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Welcome to SAP Jam Collaboration, release 1605!

With this release, we’re happy to announce some exciting new capabilities to further expand and support the most common and ways to use SAP Jam: collaborative learning with SAP SuccessFactors Learning as well as a great new integration to streamline HR processes with intelligent services with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and a lot of enhancements and new capabilities for multimedia and content.

Topics for this posting:

Learning, training and employee development

• Curriculum-based SAP Jam communities (integration with SAP SuccessFactors Learning)

SuccessFactors application integrations

• Global assignment communities + intelligent services from SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

Content

• Multimedia Playlists

• Video closed captioning

• Video annotations + improved player

• Slideshow widget

• Delegate author (blog on behalf of)

Collaborative learning for curriculum-based communities with SAP SuccessFactors Learning

Expanding upon our previously announced real-time data integration with SAP SuccessFactors Learning for course-based learning communities, we’re happy to make available the next step and make it possible to have blended-learning communities for curricula.

Unlike courses which have a shorter lifespan, curricula can last months (or longer).  When a curriculum is tied to one of SAP Jam’s learning-specific work

patterns, the learners can now have a central place for sharing information and peer-based learning for throughout their entire curricula-based learning program with the same classmates.

Because a curriculum is with the same group of people, but the instructional topic varies by week or month, it’s good to keep the learners together so they can always go to their peers for help because they are at the same point in their learning program.

Global assignment communities triggered by SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central intelligent services

New in this release is a great time-saving addition, particularly for HR administrators – global assignment community auto-membership triggered by SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central intelligent services.

Intelligent services are a large collection of event-based triggers across the entire SAP SuccessFactors suite.  The events can be anything from “when an employee becomes a manager” that then trigger actions in various products, saving a significant amount of time and effort for procedural tasks.

In this release, the triggering event in question is when an employee has been put on a global assignment (i.e. their country location has changed).   The corresponding action that takes place is the employee gets invited to a pre-established SAP Jam global assignment community.  This global assignment community can be anything from country specific or a region of the world – it’s up to the company administrator on how you use global assignment communities.

This provides the transferring employee a support community for them to learn about the new country, its culture and to have peers that can help them during their new-country onboarding. Our customers have told us that global assignments are significantly more successful if the employee has a support network in place to help them through transitions because not only is the employee affected, their family is as well.

Multimedia widget

The first new enhancement is a subtle change – the former “video” widget is now the “multimedia” widget – because it now supports audio files.  Employees can now listen to audio recordings directly within the SAP Jam user interface.    This is particularly useful for learning-related activities as our customers have told us that multimedia in general, not just video, is their most important piece of training content.  To use audio files, just upload the audio recording file as you would other content, SAP Jam supports the popular formats – WAV, MP2, MP3, MP4, WMA, AAC, FLAC and OGG.

Playlists

Additionally (and related), a new playlist piece of content has been introduced, which behaves similarly to how they behave in your favorite video streaming sites – you add the content you want the viewers to watch, in the order you want them to watch.  Except with an SAP Jam playlist, you can also add audio files.  To add a playlist to your overview page, you just add the newly renamed “multimedia” widget and choose a playlist.

The multimedia widget now has distinctly different views for a playlist depending on the amount of space provided to it on the overview page, so try moving it

around your page with a 1, 2 or 3 column-wide space to see the variations.

Slideshow widget

The next new capability will be of particular interest to training organizations, or for people who distribute content – a slideshow widget.   This new overview page widget is used specifically to show the contents of a Microsoft® PowerPoint® document.  To use it, you simply choose the document you want to bind the widget to, then the contents of the document are now visible along with previous and next page viewing buttons.   With this, you no longer have to click through to the document detail page to actually see the document making it easier for employees to browse the content.

Delegate author (aka blog on behalf of someone aka ghost writing)

Next is a popular request from customers that use SAP Jam for marketing and employee communications – the ability to blog on behalf of another employee. Most people familiar with blogging will call this new feature “ghost writing”, but we’ve called this capability “delegating an author” which is actually what you’re doing – you’re identifying another coworker as someone that can post blog postings as you.  

The delegate can create or take-over blog post and when it is published, it will appear to be posted by the author (an executive, for example) but within the group, the group admin and the author can see the delegate.   This will make it easier to create these types of postings, because more often than not, the author doesn’t actually write these themselves, so it meant the writer would have to send the content to the author for posting.

Video closed-captioning

The last two items we’ll be discussing for this release are both video related.  The first is a new capability – multi-language closed captioning.  As part of our ongoing work to make SAP Jam more accessible, our customers told us that being able to support closed captioning was a key capability, so we added another new piece of content – closed captioning files, which we support the web VTT format of.

Using a new video manager capability, content owners can specify what closed captions to link to a video, and what language the closed captioning file is used for.  When the video is played, the captions will display in the video player if the user’s language matches that of the caption.

Video annotations

The final item we’ll be discussing is a new capability for video annotations.  Our customers have asked us to provide the ability to make clickable hotlinks on top of videos so that the viewer can be taken to another place for more information, or if the content owner needs to address a topic after the video was produced.

The new SAP Jam video annotations capability addresses both of these requests, providing for text-based overlay that appears directly on top of the video when it is played.  A video can have any number of annotations and the content owner can specific the exact start and end times the overlay is displayed between.

This makes it easier for the viewer to know what to pay attention to when watching the video – simply put a caption right next to something you need to draw their attention to.

That concludes the list of major capabilities for this release, but there’s a lot more so be sure to review the release notes and various user guides at http://help.sap.com/sapjam

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