From only collaboration to communication & collaboration with SAP JAM
How the custom homepage and administrative areas change the use of SAP JAM
Please note that I am not a SAP employee, but a SAP partner. The view on the product is my own personal view on the product and is not necessarily SAP’s view on the product.
Recently SAP introduced some great new features for SAP JAM. Features that make it possible to use SAP JAM not only as a collaboration tool, but also as the landing page for all employees in an organization. These new features are the custom homepage (introduced in the Q4 2015 release and extended in the Q1 2016 release) and administrative areas (introduced in the Q1 2016 release).
The custom homepage
Before the custom homepage was introduced, there were two possibilities for a homepage. A feed for the employee or the company wiki. The feed page for the employee couldn’t be customized at all and the company wiki page, well, that was a wiki page. Therefore it stands to reason that SAP JAM wasn’t used as
a (SharePoint like) home page for all employees. With the arrival of the custom homepage this can all change, because now you can create a homepage that you can adjust to the needs of the organization. On a custom homepage you can add and remove widgets and since the latest release it’s even possible to create tabs on a custom homepage, just like you would do in a JAM group.
In the latest release SAP added administrative areas to the SAP JAM functionalities. An administrative area is basically a grouping of employees. In an administrative area an admin user can create a group templates, view a dashboard and run reports for this administrative area (amongst other things). But more important for the purpose in this blog, is that you can create a custom homepage especially for this administrative area.
Putting it together, your employees landing page
So why are these changes so significant? This is because you can now not only use SAP JAM as a collaboration tool, but also as the employees landing page from where you can send information to the employee. So imagine you create a custom homepage with all the general organization information (including for example weekly updated message from the CEO). But wait, you now have the ability to create more than one tab for the custom homepage, so let’s also create a tab for human resources and facilities. In this way you’ve created a landing page, where an employee can find all important information.
Now about the importance of administrative areas. One of our customers to whom I presented this approach, told me the information on the landing page wouldn’t be the same for every country (or even every division within a country). By creating an administrative area for e.g. each country, you can also create custom homepages for each country with a dedicated admin user for each countries custom homepage. Does the company admin user lose all control over the homepages? No, the header and the tabs are still managed on the company level and I think this is a good thing, because you always want some alignment within a company.
How to determine for which organizational level you create a custom homepage
When you use the custom homepage in conjunction with administrative areas, it’s important to be able to determine for which level within the organization you should create a custom homepage. This can differ within an organization. Maybe you would create a custom homepage on country level for some countries and for other countries on a state or division level (because of for example difference in legislation). Within a large organization this can become quite complex, to address this issue you can use the following steps:
- Determine what will be the standard tabs that are going to be used (e.g. general, HR and facilities).
- Go through the organizational structure (top-down) and ask yourself for every organizational unit if the information in the different tabs will be the same for all employees in that organizational unit. If not, then go a level lower, if so, create a custom homepage for this organizational unit. Keeping in mind that all custom homepages should be managed (centrally or locally).
In depth information and interaction in JAM groups
To leverage the full potential of SAP JAM you can also create what I like to call ‘in-depth JAM groups’. Of course the Human resources department would like to share all kinds of content and it would be very effective if the employees could ask their HR questions on a searchable forum. This functionality is available in JAM groups and you can create a group for human resources to which you refer on the human resources custom homepage tab.
Hopefully I was able to outline how you can use SAP JAM not only as a collaboration tool and you can use this blog to implement SAP JAM as a landing page for the employees in your organization or of course where you implement SAP JAM as a consultant.