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Universal Identity and Profile Launch – the First Step to an Improved Audience Experience

As one of the most active communities in the world, you’ve shared more than your expertise. You’ve shared your opinions and we’ve listened. You said that it was complicated to work with SAP online, that there were too many digital properties to navigate, and that SAP didn’t know who you were or what you wanted to see. We have to fix this.

You may have heard about the ONE Digital Experience project. This initiative was kicked off by the SAP Board of Directors in late 2013 as part of SAP’s overall simplification efforts (“simplify everything so we can do anything”), and includes support from several Community members / SAP Mentors, as well as a broad spectrum of SAP employees from multiple organizations. This post is intended to provide more detailed information about what this project means for you.

The mandate of ONE Digital Experience is to help SAP deliver a best-in-class digital experience, simplifying our online presence and making it easy for you to find and act on the information you need. It will deliver a consistent digital experience that provides clear direction, relevant content, and the features and functionality that you expect. ONE Digital Experience will make it easy for anyone to do business with SAP online.

The scope of ONE Digital Experience includes all SAP audiences across all SAP digital properties. The project approach is agile, providing regular improvements to take us to the ultimate end goal. One of the first deliverables is the Universal Identity and Profile widget, powered by SAP ID Service that will go live by SAPPHIRE NOW on June 3rd. It will provide visitors to, SAP events Platform, and SCN with a single sign on to all of the sites.

The design of the widget includes some of the features that are already present in the SCN profile:

  • Single, Auto Log-in: Users are automatically logged-on across all of the sites if they have logged on to one site already
  • Social Sign-In: Users can login using one of their social accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google to start)
  • Consistent Access: Users find consistent links in the header representing logged-out and logged-in states
  • Control Over Data: Users can review and modify seven of their common profile fields from within the Widget or click to
    access the full profile and settings for their web sites

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*Image from the test system. Final version may vary.

You can see in the screen shot that we are using a “story” approach for displaying the seven profile fields. Based on user testing, our designers felt that this would be the best way to encourage people to complete the profile instead of providing them with a form to fill out.

What changes should I expect?

  • There will be an extra click to navigate from the new profile to your existing profile page in SCN. However, you can click on your masthead photo to go directly to your detailed SCN profile.
  • You will need to populate the new profile with the seven fields to make it complete.
  • You will need to log off of SCN and log on again to synchronize the widget fields and your SCN profile fields, since the widget runs in our central IDS system. (This is on the list to change in an upcoming release.)

What about my SCN profile and reputation – levels, points and badges?

  • You can get to your SCN full profile by clicking on your masthead photo or on “View your full profile and settings for this site” in the widget.
  • There will be no impact to your existing reputation tab.
  • You will continue to earn your reputation points, badges and levels as in the past.

So what happens after the new Profile launch?

  • Longer term milestones for the project are also based on your past feedback.
  • The widget of the future will enable personalization and filtering of content based on individual preferences. The long term goal is to bring all key features from the current SCN profile into the widget.
  • There will be continued consolidation of microsites, reducing the splintering of content in multiple publication points.
  • Users will not have to know which site holds what information. For example, SCN versus SAP Help versus SAP Store etc. You will be able to navigate seamlessly based the actions you would like to take, carrying your preferences with you.

So in June, you will experience step one, the new widget. In the spirit of agile, remember that we are continuing to develop, improve and integrate the widget seamlessly across multiple SAP sites. It’s not perfect, but it is in transition.

I invite your feedback. Share your thoughts about the One Digital Experience project, the strategy and your hopes for the future with SAP online. Your voices are critical input for us as we make the transition to being a company that is simpler, more agile, and easier to work with.

Look for further announcements and my video during SAPPHIRE NOW. I’m excited to be sharing this important news about
simplifying SAP.

5-21-2014 3-21-30 PM.jpg
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  • Hi Maggie,

    these are the first steps in the right direction. I don’t want to have different log-ons for all the dfferent SAP sites, single sign-on is what I want and need. It would be perfect if the redirection takes some personal likes or favourites into account. E.g. I live in Germany, if I click on SAP store I’m currently redirected to SAP store in US, but the German SAP store in German is what I would expect. From the profile it would be nice to have some fields where I can enter my personal expertise or area of expertise. I think this would be helpfull for others too.

    I really look forward to the new widgets coming soon.



    • Hello Jürgen,

      this just caught my eye:

      From the profile it would be nice to have some fields where I can enter my personal expertise or area of expertise. I think this would be helpfull for others too.

      The profile has fields for this already here at SCN. Or did you mean something else? 🙂

      I’m really looking forward to those changes just because I’m curious about how much I will actually feel them (meaning if I notice them in my work with the SAP pages). ^^



      • Hi Steffi,

        I meant this comment reagrding the About me box shown in the picture. It looks like some standard customization and I think it could be a bit fancier or cooler. Honestly I don’t find it very readable. Maybe it’s an idea for the “About me” box to let the user decide which information will be shown. From my personal opinion I find the expertise or areas of knowledge of the user much more interesting then standard info like company, industry, position. If I’m really interested in that standrd info then I can go to the profile page of the user. I’m sure with some CSS/javascript you can mock up the box a bit :-).



        • Hello Jürgen,

          I really like the idea of making the “About me”-box personalizable (is that a word? 😀 ). In the end, it should be about the user itself and what is most importent about and for him/her, so I think this is a great idea, that you can decide yourself, which (7?) fields show up there. Much like the 3 badges you can chose.



          • Not sure if I understand this correctly. Can I only customize what info I want to share about me, or can I customize what info I want to read from others ?

            I personally do not like this story format, because I will find the information for each user at a different position which slows down the process of information retrieval.

            i hope the info we get when hovering the mouse over a users name will not be replace by the same widget.

  • Hi Maggie

    Thanks for sharing.

    +1 for the 1DX project!

    It has really brought numerous passionate people together from SAP and beyond SAP even to collaborate and improve the existing situation. I’ve been able to participate in the project which is really great, I loved the design thinking workshops that were held and we’ve already been able to see progress based on the outcome of those workshops.

    Best regards


  • Hi Maggie,

    To be very candid, I do not have a very clear understanding of 1DX project yet and hence I would be really interested in experiencing it when it’s out. I have a question though, not every user maintains detailed information in their social profiles including SCN and hence with social sign in the same would get carried forward. Whereas, a customer would be happy to see the detailed information of the person they are talking to. Hopefully, that would be taken care. Also, many of the features highlighted already exist in SCN and are usually complained of being broken. Certainly, they have improved with time.

    Congratulations on the initiative!



    • Hi Kumud, it’s a largely internal project, thought we will have a preview of the future of for SAPPHIRE NOW. Hopefully that will provide some more detail for you. When we’re done, you can expect a simpler, more streamlined digital experience that is based on what you want, rather than what SAP wants to tell you.

  • Hi Maggie,

    This is exciting news but I will make a cautionary comment…I hope this solves at least a few of the common issues we face daily when you have P users with multiple S Id’s and S-Id certificates. e.g.

    1. True remember me functionality that doesn’t ask you to log in every day (or less) later across sites (this sounds like what you say above – so check! And Yay if this works without the next point happening too).

    2. No more certificate prompts (in at least SCN in the beginning would make me happy).

    3. The ability to be always recognised as a P user on SCN, and to use this single id on other SAP sites (such as to select (and retain) your selected S user id (since the P user means nothing on customer only sites).

    4. That login is fast, and not European centric where in Australia, to login takes over 20 seconds to look at a single blog, and that is if I push cancel on the certificate prompts quickly.

    This last point is probably the most important to talk further about as companies own our S, C, D users, and we own only the P user; hence logging into SCN should automatically create a P user for you in the longer term, since it would be rare you want to post under a company id that you lose when you leave the company! Just an idea though the guys do a good job of minimising the impact of when this happens for key bloggers and the like…

    BTW – Hopefully you are up on the whole P, C, S, etc users from 1DX but if not – P = Public SCN Account that you can create as a personal identity (not linked to customers), S = SAP Customer’s User account (owned by a customer and not to the individual), C = SAP Contractor User Account (owned by SAP and not the individual), etc.

    Bring on the auto logon!



    • Excellent comments, Matt.  While I am  very excited about having one identity, I do know people who have changed companies – or migrated from an S-ID to a P-ID, and therefore lost all content from their previous lives.  This migration can occur in many forms so a lot of content is being orphaned.

      It would also be a huge hit for me if this universal identity included 🙂

      Maggie Fox do you have any insight on how the SCN team can resolve this?  I know, it’s a real quandry, because how do you know that ‘Sue Keohan’ is the same ‘Susan Keohan’ she was 3 years ago.

      Looking forward to the new widget – and fewer keystrokes in the future!

    • Hi Matt,

      About the multiple account issue (aka “S-user problem” as we call it internally) the short answer is this is definitely on our hit list to resolve, but as you might guess, it won’t happen overnight…or, realistically, not this year.  Suffice to say smart minds are at work on the foundational pieces.  I apologize for being vague at this point; when there is something more substantial to share we’ll bring it here to a blog post.

      -Tom Sekula

        ONE Digital Experience, Universal Identity and Profile Lead

      • Thanks Thomas. Over a year away is a little disappointing as it’s been a known problem for so long, but I realise how bad the overall problem is with S-Id’s. Even if there was a solution like that wrapped – I’d be happy.

        IMO – We should dump S id access to SCN and be done with it (and turn off certificates for all users (remaining non P-users would need to use standard log-in procedures developed for P-users for SSO).

        Anyway, thanks for the feedback. Until we get something like I describe, we don’t really have a Universal identity so I wish it wouldn’t be advertised like this but hey – it’s a marketing thing right? 😉



        • Ha, well, I really can’t blame you for calling us out on the Marketing-ness of “Universal Identity and Profile”.  Maggie’s post here is meant to convey the fact that ONE Digital Experience project is specifically targeting issues around online identity and accounts.  From the very first workshop last December the S-user problem was targeted as “big game”.

          The fact is, right out of the gate we can’t solve the S-user problem.  Planning, coordination, budget, internal politics, yadda yadda yadda. 

          I can tell you that very smart people here in SAP with ideas similar to what you’ve written have been brought together under ONE Digital Experience and given the funding, support, and time to fix old problems and create better online experiences.  We’re doing our best to decide which things to take on and which to put aside for a while; most of the things we’ve accomplished in the past few months are behind-the-scenes and don’t manifest into much for end users…yet. 

          This launch of the Widget is a bit of a gesture, a signal to users that we’re working in this space.

          • Thanks Tom. I’ve witnessed the diversity and intellectual capacity of the group first hand, and am amazed how SAP are truly investing in this – but I’ll always make sure you’re focused on the end goal of making life easy for the customer, and not the people who own IDS, SCN, service marketplace, micro-sites,, etc; though I feel for them with the architectures/politics/lack of budget/resources/time/etc; that lays in their way.



    • Hey Matt,

      we are definitely looking and hopefully also start working into the first two issues you mentioned.

      Regarding auto login / remember me, the current situation is not great. SAML 2 is solely based on browser interaction, and the browser unfortunately is the single most uncontrolled piece in that whole setup. Simply relying on some JS code to check your auth session doesn’t cut it anymore. The plan is to use SAML 2 for SSO, but server side oAuth for the actual auto login. We need the IDS team for that, but SCN would probably end up being the first consumer / customer of this (as usual).

      The certificate popup will also be tackled. It is due to an additional security measure (req. certificate for admin access), but we have it in the backlog.

      Some / all of these mistakes won’t happen in the future again…promise!



      • Hi Oliver,

        I know I’m hard on you guys (including IDS), but the way I see it – I log into my most secure website I use, “Google” and I’m seamlessly logged in within seconds, anywhere on the earth. Granted you guys don’t have the resources those guys have, but that’s my expectation for login.

        If that’s what oAuth will give us via IDS, then I think this should be the highest priority for 1DX over a Universal Identity (next to the certificate issue of course).

        Anyway, your remote user acceptance tester is here if you need him – just let me know – and good luck!



        ps. A certain API may be of great assistance here if it became public with a few more custom services!  e.g. Would no longer be an issue with IDS!

  • “speedy, simple, secure: pick 2.”


    While I may not be the typical SCN user, I am sure there are many other customers like me, who use the “Service Market Place” (known once upon a time as OSS), and the SAP Community  Network (also known as SDN in the past), and that’s about it.  Side systems such as CW (Collaboration Workspace) have come and gone, but these two are the main portals to my SAP interfacing (just ask me about Jam and its predecessors).  Get these working together more smoothly, and most us us will consider the work done.

    Situations such as someone moving between employers and wanting to keep their social media history, consultants working under different hats, and the spectrum of browsers and security model add complexity, as others have noted.  I always question – how secure does this site need to be?  Yeah, we fight to keep out the trolls and visigoths, but questions of account set-up authentication need to be separated from refining the access paths for prior users. Cloaked identities are allowed here, though I know people who won’t trust answers from anonymous posters.

    At the risk of having this commentary more verbose than the original post, here are a few scenarios I hope are improved in the “1dx” process.  I’m sure these have been brought up, so apologies for any repetition.

    Here’s the typical daily reconnect process, with the added wrinkle that my password on SMP changed, forcing another password entry on SCN.

    [embed width="425" height="350"][/embed]

    In that case, my ID was remembered, as well as my prior password.  But I was kicked out of the system after less than a day since my last connection.  This happens to me daily, and presumably also does to others, “remember me” settings or not.

    Here’s a similar scenario, but with a different browser on the same machine.  Nothing stored in history, so a complete login entry each time.

    [embed width="425" height="350"][/embed]

    This takes about 30 seconds, from the main page to simply getting to the logon entry menu, Maybe this is all IE’s fault, but many corporations allow IE and no other browsers.

    Here’s the second part, connecting with a good ID and password.  That’s under 10 seconds, once the gears are in motion. We could live with that.  Faster would be nicer, too.

    [embed width="425" height="350"][/embed]

    Search inside SCN has been discussed in Mentor and Moderator meetings.  It’s very powerful and versatile.  But it’s a couple hops to get there, including a “Security Warning” dialogue that should not be necessary from a user perspective.

    [embed width="425" height="350"][/embed]

    For comparison, a similar search using Google.  This does not have the options that the built-in search does, but as it completes in under a second, is what many people prefer.

    [embed width="425" height="350"][/embed]

    Then there’s the Service Market Place.  As the security policies are different (SCN is indexed by Google, e.g., and SMP is not), I usually have to login every time, and sometimes multiple times as I’m switched behind the scenes from one application server to another.  One of my Moderator tasks is to advise people to use, not, as these may go offline or disappear completely.

    [embed width="425" height="350"][/embed]

    I mistyped the password, and got the same login screen.  Failures here will typically lead to the “unauthorized” page, with a tricky path back to the next attempt.

    The last video is a “refresh” of a previously viewed SMP note.  As my login had timed out, I needed to reenter my account data to view the text.

    We appreciate the efforts to tackle these user experience obstacles!

    • Hi Jim,

      the SCN platform uses IDS for SSO, but for security reasons we can only keep the auth session running for about 12 hours. That is why you get kicked out every single day. We can’t extend it on our side, because IDS is the leading system here. This is why we currently have the awkward auto login via browser side JS. In the future we want to replace this with server side oAuth, which should bring back the good old immediate login without any page refresh.

      Regarding search, the index also covers non public content and in order to be able to check the users permissions, he of course needs to be logged in. One of the trade offs here, where we haven’t found a better solution to solve the not great user experience yet.



  • Hi all,

    Some of our IT resources are on holiday this week and next, but let me try to clarify what this first release is and what it is not.

    What it is:

    It is the first step toward simplifying the overall SAP landscape. SCN,, Virtual Events Platform,, etc. From an SCN perspective, the simplification will not be apparent because we have had a profile for years. However, this step is necessary for the bigger picture simplification.

    What it isn’t:

    1. The solution to user account merge. Sorry, but this solution will come later. We are working with our vendors on this and expect to start testing in June. We do not have an end date for a solution yet, but we are aligning the effort with our IT organization and scrum approach. This is one of our highest priorities.

    2.  Remember me and SSO. This should be working as designed in conjunction with IDS our cloud identity system.  I’m asking Charles Carney Test to take a look at the comments referencing problems here and respond. He is out of office until June 2 but will look at this after he returns.

    3. Resolution to the multiple certificate popups. IT is working on a proposal for resolving this.

    4. Search functionality improvement. Agree with the complaints here. We are including improved search user experience in the One Digital Experience project requirements, but it is going to be a longer term deliverable.

    I know that this is not the news that you want to hear regarding making SCN better. The One Digital Experience project is a huge undertaking that requires us to break down silos that previously existed, rethink how we align the various web properties from a user perspective, and determine what content goes where.

    It will take time for the benefits to be realized, but under Maggie’s leadership, we are moving as fast as we can.

    Please keep communicating with us here. We are listening and incorporating your feedback.



  • Will this cure the two year old Safari Error Message – Digital certificate expired?

    Also, I got stuck in an amusing loop today:

    – I received an email with a link to SapJam

    – tried to log in there as usual, and it said I need to change my password and a link had been emailed to me to do so before I could log in.

    – Received said email, clicked on link to reset my password.

    – Clear page with “Sorry, the page you are looking for does not live here. If you think the error is yours, please try again. If it’s our fault, we’ll get right on it. Please contact us to describe what happened.

    – click on the “Contact us” link and…. am asked to log in to successfactors.

    – Give up

    Glad to see some baby steps are being taken to sort out the authentication mess. And will we finally, after 10 years (no sarcasm, it really has been like that for so long), be able to log onto SMP without entering the ID/password twice?

    • Hi Mike,

      As mentioned in my last comment, this release does not solve certificate issues. 🙁

      As to your (not so) amusing loop, can you provide more information and forward the email to me?   I’ve sent you an email so that you have my address as well as that of a couple of our IT guys who will help look into this.



  • Hi Maggie,

    I’ve spent a bit of time digesting this news and playing with the new functionality.  Now that I remember to click on my photo to see my profile instead of my name as before, I’m not getting annoyed with it any more!  I like the “About Me” box and the extra information it shows about people on SCN – I also agree the story approach works to encourage me to fill the details in, as I can do it there and then, rather than having to navigate off to a separate profile edit page.  This means more people will probably do it as they transition from page to page, rather than risk navigating off to the full profile page and risk losing their train of thought in the process.

    To some of the more functional changes this is aiming to bring, I’m especially keen on the “global” update of data across different SAP sites.  Having recently changed jobs and hence having to update emails across various SAP accounts, I’ve been a bit confused as to which SAP ID actually controls which email address – having the one central ID will obviously solve this problem, which is great.

    I’m generally looking forward to this project advancing and evolving over time – I already see this morning that I can now see my story widget has been activated here on SCN so thumbs up so far. 🙂   I’m now wondering if it would be nice to see this story when I hover/click on other SCN users, or whether I prefer to see the current SCN pop-up.  I guess the challenge here is which takes precedence, and also begs the question – can anyone else ever see “My story” and if so, where?  It would also be nice if I could choose “Consulting” as my industry as I don’t specialise in one particular area but this has long been a problem with that selection.

    I’m personally not interested in the social sign on as I prefer to keep my Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn stuff separate to SCN and have always relied on the SAP Certificate SSO for login.  However I appreciate this is great functionality for lots of other users.  I wonder is there some level of functionality for sharing info across these social networks to help encourage users to fill in some more of their SAP profiles?

    Now, onto the biggest issue I currently see with the system – the problems so many contributors face when they migrate from one S/P/C/D number to another.  As mentioned above, I’ve recently changed jobs and hence have a new S-ID from the new Partner I work for.  Do I want to start off from 1 SCN point, with absolutely no content and give up on the 1000’s of points and lots of content I’ve created since SDN was first incepted?  I’m sure you can guess the answer to this one.As lots of others commenting here have already mentioned, this is probably one of the biggest frustrations with the current system.

    In simple terms, we need a mechanism to detach the content from the user ID, so it can easily be re-assigned to a different S/P/C/D/whatever number as and when needed.  I’ve spoken a bit to some of the SCN team over the years and find it very frustrating and a little disappointing that after the new SCN has now been live a decent amount of time, functionality to migrate/merge/remove ID’s is still lacking.  I agree with other posters that the length of time to get a handle on this is pretty disappointing, especially as up to now the answer has always been “we don’t know when anything will happen” – at least with this project we are finally starting to get some more feedback on what is happening and how long it might take.

    For me, this should be priority 1 and nothing else matters. 😉

    Anyway, thanks for the improvements and keeping us all updated with progress (because whilst we all assume stuff is happening, it’s more reassuring for the project team to actually tell us it is, even if some of the stuff we want isn’t just around the corner!)  I look forward to seeing this project move forward.



    • Hi Gareth,

      I am not able to see your widget, just my own. Maybe it is a second step until we can see the widget content of other users.

      I was even surprised to see my companies name appear in the widget while I clearly marked it as not visible for the public in my profile, and this setting is still a not visible.

      I really wonder why this widget does not take the decisions into account that were previously made in the SCN profile.

      And the story looks pretty bad if I have to mask the companies name with a dot.  It would be better if the entire part of the story for this field disappears if the field is not filled.

    • Hi Gareth,

      As Jeanne mentions above, we have been working on an account merge functionality and we are currently testing it and fixing some issues. It is a complex functionality that needs to take into account profile-related information (e.g permissions, followers, etc) as well as content (Jive) and reputation (Bunchball) information. I am happy to report some significant progress because it has been one of my highest priorities for over a year now and I know how demotivating it is to start from scratch with an “empty” SCN profile. Not that I’ve experienced it myself, but I empathize.

      I agree with you and other comments here that the ID management situation is complex and that it is a pain when you change IDs with SAP. On the gamification side we are planning some long term changes that will give us more flexibility in the future, and should work well with the changes that Thomas Sekula and the team are working on.

      Thanks for the feedback,

      • Hi Laure,

        Sorry to rain on the parade, but I am not real impressed with this reroute and extra clicks required.  After seeing all the positive comments, I feel like the little boy saying the Emperor is naked.

        Got stuck in a loop where I updated my profile, but could not escape being rerouted back to the About Me popup repeatedly.  I was simply trying to open in a new tab a link from a discussion.

        More testing (prior to release) would be helpful as well as an Announcement in the Space Editors and Moderator community to warn us of these unexpected little events.

        Regards, Mike

        SAP Customer Experience Group – CEG

        • The workaround of clicking on your avatar works great, but should be disclosed up front as the About Me popup got really annoying really quickly.

          Cheers, Mike

          SAP Customer Experience Group – CEG

          • Hi Mike,

            It’s actually in Maggie’s original blogpost, above. She wrote “However, you can click on your masthead photo to go directly to your detailed SCN profile.



  • I finally had a look at the user story widget, and think it has potential but I don’t think the fields are appropriate to most freelance techies. They’ve been the same since the dawn of SDN.

    If I pick the most appropriate industry, it could give a …ahem… slightly inappropriate impression:

    I work in the Professional Services industry for whoever pays me 😛

    Information Technology industry is sorely lacking, as is a role of freelancer/contractor.

  • I’d like to thank everyone for your great and thoughtful comments. Where the questions are more detailed and technical, the right team members have weighed in to provide more information. Let’s keep the discussion going, your input is very important as we continue developing this functionality!

  • Hi Maggie & Team,

    Are there plans to have this extended to successfactors portals, which currently use a different username and log in details from the S-user format?


  • Thank you everyone for your comments. I’m going to include these as input to a workshop this week to plan the next phase of the widget.

    Please keep your comments coming.



  • Maggie,

    Is there any news on the One ID project? With the advent of SAP’s new One Support Portal, I am finding that I have to delete my cookies every time in order to log in to the Support portal with my S account, and then delete them again in order to log in to SCN again with my P account. There must be something less painful I can do, but I have not found it yet.