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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

IDC expects worldwide enterprise social software applications revenue
to grow from $0.8 billion in 2011 to $4.5 billion in 2016,
representing an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.4%.

– IDC Press Release – June 2012

The Customer Go-to-Market Imperative
Transforming Silos to Social Business and Community Building

Increasing revenues, profits, value, and growth depends on collaboration with customers at the center of an organization’s support system.

Silos impact performance when geographic, business unit, and functional boundaries impact sales and the delivery of products, solutions, and services.

Cross-teams often unintentionally work on their own areas successfully but are unable to connect to the bigger picture. These roles can include senior executives, thought leaders, sales, marketing, services, product management, finance, operations, engineering, R&D, and related experts.

The solution is both simple and complex: creating a combination of "private" and "public" social business community hubs where the "sum is greater then the parts" is essential to innovative organizations.

SAP Jam is an ideal platform to anchor this approach around business processes. Jam can
stand on its own and/or integrate with enterprise applications such as SharePoint, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which includes sales, marketing, and customer care as well as Human Capital Management (HCM). 

So what are the benefits?

  • Revenues – Equipping front-line sales teams with the most current information to drive pipeline and innovation with customers and prospects

  • Customer Collaboration – Enabling private communities which facilitates improved communications with customers, sales teams, and multiple aligned business units

  • Productivity – Saving time in finding information in one location vs. disparate (or non-existent) locations with an eye on benchmarking faster access to knowledge 

  • Communications/Collaboration – Developing organizational working relationships and content sharing by way of blogs, discussions, videos, and better access to experts

  • Ramp-up – Improving on-boarding of new and current knowledge workers to help reduce training costs

  • Business process – Mapping out the respective use case requirements such as customer collaboration, sales, marketing, and the essentials of customer service

For today’s business and technology leaders, it is critical to recognize the compelling business issues, priorities, and market conditions which impact both the organization at hand and customers’ buying decisions. 

Providing a central approach in a SAP Jam hub is far more effective then going at it in a disparate misaligned way.

The factors to consider in developing an enterprise social network for a respective group or audience includes: strategic priorities, market conditions, end-to-end processes, product/solution/industry requirements, global/regional/country communication and language support, governance, cross-teaming, business and technology acumen, information architecture, HTML, program management and the discipline to sustain the effort. 

Often community hubs fail because the business and community owner(s) lack "vision" and "leadership" and only have a sub-set of the required skill sets, limited experience, and a narrow vs. a big picture view. When there is an over emphasis in the technology and a lack of high quality, sustained tactical delivery around specific work practices (“use cases”), the desired results will fall short. It’s important that a core team of responsible workers blend their skills (i.e. advanced, intermediate, beginner), time, and focus with co-team members or else the community can easily fall apart.   

Success requires strong listening skills and the ability to build cross-teams relationships (representing multiple cultures) with an understanding of their charter, goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Overall social business community hubs must address a specific purpose and show value where workers want to “opt-in.”

In our global team workshops we often zero in on 4 important considerations:

  1. Access – Do the right stakeholders have administrative and participant access

  2. Content – Are all the right content contributors on board to contribute regularly

  3. Communications – How are you creating awareness for the community

  4. Collaboration – Are the stakeholders encouraged to post and see what’s new?

Social business is very much about change management. People are stuck in their ways! Habits are formed around e-mail and ad-hoc communications. It’s easier to keep things status-quo.

The challenge for leaders is to rise above the clutter and recognize that a “whole” solution approach is far better then a disparate one. Leaders who realize this vision can positively impact organizational change, support new innovations, accelerate revenues, and provide a better customer experience.

The end result is filling gaps, moving the organization forward as well as partnering to ensure transformation takes place around customer ("outside looking in") and company ("inside looking out") goals and objectives.

Next steps include…

#1: SHARE INSIGHTS: “Birds of feature” who share in this approach should exchange ideas on best practices, case studies, tools, and resources required to help organizations go from ordinary to extraordinary.

#2: EQUIP: Understand the critical importance of equipping the sales team and customers on a daily basis!

#3: INVESTIGATE: Learn more about SAP Jam based on what it provides today and the investments planned over the next 1 to 3 years as an integral part of the SAP and SuccessFactors' roadmap. Take advantage of the free trial.

#4: EMPOWER: Find out how executives, experts and content contributors provide the essential source of information and collaboration with customers and how an enterprise social business strategy on large scale can support one economic decision maker at a time.

.About the Author

Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) ( providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations and adoption.