SAP doesn't see much point in collaboration simply for collaboration's sake in the enterprise. The software giant calls it "a nice idea, but unless it is connected to a business process, it is little more than that." SAP hoped to address the lack of process-driven collaboration with last year's introduction of the SAP Jam cloud-based social software platform.
Now SAP is updating Jam by adding what it calls "work patterns," pre-built collaborative processes that fit right into enterprise workflows. SAP says the patterns will offer a cohesive view of situations and projects, create fast and repeatable approaches for work, reveal experts who can help, and make it possible to modify processes when necessary.
The first pre-built patterns, released last week, bring together SAP Jam with data and objects from SAP CRM to support account planning, opportunity management, deal rooms and service requests for sales and service professionals.
According to SAP, work patterns combine expertise, content, problem solving and templates with applications and real-time data from business systems. Because of the integration with applications and systems, data is always current and relevant, allowing SAP Jam to recognize and interpret the data as well as expose related documents, people and projects.
SAP says Jam has more than 10 million subscribers, among them employees at companies like Marriott International, Kaeser Kompressoren and TELUS Communications.
"As our sales cycle continues to shrink, SAP Jam is playing an important role in helping us quickly build a bridge from the first client contact through to the offer," said Falko Lameter, chief information officer, Kaeser Kompressoren. "Because SAP Jam is a cloud solution, we can easily integrate our partners and SAP processes -- such as SAP CRM -- allowing us to share information and gather insight from across the business."
Marriott combines SAP Jam with applications from SuccessFactors, an SAP company, to support learning and knowledge sharing for its global associates and industry partners. The company is also using SAP Jam to put forth best practices, gather and rank ideas, and speed decision-making processes.
"Whether it’s to manage account planning or devise a sales strategy, onboard a new team or be mentored, the way we work today involves leveraging data, content, process and people," said Sameer Patel, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Social Software, SAP. "Work patterns in SAP Jam are designed to bring these elements together to significantly accelerate performance."