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A Vision for Community or Why We Can’t Do It Without You

Guiding the Future of Community

By now many of you have heard of the One Digital Experience Mandate and read Maggie Fox ‘s blog about the Future of Community.

You also might have looked at the community vision thought piece The Long Run by the lead architect of the SAP Community Network (and a passionate and participant community member, himself) Oliver Kohl .

Jeanne Carboni  who manages the SCN Team as well as the Community Destination part of the 1DX project, posted internally a set of principles and goals around the transformation:

  • A positive user experience for all visitors, including content consumers, contributors
    and moderators.
  • Quality content – not just an easy way to publish, not just gamification, not an ad farm.
  • Easy engagement amongst visitors.
  • Simple governance and community management.
  • Differences of opinions / perspectives are welcomed.
  • Clear vision to the project and up-to-date communication.
  • Best of breed technology, coupled with custom development to support these principles  and provide key functions that members expect.

Ensuring the Future of Community

So just how do we ensure that community needs are met?

By guidance, steering, advice from the community of course!

To that end we are creating a Strategic Advisory Council with 20 trusted advisors (16 externals and 4 internals) who will advocate for the Community by:

  • Participating in sprints, staging calls and testing
  • Providing feedback and input to community features and user experience
  • Providing input into launch strategy and timing
  • Communicating to the Community about upcoming changes

Introducing the Strategic Advisory Council

This empowered team’s ability to help steer, guide and advise on priorities is what we hope will drive a successful transformation.

What better way to build a collaborative, community-focused environment than to do that with vested community?

*Note: Selection to the Strategic Advisory Council represents an attempt to create a geographically, culturally, professionally inclusive core.

It was a difficult task selecting.  So many others are equally well qualified so the thinking is to expand this group once the Beta Site is launched.

Community Participants Community Participants
Abesh Bhattacharjee Colleen Hebbert
John Appleby Michelle Crapo
DJ Adams Natascha Thomson
Ethan Jewett Otto Gold
Graham Robinson Paula Rosenblum
Jon Reed Andy Silvey
Jürgen Lins Samuli Kaski

Karen Rodrigues

Somnath Manna

SAP Employee Participants

Caetano Almeida
Modak Gupta
Martin Lang
Ludek Uher

Commitments to and Expectations of the Strategic Advisory Council

The project core team commits to:

  • Provide guidance on Council roles and responsibilities
  • Provide Sprint Showcase sessions (recorded and live) ever other week.
  • Provide beta system.
  • Consider feedback as potential way to alter outcomes.
  • Inform Council of priorities on a regular basis.
  • Maintain final say on priorities, functionality, timing after careful consideration of feedback.

The expectations of the Strategic Advisory Council are to:

  • Provide feedback on our proposed engagement model
  • Attend or watch recording of Sprint Showcase call every other week. (30 minutes to 1 hour based on volume of new functionality)
  • Continuously try out evolving functionality in the beta system and/or invite others to beta with agreement of the project core team leads
  • Provide feedback, suggestions on appropriate functionality and timing
  • Engage with UX resources on improvements to the UI – advisory capacity for user research
  • Support communications to the community by sharing early insights.
  • Share concerns with the Core team.

Invitation to Participate in this Future…

How might you learn more about this Future of Community and engage?

  • What: we are holding a live Q&A chat session on the Future of Community- Strategy Advisory Council
  • Why: so SCN members can engage and ask questions regarding the Council/the blog
  • When: Monday, March 30th  @ 9AM EST
  • Where:
  • Host (s): Jeanne Carboni, Michael Braun, Oliver Kohl, Marilyn Pratt
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  • Thank you for posting this overview and update of the "terrific twenty", Marilyn Pratt. And more importantly, thank you for bringing this group together to help us achieve the future of SCN.

    It's so great to have this team together to represent the voice of the community.

    Remember, everyone can share their voice in this discussion.

    • Hi Florian,

      The initial meeting focused somewhat on logistics that would not be appropriate to share with the whole community. We will share highlights and slides from that meeting at the open house on Monday (see details in the blog).

      I'm looking forward to talking to you then.

      Kind regards,


  • I am really excited to be participating here,  and since I've not said it anywhere else publicly, I wanted to thank Marilyn for her vision, dedication, and determination to bring a broader perspective to SAP's development community.

    I hope we never lose sight of the role of empathy in any kind of design/development efforts.

    So, thanks for having me. And I look forward to this process.

    all the best,


  • I'm very glad I got to meet you at TechEd Berlin and now to be part of this incredible project and have the chance to work with you and this experienced team!

    See ya on monday in this open house!!!    🙂

    • Yes, Karen...I will "see you" on Monday. Although I'll be in hiking gear most probably. 😉 Glad you will be sharing knowledge and spreading the enthusiasm under the equator. 

  • Congrats to everybody in the Strategic Advisory Council for the new SCN. Let's build the new platform for our community together. Looking forward seeing you in Orlando.

  • Just curious about the role the Strategic Advisory Council had in the 1DX approach to SCN.  Any meetings in that regard?  Seems like the perfect group to have helped with forging a new SCN direction.

    Cheers, Mike (Moderator)

    SAP Technology RIG

    • Hi Mike,

      They are indeed a very representative group and have provided valuable feedback. There has been monthly meetings for over a year in addition to their participation and ongoing feedback in closed beta. We are very appreciative of their time and dedication.

      Best, Gali