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Former Member

Delivering technology that conforms to how you want to work

This week marks two very significant milestones for SAP in the category of Business and Collaborative networks.

Exactly a year ago, we launched SAP Jam - a purpose-built collaboration platform designed to work across business processes and to affect real business outcomes. Four quarters later, we are privileged to count well over 10 million subscribers on the platform. We’re honored to have executives at the highest levels of organizations such as Marriott International, Kaeser Kompressoren, and TELUS Communications, Inc. attest to how SAP is helping them transform their organizations.

But this post is really about the way forward.  Via intense co-innovation with a 50-member customer advisory team and significant break-throughs in how data and content can now be accessed and manipulated, we’re really happy to announce work patterns by SAP Jam – new work experiences that brings the best of applications data, process, content, and people together in one contextual work space.

So, why did we do this?

According to Wiki Answers, "Formal work patterns are generally understood to be systems of coordinated and controlled activities that arise when work is embedded in complex networks of technical relations and boundary-spanning exchanges.”

We all have work patterns we follow. For instance, if you're in sales you have a few. You continuously learn about new solutions you sell. You get mentored and trained by those you look up to. You build relationships with your prospects and your customers. And you sell like crazy. If you’re in other functions such as marketing, product development, or partner management, you have similar patterns.

The problem, though, is that today’s system-centric work place is completely at odds with these patterns. Our woefully inefficient systems-centric world is divided up into applications, critical data, content, and failing enterprise social networks that have no cognizance of dynamic, fast-changing events and data that we need to act on. After spending close to $2 trillion on IT over the last year alone[1], we have lots of room left to rethink how we connect employees, customers and partner. Consider this:

  • Traditional CRM can manage customer records and analyze trends. But profits in an organization can increase by 95% by boosting customer retention by just 5%[2]. This opens the door for an immense opportunity to build strong customer communities to delight customers and lower retention costs.
  • Talent management systems provide ways to educate and onboard new employees. But it costs on average $135,000 per year to onboard and support a salesperson[3]

And that’s only the beginning.

We set out to begin to solve this problem a year ago by re-thinking the very value proposition of social collaboration by making it outcome based, contextually relevant and pervasive across your application touch points and business processes.

Now we’re ready disrupt our own innovations of last year with an incredible breakthrough in how application data from SAP and third party systems can be accessed and immediately contextualized by SAP Jam. A clear understanding of the hierarchy of this data now enables SAP Jam to quickly assemble the right network of domain experts and the right content and prior art, to enable you to execute.

Each work pattern is:

  • Centered around you: Dynamically connect the dots by recommending and assembling 20% of the data, process, content and network of experts you need 80% of the time.
  • Repeatable: Slow kills. Kick start each pattern you follow by suggesting prior art - formal and informal learning content to allow for repeatable best practices to get you working, fast.
  • Flexible: Your needs will change. Fine-tune any element of a work pattern to conform more closely to how you work.

This re-thinking of how we work cuts right through the tenuous relationship between systems where we engage and others where we transact. Work patterns by SAP Jam are designed to celebrate how we’ve always wanted to work. And it can only be done effectively because of the underlying business context that SAP Jam can not only access, but also interpret.

Where to, from here?

We’re starting off with a series of 13 work patterns that span across key sales, support and human capital use cases. And true to our promise of delivering collaboration and your network of experts wherever you need it, work patterns by SAP Jam will be available on SAP Jam, within SAP and third-party applications, and via Fiori-powered SAP applications. And if you want to re-imagine new applications and processes, leverage work patterns when you build new applications, or extend existing applications on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

This breakthrough is a result of an incredible coordinated global effort by SAP’s product teams in Canada, China, Germany, and the United States. It’s a real privilege for me to work with such a tenacious and dedicated group of colleagues.

It’s time to move beyond transactional applications and beyond social applications. Its time to put the end user in the center of the design experience. This is the essence behind work patterns.

Learn more about work patterns by SAP Jam:

[1] IDC, IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, Frank Gens, Nov 2012

[2] Flowtown/Spoken communications

[3] Forrester Sales Enablement Forum, 2013