The issue with social networking in the enterprise is that merely replicating a Facebook experience doesn’t do much for improving productivity. Without any association to a business process, social networking in the enterprise doesn’t tend to provide any useful context.
To address that specific issue, SAP today added support for the capturing of work patterns within the SAP Jam, the company’s enterprise social networking software.
According to Sameer Patel, senior vice president and general manager of the SAP Enterprise Social Software Division, SAP Jam makes use of the Open Data Protocol (OData) and the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification to integrate SAP Jam with both SAP and third-party applications. Users can opt to use SAP Jam to integrate data from multiple applications, or spend time within a specific SAP application that makes use of SAP Jam to invoke data from another application.
Rather than impose a specific workflow on an organization, Patel says SAP Jam allows end users to capture workflow patterns and then collaborate. Patel says that collaboration in the enterprise basically comes down to people, processes and applications. According to Patel, with over 12 million subscribers to Jam, it allows users to create any workflow process they want around any given set of applications they choose.
In general, social networking in the enterprise has been relatively slow to take off, largely because of the disassociation between these applications and the underlying processes that drive business. As that gap narrows, however, the potential that social networking applications have to change the way people work and interact with applications becomes much more substantial.
In most industries, the only way any organization can really differentiate themselves from competitors these days is to provide a superior customer experience. That can’t really happen, however, until organizations find a way to find software to work with their unique processes versus always trying to make the business change processes to match that of the software.