Being in the trenches of the SCN Go-Live at SAP IT, there is just so much I could share with you.
Perhaps I should re-phrase that: there is so much we HAVE to share with you, in order to make this site better and learn something in that process. Unlike Oliver Kohl, however, I may not have the capacity to both work on the actual issues and also be all “meta” about them at the same time, so I’ll have to delay writing about a lot of the interesting parts for a bit later on. Instead, I want to start giving you my assessment of where we are right now, and what is coming up in the next few days. There is one point in which I do commit to being like Oliver: being honest-to-god open about what we’re doing and what others think. For me, Oliver and the rest of the people behind SCN, there could just be no other way – and after all, this really is a community.
So, where we at right now?
Oliver covered a lot of ground in his entry, so here’s just the week in review. These bars down there represent the notorious HTTP 502 errors we’ve been handing away so generously. Some of these you haven’t noticed at all – but some got you nastily booted-out just when you invested the time to contribute. Now, while the error rate is quite dramatically down, when you drown in a pool whose “average depth” is only 30cm, who cares about statistics then?
A couple of important patches are still en route (good for you that we work Sundays in this country ;-), so things should move a couple of notches for the better – up to the level of reliability you expect a major vendor. I would continue working so the “Browse Content” functionality responds much faster and logs-offs to drop all the way down.
In parallel to that, there are a number of functional issues where I think we could & should really improve. Two are especially dear to me:
1. Navigation – A lot of people have complained, and so we should listen to both your concerns and ideas. Of course, many existing users would find their way in the coming days, but we’re joined with new members all the time – and they should feel welcome.
2. Search – Site Search is based on integration with SAP’s new Consolidated Search site, which aims to bring under one umbrella various sources of information. The Consolidated Search site is based on a powerful cluster running SAP TREX, and is quite massively scalable (seriously this time…). However, integration and data presentation should become smooth, rich and easy. The data (and meta-data) for that is all here. By the way, when I say scalable I do not necessarily mean Google-like fast, but that’s a subject for another post I guess…
One last thing I should note: as skeptical as I was at first about the promises of SBS (Social Business Software), I’m already seeing the impact of that simple “Follow” button. I have a hunch that the Activity & Communications pages would prove to be an indispensable tool for many.