Impressions about the new SCN
Until now the SCN was the place for SAP professionals. It contained excellent material for our daily work. However, as of this week apart from being a community it has become completely social. It’s a new philosophy that has caused a big change in the the page itself, the emergence of new spaces and the complete desappearence of others. The original content has been maintained, but search for different areas has changed completely. The change has been so big that, to be honest, my first feeling about the page was very bad. This is my first post in SCN and I would like to explain my experience about the new features that I have found and how I understand them.
If anybody wants to begin in the SCN, first of all he/she has to create a valid profile within the page. Doing so isn’t difficult. We have to press on the “Register” area, complete the form, choose a username, a password and accept the SAP terms. From here, we can incorporate our information, the company where we work, our office, phone, etc. and manage the level of privacy of our data. I have found that this document is very useful in order to create our profile. On the other hand, if you had a previous username in SCN you will have to enter the page with your old username. Immediately, your information will be moved to the new profile. It is advisable to check all data and modify it if necessary.
The new philosophy
From my point of view, the new SCN involves a big change on how SAP professionals see each other. Through the tool we will have a greater visibility within the community as well we will be able to demonstrate better our SAP abilities. Addtionally we will take advantage of the knowledge of others community users better than before. The emphasis now is on building one’s reputation. As Jason Cao says your actitude on building a reputation is as important as your SAP aptitude. I feel that this is demonstrated in new SCN by providing content and interacting with other participants. As a result, the interactions are rewarded with badges and points, which create a reputation for each participant. Although the badges and awards already existed in the old SCN, the idea of reputation appears strongly in the new SCN.
The page is divided into comunication areas. Basically, there’re three spaces:
- Root: the place where we have a general view of all activity.
- Topics: those associated with what interest every user in SCN. We can be interested in one or more topics.
- Personal area: where we navigate as users, where we see those issues and people that matter.
Trying to find information in the new SCN as we did in the old SCN can be a hard work because there’re areas that are not available directly. Now, it has been defined a series of menus to navigate in tree mode to the space that you’re interested in. For example, we could be interesting in navigate to Sales space, then we should go to
Solutions / Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP Sales and Distribution / Sales
The result, some areas inside the “Sales” space become open. Some of them are:
- Content: brings together all the content associated with the area of “Sales”, including blogs, documents, discussions and polls.
- Blog posts: if you click on this link you will filter the content just to display the content of blogs. Everyone can create a blog on the new SCN and publish it in any of the available spaces. For example, I am creating now my first post in SCN.
- Documents: wikis are created as documents and available in this section.
- Discussion: is the closest area to what was named ‘forum’ in old SCN. The questions and answers space.
- People: displays all those users that have indicated on their profile space that are followers of “Sales” space.
- Subspaces: each space can be broken down even more in smaller areas.
I have to remark that if we want to keep track of updates of any space, for example “Sales” space, we will have to press the corresponding “follow” button in the corresponding space.
To stay informed
There’s an area right at the top with three buttons.
- Activity: it will be our wall. It’s the space that reflects the updates by those differents users and spaces that we follow. For example, I am following the space “Getting started with SCN”. So, in my wall appears all that is written under the space “Getting started with SCN”.
- Communications: with our communications area we can aware of mentions, direct messages, threads that we’re following in discussions…
- Actions: it’s the area used by SCN to send us notifications and direct emails.
Through the “Create” button we can start blogs, discussions, documents, polls, update our status or send messages to other users. Unlike the old SCN blogs, the posts are not moderated any more. Anyway, beyond the kind of content that we create what it really matters in the new SCN is very simple, any user can create and browse any kind of content regardless of its type.
Within each section, discussion, space… we find markers for sharing on facebook, twitter or linkedin. Also, we have the button “I like” and a bookmark that allows us to keep that content that has interested the most.
So, in short, the new SCN page doesn’t seem to involve only a change in structure, but also in philosophy. The unresolved problems in beta page are solved little by little. The change has been very quick. Perhaps the most dramatic change has been, personally, trying to find information through the forums as I did before. But, after a week, I understand that I have to forget the old way, the old manners and trying with the new philosophy. After some days it becomes easy, just we have to give a chance.
To finish, I would just say that I previously wrote this post in spanish. So, please, be indulgent with my english 🙂