Posts Tagged ‘SAP’

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to present  my views on social media analytics at Business Insider’s Social Media Analytics conference (you can view the slides from my presentation here).  The lessons I presented were based on my own experience, both based on my work at SAP but also on discussions with my peers in the industry.  They were centered around  the following three key takeaways:

1. Differentiate, but be consistent

Although this sounds like an oxymoron, defining a consistent social media analytics framework can help create a common vocabulary and allow you to learn by being able to consistently compare across your various campaigns.  There are three key dimensions as shown on the chart above:

  • Use case: It starts with understanding what you are trying to accomplish, and then driving your strategy and results based on those objectives.  Are you trying to build awareness with an audience not necessarily familiar with your brand and offerings, or are you trying to generate demand running a social media campaign?  These are two very different things and the way you measure success needs to vary based on these objectives.

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Previously submitted on Forbes.com

Age is all about perspective.  At 40, I am ancient, old to a 20 year old, but I am delightfully spry to a 60 year old. It all depends on your vantage point.  So, what is your perspective when I tell you I vividly remember an episode of The Twilight Zone that has stuck with me to this day.  In it, a man dies and is greeted by an angel who tells him he has died and he can have whatever he wants.  He wants to go gambling – he wins every time. Luxury accommodations, beautiful women on his arm – done.  He was a thief in life, so he asks to rob a bank.  Arrangements are made and he gets away with the money – no problem. But after a short while, he gets bored and wants to lose at gambling, get caught at the bank, not have every woman he sees, etc.  The angel is confused and doesn’t understand.  The man says that maybe he doesn’t belong here and should be “in the other place” (early television code for Hell).  The angel tells him the memorable catch phrase “You don’t understand, you are in the other place.” (Insert insidious wicked laugh and fade to black).

Hell is getting everything you ever wanted.  Or, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Having just attended a few conferences and events with denizens and practitioners of social media, I heard from many of them that they just got X installed (new software, new listening platform, new campaign management software, new iPads, you-name-it) and now don’t know what to do with it.  Be careful what you wish for . . .   In the mad dash for social media excellence, we jump at the next new shiny object or get talking into spending valuable budget on something we yet do not understand.  This isn’t even a training issue on how to use these tools and technologies.  This is a fundamental issue about setting clearly defined goals and objectives, appropriate utilization of resources, effective measurements, and communicating updates and milestones.

Social Media Goals:

Congratulations, you just got that $3,000/month listening platform that has been on your wish-list since Santa last visited. Now what?  It is installed, you are trained, you have sold your boss on all the great things you are going to do with it.  Now what? You cant effectively measure if you don’t have your goals firmly in place.  This holds true for anything you have acquired to help you along the way, the tool or technology is only as good as the pathway you lay out for it.  If you don’t know where you want it to go, it cant take you there. Where is your audience? What do you want them to do? What do you want to do to help get them there? Do you want to improve your reach? How about audience engagement and what does that mean to you? Do you want them to take some action? Do you know who your key influencers are and what they are saying about you now? How do you change that?  If you cannot answer or address these questions, these new toys are only going to get in your way, slow you down.  It is a car without a steering wheel – it doesn’t matter if it can do 120 miles an hour if you cant steer it.


New tools and technology is great and can certainly be helpful, but you need the right resources in your organization to utilize and help.  Social Media is not free – there is a heavy pricetag for social media resources.  These people need it in their DNA.  I was recently at the Radian6 conference in Boston. Keynote Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel) joked about clients finding 25 year olds to run their social media programs and then being devastated with the lack of results. This isn’t an young person vs old person game.  It is about using resource appropriate to your goals and objectives; then, using that new technology effectively.  Just because they are 25 and have stubbly facial hair does not alone make them effective social media marketers.  Conversely, it doesn’t make them bad, either. Find the right resources to help you with your tasks.  Are you selecting them because the “look” hip or “are” hip?  Does your program require hipness?  Do you need seasoned veteran or do you need new thinking? For what tasks do you need these lenses?  Finding the right types of resources for your program is in many ways more important and more overlooked than any new technology.  A great staff of people with basic internet access and free accounts can run a great program.


“If you cant measure it, it’s not successful,” an old boss of mine used to say.  I am not sure I fully believe that, but it is an effective guidepost.  Social media has evolved past the heady days of no accountability and now requires marketers to “sing for their supper.”  You have to measure your programs, benchmark success, evolve and grow.  But what do you measure?  Again, if you just received your first bit of technology to help you run your programs, or to measure your programs, do you know what to measure?  Is 100 tweets good for an event?  How about 400 retweets?  Are 10k “likes” a good number? How about going old school and measuring page views – what is a good number here?  The answer to these question are “yes, those are good numbers, if that is what is important to your program?” Is it important to your program? Do you know?    We tend to rush and start with big harry audacious goals (BHAGs for those who are acronymic).  Start small, measure what is important, set a baseline and grow.  It is – at its core – pretty simple.


We all report to someone.  Do you have a strategy for communicating your successes?  How about your failures? This is all new territory so you will fall down and scrap your knee a few times.  It’s ok, we’ve all been there.  The point is that you have to develop a strategy to prove your new tool and its worth.  You need to show what you are doing, how it impacts the business, why it matters.  Guess what, your co-worker down the hall is doing just that for their program, plus you just received a big gift with this new technology or tool.  It is time to repay it.  Develop a dashboard from your measurements and show it off. Come up with a nice infographic and really engage in some graphical storytelling.

Be careful about getting what you wish for, it can be hell to pay for it.

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The Silicon Valley Enterprise Social Media Council (SVESMC) is a group of Bay Area social media practitioners (no vendors) from CA Technologies, eBay, Ariba, Cisco, Taleo, Xerox, PayPal, EMC, Symantec, Wellsfargo and SAP.  The objective of the group is to network, discuss challenges and share social media know how with enterprise peers who live and breathe social media.

On March 25th, SAP hosted the first quarterly social media summit for the group that was started in late 2010. Fittingly, the first group members were “recruited” via Twitter. Our currently close to 30 members regularly meet for a monthly dinner and share expertise in conference calls, via a LinkedIn group and Twitter (follow the public list @SocialB2P/SVESMC).

The summit was a full success with non-stop passionate discussions, sometimes taking a panel into an unexpected direction but only because there was so much enthusiasm and eagerness to learn and share. Overall, I was very pleased to see that SAP holds up well in social media compared to its peers; and I got a lot of great new ideas, and made new friends.

Ironically, we asked everybody to turn off their Twitter and other social media tools for the day to keep our discussions open and confidential. Without violating this agreement (“what happens in Palo Alto stays in Palo Alto”), I can share some key findings from the summit:

Read more here.

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by Tim Clark

Baylor MedicineDo I have an unhealthy obsession with Baylor College of Medicine? I’m starting to think so. I paid them a personal visit a few years ago and have been tracking their vital statistics ever since. I had a chance to run another check up recently (yes, I love puns) and I am happy to report that their current IT prognosis, which involves the installation of a materials management application, running on SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.1, looks good. Baylor is also an active participant within the SAP Community Network (SCN).

Before we scrub up and dissect Baylor’s SCN activity, let’s first take a trip to their materials management project, shall we?

Similar to their asset tracking initiative, which is now running very smoothly thanks to SAP Netweaver Mobile 7.1, materials management for Baylor involves maintaining accurate records of sutures, bandages, over the counter meds and more. Materials have bar codes that are scanned out of store rooms and are issued electronically. At some point during the shift (determined by the user), data is synched from the mobile device that triggers the middleware into a transaction. This generates an actual material document and goods issue within Baylor’s SAP back end system. Under the prior process, users logged into their desk top computers to record issuance of goods from (gasp!) paper forms which is time-consuming and much more prone to errors.

Paul Sammons, Senior SAP Business Analyst and Wireless Goods Movements Project Lead for Baylor tells me this middleware application comes from Fringe Mobility and is a Microsoft .NET application running on SAP Netweaver Mobile 7.1. Which is a good thing. It proves that SAP doesn’t have severe allergic reactions when introduced to new solutions. So what happens when Paul hits a hiccup with his daily SAP dealings? He refers to the SCN before opening a support ticket with SAP.

“If you have a problem the SCN is a great place to visit to see what other people are doing about it,” said Paul.  “I have found a lot of great insight from some of the communities within the community that rally around a certain module or topic like mobile applications. It’s also great for day-to-day tips setting up configurations. If you take the time to explore the SCN you can generally find answers to your problems and it’s very easy to understand.”

Rick Pearson, Senior ABAP Developer and Wireless Goods Movements Project Programmer who works with Paul, sings similar praise for the SCN and is thankful he learned of the influential organization at a SAP TechEd event.

“The first I heard of SCN was when a group of folks approached me at a TechEd event and asked me if I wanted to sign up,” recalls Rick. “They said if I signed up I’d get a free tee shirt. Thankfully, they had my size so I signed up and I’ve been using it ever since.”

Rick relies on the SCN primarily for training purposes, gleaning details from the likes of Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman. “There’s a lot of great information made available on the SCN for folks to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to successfully navigate their SAP journey.”

Tim Clark joins us from SAP as the Executive Editor within the Global Communications organization.  Tim is a frequent blogger on Forbes and on the SAP Community Network (SCN). Besides writing, Tim is an amateur circus performer who can juggle not one, but two balls in the air at the same time.  He is hoping for three in 2011.  You can visit the original post on SCN.

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By Tim Clark

Walt DisneyAs a father of three young kids, I’m no stranger to the power of Walt Disney. That’s why at this year’s SAP TechEd event in Las Vegas, I thought I might experience a little Disney magic for myself by listening to David Hull, a solution architect for the company, talk about SAP Community Network and why it has become an integral part of his work ethic. David shared some great insight and underscored the “give-and-take” mentality that keeps the community network running like a finely tuned, well-oiled rollercoaster. (more…)

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By Tim Clark

Doing more with less seems to be the standard mantra for a lot of businesses these days. Fairfax Water, the largest public water utility in Virginia, is no exception. With only 400 employees, the company runs lean, yet manages to serve about 1.7 million customers. How do they do it? Is there something in the, ahem, water over there? Hardly.

Tammy Powlas, active SAP Mentor, ASUG volunteer and senior business analyst of Fairfax Water tells me it has something to do with the power of SAP for Utilities solutions. But that’s not all. It seems Fairfax is thirsty for more insight about how to get the most out of their current and future SAP investments. Enter, SAP Community Network. (more…)

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Since 2001 SAP has brought together its top influencers (industry analysts and bloggers) in a small intimate setting to share, and receive input on, its product strategy and direction.  Last month’s event was hosted in Santa Clara and besides the 120 influencers attending onsite, another 500+ also participated virtually.

2010 also marked a major change in the ‘social’ coverage of the event where upwards of 50 SAP colleagues participated in leveraging social media to extend the reach of the event beyond the selected few that were invited to participate.  When we set out to plan our social coverage, we had three goals in mind…

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