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SCN and Gamification – some personal lessons learned



Update Monday 10th February 2014

It seems SCN is not the first with gamification, on a visit to the

Skoda-Auto Museum at the weekend, this was spotted:

Skoda Auto Gamification.png


When I first heard about SDN embracing gamification, to be honest
I was a gamification skeptic, I was concerned that gamification
would devalue the community, my Generation X worries were:

• gamification will take the seriousness away from the community

• gamification will take the professional nature away from the community

• gamification dilute the reasons of the community

When I thought about gamification, I had a picture in my mind of one of these :


(thanks for the picture )

and I thought all users would need an SAP SCN game console to be

able to use the community since gamification mean’t we’d be

gamers didn’t it ?   🙂

Gamification went live and the penny dropped…

     Gamification is something else


( thanks for the picture )

When looking at the SCN’s gamification design, the badges
sequence, their values, it was clear to see:

• the gamification has been very well thought out

• gamification has very serious goals

• the goal of the gamification is inclusion and participation and engagement

SAP and SCN Lead by Example

You know, SCN and SAP lead by example, and here we are again,
SAP have opened our eyes to Gamification

If SCN hadn’t done gamification I wouldn’t know what it is

If SCN hadn’t done gamification so well I wouldn’t have been
motivated to look at the concept and science of gamification
more closely

What do I take away from the journey to gamification ?

The SCN Gamification is a lesson to us all that we can take back
to our companies and think about on roll-outs as a way of increasing
inclusion, participation and engagement.

But why only roll-outs ?

More and more companies are instroducing some kind of social media
flavour to their intranets, social media has been introduced on the
intranet at the customer where I am currently engaged.

As Christopher Kim has blogged today,

8 Honest Truths Every Marketer Can Learn From SAP Community Network

there is so much everybody I mean everybody involved in intranet &

internet communities and engagement can learn from SAP’s lead with

the SCN.

Social Media concepts will more and more become a greater part of

business applications in the future, think of Business Process Management

/ WorkFlow / Guided Procedures utilising Social Media, and think about

what we generation Xer’s have not thought of yet and what the generation y’s

and Millenials will be thinking of.

Just thinking out loud, I am curious to the amount of infrastructure
and even custom development needed for BPM, / WorkFlow / Guided Procedures

and am curious to think about looser coupling of processes and utilising

Social Media tools for  the processes. Generation Y and Millenials are used

to the loose coupling of Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr etc and seem

perfectly capable of organising actions through these tools.

And this is only one example.

Evidence of what is coming and available can be seen in things like:

◦. OSS 1859791 – CRM Social Media Integration in Interaction Center
◦. OSS 1832462 – Master Note: CRM Social Media Integration
◦. OSS 1832480 – How to implement Twitter API for CRM Interaction Center
◦. OSS 1832481 – How to implement Facebook API for CRM Interaction Center

we can even use Hana to calculate social sentiment…

◦. OSS 1832482 – How to calculate social sentiment on HANA as primary DB

We are constrained only by our imaginations and intelligence.

Intelligence, the application of knowledge and experience is precisely
constrained by our experience or lack of it. As I said last year after
SCN moved to the platform and once I had got over the move, I was
sincerely grateful for the new platform,and realised that us Gen Xer’s
need to embrace the new technologies especially the Social Media

technologies otherwise we will be left behind.

We have to think about how gamification can be applied and designed into



( this wonderful picture is from this original article:

by Marjolijn Kamphuis  and Marjolijn has very kindly given her express permission for the

wonderful picture to be included in this blog )

Here are the badges,


(thanks for the picture )

let’s think about how the game mechanics can be applied in solutions.

So I have to say, on reflection,

well done SCN Team for the planning, implementation and delivery of gamification.

There’s a lesson here for all of us.

How can we use Gamification and Game Mechanics and Social Media in our worlds ?

It’s working !

The proof is in the pudding, and we can see, people who previously were lurkers are now

participating, included and engaged.

All the best,


p.s. When will the Gamification Business Package be available for the Portal ? Ok,

priorities, we need the Business Suite Business Packages POD enabled first 🙂

In the meantime we will make do with Fiori


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    • Very nice pictures - but I checked and none of those pictures were explicitly licensed for reuse. Just quoting the source of a picture does not make it OK to reuse unless the creator of the picture has licensed the image under a creative commons license (or similar).

      Indeed the creator of the sketch image - Marjolijn Kamphuis a blogger in the Netherlands shared the image above on Flikr as "all rights reserved" which means you cannot share it without explicit permission.

      I appreciate that the sites that the images were found on probably also didn't get permission to share them, but that does not mean it's ok.

      Otherwise - it's a great blog post and I agree that the gamification "experiment" is so far a great success. Will be very interesting to review the stats in a few month's time.



  • Funny that you were a skeptic, because you may have not realized, the SCN has been gamified for over 8 years. All the points and badges are not new, they were part of the reputation system, which is gamification. We just didn't call it that back then.

    • Hi Mario,

      thank you for opening up that line of thought.

      The mind boggles as to where in our lives the line is drawn between gamification and reality, because, using your definition of gamification,

      ' All the points and badges are not new, they were part of the reputation system, which is gamification. We just didn't call it that back then',

      there are many areas of our lives where to some extent a concept of points and badges are used in some degree in a reputation system.

      All the best,


      • Here some more mindboggling things:

        the military uses what? Status, ranks, badges.

        society? academic titles, honorary titles, money (extrinsic motivator) etc.

        school/academics: grades, SAT score, honor student

        sport: all scoring, hall of fame, titles, world cup etc.

        religion: status (priest, bishop, cardinal, pope)

        So yes, game design components have been in use for thousands of years and are nothing new. Like the iPad, when you slice it down had nothing new. All the components were known. But joined together in an intelligent form they suddenly give completely new experiences. Now with gamification all the pieces have been there, but now we combined them and starting having an understanding how these distinct elements can work together in such great ways - and we have a new discipline. We are just at the beginning with gamification.... 😉

    • "That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is

      that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun" -  Ecclesiastes Chapter 1


      Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing

      either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

      By these definitions:

      Gamification new? strictly speaking nothing is ever completely "new" but I would strongly suggest that injecting momentum and igniting interest in missions and completing a "designed set of activities" that are visible, traceable, and easily executable, manageable and automated to some extent, is an evolution of any previous iterations of gamification.

      Good or bad? depends on how we think about it.  If we think only about point gaming well not so good, but if we think about guided steps, learning, fun, engagement, incentive to contribute, it might be the best thing that's happened in a long time.

      my 10 cents


    • Hi Marssel,

      lead by example, blog something professional and interesting and start the interesting professional discussion.

      All the best,


    • Marssel, I don't understand your comment. Th SCN has been gamified for over 8 years. Now there was a relaunch with a better gamification version. Do you say that the SCN has been not professional enough the past 8 years, because of all the gamification?

      If so, what exactly is it that you would expect? Because honestly, the SCN is one of the best professional communities out there.

      And I want to point you to other very serious, professional communities, that also use gamification. Stack Overflow, Java Blackbelt community (now defunct), Avvo, Healthtap, etc.

      Well-done gamification doesn't make a community less serious or less professional. It allows to get better feedback and have more information on where members are and how they can become better and make better contributions.

        • Thank you Samuli. Maybe I was insufficient.

          I have no doubt how great the SCN is. I mean I would like to see here a larger number of good content, because I have seen that not all materials are useful here.

          Searching for solutions gets harder among so many empty responses. Many good answers aren't even marked as correct (forums).

          I say this because there are many good people who doesn't participate. 90 of % SAP professionals which I have met (personally) know about SCN however don't contribute. This means the SCN has a lot of posibilities to have even more good members and contents if could attract all of them.

          • agree, there is always room to improve the quality of the contributions. And that's why comments and ratings are now so important. In the end, the more of the good ratings and likes you get, the more points a contributor collects. And they only get that for good contributions.

            But don't see it as useless. The newbies have a way to learn what rings wit the community, and can become better.

            Contribution rates: actually, those numbers are very common for many communities. There is this 90:9:1 rule. 90% just lurk and never contribute, 9% contribute occasionally, and 1% contributes like 80% of the content.

            The trick is to make it easier for the 90% to contribute as well: through ratings, likes, shares, comments etc. The lower the barrier and the more interesting an incentive, the better.

            And not everyone should be a contributor: there are many more roles in innovative and social communities that we have to cater to: Read this:

          • Thank you Mario.

            I have 2 points in my last statement:

            "not all materials are useful here" - This doesn't say they're useless. Any comment right or not can led us to the correct answer. I mean we need a question definition. (right or wrong). Since this regards forums there are no obligation for this. I believe there are ways to improve that.

            "Contributors" - I agree with your number 90:9:1. It's impossible to be frequent all times but the occasionally number could improve (9%). The SCN could be a better professional feedback. Specially for independent professionals or companies. But this is a focus question and deppends of the SCN objectives.

            Best Wishes.

          • 90 - 9 - 1 is a Nielsen principle from 2006.

            in 2012 the BBC had done a research and found 23 passive - 60 participants and 17 intense users, because the tools are easier to use and  it is easier to participate.

            And gamification is just another step to animate even more people to participate actively.

            It would be interesting to know how it is here in SCN, I am sure this is measurable.

          • Hi Mario,

            something I am curious about regarding the SCN Community is the possibilities of organic community growth.

            What I mean is, using my own motivations as an example, my career is moving from straight Basis Admin into the Basis Architect direction.

            I don't seem to find on SCN a SAP Basis Architecture Space.

            I can put a question into the Coffee Corner or Ideas Place and request a Space to be created dedicated to Basis Architecture, where people interested in Basis Architecture can discuss only the Architecture aspects of SAP Basis, rather than what appears to be the current situation where Basis Architecture questions popup as sidelines to other Vertical Spaces.

            But the point is, it would be nice, if SCN had the possibility for members or groups of members to start a Space, and for SCN to grow organically, without the need to SCN members to go to Ideas Place or Coffee Corner and use the existing round about processes to achieve their goals.

            I wonder if there was more freedom here, how the community would grow. Obviously there is a difference between freedom and anarchy and growth must be controlled, but the question remains, will the community as a whole benefit if freedoms were more relaxed ?

            In the meantime, I will investigate more if the SAP Basis Architecture Space exists or is in some way currently catered for, and if not, I will use the existing channels to request the SAP Basis Architecture Space to be created.

            I guess it is like anything, in the real world, Building Planning Regulations are there for a reason, and in countries where there is lax building planning control and regulations it is easy to see the consequences.

            All the best,


  • Hi Andy,

    No words to explain. Very creative, Different thought.

    Really appreciate. Nice blog. Keep Sharing this kind of blogs.

    It motivates me to share more and more


    Hari Suseelan

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