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):
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):
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:
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.
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!