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Editor’s note: This article by Holly Simmons, Vice President of Marketing for Social Software at SAP, is reproduced from the Oct-Nov-Dec 2013 issue of SAPinsider (SAPinsiderOnline.com) with permission from its publisher, WIS Publishing. Read the entire special report on social collaboration at SAPinsiderOnline.com.

Get work done with social collaboration

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/holly_simmons_307055.pngSocial networks are among the most powerful tools available to businesses. The potential reach among existing and prospective customers is vast, and rich opportunities abound for collaboration among employees and partners.

For years, most vendors of social software solutions have focused on standalone offerings that provide scads of social features, but lack a holistic integration into the enterprise-wide applications and processes that drive business operations and decisions. A solution that fails to reach users where they work means a solution that isn’t used, no matter how fancy the features — Forrester Research reported that 77% of employees who have a social network in their organization have never used it, and only 4% use it several times each day.1

To help businesses reap the rewards of social networks, SAP introduced SAP Jam — a secure, cloud-based social software solution that integrates social collaboration into any SAP or third-party application or business process, even while mobile. It brings just-in-time social collaboration to your work, when and where you need engagement, problem solving, and decision making.

How Is SAP Jam Different?

SAP Jam eliminates social silos in your organization while maintaining support for a range of business areas because it is delivered as a single, secure, cloud-based foundation across your business, applications, and processes. By bringing social collaboration together under one roof, but across the business, you get a unified work experience that pulls together everything you need to collaborate with colleagues, customers, and partners.

SAP Jam was developed to be purpose-driven, streamline work processes, support ad hoc problem solving, and enable teams to come together to make better, faster decisions. SAP Jam brings social collaboration, along with data from your SAP and third-party applications, to the crux of a business problem or opportunity to drive action and get work done. The features and functionality of SAP Jam empower employees to quickly connect with one another and with external contacts to create and share critical information and drive results for the business (see Figure 1).

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For example, when a sales manager enters a new opportunity in SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), that action kicks off a work process that requires collaboration at several points, such as defining the sales strategy, working with a partner on the implementation plan, or engaging the customer directly for a requirements planning meeting. Similarly, HR processes for onboarding and learning are kicked off when new employees begin their journey in the SuccessFactors Learning and SuccessFactors Onboarding applications. SAP Jam makes social collaboration a reality for such processes.

Integrating collaboration features into key business areas

SAP Jam works by integrating into key application areas — such as sales, customer service, marketing, HR, and additional business areas — where collaboration can add value to the business process.

Sales

SAP Jam makes it easy to bring together all the participants involved in sales opportunities, including sales teams, product management, and customer service. By integrating with SAP CRM or SAP Cloud for Sales, SAP Jam helps shorten sales cycles with social opportunity management and “deal rooms” that provide access to the resources needed to qualify opportunities and make smarter decisions. Collaborative customer engagement capabilities enable a sales team to strengthen customer relationships and boost win rates.

Customer service

SAP Jam enables collaborative customer case management by integrating with SAP CRM and SAP Cloud for Service. The groups feature of SAP Jam, for example, brings together the collective wisdom of the customer service, sales, and product management teams to help reduce service ticket backlogs and shorten time-to-resolution for case life cycles (see Figure 2). Collaboration capabilities also increase discussion and assessment of contact center metrics and enable the team to improve customer loyalty through increased customer engagement.

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Marketing

Integration between SAP Jam and SAP CRM enables social campaign management for marketing teams. SAP Jam streamlines program planning, execution, and analysis of campaign data, and helps teams analyze social media data for customer sentiment and response to marketing efforts.

HR

SAP Jam helps executives and managers in HR, learning, and knowledge management departments improve efficiency, lower training costs, and foster more productive and engaged employees. Integration with SuccessFactors Learning, SuccessFactors Onboarding, and the SuccessFactors Business Execution (BizX) Suite brings new hires up to speed quickly with social onboarding and learning, and fosters continued growth — for instance, via predefined group templates for key repeatable business processes like mentoring and coaching (see Figure 3).

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Additional business areas

SAP Jam supports additional departments by integrating with SAP Business Suite applications in various areas, such as finance and supply chain. For example, integration with SAP ERP Financials and SAP Cloud for Financials enables collaborative budgeting and forecasting or solving of financial exceptions. You can also build your own integrations with the application programming interfaces (APIs) provided.

Learn more

For more information about how your organization can drive results and improve business processes by connecting employees, customers, and partners, visit www.sap.com/jam.

1 Forrester, “Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey, Q4 2011” (2011).

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