At SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, we announced the beginning of open beta. Today, at SAP TechEd Las Vegas, we are announcing that the official transition from SCN to the community’s new home will happen on October 10.

As in life, moving homes, while exciting, is not an easy task. This is true for us too. We’ll be coordinating the move, and we may ask you to pack a few things to bring from SCN (a beloved avatar perhaps?). But don’t worry: We won’t ask you to help us carry the sofa.

As you settle in, you’ll find that the new home will offer many luxuries not available in the current SCN. At the same time, you’ll see that construction is far from complete. We’ll add even more amenities to make things more comfortable.

In many ways, you serve as our architects, guiding what we create. This announcement does not change that. Beta testing will continue until October 7, and even after we go live, we’ll prioritize additional features in response to your ongoing input. Feedback is very important to us, as it allows us to design the community with you.

In addition to encouraging your feedback, we asked you to grade us. We recently conducted a satisfaction survey. On a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, we scored a 3.46. We had set the bar for ourselves at 3.0, meaning if we didn’t score 3.0 or higher, we would postpone launch.

Clearly 3.46, while positive, isn’t perfect. Members stressed that finding information needs to be easier. So in the weeks leading up to launch, we’ll focus on key areas such as navigation, search, and tagging –and this focus will remain immediately after launch too.

Members have done an excellent job communicating their concerns to us. We want our communications back to members to be equally admirable. Approaching launch (and moving beyond), we will provide more details about the latest important upgrades we’ve made to our home, as well as spell out our plans to develop new features.

With the new community home, improvements will come in iterations. Through the remainder of 2016 and well into 2017, we’ll rethink, add, refine. You’ll be involved every step of the way.

The comments I see from members has reinforced a fact I long knew: This community cares. It’s filled with passionate people. Sometimes this leads to tough love, however criticism reflects the dedication of members.

Our commitment to you is no less than your commitment to the community. Together, we are loyal to this home we share — a place where can people can learn, offer insight, and connect.

We’re partners. More than that, we’re family. Let’s stay united to build and renovate what we all dream of – the best SAP community home possible.

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41 Comments

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  1. Martin Hinderer

    Well, no. We are not family. We are customers of your company. Let’s not forget why this community is mainly existing: because SAP wants to sell (more) software and services to us. And because it is also a cost effective possibility to filter out requests to the SAP support and let them solve by the community of experienced users.

    When I look at it from this view, 3.46 out of 5 is clearly not enough, considering the development time that SAP has spent so far on the new version of this community. I have experienced the last transition from SDN to SCN and I have the fear that the upcoming one will not work better.

    SAP wants us to cooperate and help each other to make their software run better. So please do your homework and provide an appropriate platform for us to enable us to do so. A great new home valued 3.46? Would you accept that if you buy a new home?

    Still hoping for the best

    MH

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    1. Gali Kling Schneider Post author

      Martin, I do very much appreciate your optimistic ending. 

      I too was here during the transition from SDN to SCN and agree that it had problems. Of course our aim is to improve upon that experience while we anticipate that in our new move we’ll also need time to smooth things out and make improvements. But unlike that platform, where our hands were tied, this one will continuously be improved upon.

      Gali

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    2. Yogesh Patel

      Hello Martin,

      You have courage to say this very open and clear I really appreciate this.

      We have seen in past and present that SAP release products to customers which have lots of bugs for example GRC and Solution Manager. After implementing SPS03 in Solution manager you still need to apply 300-400 SAP notes to system what is the point releasing support packs.

      We are also seeing this for SCN (3.46 out of 5) still SAP going live with it.

      This is ongoing practice by SAP and nothing we can do about this. We are just end-user/customers for SAP. We have no choice as technical people. SAP sell their products to top level management of company showing them “stars in the mille of the day”. Once we are involved implementing them we got all the surprises.

      Real world is different than dream world.

      Why would I spend time to fix your buggy product? Don’t you have own company employees who use SCN?

      One more thing…

      If SAP employee break the rule on SCN there is no moderation and if you break the rule your document is gone.

      The Art Of Opportunity And Innovation With Design Thinking

      Is it allowed to post your personal website, LinkedIn and Twitter account on SCN document?

      😕 😕 😕

      Cheers,

      Yogesh

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    3. Vinita kasliwal

      I totally agree with the comments and generally in all other places like Google upgrading to Hangout or Gmail to the latest  version always gives you an option to switch to the older version. Specially for the users who would want to only work with the older version. We cant have something similar here ?

      I generally use SCN to help me resolve my technical queries if I need help to understand how to use SCN and be lost in it I am not sure if it works for me .

      I wrote a discussion thread for it as well some time back .Maybe its a lack of my understanding and these are not actual issues but still I should be able to understand on my own and not struggle to get a hang of it  being an experienced SCN user  😕

      Issues in using Beta version.. can we continue using the earlier version.. please?

      I will miss SCN 😡

      Regards

      Vinita

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      1. Jamie Cantrell

        Hi Vinita,

        The examples you gave (switching to new Hangouts or Gmail) are primarily UI upgrades. The new SAP Community is built on an entirely different infrastructure than SCN, so to maintain both systems, we would need to constantly be replicating backend data.  There would be a persistent disconnect in the most current version of content.

        Though I do understand your desire to have a choice, it’s not a pragmatic solution to try to maintain both systems indefinitely. We’ve had both systems available for quite some time now for you to use and get familiarized with.  The new system is constantly changing and improving, which will not stop after launch.

        We have collected quite a lot of feedback throughout the beta period and will continue to implement enhancements and fixes for the life of the new system based on all the user feedback.  I look forward to working with you to make the new community a place we can all be proud to call home.

        Best,

        Jamie

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  2. Michael Appleby

    Gali,

    I think optimistic is a bit of an understatement.  3.46 out of 5 is not a ringing endorsement.  I think if there had been a regression analysis of who versus how much they used SCN normally or against the amount of time spent testing, it would have resulted in much less back patting and self congratulatory gushing on the part of the 1DX team.  I also think that doing this without an additional beta testing effort is going to make the SDN –> SCN transition look as smooth as silk (those who lived through it will understand).  As the original analysis of how SCN operates was flawed, so is this decision. 

    Another round of testing with some additional fixes would have been the result of any serious analysis.  However, we have a deadline to meet.  or in other words, Ready, Fire, Aim!

    Wonder who gets the blame for the issues this time around?  Can’t blame Jive anymore. 

    Mike

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  3. Veselina Peykova

    Recently I read an article on Aesthetic-Usability Effect and an old UX study on Ello.

    My take-aways from that:

    1. People perceive a beautiful design as more usable compared to a less visually pleasing one, even though this is not necessarily true.

    2. If a certain software or a website design addresses a big pain point for the user, he is more likely to praise it, despite that the rest is not that good. This works both ways, of course – if a website design results in less functionality of something you care about a lot, you are more likely to dismiss the whole thing as a complete rubbish.

    What I am trying to explain, is, that you need to understand the reasoning behind both positive and negative feedback, which is next to impossible with a survey or with a gamified mission due to their limitations.

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    1. Jamie Cantrell

      Hi Veselina,

      This is why we did not view the survey results in a vacuum.  They were merely one piece of the decision to launch.  Also, the oft quoted 3.46 statistic is only one piece of the data we gathered in the survey.  In addition, I personally read every single response and presented the critical needs for improvements to our project team to ensure that nothing was missed.  This information is being used in conjunction with the feedback list and other feedback we’ve gathered through all of our various channels (e.g. Strategic Advisory Council, Mentors, social media, SCN discussions, like this one…) to drive our strategy for prioritizing development immediately post-launch, the first 90 days after launch, and throughout 2017.  I understand that 3.46 was not a compelling number for many of you, but please understand that it was not the only driver of this timeline.

      Best,

      Jamie

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  4. Jason Lax

    You know what I’m looking forward to? MOBILE! We’ll finally have a mobile experience on the community whether you’re browsing or interacting with other members. 🙂

    Whatever we did have with the current platform just wasn’t enough.

    (1) 
    1. Veselina Peykova

      People use laptops to double-check things in a sandbox before posting, or to upload screenshots from their system, and SPRO and SE80 are tricky to use with a cell phone or even on a tablet. justsaying

      Mobile is cool for stuff like posting status updates and using emojis.

      (1) 
      1. Jason Lax

        There are also many community members who cannot access SCN from their corporate networks, cutting them off from the answers they need.  Now they’ll have an easier time accessing community content from their mobiles to help them–or post a new question if they don’t find an answer.  They’ll also have an easier time reading blog posts and commenting on them while commuting or whenever they’re not in front of their workstation.

        There’s also a growing tendency for people to use both their computer and mobile simultaneously.

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        1. Veselina Peykova

          I doubt that many corporate networks would filter SCN or SAP websites on purpose. I had such case once in a previous company, there was a link with a text: If you think, that this is a mistake, please send e-mail  to ***. I followed the instructions, sent the e-mail explaining why I need the access, and this was fixed on the same day. To me, this is the proper way to handle the situation, because my colleagues also need to access to the same resources.

          I am not going to mention the workarounds, which many use to bypass corporate network restrictions, because, I believe, that this is irresponsible, but it is also a reality.

          Even if I were not allowed to access anything, but my corporate network, I found the site a bit too heavy on sent/received data, so I couldn’t possibly afford to use it much with my mobile plan – especially when traveling outside EU.

          In some news sites, which I use, there is an option to switch to some sort of compact layout, which in SCN case could mean, for example, that I am not interested to look at people’s profile pictures in the answers page, you can even fit more entries that way, but I need to see the screenshots, embedded in an answer.

          My impression of the new site is that now everybody needs to scroll – no matter the screen size (I agree, there is no zooming required). The infinite scrolling is actually a problem for me, because the combination of Firefox+ AdBlock uses more memory in such case, which, if I don’t restart the browser regularly, results in a crash.

          If I am on mobile and instead of open in a new tab I mis-click and open the link in the same tab, I can’t go back to the same page by using the back button, so I will have to scroll again from the top. I am not really convinced, that this is an useful feature on any device.

          Probably the realities between companies and countries vastly differ – where I work, people still use laptops for any serious SAP task, and tablets/mobile are for managers or sales representatives. In fact, I use two laptops simultaneously at work (I am not complaining, they could have been three if my manager was not an understanding person).

          (1) 
          1. Jason Lax

            You’d be surprised: many financial institutions and office campuses in locations with expensive internet block all or all but essential websites for security and/or to preserve bandwidth. I’ve been in this exact situation where I was one of the few people in my company to have an outside connection–via a second computer.

            Surely a mobile friendly is better than not being mobile friendly? 😕

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            1. Veselina Peykova

              You are  right, there are cases where many websites are restricted for security purposes (and yet, you got access via a second computer, when you asked – because the company understood that you needed it).

              As for the expensive internet in some locations as a reason to restrict access – mobile internet is typically more expensive there, and you really need to watch your data cap. Right now, there is no way to access a ‘lite’ site version, so browsing the site from a phone can be a luxury in both cases.

              The difference in page size between https://answers.sap.com/ and SCN Open Beta (filtered only for discussions), is: 2.30 MB vs. 1.32 MB. For a regular forum on phpbb, this can be 1 MB or less. I don’t imply that any technology is better than another, only, that if one of the ideas was to make things much better for the unfortunate people with expensive internet access, it did not happen.

              Are there any plans in the future for such lightweight page option?

              Unfortunately, more mobile-friendly came at the expense of the experience for laptop and desktop users, which are probably still the majority of people, actively using the site.

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    2. Michael Appleby

      Hi Jason,

      Just as Dorothy was questioned in Oz regarding witches, is this a good mobile experience or a bad mobile experience?

      Despite working with the mobile technology in my day job, typing is such a key part of my working in the SCN environment, I just don’t even consider doing much with Mobile.  I leave it to others to determine how they view the mobile experience.

      Cheers, Mike

      SAP Technology RIG

      (0) 
      1. Jason Lax

        The new platforms, including the archive, have responsive design. This will make the content more accessible from mobile devices both in consuming content and even commenting and replying.

        The current community it a bit of a challenge to use on mobile/tablet because the screen sizes aren’t responsive so there’s a lot of scrolling and zooming in and out to do (but it’s not impossible since I’ve been able to support users on my mobile when needed).

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        1. Samuli Kaski

          Then there are the browser restrictions of the current platform. In some corporations you can’t simply access the current SCN because the corporate browser isn’t supported and you can’t install any other browser. I believe the new SCN will improve in that perspective although I haven’t seen any official compatibility matrices. The most recent incident I remember was Windows XP being stuck at IE 8 and unless being able to install Chrome (or Firefox) you were basically locked out of SCN. All said, no one should be using older browsers but then again that’s not real life.

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      2. Matt Fraser

        I can speak to the mobile experience with wordpress.com, and as the blogging platform on the new SCN will use wordpress.org, I expect that mobile experience to be similar.

        In general, I wouldn’t want to bang out an important and/or long blog using a phone — or even a tablet, without a proper bluetooth keyboard — but firing off a question, commenting or responding to comments, most shorter items like this should work just fine on mobile. As for reading/browsing, it should be as good as you can reasonably expect anything on a small screen to be. On a tablet, it shouldn’t be a problem.

        Indeed, having just this weekend switched up my smartphone to a newer model, much as I wish they would keep the size down, the screen is larger, but more importantly, the text on responsive websites is significantly sharper. In short, it isn’t the eyestrain to read on that it was with my four-year-old device that I just retired.

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        1. Michael Appleby

          Hi Matt,

          I know there are many of you out there, I just don’t have the desire or need to use mobile when so much of my interaction (like this response) require the efficiency of a keyboard where I can create my verbose content rapidly.  I watch my teenagers text/type on their phones and know that there is no way I can develop the speed of their thumbs. 

          Most of what I do is Moderator stuff which is much easier to see on a larger monitor (even my laptop screen is not large enough).

          Cheers, Mike

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      3. Jelena Perfiljeva

        Personally, I don’t access SCN from a mobile device. I work on a laptop and most of my SCN use is at lunch time or shortly before/after work (especially when I work from home). Even after hours, I’d rather power up the laptop.

        Main reason for this is that when I’m on SCN, I try to contribute. Answering a question would many times require checking our SAP system, finding my own old documents, etc. When I just read, it usually involves long text, such as activity stream, “blog roll” or long blogs and documents.

        I’m happy for others to have mobile access but not if it comes at the expense of the laptop users. At TechEd, I saw new SCN on someone’s phone and yes, it looked kind of neat. But it looks worse on my large monitor with tons of wasted space and inconsistent font size. So pardon me for not being excited.

        Also it’s great that someone can quickly post something, but I’m concerned this will just lead to more LMGTFY questions and “gud blog” comments. Time will tell, of course, but this is the case where I very much would not want to post gleeful “told you so” a year down the road.

        (1) 
      1. Martin Hinderer

        And things like change of S-User assignment to SCN user account or conversion from an S-User related account to just a “normal” account (or merge of accounts, or…) has not been possible then…and is still not possible today.

        Is anyone really listening? Yes, I forgot: it is technically so difficult to do this, but SAP is looking on this and might bring it up in the future. 😈

        MH

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        1. Jeremy Good

          Seeing your signature of ‘MH’ jogged my memory banks for Matt Harding –> didn’t you post some concerns about all the S-User and multiple profile concerns a while ago?  I couldn’t find it…

          P.S. – sorry for the confusion Martin – it was your initials that reminded me of Matt.

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  5. SRITHARAN V

    Being Positive is good for HomoSAPiens 🙂

    But still 3.6 is not enough to see where we are and what is expected!!

    Lot of things needs to be done. Let’s contribute our best to be the BEST ❗

    Sri

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  6. Veselina Peykova

    Samul,

    1. Portable browsers exist for a purpose. 🙂

    2. A smart system administrators installs a separate, browser when you are stuck with a really outdated OS or browser version. IE is needed mostly for corporate tools. There is no excuse for a system administrator, who is worth a paycheck, to force users to outdated browsers in www.

    3. Companies who can’t afford to pay for a Windows7 upgrade, can’t afford also SAP licenses (and there are virtual machines, if you need a different IE or OS version).

    4. In the last 15+ years I haven’t worked in a company, where the default browser was IE.

    5. If you use XP nowadays, you add even more layers of security than Windows7 users, you often use sand-boxing and you never let people out with IE8.

    If you work in a company with XP and you are allowed to use IE8 to access anything outside your corporate network (even this can be risky), then your company needs to hire somebody qualified for the job – accessing SCN is the least of the things they need to worry about.

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  7. Craig S

    The one thing I hope happens is that the new site is less a sales tool and more technical in nature.

    I think the majority of your SCN users are technical folks.  Not people coming to look for products, solutions, sales, etc..  Having sales related blogs and articles adds noise to people looking to get answers to problems. 

    Run a technical support site and a separate public facing sales site. If I’m looking for a particular software product to purchase for a solution, I should be smart enough to go to a sales site.  Its rare that day-day technical support people, consultants and anaylsts actually have much say in major software purchases anyway.  In reality, that’s what our SAP sales rep is supposed to do for us.  

    I’m really concerned that the use of tagging now, without spaces, is going to simply add a whole bunch of noise into searches and browsing.

    IMHO

    Craig

    (0) 
    1. Jamie Cantrell

      Thanks for the feedback, Craig.  This is something we feel very strongly about too.  I spend more time than I’d like to admit reigning in folks who want to use community as their own personal sales platform.  As the new blog platform owner, I’ll be keeping a strong approach to the content strategy for blogs (personal stories, shared strategies, narrative content, no sales pitches!).

      We’re always open to new ideas on how best to serve our technical experts, so if there is something that we should add to our toolkit in the community, please let us know.

      Best,

      Jamie

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      1. Martin Hinderer

        Jamie,

        it’s not a new idea, but as you are asking for, here is (again, see this thread) my request: when will there be the possibility to clean up accounts? E.g. remove a S-User from an account here or have multiple S-Users assigned to an SCN account (from my previous working experience I know that many consultants need both options). Or merging old accounts?

        This feature has been requested many times in other threads here on SCN over the last years.

        Regards

        MH

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          1. Martin Hinderer

            Hi Jeremy,

            I am not sure if this is solving all issues. Many consultants (I have been one as well) might need to change mail addresses as well, and if all relies on keeping the same mail address then this will also not solve the following scenario:

            It would work though if one can choose a SAP Cloud Identity (or however it is called now…) user account name in the beginning. During your work career you might need to add S-Users to this account, E-Mail adresses from your current employer (because you might not be allowed to use a private one), and so on.

            When changing jobs you will need to deassociate the work mail and the S-User, and with the next job add new ones again.

            Audrey Stevenson: (when) will this be possible?

            Regards

            MH

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            1. Audrey Stevenson

              Remains to be seen. Let’s get through this launch, and then let the team roll out the account linking that we’re working on (that I will write about soon after launch), and we’ll see what’s after that.

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        1. Audrey Stevenson

          Hello Martin,

          The team is working on a capability for users to link accounts for which they have verifiable authorization credentials. While this is not the same as merging the accounts, this account linking functionality will allow the reputations from the linked accounts to be displayed together in the user’s profile.

          I will be sharing more about this in a blog in the near future (not sure if I will make it before launch–we’ll see), so stay tuned.

          –Audrey

          cc: Gabriella Gogl-Gyorgy

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          1. Martin Hinderer

            Hi Audrey,

            great to hear that there is something moving forward. I will check your blog and hopefully it will solve at least some of the issues. Nevertheless a roadmap on the merging account issue and on the question about “removing an S-User from a user account” would be good to have as well.

            Regards

            MH

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      2. Martin Hinderer

        Jamie,

        one more thing: will there be (or maybe is there already) a kind of mapping list which targets:

        “Old” SCN Forum –> new SCN primary tag

        For the beginning this would be really helpful.

        Regards

        MH

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  8. Mario De Felipe

    the day we have a portal that works fine to find the stuff we are looking for… so we dont need to use google to search inside SCN

    that day, SUCCESS.

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