Customers are looking to connect. But are NDA breaking the connection?
As you may have seen in my previous blog the HR SAP Australian User Group (SAUG) recently participated in and contributed to the customer connection programs for eRecruitment and Learning Solution. We actively sort out subscribers and promoted the SAP customer connection as a valuable way customers can influence and provide direct input into SAP improvements to the product we use everyday. The fantastic news was that in eRecruitment five of the ideas from the SAUG made the cut.
As a result one of our user group members shared their engagement experience with me in relation to the customer connection and other SAP initiatives they participated in. I thought it was an interesting experience, so I wanted to share the details with you and gather some feedback.
The individual did not want their name directly attributed to the below so I have used the name Mr.HRM as the protagonist.
Mr.HRM was excited with their customer connection ideas and started to engage with SAP on their ideas and thoughts around the potential design solutions. He was then approached by SAP to do some User testing of their solution to see if it met their basic principles and whether they had any other ideas. As you would expect he was excited and contacted his business counterpart in Recruitment to pass on the good news. Mr.HRM agreed with SAP on some dates and times that he could participate and eagerly awaited his SAP token so he could securely dial into SAP for testing. Imagine his surprise then when he received an email later that day stating that before he could get the token activated he had to get a number of Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) documents approved.
Around the same time Mr.HRM received notification that he had been accepted into the customer initiative program for Fiori HCM. This is another SAP group looking to engage with customers to get product improvement ideas for the new Fiori apps. Imagine his surprise then when he received an email later that day stating that before he could be accepted he had to get another NDA document approved.
At the same time SAP approached Mr.HRM wanting to know if he wanted to participate in two new initiatives they were running. They were looking for customers to be early adopters and help shape the product direction. Both solutions were related to payroll with one specific to Australia. As part of the discussion he was informed that before he could confirm acceptance he had to get another two NDA documents approved, one for each initiative.
So in case I have lost you, four separate initiatives, four separate NDA’s to be signed.
In conclusion the company above signed none of the NDA’s thus SAP lost their valuable input and connection.
Now I am not sure about my fellow customers but getting an NDA document signed/approved is not necessarily an easy task. Your manager, CIO, Legal and maybe even procurement might need to be involved in the review/approval process.
So my question to you my fellow customers; Is the above a unique experience or have others experienced this?
If it is not unique, is there a better way we can work with SAP to improve this process. Can SAP say to us the customer, when you sign up with SAP, we will give you ONE document to sign as an NDA for your future participation in any of our fantastic customer engagement initiatives, etc.
In my mind this would simplify the process, getting more companies participating and allowing SAP a quicker turn around in getting valuable input from customers on change and development in our respective processes and modules.