Welcome to the SAP Jam release 1511 information posting.  In this quarter’s release the SAP Jam team focused on the following topics, based on direct customer requests and feedback – in fact, every single item mentioned here was because of customer requests.  As with all releases, the items we mention here are the highlights. For more information about all the other great enhancements in this release, refer to the complete release notes on our help site: http://help.sap.com/sapjam

Enterprise wide

  • Customizable company home page to bring important information to employees right from their home page
  • Google Drive for Work as a content repository
  • Mobile device management (MDM) for the SAP Jam mobile app

Group management

  • Group analytics dashboard to monitor group health
  • Professional services project room work pattern streamlines project management
  • External content widget for group overview pages – expose “external” content such as SharePoint documents

Users

  • SAP Jam collaboration add-in for Microsoft Office brings SAP Jam collaboration to Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word
  • Automatic publishing and expiration of content
  • Attach images, videos and files to feed replies
  • Seamless transition from mobile web to mobile app

Administration

  • Extensions catalog for third-party created OpenSocial gadgets

 

Enterprise wide

company home page.png

Customizable company home page

The first topic to discuss is the new customizable company home page.  Prior to release 1511, all users in the company shared the same “home” page – it’s the first thing you see when you access SAP Jam – it’s your feed.

While the feed itself can still be part of the home page, the SAP Jam company administrator can now completely customize the layout of the home page, and also add content to the page itself such as important company announcements, IT news, images, videos, OpenSocial gadgets and more.

The content and layout of the home page are now completely customizable via a new editing screen inspired by the group overview page designer.  We took the elements from the home page such as content recommendations, people to follow and the home feed itself and made them into widgets and added the ability to add content such as images, text and content widgets in the same way overview pages are designed – by drag and drop.

Google Drive for Work

Companies that leverage Google Drive for Work as their primary content repository can bring those documents to SAP Jam groups for the same level of document-centric collaboration already available for our existing integrations: Alfresco One, Box, Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint Online, Microsoft SharePoint, OpenText, SAP Extended ECM by OpenText, and SAP Mobile Documents.

When an external content repository is connected to an SAP Jam group, the repository’s folder structure is browse-able directly within SAP Jam’s interface making it easy for users to get access to the documents they need without having to jump between services. Users can then view, download, comment on and annotate directly on documents from within the SAP Jam user interface.

Mobile device management for the SAP Jam mobile app (MDM)

At the request of security conscious enterprise customers, we are introducing the ability for the SAP Jam mobile applications for Android and iOS to be managed by an enterprise MDM system.  With this initial release of mobile device management, we are also announcing two supported MDM services: MobileIron and SAP Mobile Secure, cloud edition.

MDM solutions allow enterprises to control various aspects of their user’s mobile devices – from direct device control to enforcing various policies and restricting access to various systems from specific devices.  For SAP Jam, this means that a customer’s IT organization can control who has access to the SAP Jam service, and from what device.  This supports organizations that provide enterprise-issued devices as well as organizations that have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy.

Additionally, the SAP Jam mobile app supports being pushed/deployed via a company’s IT-managed app store so employees can have a one-stop-shop experience for all their mobile needs – directly from their IT department.

Group management

group dashboard.pngGroup analytics dashboard

The new group analytics dashboard provides a quick and easy graphical view of a group’s health.  The dashboard is available to group administrators and displays a quick view of the number of members, followers and how many people are actively engaged.  Additionally, the dashboard provides a collaboration score, which is derived from various metrics about the SAP Jam service, making it easy for group administrators to measure and compare groups.

The group administrator can view the various metrics to make informed decisions about how to manage their group. For example, if group members aren’t engaged, the group administrator can choose to publish content spread out over time instead of one large wave once every six months because members aren’t doing anything in the group if there is nothing new happening for extended periods of time.

A good rule of thumb to engage group members is to always keep the group active – have something be published weekly.  The new group analytics dashboard metrics allow the group administrator to monitor the engagement level of the group so they can take proactive measures to ensure engagement, instead of reactive fixes – when it’s too late.

professional services project room.pngProfessional services project room work pattern

Joining the extensive collection of work patterns is a new professional services project room.  Work patterns in SAP Jam are group templates to facilitate creation of new groups – bringing together everything you’d need to get off and running quickly, but also content and business tools that can be customized to suit a specific business process.

For more advanced usage, companies can integrate data from SAP and third-party data providers, in the same way we provide account, opportunity and service ticket data from SAP CRM and SAP Cloud for Customer.  For more information on how to do this, check out the SAP Jam developer area.

external content widget.pngExternal content widget for overview pages

Overview pages are the “home page” for groups, allowing the group administrator to expose content and information so that group members can get quick and easy access to the most useful information the group is focused on.

With release 1511, we have added a popular customer request- the ability to expose content from external content repositories such as Microsoft SharePoint (or the new Google Drive for Work integration) in the same way that content within the group can be exposed via content widgets.

When editing the group overview page, the group administrator simply adds a new external content widget to the page, selects the repository (you can connect multiple repositories to groups), and then select the folder to populate the widget with.  You can then optionally select the layout, various sorting options and filter by content type.

The content widget then automatically populates with content as it is uploaded or changed so that members can find the documents they are looking for.

User enhancements

New install-able helper application brings document editing to FireFox and Chrome users

The first user enhancement we’re going to talk about is a subtle little helper application that actually has no user interface – it is used solely as a helper application to bridge the gap between the SAP Jam service and your computer.    The helper app serves three purposes:

  • Bring the edit button functionality to FireFox and Chrome browser users for Microsoft Office documents (Excel, PowerPoint and Word)
  • Provides automatic, background uploaded after editing (Excel, PowerPoint and Word)
  • Redirect a document from the SAP Jam web interface to the respective Microsoft Office application on the user’s computer (Excel, PowerPoint and Word).  When you click the edit button within the SAP Jam app, there’s no way for SAP Jam to tell your computer “send this to Microsoft PowerPoint”, so the helper app bridges that gap – and sends the document you want to edit to the systems’ default application (PowerPoint in this case).

office collaboration.png

SAP Jam collaboration within Microsoft Office applications

One of the exciting enhancements of this release for end-users is the new SAP Jam collaboration add-in for Microsoft Office.  This new installable application is distributed by a customer’s IT organization along with the previously mentioned SAP Jam launcher helper application.

This application adds an SAP Jam collaboration social feed to the document window within Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word – directly where you’re working.   The social feed is the same feed you’d see within the web interface, providing access to comments about the document – right where you’re viewing/editing the document.

How does the collaboration panel know what group to pull the feed from?  That’s where the helper application comes into play (or optionally, the SAP Jam file sync client if you already have it installed). The helper application actually keeps track of all your groups and knows when you launch the document from within a group.

If you have the SAP Jam file sync client installed, you can also launch the document from the special file sync client monitored folders on your computer – so you can view or edit the document and still have the SAP Jam collaboration panel visible – even if you didn’t launch the document from the SAP Jam web interface.

Automatic publishing and expiration of content

Another popular user request is the ability to schedule the publishing of content in the same way you can schedule blog postings without manual intervention.  This allows content owners to schedule documents to be published to coincide with company announcements, but allowing you upload the document without it becoming visible.

Joining the publishing ability is the related expiration capability.  Many organizations have compliance policies regarding data retention and this capability allows you conform to those policies by scheduling when a piece of content “expires”.  The expired content moves to the group’s trash so it can be recovered if necessary but also where it can automatically be purged based on the company wide automatic purging of group trash policy (also new in this release).

mobile app.pngSeamless transition from mobile web to mobile app

The last end-user enhancement is about our mobile app and the mobile-web experience.  The SAP Jam web experience has been redesigned so that its “responsive” – adapting itself to the amount of screen real estate available to it.  On computers, you’re most likely going to use the web interface in a large window – but that doesn’t work so well on mobile apps.   When a user opens their favorite mobile web browser and goes to SAP Jam, they’ll see a similar experience, but designed for the much smaller screen.

Because we want to make the mobile experience better but also let the user know we have a native mobile app, the mobile web experience will inform the user with a small “advertisement” at the top of the screen prompting the user to optionally install the SAP Jam mobile app, or view the current content in the mobile app.

Administration

Third-party OpenSocial gadget catalog

The final topic for release 1511 is a new third party extensions catalog that is visible only to the company administrator.

When a company administrator logs into the SAP Jam service, they’ll see a new recommendation tile letting them know there’s third party extensions available or they can access the same catalog from the company administrator menu.

exentions catalog.pngThe catalog is a gallery of SAP Jam-approved third party extensions to the SAP Jam service that are available for subscription, and we’re providing a place for you to get information about the extension and how to contact the third-party vendor for subscription information.  The extensions listed in the catalog are not provided by SAP nor are they included with the SAP Jam subscription and require independent subscription between the customer and the vendor.

That’s the highlights from the SAP Jam team for release 1511.  For more information about all the other enhancements we’re providing in this release, be sure to check out our release notes at http://help.sap.com/sapjam .

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