The SAP Community Network (SCN) is an online network where SAP professionals – industry experts, business people, and technologists – connect with one another to learn, network, find answers, and innovate. Launched in 2003 as the SAP Developer Network, the community has expanded over the years to include a broad range of audiences, functionalities, and member programs.
In March, SCN underwent its greatest evolution yet, migrating to a more powerful and flexible community platform, as previewed last September, 2011 on SAP.info. See “The New, Social SCN” for more information. This marks a major milestone for SCN and its more than 2 million members. “We’ve restructured the content according to topics rather than mode or platform, and now offer a far more robust set of community tools that enable our SCN members to interact and collaborate in ways they couldn’t in our old environment,” says Mark Yolton, senior vice president of the SAP Community and Social Media team. “We’re enabling a truly modern online community with much richer social engagement.”
Online, change inevitably elicits a strong reaction – especially from an active, passionate user base (think Facebook, and the flames ignited anytime they make the tiniest tweak to the UI). Likewise, the new SCN has spurred some controversy, but, overall, users say the new site lives up to the hype, delivering a simplified and enhanced experience. “It was worth the wait,” says John Kleeman, a member of SCN since 2010 and chairman of Questionmark , an SAP software solution partner. “It’s visually smart and much easier to use.”
Since the re-launch, the SCN team says they’ve experienced record levels of engagement and feedback, with members weighing in on the new platform’s pros and cons and reacting to the inevitable hiccups of a large-scale migration. With time to absorb the change, however, user feedback is trending more positive. Ivan Femia, senior SAP NetWeaver consultant at Techedge Group and SCN member since 2007 says, “The new SCN gave visibility to my blogs and I like the ‘areas of interest’ – it’s a better way to organize the content. You find what you need when you need it.” Femia is also an SAP Mentor, a group of more than 100 bloggers, consultants, and technical wizards who are highly engaged in SCN activities.
The SCN team has closely monitored member sentiment since the launch and offers advice on how users can best engaged with the revamped community in the Getting Started and Meet the Community areas of the site.
With the recent upgrade, SCN has evolved from a place to simply share best practices and answer questions to a comprehensive, powerful source of the information IT and business professionals need to be successful in their work with SAP.
“The new SAP Community is beneficial to users on three levels,” says Gail Moody-Byrd, senior director of SAP Marketing. “You can find the help you need to be successful, increase your influence on SAP’s direction, and discover new ways of working to introduce to your SAP teams.”
To learn more about the new SAP Community Network, please visit scn.sap.com/welcome.