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Undoubtedly, SAP has now put in focus and investment onto enabling PI as a strategic tool and thus bridging the potential gaps that was stopping many customers from adopting PI as their enterprise wide SOA ESB. The signs are visible Process Orchestration being a major contributor to that confidence. The recent release of B2B add ons is another factor. I am also informed that we can soon see many more such enhancements to the product suite. So seems its exciting times indeed!

As many of you are aware, there is a SAP driven focus on engaging the community and customers to provide inputs and ideas in the space of Process Integration called the Idea Place. Similarly, there are customer and user driven initiatives like the GSIG for PI who are trying to influence SAP to make enhancements and better the current SOA middleware suite.

What potentially seems to be missing is the synchronization of both these initiatives. Do we see a possible opportunity to bridge the gap and channelize these initiatives into one single stream for better results? Which of the given ideas/requirements does SAP give priority to? Is it the Idea place or GSIG for PI that has the real ability to influence the product management teams within SAP?

My personal experience on this has been confusing. At TechEd last year, I could see that many from the Product management teams were aware of the GSIG initiative but oblivious to SAP’s own Idea place. While some of the SAP folks were all gaga about Idea Place and were constantly recommending to float ideas the best of which they mentioned SAP was keen to realize in future EHP or SP. I think this lack of common direction is a bit disturbing.

I personally contribute both to Idea place and the GSIG list. But what I would love to see is eventually one single platform rather than multiple groups. Either the Idea place requirements feed into the GSIG list or the GSIG list into Idea place. Why two different mediums?

Also it would be great if SAP could come out with an yearly article on how and what GSIG requirements or Idea place idea’s have been realized. I am sure the community will appreciate it.

So I end this blog with a question. Idea Place & GSIG for PI : Can they complement each other?

Do let your thoughts known. Feel free to comment.

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13 Comments

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  1. Mariana Mihaylova

    Hi Shabarish,

    In my opinion the decision should be taken within the PI community and GSIG for PI.

    My understanding is that GSIG has already added the most popular ideas from the PI idea session for the next review round. The question really is if the group would like to continue collecting requirements the same way or would rather embrace PI idea session as a common ideas collection platform.

    An option may be to create a poll on SCN to find out what’s the dominant opinion.

    SAP has created both Process Orchestration sessions for BPM and PI in response of separate requests from different community members. This was a good opportunity to accommodate these requests and complement existing requirements collection processes with an easy to use ideas management tool, should GSIS for PI decided to shift to this new platform.

    As you all know well, SAP Idea Place is a public, transparent and collaborative platform where everyone, among SCN registered members can submit ideas for new features, improvements, comment and vote on ideas. The PI idea session can only make everyone’s work easier by saving time and efforts. However the decision should definitely be made by the community really. SAP Engineering will continue to work with GSIG on requirements either way.

    Should there are any further questions or evaluation of SAP Idea Place is needed, I’ll be happy to help.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Mariana

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    1. Shabarish Vijayakumar Post author

      Thanks for the note Mariana. If GSIG is with whom SAP Engineering works closely with, then I guess as long as the folks in GSIG is taking up ideas from idea place and giving it an audience, it should work perfectly well ๐Ÿ™‚ The advantage I see with Idea place is the wider reach it has and it being an open platform more inputs it receives. GSIG is a closed network but if it does some collaboration with Idea place, the objectives would be met.

      Is it possible someone from SAP lets us know how idea place ideas have been taken up/realized till now?

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      1. Mariana Mihaylova

        Hi again,

        SAP Engineering is monitoring the PI idea session on a regular basis and providing feedback on different ideas. Highly voted ideas have been updated with comments and/or categorized.

        I could not insert an image in this comment, so here is how you can see how the most popular (highest number of votes) ideas have developed:

        From PI idea session, click on ‘Most popular’ tab and you will see the different status tags. Respectively by using other tabs, people can sort by different groups of ideas: “Under review”, “Accepted” etc.

        The time and efforts of our community members are to be appreciated. This was a major drive in creating our idea sessions. For me, the functionality is really nice and simple. If GSIG for PI embraces PI idea session as the way forward for requirements collection, processing times will be significantly shortened as everyone will look and provide input into one single place. There will be no need of surveys, workbooks, etc. Ideas could be even visualized in the form of excel workbooks if needed.

        Something else – PI customers and professionals will be able to submit and vote on BPM ideas as well. On the way for bringing PI and BPM closer together with Process Orchestration I believe this is something really important.

        But again, ultimately that’s the community’s call! Should we automate or should we not ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Pontus Borgstrรถm

    Hi Shabarish

    We all agree on the facts that it’s an interesting time right now where PI has really matured and new functionality is brought in.

    The history of GSIG for PI starts in 2008 when SAP forms a discussion group together with some of the largest user groups worldwide to discuss PI and future paths to go.

    So this collaboration with SAP has been live in an active form for quite some time and have a well-established forum and user base.

    This however was not the case in other areas even if SAP started up Customer Engagement Initiative for specialized questions related in different areas where the end users contributes on forming special business (and technical) requirements.

    In those areas there were no user group collaboration and in the last year SAP has started up IdeaPlace for anyone to participate and contribute in different areas.

    The big different is however that the GSIG has its base in the user groups around the globe and the main work takes place by the users. The user groups represents thousands of members/users channeling their local work up to the GSIG collaboration. In addition to this we also have SAP Mentors involved as well to build a great common collaboration.

    The work in the local (country) user groups are not focusing on only enhancement but the usage, use cases, user connections etc. Webinars, seminars, knowledge etc. are being shared within the user group community, as well as annual meetings.

    The GSIG is also NOT SAP driven, it is totally independent and will always be. As many of our member usergroups are a of the SUGEN network (SAP User Group Executive Network) bigger issues as licenses, support etc are also driven and this has resulted in SAP changes in that area that the IdeaPlace has no possibility (today) to achieve.

    We have also not moved in earlier in the SAP sphere to be able to be totally independent. Idea Place however is SAP driven and moderated.

    In the PI area there is a strong and working collaboration so to scratch that would be in no one’s interest. But since we also have more than one way to influence SAP on the PI area is definitely not a threat or conflict.

    But what we are doing now, as we have multiple connections, is to taking steps forward to align and take input from IdeaPlace in the current work This year’s requirement work has many ideas from IdeaPlace and most of the Ideas has also been provided from user group members. In conjunction to that the GSIG is looking at the possibility to move into Collaboration Workspace when this area has matured, just as GSIGs in other areas has done.

    So for the future I will say that GSIGs in different areas (PI, FI, Authorizations etc) will continue to grow and collaborate in addition to SAP IdeaPlace and the most important thing is to know the existence and bring the work together. I think we are doing this as well, as we are having contact with Mariana to make sure that we co-exists and integrate IdeaPlace in our work as well.

    When it comes to a list of requirements fulfilled I agree on that. I know SAP PM talked about this in more general terms during TechEd but we can try to realize a more detailed list as well in the future. We have a high fulfillment ratio from earlier years and many changes, big and small, are the result of this work.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Pontus Borgström

    BTW… I can see who has voted in the requirement survey so if you want to participate then you should hurry before it closes.

    http://www.anpdm.com/survey-public/424B5C477042425E4A71/41455E4B7545475D43/##SubscriberIdEncrypted##

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    1. Shabarish Vijayakumar Post author

      Thanks very much for your note. I do see that most of the highly voted ideas on Idea place is part of the list from GSIG. So i guess the collaboration part is indeed covered ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am also a SAP Mentor and aware that my fellow mentors Mike and Daniel are already part of the GSIG initiative. The idea of posting this blog was to attempt bridge any gap (if any) between the two initiatives that are working towards a common goal.

      Thanks!

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      1. Pontus Borgstrรถm

        Great ๐Ÿ™‚

        We are also trying to bring out the best of both ways of working… the limitation of the usergroups is that you actually need to be a member. In IdeaPlace anyone with a s-user account can formulate their free thinking.

        Both ways of working has their challenges but my intention is to contribute and collaborate to make PI the best integration platforms on the market ๐Ÿ™‚

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        1. Shabarish Vijayakumar Post author

          Both ways of working has their challenges but my intention is to contribute and collaborate to make PI the best integration platforms on the market ๐Ÿ™‚

          >>>>

          Hear, Hear!!!

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  3. Mariana Mihaylova

    Thank you very much Pontus for the detailed note.

    You are right that SAP Idea Place is publicly open to anyone who is a registered SCN member. It can help overcome one limitation of the usergroups as you say.

    The idea is to make sure we are taking the best out of both ‘streams’ to – I couldn’t say it better – contribute and collaborate to make PI the best integration platform available today ๐Ÿ™‚

    As you know I will be happy to help with anything you may need from SAP Idea Place, and the PI idea session to facilitate your work going forward.

    Thanks again for all your efforts!

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    1. Holger Himmelmann

      Hi Mariana,

      at our next GSIG meeting we will for sure follow up on this topic, since we see Idea Place as a very useful platform and would like to bring the advantages and feedback of both streams together.

      One functional limitation of Idea Place is that it currently supports to vote for or against an idea, but not to prioritize it in terms of criticality. Are there considerations or plans to offer such kind of functionality in the future?

      Regards, Holger

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      1. Mariana Mihaylova

        Hi Holger,

        Thank you very much for the feedback.

        Your idea for prioritization is really great. I am taking this up now to the SAP Idea Place management and will get back to you as quickly as I can.

        Look forward to read more details after your next GSIG meeting.

        Thanks and Regards,

        Mariana

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  4. Mariana Mihaylova

    Hi All,

    An update on SAP Idea Place. Currently they are evaluating ways of how to enable prioritization functionality. I will keep you posted!

    If the need be, would you or key members of GSIG for PI be interested to take part and help with evaluations? That will ensure the PI idea session gets “equipped” with what you need to embrace this as the requirements collection tool going forward.

    Thanks and regards,

    Mariana

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    1. Holger Himmelmann

      Hi Mariana,

      we would be very interested to support the evaluation and detailed specification. Looking forward to the next updates.

      Regards, Holger

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