward – so expect daily, weekly, monthly changes and improvements in everything from platform performance to login persistence to navigation, and much more.

    We have a full plate and are happily dedicated to serve this community. 

    Regards,

    Mark Yolton

    (0) 
  6. Madhu Vadlamani

    Hi,

    I am almost using the SCN from the past three years.I posted and answered some threads.It is like to learn alphabets again.Very tough to find the threads.The importance of this site is to get knowledge and share the ideas.

    Regards,

    Madhu.

    (0) 
  7. Anup Patil

    Hello Mark,

    Really appreciate your & your team’s (SCN) effort in bringing out New SCN.

    Though initially I also found it difficult to adapt the new look… somehow I’m getting back on track. But must say, it was very easy on Old SDN; to search, to blog, to post & answer thread etc.

    I’ve read all the replies to this Blog and somewhere I agree whereas somewhere I am not with forum members. They all have already brought up most of the issues about New SCN to your team.

    Herewith I want to bring it to your notice that Contribution (Awarding Points) on New SCN is very haphazard & with wrong method. I found that a person raising his query/issue as “Blog” instead of “Discussion”, New SCN system is awarding him with 10 Points.

    That’s one of very much biggest bug I would say… 🙁

    Hope your team has already realized & started working on it.

    Regards,

    Anup

    (0) 
    1. Mark Yolton Post author

      Anup: Please add your “points” bug to the bug tracking list and it will get attention. There are several points-related items on that list and they will get addressed soon as underlying performance and stability and speed are improving significantly. Thanks.

      (0) 
    2. Laure Cetin

      Hello Anup,

      Anup Patil wrote:

                             

      Herewith I want to bring it to your notice that Contribution (Awarding Points) on New SCN is very haphazard & with wrong method. I found that a person raising his query/issue as “Blog” instead of “Discussion”, New SCN system is awarding him with 10 Points.

      That’s one of very much biggest bug I would say… 🙁

                         

      This is not a bug, but a moderation topic. Some members don’t know how to start a discussion thread (forum thread) and post it as other content (document or blog). We take action as soon as we see this, notify the author and delete the document or blog. Points are then deleted automatically. But we count on you and all the SCN Members to let us know when they see this confusion. Click the abuse report button!

      Thank you for your help,
      Laure

      (0) 
  8. GYAN R

    Hello mark

      Is there any way that i can retrive the older look.Very frankly i don’t happy the  new one.

    Thanks

    (0) 
  9. Vilhjalmsson Bjorn

    Not impressed so far by the new SCN, feels like a big step backwards both regards to the UI/UX and overall performance (to be fixed I am sure but will the UI be fixed?).  Being particularly interested in mobility, I am so far only finding 3 areas, Mobile BI, Iphone/Ipad development and Netweaver Mobile.  Where do I go for discussions around the Netweaver Gateway, Sybase Unwired Platform/Afaria, SAPUI5 etc?  Not having an easy to read blog overview like before is disappointing.  I tried the link posted earlier but that gave me some very old entries as the latest entries.  Were there really held any sessions with actual users outside SAP to test how people navigated the site before and then after during testing prior to Go-Live?  All my RSS feeds carefully setup using my RSS reader of choice are of course no longer working so that puts me even more in the dark with regards to what is happening in the SAP world.  I do see some promising things in here though but it is difficult to get over the frustration of the bugs, performance and mine and many other peoples favorite methods of navigating the site being gone. 

    (0) 
  10. Andy Silvey

    To be honest, having reflected on this overnight and putting my mature hat on,

    I think WE ALL need to get with the programme

    I have no social media accounts and have never used Facebook etc

    But as an almost 40 yr old I am aware that these technologies and the generations who are growing up with them really are the future for business applications

    And us lot, as SAP technologists, we have to stay uptodate with current trends and directions, if we want to be implementing this stuff then we also need to have an understanding of the expectations of the technologies, the capabilities and how it all fits together

    You know, we know, the ERP Users in the coming years are going to be demanding these kind of interfaces for business transactions, SAP EP et al is going to be forced to move in this direction

    I’ve been sat in architecture meetings at clients where Users, younger Users are complaing about the look and feel of ERP tools and want them more social media like

    We really should be thanking the SDN Team for taking the lead and forcing us all to get with the programme and bringing us into the second decade of the 21st century

    So, thank you SDN for forcing us all to get with the program

    All of us will be thanking SDN in the end

    Let’s see what NW 8.0 is going to bring, hopefully it will be more like today’s SDN 🙂

    So folks,

    forget about the performance and sso – that will be solved

    instead focus on the deeper issues and be thankful to the SDN for bringing all of us uptodate

    We are the change implementors, we should be embracing change and positively encouraging our organisations to follow the same

    All the best,

    Petr.

    (0) 
    1. Craig S
      40? Pffftttttt…. Youngster!  So when are u going to get with the program?  I thought we had a deal?  I followed you, you were suppose to follow me.  FF
      (0) 
    2. Mark Yolton Post author

      Thank you, Petr. I am interested to see a photo of you in your “mature hat” … otherwise, appreciate you reflecting and sharing.

      (0) 
      1. Andy Silvey

        hey Mark,

        if it would happen that there would be a poll on SDN for the best photograph,

        my vote would have to be for the photograph attached to the blog about the SCN using Hana 😉

        Petr – [happily married with children and approaching the time for a mid-life crisis].

        (0) 
  11. Andy Silvey

    I’ve been web enabling SAP since 1998 as a SAP Basis technician

    Done the Basis side of EP since EP5 SP2

    And the question which keeps re-appearing in my head,

    let’s be honest, from general underlying user experience perspective EP has not really changed since EP5, yes, today with EP 7.31 we have more Web 2 Ajax look and feel, but as soon as a User clicks on anything XSS it’s back to ABAP WebDynPro and the BSP look and feel and at the same time, the surrounding menu’s haven’t really fundamentally changed since EP 5 centralised moved to the EP6 tln starting on the left side

    What is really on my mind since the beggining of the week and especially since I slept on this last night,

    when is SAP EP going to get with the programme and look like SDN looks today ?

    when the Business Packages across the landscape going to look and interract like this with emphasis on collaborative and social interaction ?

    My worry now, having been using SDN for the last few days is, if SAP’s EP doesn’t get with the programme asap and start to look like SDN then our esteemed Customers might start moving to other Portal products on the market which go further to be more social media oriented in design and functionality

    forget the performance of SDN and the SSO, the real worry, now that we have all been fast forwarded into the future, the real worry is, when are the SAP Business Applications going to be more like SDN and beyond ?

    Petr.

    (0) 
    1. Rajender ch

      Dear Mark,

      We are first congratulating to introduce new features like file uploading facility, keeping previous data available while replying phase and face to face interaction with known people

      Only thing is we are suffering from finding the list of our own threads,

      where to find the threads which were posted by us,

      Also taking more time for page loading while site is getting opened,

      thanks,

      (0) 
  12. Narendra Agrawal

    I have not figured out yet if I post a blog how make it appear in more than one place. E.g. if I select 3 Industries it would appear only on the 1st one.

    It also appears that blog posts are not showing up Public Sector page at all.

    (0) 
    1. Craig S

      You can’t.  you can only select one primary “space” or area and you must be following it.  You can add additional tags to the blog but I’m not sure how valuable that is just now.  There is no general blog areas.  You can find all new blogs under the BROWSE option.

      FF

      (0) 
  13. Ramana Morumpalle

    I like SCN look and feel, but it is slow and has one error in home page status bar. It works fine. Navigation wasn’t quick enough to navigate between pages. I like FB.

    I seems like your data is not much 10 million or less right. I don’t know why it is slow.

    I suggest In-memory/Memcache to improve the performance

    It wasn’t intuitive but it works. Good work!

    Please find error details below. I got this error after i click OK on security popup message.

    Line: 19

    Char: 5955

    Error: ‘length’ is null or not an Object

    Code:0

    URL: http://scn.sap.com/welcome

    Thanks,

    Ramana.

    (0) 
  14. Vikram raj

    HI Mark, No doubt SCN Team working hard to resolve bugs. Congratulate you and your team for such a nice effort.

    I would like to suggest a few Improvement in “Preferences” In the Landing Page : There are few option which are available :

    -Default , -Home. -Activity, -Communications, -Actions, -Browse

    As a SCN Contributor, my choice to see my Preferences Forum when i after login in SCN Screen i.e.

    ERP – Logistics Materials Management (MM)    

    ERP – Sales and Distribution (SD) General    

    ERP – Travel Management    

    ERP Financials  – Asset Accounting

    So would like to suggest to provide some more option in Preferences to Set home page related to Forum, so that as per option chosen in Preferences would to help  user to derive directly in Forum after login in SCN and can able see their relevant threads.

    (0) 
  15. Andy Grootens

    And its SLOOOOOOOWWWWWW. Very Slow. Like all other SAP portals and sites. SDN was quick and dirty and I could find anything I needed in a sec.

    I know you probably put a lot of effort in this new community network, and of course there are some approvements, but you never change a good working thing.

    Lots of wisdom
    Andy

    (0) 
  16. Christian Sy

    The new SCN is quite a nightmare for me. The most important thing of SDN for me were the forums, quick and easy information/issue retrieval and posting. It was my most important information source as technical consultant.

    That is now history, the new system is slow, buggy and has a confusing GUI.

    Old content is missing or cannot be found anymore (e.g. where are the PI 7.3 eLearning sessions). There is no PI overview page anymore, from where you can dive into help and so on (or at least the links do not work). Just a list of 90.000 elements.

    I am very disappointed. Give us back the old SDN.

    Christian Sy

    (0) 
  17. Trond Stroemme

    H Mark,

    much of the complaining in here has been related to the forums. Would it take a lot of effort to just have one dorect link to “forums” on the front page, somewhere near the “Actions” and “Activity” links? I guess that by doing so, you’d turn around 50% of the negative posters in here.

    For me, and I guess most other “techies” (and remember, we were the ones who drove SDN right from the start), the simple and uncomplicated access to sharing information was and is the main reason for visiting SCN/SDN. Someone complained yesterday about SCN now being more of a social media showcase for SAP, instead of a place where like-minded (technical) consultants meet to share and collaborate. I, too, feel that the tech angle has been lost somewhere along the way.

    Not too bad; SCN has evolved into a truly all-encompassing community, but let’s not loose the “techie” focus that was the initial reason for its success. A simple “Forums” link (and possibly a “blogs” link as well, instead of hiding it further down with confusing terms) would help immensely.

    After that, we might feel inspired enough to get our heads around all the new stuff, and perhaps eventually (fingers crossed) “like” it… 🙂

    And, to echo other commentators in here: thanks a lot for listening, and participating in the discussions!

    Cheers,

    Trond

    (0) 
    1. Michael Appleby

      I begin to suspect why Mark Y only saw wonderful comments by day two.  There is no direct link to the discussions in About SCN.  After fooling around, I found you could go to Newsletters which would then get you to the standard Overview, which begs the question of why it is labeled Newsletters instead of Overview.  Please get this fixed, so that Mark will get the correct feedback instead of only hearing from folks who already knew how to navigate the new SCN.

      (0) 
    2. Eli Klovski

      I agree with every word you wrote. Over the new features, let us not lose the real spirit of professionalism which, in my opinion, was and hopefully is the main driver of SCN. I launched a poll recently to know users’ opinion about the new SCN in terms of working with Forums and got 88% of negative responses (around 50 people voted so far).

      Regards,

      Eli

      P.S. Though, I’m not a fan of ‘Like’ functionality developed here (for me it’s more social network attribute rather than a functionality to be used in professional sites), I pressed on ‘Like’ for your post 🙂

      (0) 
    3. Mark Yolton Post author

      Hi Trond:

      I think this suggestion to have more prominent links to “discussions” (and blogs and more) is a constructive idea worth considering. We will do so.

      M.

      (0) 
      1. Eli Klovski

        Hi Mark,

        Here is another thought. I would restrict the ability of posting a document or a blog in the space. The reasons for this are the following:

        a) users get confused and post their threads not as discussions, but as a blog or doument

        b) modertaion work will become much more intensive when one has to control not only discussions, which in certain forums could be up to 150 per day (at least, with the old SCN), but also the documents/blogs, which are now posted without any control.

        Best regards,

        Eli

        (0) 
  18. Narendra Agrawal

    After using the new SCN for a few days and trying to create blogs, I have the following sugestions/obvervations/questions:

    • If I write a blog in “SAP Mobile” space how do I also make it visible under say Public Sector? So far I have not figured it out yet. So it would be nice to allow folks to write blogs and be able to make it visible in multiple Spaces.
    • Have all blogs by same author also show up under that Author’s blog no matter which Space they were created under.
    • If I write a blog in my Blog how do I make it visible under say SAP Mobile and Public Sector spaces. Only way I can do it right now is by moving it from my blog to another space and when I do it it no longer shows up under my blog.
    • Provide a direct link to blogs from home page.

    I think all of these points would help promote authorship on SCN and also make it easier for authors to create, publish and organize their work in one place on SCN.

    Regards,

    Narendra

    (0) 
    1. Jeanne Carboni

      Hi Narendra, could you post your questions in the “About SCN” Support space as a discussion?  We are watching all questions there and responding to them as they come in.  Also, this enables us to collect the questions / answers in the known issues areas if they happen to be technical bugs.  Thank you!

      Jeanne

      (0) 
  19. Andy Silvey

    I gotta say folks, I love the new SDN

    I only hope the rest of the Business Suite is going to follow suite and soon

    Funny thing, with this username I’ve been a member since 2006 (when I lost the password for the previous username) and until Monday with this User in six years I’d gained a glorious 14 points, and now, thanks to this thread I’ve got 47 points – isn’t that cool !

    Nice weekend and all the best,

    Petr, the contributor formally known as MilanBenes.

    (0) 
    1. Patrick Flanders

      Thanks, Petr…I know you’ve been working with the site since it first launched earlier in the week, and appricate your understanding with the issues we’ve had. Things will continue to improve, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

      (0) 
      1. Andy Silvey

        Hi Patrick,

        I’d like to say sincerely to the whole Team I take back and apologise for my initial reactions – old age eh.

        What you have all delivered this week, I think, is a wake up call to all of us in the SAP space, we have to accept change and we have to embrace change and keep up with the rest of the world

        I’ve taken that as a big lesson from this week

        Performance – that will get fixed

        But all of us, technologists in the ERP space, and look at our reactions to change !

        And these changes are only to bring us IT dinosaurs uptodate with the rest of the world

        Normally it should be our job to push change in the organisation for the benefit of the User’s Productivity

        But through the SCN upgrade this week, we are all seeing how far from reality we all are in terms on Business Technology in the year 2012

        And that’s a shock and something we all need to wake up to

        So thank you all for everything and especially, enabling the personal development and personal lessons learned as a result of your changes

        Nice weekend,

        Petr. (pseudo name)

        (0) 
        1. Patrick Flanders

          Hi Petr…this is a really nice way to end this long week we’ve had. I appreciate both your kind and insightful comments, and also your willingness to be open to our change. I realize that change is not easy – it’s in our nature to be wary of it. But it’s so nice to see your thoughts on the matter and how you’ve changed your feelings about what we’ve done with SCN.

          I hope you’ll continue to give us your thoughts – it’s been valuable and educational for us.

          Best wishes for a wonderful weekend for you too.

          –Pat

          (0) 
          1. Andy Silvey

            Hi Pat,

            another equally important lesson from this week for me is,

            I’ve shy’d away from social network software etc, simply because I work with technology right, so why would I spend my free time playing with that stuff ?

            And the penny has dropped this week that for us SAP technologists in the NetWeaver space we’ve had a pretty easy ride since NW04, there haven’t really been any big changes for us, and we’ve had a comfortable time with the NetWeaver journey, and I’m not even going to talk about the hard core ABAP Basis people who won’t even touch the NetWeaver Basis components, they’ve had a comfortable life for the last 20 years.

            And probably a lot of them like me don’t bother with social technology ‘toys’, because, we work with technology right ?

            But the problem is, our Users, today, are further ahead in technology terms than us lot !

            Traditionally it has been the other way around IT Dept has always lead and enthralled the Users with new technology, but now, today, as we can see the Users are ahead of us, and our ERP software is not uptodate with the expectations of the Users.

            This new SCN gives us technologists a chance to catch up in some way, and also to understand the tools our Users are already comfortable with.

            And it makes me realise, the ERP space really needs to play catch up now in terms of meeting the demands and expectations of today’s Users and the next generation of Users  with ERP products.

            These are more of the lessons from this week !

            And I only hope for all of our sakes that SAP is ready with the next generation of the Business Suite to meet the demands and expectations of the Users we serve.

            I’m awake right now because it’s a CutOver Upgrade weekend for us too 🙂 It’s going to be a long night.

            All the best,

            Petr.

            (0) 
            1. Keith Elliott

              Hey Petr. or whatevertheheckyournameis,

              This is one of the best comments I’ve read ever. And I’ve been with SAP for a long time (since 1989).

              Let’s keep thinking this way and learn to use and leverage these intesting new, organic technologies.

              Keith

              (0) 
              1. Andy Silvey

                Hi Keith,

                I think the lesson is, it should not only be people like Mark F (Chief Community Evangelist) and his (www.futuresalon.org) who are embracing the new technologies and looking for the boundaries,

                the rest of us techies in the engine room should be doing the same too

                we should all be getting facebook accounts and grabbing the bull by the horns and getting stuck into all this stuff, then and only then would we be qualified to contribute to the future direction of ERP software

                we’ve all sat back too long waiting for what SAP brings next, that was fine when SAP’s technology timeline was in harmony and ahead of the market, but unfortunately, things aren’t like that today and the tables have turned and now it’s time to play catch up

                the fact that we were all so vocal about how  our  nice  old fashioned SDN had morphed into something we didn’t understand simply demonstrates how out of touch the majority of us are !

                Petr – still sat here running upgrades 🙂

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  20. Michael Appleby

    Hi Petr, et. al.,

    I see two different camps speaking their parties’ lines.  There are the “change for change’s sake” camp and the “change is bad if it makes more work” camp. 

    While the changes inherent in something as large as what SCN is undergoing is bringing about some needed improvements to the capabilties of the entire community, it seems like much of the resistance comes from heavy users of the Forums. 

    I post frequently and am a moderator in two forums and monitor a few others on a less frequent basis.  Navigation from one post to the next used to be a single click.  Now it is two.  Similarly, many other types of navigation are now less direct than the old system. 

    For someone who spends most of their SCN time responding to threads, this is a major negative.  In truth, all the lovely display features and format capabilities come nowhere near to balancing the scales against the poor navigation structure. 

    Somehow the idea that social networks are in and of themselves an improvement kind of misses the point.  These are also meant to be useful and easily used tools.  If they are not useful or at least as easy to use and navigate as the previous SDN, then the improvements are for the dilettantes.  The “Wow, isn’t this cool!” folks. 

    Regards, Mike

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    1. Andy Silvey

      Hi Mike,

      I’ve seen the light this week, and what I’ve see is,

      us techies sit here on the SDN blogging, how to do this, how to do that, discussing our problems etc

      and we’re using a platform which is out of date to discuss a business suite which is out of date

      I think, on the SCN/SDN we should try to balance discussing

      a, how to’s of SAP’s products

      and

      b, discussing how to make an ERP Business Suite more in tune with the most popular contempory domestic software products (I mean FaceBook, Twitter et al) and what qualities the ERP Business Suite can take as inspiration from the most popular contempory domestic softwares products and incorporate into the design of the ERP Business Suite to further enabled end user productivity. One of the first things that comes to mind is cloud and collaboration.

      For me, one of the most facinating blogs of 2012 was this gem:

      How to build Facebook Applications for SAP Gateway services ? Ravi Sharma

      Now, for the question of look and feel and useability of the forums, of course that can be fixed, this thread shows that the SCN Team is listening, so document what you want and put it to them and it can be fixed, same as performance can be fixed,

      but making the ERP Business Suite exceed the expectations of the coming generations of ERP Users, can that be fixed and how long will it take, and how to fix it ?

      For the question how to fix it ? How can we understand what the coming generations of ERP User expectations are if we don’t embrace the technology which they are familiar with ?

      All the best,

      Petr.

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      1. Michael Appleby

        Hi Petr,

        Technology is a tool.  If you have a hammer, all problems look like nails.  I sometimes think social networks are like hammers…

        The Forums are tools used, at least the ones I moderate, to exchange useful information about SAP applications.  Some part of the ease of use comes from familiarity.  However, it does not take a rocket scientist (or a senior system architect) to figure out that one click is good, two or more is bad.  Simple user interface design…

        It does not matter to me whether the underlying technology is cloud, ABAP, java or MS DOS.  Reasonable response time, intelligent and easy navigation, clear, concise layout, good help are the components of a good web page.  Might be a few more, but these are the ones that I look for.  So far SCN had problems with response time which from my perspective, they have pretty much fixed.  The navigation still needs quite a bit of work.  Layout is certainly no worse than the previous version and lots of folks seem to like it.  Jury is still out with me, but getting used to it is probably the biggest issue.  Have not needed to use the help documents yet, so no opinion yet.  Problems with the pages have not driven me to the help documents.  Usually they have been obvious in their bugness. 

        I have logged many issues in the Report SCN Bugs discussion and kudos to the folks responding and addressing those issues. 

        BTW, I never really used SAP ERP until about 3 years ago.  I am much more familiar with web pages, javascript, databases, and xml.  So expectations of ERP users don’t apply to me, though in using our flagship product highlights to me that there is a lot of inconsistency in design (sales orders versus purchase orders comes to mind).

        I look forward to seeing continued improvement in SCN.  I still maintain that the technology is less important than the usability in how it is applied.  Comes from an engineering rather than a software development background, I suspect.

        Best Regards,

        Mike

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