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Often when we talk about social media with business executives we are met with the kind of reaction that Forrester analyst Jeff Ernst describes – “[we are] are too old, too senior, and too busy to be on Facebook”.

Even if we shift the conversation to “social business” – using the platforms, techniques, strategies and approaches of social media applied to a business process – there is still reticence. It’s not until we begin to actually meet, talk and engage with the people who wear the mask of customers that we start to get into serious conversation. This is well before the point of a discussion about technology – it’s more about business, challenges, opportunities, pain points and getting “it” done.

Over the last 12-18 months we have been collaborating with a small group of SAP customers – known as the Premier Customer Network (PCN). These customers are long-term,strategic customers with deep expertise and capabilities – often boasting the best SAP talent globally. We embarked on a project that seeks to put the “network to work” for our PCN Customers – to provide access to people, content, ideas and connections not just FROM SAP but across the ecosystem of customers. The result – what we call PCN Connect.

Effectively, a closed community site, PCN Connect provides a way for our customer teams to connect intra and inter-company. They can find and engage with people and businesses on the same or similar SAP paths, access on-demand content from various SAP events (Sapphire, TechEd, and so on), search across a range of SAP content repositories and receive access to exclusive webinars, industry and solution information and expertise.

Let me stress that, in no way, is PCN Connected intended to replace SCN – merely to augment it. In fact, you can directly search SCN content from within the site. But we seek to connect and engage PCN Customers in such a way that respects their expertise, experience and needs.

Sometimes, however, the people working with our PCN Customers don’t realize they are classified as “premier customers”. In fact, it is likely that many of members of SCN work for PCN customers – and could potentially access the value added services available through PCN.

How would you know if you are a PCN Customer? To start with, you could check with your SAP account executive or Global Account Director. You could also do a company search on PCN Connect (though we currently have only a small percentage of active customer sites available).

Alternatively, you can leave a comment below. We’re always interested in hearing your feedback and input.

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