SAP Community Network: Submission for Forrester Groundswell Awards 2012
Award Name: Forrester Groundswell Awards 2012
Category: B2B: Supporting
Submitted by: Christopher Kim, Director of Strategic Programs – SAP Digital, Social, and Communities team
Social media is a worldwide phenomenon, yet many organizations are trying to understand how to generate business value from these online interactions. Back in 2003 (when Mark Zuckerberg was still at Harvard creating Facemash), the SAP Developer Network was launched to help developers and technologists collaborate and connect with one another. As SDN evolved over the years to include process experts, business analytics experts, and even university professors and students (not to mention changing our name to SAP Community Network), it has grown to 2.5 million members while maintaining the same spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing. These interactions have real business impact – whether it’s helping a customer’s implementation, getting a “how-to” question answered, teach-
What is SAP Community Network?
SAP Community Network (SCN) is SAP’s professional social network. For the past 9 years we have connected a community of now 2.5 million members including SAP customers, partners, employees and other experts. People from over 230 countries engage on SCN each day to find answers to product questions, solve implementation challenges, learn best practices, educate themselves on the latest SAP technologies, and connect with experts and thought leaders within and outside SAP. The value we provide to our members includes:
- Speed – solve challenges faster, and accelerate execution through access to technologies, models, and a network of experts
- Impact – drive higher quality outcomes and better business results, by leveraging the community and known best practices, and build reputation as you contribute your knowledge and experiences to help others succeed
- Efficiencies – reduce TCO resources, time cycles, and financial investments, by re-using proven, existing experiences and solutions
- Insight – benefit from collective wisdom to innovate and differentiate, while gaining a broader perspective, while expanding your own knowledge and expertise
How is SCN organized?
Earlier in 2012 we completely overhauled the community’s underlying infrastructure and upgraded to a more modern, powerful and unified platform. SCN is now organized by what we call “topic spaces” which contain a complete set of social tools for creating or consuming content, including Blogs, Discussion Forums, and Documents. There are 400 topics on SCN which illustrates the breadth of SAP’s solutions and the number of audiences we serve.
We also have areas for special topics such as Software Downloads (products, widgets, samples), a Developer Center, and an innovative crowdsourcing community called Idea Place for submitting ideas to improve SAP’s products (Idea Place is also being submitted for a Groundswell Award this year).
With such a large community and finite resources to support it, we rely heavily on 600-700 incredibly committed volunteers (inside and outside SAP) to help moderate the conversations and keep the community running smoothly. We also have a group of about 100 “super-influencers” called SAP Mentors who represent the most engaged, knowledgeable and helpful members of SCN. Needless to say, our moderators and Mentors are invaluable to the community’s success.
What is the Impact?
By supporting the vast implementation, development, and educational needs of our customers and partners, SCN has delivered an unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge about SAP solutions – all hosted in a collaborative online environment. We measure success by monitoring the level of engagement from our members, and the quality of that engagement. Some key metrics we track include (click on image below):
We also measure our Net Promoter Score and have a current NPS of 63% (source: 2011 SCN Member survey)
But our members tell the story better than we ever could, so here are just a few quotes describing the benefits they get from SCN:
“SCN has been a very helpful resource for many questions that we encountered during the development phase of our SAP implementation, easily saving us 10-20% of overall project time. Finding a similar solution ourselves might have taken an extra 2-3 weeks in some cases.” – Faisal Mehmood, Business Process Analyst, Colgate-Palmolive
“It helped me a lot to understand SAP’s implementation strategy and today I am still learning on SCN. There are people that I don’t know and they don’t know me either, but they helped me without thinking of anything in return. I thank these people from the bottom of my heart. I decided I wanted to follow their footsteps and help my peers as well. “ – Jansi Rani Murugesan, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Like social media itself, SCN continues to evolve rapidly and we plan to implement new experiences – such as an SCN on Mobile app – while always keeping the spirit of the community at the forefront. It is a massive responsibility to run the SAP Community Network and provide outstanding value to its members, butit’s one we are passionate about and proud to be a part of.