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Background

Social Learning – Learning from and with others – can occur in person or by using social media. According to Bersin & Associates, a leading Talentmanagement & Learning research group, 30% of US companies spent money in social learning tools in 2010. Large companies (10,000+ employees) are making the heaviest investment, with 42% spending ~$16k during the year. Research also proves it (e.g. Corporate Executive Board) and shows that 75 % of learning happens informal and social through discussions, collaboration, on-the-job experience and problem solving. As learning management systems focuses mainly on the formal side it MUST be complemented with social & informal learning. There are different use-cases how you can leverage & deploy it – see my recent articles Social media in learning and talent development / Formalized Informal Learning: A New Architecture for Corporate Learning is needed. We built different social learning features into SAP xLSO.

How does social learning with xLSO look like?

xLSO (SAP Learning Solution, option for the extended learning community) is an add-on built on the well-established SAP Learning Solution. This new solution extends the reach to the external enterprise like, contractors, business partners, dealers, suppliers or customers. The solution can be used to sell education services, ensure consistent and compliant qualification of supply chain members to minimize risks, or improve customer service and -retention.

xLSO supports social learning in different ways.

Ratings & Comments: Learner can rate & comment courses – other learners can benefit from this user generated content. The Admin can facilitate comments if wanted (feature is configurable).


Recording of external/ informal learning
: Informal/ social learning can be recorded by the Learner, Instructor or Learning Manager in order to ensure that workplace instruction or ad hoc on-the-job learning can be tracked by the system.

Discussion/ Collaboration / Document Sharing: It is possible to integrate social media platforms for collaboration and sharing documents – e.g. into courses or bundles/ curricula. SAP created an open interface (Business Add-In) where such platforms can be integrated. For the SAP offerings the configuration is delivered as docu – and done for SAP StreamWork, in plan for Successfactors Jam.

The Administrator/ Operations Employee sets up the integration to the platform incl. business rules on course type/ bundle level. This rule imply that the Collaboration is automatically created on the social media platform depending on the settings.

The Learner books the course and then is automatically part in the collaboration (room, group or activity) – and can access it from his learning activities or from triggered mail.

Concrete features

  • Integrate collaboration and sharing documents directly into courses or bundles/ curriculum
  • Community can be visible to all community members or only to learners booked on the course
  • Community can be available always, or only during course
  • Collaboration is automatically created with course creation
  • Correspondence can be sent in terms of creation/ cancelation
  • User can be removed after course completion automatically
  • Learner is automatically part in the collaboration activity – and can access it from learning activities or correspondence

Example Screenshot: xLSO & StreamWork

streamwork_xLSO.PNG

Technical Background

The xLSO configuration guide comprises the details for the BADI how to integrate Streamwork – like details for CREATE_COMPONENT, ADD_USERS_TO_COMPONENT, REMOVE_USERS_FROM_COMPONENT or DELETE_COMPONENT. For integration of StreamWork we use SAIL. SAIL is not related to sailing – it is the StreamWork Abap Integration Library and provides ABAP API’s sending HTTP Requests to StreamWork, that adress the corresponding REST API’s. For using those ABAP API’s to integrate StreamWork into ABAP Applications there are already different examples like SAP CRM, Supplier Lifecycle Management, or Netweaver Business Client. More info can also be found in the StreamWork Developer Community in the Help section under http://www.streamwork.com/

Benefits

You have the general benefits like to make learning and its transfer to the job more effective through adding the social/ collaborative element  – learners can learn from each others or from instructors/ tutors. (Of course this needs to be managed somehow – like built from instruction design side into the course design.) With incorporating social media you can take blended learning to the next level – e.g. to support discussions of exercises between courses, to share documents on experiences after classes.

It is also an excellent showcase how an on-demand social media solution like StreamWork can be integrated meaningful in on-premise ERP solutions – extending existing investments with new cool on-demand tools.

Would be interested in any feedback from the SAP Community – just use the “Comment” function below.

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9 Comments

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  1. John Kleeman

    This looks very interesting and it’s great to see SAP providing a solution here that takes account of the change in how learning is perceived in the community.

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  2. Vanessa Barrantes

    Hello Thomas:

    Thank you for posting this. It is really good news for us and customers who are looking a integration of xLSO and a social learning technologie, such as StreamWork or SF JAM

    Do you have some demo and documentation available?

    Regards and thank you in advance,

    Vanessa

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    1. Thomas Jenewein Post author

      Hello Vanessa,

      you find docu – incl. the config-guide here: http://help.sap.com/xlso – i linked the documentation also in the above article now.

      For xLSO we have free RKT Material (Ramp-up knowledge transfer) for customers and partners – where we also have one deck on community / collaboration integration. you find it under

      https://service.sap.com/~form/sapnet?_SHORTKEY=01100035870000728003&  in the SAP Service Marketplace (S-User required) Best Regards Thomas

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  3. Joerg Habon

    Hi Thomas,

    the integration of formal and informal learning with xLSO and StreamWork (and later on with JAM) is a big step forward for all learners. What about an additional integration? I think about a lot of very fruitfull use cases if we could integrate the xLSO/StreamWork Scenario with the SAP Workforce Perfromance Builder. We should talk about this, shouldn’t we?

    Warm Regards

    Joerg

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    1. Thomas Jenewein Post author

      hi Joerg, great point. currently SAP Workforce Perfromance Builder already runs at content (static html output or SCORM) from xLSO or SAP Learning Solution. However it would be interesting to look at further scenarios. Lets discuss that further.

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    1. Thomas Jenewein Post author

      hi Jan, I would log a OSS Ticket – the colleagues know it. actually i would not recommend streamwork any more as SAP now has a new social solution – SAP Jam… best Thomas

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      1. Jan Krohn

        Actually, we don’t want to go for Streamwork as a permanent solution, but integrate it according to the book to understand how the interface works, so we can implement a third party portal… figured that out now without Streamwork 🙂

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