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An Independent’s View of the New SCN – Take 2

Ok.  It’s been a week into the new SCN community now.  In my previous blog some folks thought I was overly critical and some told me I was too nice.  So I guess I should feel pretty good about that.  I’d like to think that indicates some balance.  Of course my sample size is way to low from a QM perspective.   🙂     

So after a week, am I feeling any differently? 

I think I have put in a lot of effort this week to try and learn the new community and give it a fair shake.  Unfortunately I feel I had to spend way too much time learning it.  The goal of any online community should be an intuitive interface that allows for a fast start and a new member to quickly feel they are getting something out of it.  (the newer generations demand instant gratification, there’s a whole other blog someday).  I don’t think the new SCN has achieved that just yet.  Most of us are fairly tech savvy people who have been exposed to online communities, social networks,collaborative applications and such. If we as a group have issues learning our way around it can’t be all that intuitive.  On the other hand, it was a major change for SAP to do this.   The difference between the old SDN and this new SCN is huge.  Some confusion was to be expected.  But right now, I think even new users, who never were exposed to the old forums, would not rate SCN as all that intuitive.

I expect to see the site evolve a fair amount over the next few months.  If you want it to evolve, you have to push for what you want and make the suggestions.  Make sure you put your ideas in over at the idea place:  https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/community/ideas/community_and_services/new_scn

Also make sure you look over some of the ones already there and vote/comment up the good ones.  We are in a new world, don’t just add in the same suggestion over and over.   One suggestion that has been “liked” 20 times is probably better than 10 similar ones that have each been liked twice. On that note, I have two sitting over there already waiting for your likes!

I’m not letting them off the hook for the performance and SSO issues.  The issues persisted several days.  I’m still getting booted out and have to re-sign in several times.  It is much better than it was however and does seem to be related to moving between areas and/or functionality.  Like I know when I submit this blog I’ll probably get booted and have to redo it again.  So I copy and paste it to Word before I do that.  Slowness is still an issue.  There is a noticeable lag even while just trying to type this blog.  I will be writing in Word from now on.

Performance and sizing I know can be difficult, especially with new technology.  I’ve been told that there was no way they could have anticipated the issues that happened and the demand on the systems, etc…  I’m not yet buying that.  But since I don’t know the inside scoop its just speculation on my part.  However, that’s my current perception.  What many companies fail to realize is that for their clients, perception is reality.

The same kind of goes with conversions.  Fortunately I didn’t have many blogs.  And mine are simple.  No graphs, charts, tables, etc.. But I get the feeling, quite a few didn’t convert right from what I’ve been reading in the posts.  My personal feeling is that should have been known before hand.  I know it’s a different technology but if I was converting a client’s electronic based documents related to quality control, like specifications, quality agreements, drawings, schematics, etc.. there would be no acceptable loss of those documents by any client when they got ported in to SAP’s document management.  And we always do a 100% data conversion dry run in a test client before hand.  This is a different technology I’m sure, but the basic principles don’t change.

They have come a long way in a week, (5 days actually).  They should be commended for that.  I know a lot of people put in a lot of extra hours this week on the project.  Hopefully they can rest up this weekend!

I’m not comfortable yet with the site and I expect it will take me a few more weeks to become comfortable.  Searching needs to be improved.  The QM space is still missing all the postings from Feb 1 to the change over.  I’m sure some procedures and policies will be modified and tweaked over the next few months which is pretty typical for any new software or application.  Users always use stuff differently than you expected or intended.

I’m actually beginning to look forward to the future changes and tweaks that I’m sure we’ll see.  I know the bar will be rising in the months to come.

PS>  SCN needs to be added to the spell check.

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4 Comments

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  1. Elad Rosenheim

    Hi Fire Fighter,

    I must say that I agree: navigation & search should be greatly improved – and being on the implementation side – they could be. I have my own personal wish-list already…

    My first priority right now is performance & stability. We’ve taken a huge stride there, noticeably from Wednesday morning (your time), so chances are pretty low right now that you get booted out when working on the site – but I cannot be content until that chance is truly minuscule (and of course none of our users can!). That “cloud” hiding SCN must be moved out of the way 99.9% (at least :-)) so we could really focus on the bigger picture.

    Functional fixes are also trickling down already, and the content teams do their work, but I would like us to be full steam ahead on functionality. I’m pretty confident that would start in the coming week.

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    1. Craig S Post author

      Elad,

      Thanks for the comment!  I wish I had seen Oliver Kohl’s blog before I wrote this one.  He did a great job of explaining the issues and problems they faced in the conversion.  That kind of transparency is important to me.  I don’t want to see any person or group blamed for the issues.  Things happen, often beyond our control.  But what is important is that the root causes are found and shared with people so that everyone can learn from past experiences. 

      That is actually the whole concept behind a community such as SCN.  So having SAP share that information as they did about their go-live issues is important and actually necessary to support the whole concept of SCN.  If they don’t believe in the concept, why should any of us?

      I tried to edit my blog after reading Oliver’s blog so I could make reference to it update mine.  But I got timed out.  :-(. I’ll try later on.

      Thanks!

      FF

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