SAP is making waves in social media circles. And according to German IT magazine CIO, it is doing so more successfully than all the other companies listed on the DAX. Back in 2009, a study revealed that SAP was among the 10 most active companies in the world in terms of social media – see also our article: SAP Top Ten in Social Networking. This is all down to a 35-person social media team headed by Mark Yolton , which looks after SAP Community Network (SCN).
More than two million participants – from customers and partners through employees and other experts – are linked together using SCN. With 36,000 million hits a year and 20,000 new members joining every month, its value cannot be underestimated. SCN also serves many other channels on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The idea behind it is to share and disseminate knowledge on a global scale.
SCN – the knowledge community
The SCN platform, which is available exclusively in English, provides information through various media. There are articles, videos, and podcasts as well as manuals, white papers, downloads, and e-learning materials. A tutorial in the form of an avatar gives users an introduction to the fundamental functions in SCN.
After signing up with your full name, you can access the information and also make your own contributions, for example, through forums, articles, blogs, and wikis.
The community is divided into five topic-based areas, to which contributions are assigned based on content. For each area, you can sign up to a dedicated newsletter:
- SAP Developer Network Community (SDN):
In the SAP Developer Network, the topics focus on installing, configuring, and maintaining SAP systems. IT specialists and developers contribute their knowledge to the online world. Important areas include business intelligence, service oriented architecture (SOA), SAP BusinessObjects solutions, SAP Business One , and SAP NetWeaver. You’ll also find entries on Java, script languages, Web services, and open source platforms.
- SAP Business Process Expert Community (BPX):
The BPX Community aims to bridge the gap between business and information technology. Interested parties will find information about SAP Business Suite, including SAP ERP, SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), and more. Content concerning individual industries and topics, such as financial reporting, sustainability, and master data management is also available here.
- SAP Business Objects Community (BOC)
In the SAP BusinessObjects Community, the focus is – unsurprisingly – on the software portfolio that SAP took on in 2007 when it acquired the company Business Objects. As well as best practices for business intelligence (BI) software, a wealth of information is provided on SAP Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, SAP StreamWork, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, and SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand.
- University Alliances Community (UAC)
The SAP University Alliances program gives both lecturers and students access to SAP technologies. Through a digital library, resources are provided that can be used for studying or for holding courses and events.
The offering centers on studies in business process management and information technology. Research is also catered to, with technical challenges and developments discussed and solutions proposed on an international platform.
- SAP EcoHub
The SAP EcoHub is a service portal for customers and is a little different than the other communities. Its aim is to inform customers so that they are then able to find the most suitable service partner and the right software. A user-defined search based on key words, ratings by other customers, and demo and test versions facilitate the decision-making process.
Service partners can be contacted through the SAP EcoHub for an in-depth consultation. Furthermore, there are plans for service partners to receive their own stores, so that they can offer their services on SAP EcoHub itself.
High quality content ensured
To ensure that the quality of contributions remains high, there’s the SCN Contributor Recognition Program. This involves SCN moderators assessing the usefulness of statements made. Contributors receive points for helpful answers, blog posts, and so on.
If contributors have lots of points, a star symbol appears next to their name. Anyone who has provided valuable content is displayed as an expert at prominent spots within SCN, which boosts that person’s reputation. In addition, the most successful authors are listed and published.
Next page: Facebook and Twitter
Broadcasting on all channels
As well as the SCN platform, SAP uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites. Many of the official channels are filled with content by SAP’s social media team. However, it is not always easy to tell whether a page is maintained by an official representative of the company, or enthusiastic employees, or other individuals.
Although it was originally conceived as a private network, Facebook has many corporate pages. SAP.info can also be found there, with information updated and added constantly. More than 45,000 Facebook members have said that they like the SAP page and now receive information about SAP on their walls.
As well as wall news, there’s a job center, an events calendar, and updates about SAPPHIRE NOW. The SAP Facebook page is also a useful place from which to access other SAP sites, because they are saved as favorites here. Read on for a selection:
- SAP Business Objects
- SAP StreamWork
- SAP University Alliances
- SAP Crystal Reports and Dashboard Solutions
- SAP EcoHub
- SAP Customers
- SAP TechEd
- SAP Community Network
Twitter is based on the microblogging concept. As with text messages, posts – known as tweets – are limited to 140 characters. Users can sign up and follow the tweets posted by other people, whose messages they then receive in real time on their Twitter account. Tweets often include a link in the form of a shortened URL, which generally points to more detailed contributions and articles.
If you’d like to find SAP content on Twitter, read Jarret Pazahanick’s blog entry in SCN entitled How to Find and Follow SAP Content on Twitter. With more than 12,000 followers, sapnews is the most popular account. Here are some of the official tweets:
- SAP.info (@sapinfo)
- SAP Community Network Blogs (@sapnetwork)
- SAP TechEd (@sapteched)
- SAPListens (@SAPListens)
- SAP Mentors (@SAPMentors)
- SAP CRM (@sapcrm)
- SAP News (@sapnews)
- SAP TV (@saptv)
- SAP EcoHub (@sapecohub)
- SAP Code Exchange (@sapcodexch)
- SAP Community Network (SCN) (@sapcommnet)
- SAPPHIRE NOW (@SAPPHIRENOW)
- SAP.de (@SAPde)
- SAP Im Dialog (@sapimdialog)
- SAP Crystal Reports (@crystalreports)
Next page: LinkedIn, XING, and YouTube
The world’s biggest video portal YouTube has several channels with SAP content, to which you can subscribe so that you don’t miss a video. SAP TV has its own channel, containing a colorful mixture of customer stories, events, product demos, and other films.
- Business networks: LinkedIn and XING
Business networks are primarily used to maintain contacts in the business world. Users publish profiles outlining their experience so far and network with individuals who may help further their careers.
What’s more, users can also join groups and subscribe to corporate profiles. LinkedIn, which has a clear international orientation, has around 100 groups that are related to SAP, while there are approximately 150 on XING, which is popular in Germany.
Large groups with 1,000 members or more are not usually founded by SAP. Official groups often have between 100 and 200 members or fewer. To join a group, the group administrator must approve. The requirement is usually that you have a professional interest in the group’s topic.
LinkedIn also has a “Companies” area, which is still in the beta phase. Here, you’ll find news about SAP and – importantly – some 25,000 profiles of SAP employees.
A special feature of LinkedIn is that it offers various statistics, for example, about users’ areas of activity and professional experience, which can at the same time be compared with the profiles of people from the same industry.
Video example of SAP TV: SAP Business ByDesign on the iPad