For the last few years, social media has become an integral part of our lives. Twitter is not the first and certainly not the last company in this segment that has successfully hit the stock market. But every time it happens we are reminded of the financial potential and business impact social offers.

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Social media “could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value,” according to experts at McKinsey. “Two thirds of this potential value lies in improving collaboration within and across enterprises.”

SAP’s Timo Eliott pointed to Forrester Research on why executives and vendors still find it hard to justify investments in social software: “In environments where social business solutions have been deployed and there have been issues with adoption, survey data demonstrates perceived lack of business value (46 percent) and lack of integration with workflow and business applications (50 percent) as critical roadblocks.”

One may frown at these high figures, but proper application of social technologies could be profitable to enterprises. What is the right way to use social collaboration tools? Here’s some insight into business value and implementation of social media from SAP Jam.

Collaboration at SAP

SAP Jam is a cloud-based social software application that allows active sharing of information and working in teams or projects. Useful SAP social technologies include activity feeds and micro blogging. Our work processes have integrated these technologies through internal tools that are comparable to YouTube (‘Media Share’), Google Docs (‘Documents’) and more.

SAP remains a best run business in the era of social media by running SAP Jam, which is enhanced with new features on a regular basis. Highlight-features include decision making and planning tools, as well as update feeds and follow functions. One can even invite external participants to join collaboration in specific groups.

In short, SAP Jam simplifies working in highly-dynamic project groups across all functional and hierarchical levels and is particularly well suited for the support of close collaboration in virtual teams.

Mirko Friedrich and his colleagues from the Enterprise Collaboration team are pushing the social adoption by integrating SAP Jam into everyday business processes. And Hendrik Achenbach recently finished the integration of CRM into SAP Jam.

SAP Jam allows employees to do many things they formerly needed several different tools for:

  • Share and discuss ideas with other employees in asynchronous conversations and across time zones
  • Solve problems in a structured way by using decision-making and planning tools
  • Follow and connect with people with similar interests or appealing expertise
  • Share and comment on documents, presentations, videos and other materials

Implementing SAP Jam (@SAP)

We launched SAP Jam internally at the end of 2012. Acquiring SuccessFactors offered us the unique opportunity to consolidate the best of SuccessFactors Jam and our own SAP StreamWork application, allowing us to make a good platform even better. We were able to manage the implementation of SAP Jam within only nine weeks of strong teamwork between joint forces of former SuccessFactors experts, SAP’s internal IT department colleagues and the Enterprise Collaboration team.

Enabling all employees worldwide to quickly and easily get engaged on the platform required SAP Jam’s prompt and smooth integration into the intranet landscape. Moreover, every SAP employee is set up in SAP Jam automatically as Single-Sign-On from SAP’s network and devices. External participants can also join groups upon invitation.

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SAP Jam is becoming the key enabler for collaborative business processes and part of several knowledge offerings and learning curricula at SAP. The SAP Enterprise Support Academy and Learning Rooms both illustrate the winning combination of process (training/learning) and collaboration.

The SAP Enterprise Support Academy is an integral part of “SAP Enterprise Support,” the software maintenance contract chosen by 98 percent of our customers (more than 100,000 in total). The SAP Jam group concentrates on enabling internal smooth flow of knowledge to and among our employees. Moreover, it concentrates on enabling knowledge flow along our whole value chain within the entire ecosystem (including partners and customers).

And SAP Jam groups have been set up as virtual Learning Rooms to help design a next-generation learning experience. These rooms serve as central access points, allowing trainees to interact and collaborate with trainers, experts and peers before, during and after training. Training offered in Learning Rooms is scalable, mobile enabled and engaging through interactive features, and it is tailored to a specific target group.

Outlook

The extensive use of SAP Jam (over 50,000 active users last month) is a clear indicator that this new platform is perfectly suited to merge the above mentioned social and business functions. The launch and the growing interest in using SAP Jam was supported by a holistic help and support approach, which enabled employees and external participants to immediately get started with collaboration on SAP Jam. This was important to accelerate the adoption of our enterprise social collaboration solution at SAP.

The implementation of SAP Jam has shown again how important it is to focus on user adoption, change management as well as continuous technological advancements in order to create a valuable solution.

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7 Comments

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  1. Caroline Lewis

    Great blog Dirk!  One of the most exciting things about how we use SAP Jam at SAP is that we’re pushing its use beyond traditional social collaboration to uncharted territory like leadership development and inspiring and leading teams.  The Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program uses Jam as its backbone – to drive dialogue, discussion and build a community of leaders. 

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  2. Sameer Patel

    Dirk, excellent post. One of things Ive really come to appreciate at SAP in my short time here is how transparently we share and collaborate not just internally but across the industry. Our Social Media Marketing teams have always led the way on industry thought leadership. And now you are doing the same for ecosystem collaboration.

    Its incredible what our internal knowledge management and IT teams have accomplished. Congratulations and looking forward to see what you do next with our most recent Work Patterns release. Thanks for everything you and your team does.

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  3. Rob Makinson

    Great to see an internal update on how SAP is using its own products. Looking forward to Jam being integrated to on premise HR processes such as eRecruitement requisition / interview and Learning Solution.

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    1. Dirk Dobiey Post author

      Hi Rob, thanks for the feedback. In fact our strategy is to integrate Jam not just with HR processes but with business processes in general. But first things first – HR is a great use case! Best, Dirk

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  4. Marissa Bollenbach

    Hi Dirk,

    Thanks for sharing a great SAP Runs SAP story. Love the connection between SAP and the rise of social media for collaboration. If you have a minute, could you add our tag “saprunssap” or “sap_runs_sap” so your blog will show up on our SCN space with the rest of our content? I’ll be sharing this with my team and networks!

    Marissa

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