SAP internalizes social networking for business

Summary:SAP doesn't yet offer Web 2.0-style social networking capabilities in its solutions that tap into the wisdom of employees, partners and customers, but it has an internal service, called Harmony.

SAP doesn't yet offer Web 2.0-style social networking capabilities in its solutions that tap into the wisdom of employees, partners and customers, but it has an internal service, called Harmony.  Dennis Moore, general manager of emerging systems, called it a "MySpace for the enterprise," speaking at SAP Sapphire in Atlanta. It starts with SAP employee profiles in the HR system, which serve as a foundation for connecting employees professional and personal interests. "It started out as a a network for the top talent group of employees. Now it is expanded to all employees. We are getting better as eating our own dogfood, Microsoft's phrase, and what Henning [Kagermann, SAP CEO] calls "drinking our own champagne," Moore said.


Harmony screen courtesy Craig Cmehil

Moore said cited LinkedIn as proof that an internal, behind the firewall social business network is necessary for SAP and its customers. He gave the example of using LinkedIn to search for someone with "competitive" in their title and working for SAP as an employee. It publicly exposed SAP people focused on competitive strategy, which makes it easy for competitors to get visibility into SAP's activities and key personnel. He said took advantage of LinkedIn as a source to find an executive working on Oracle's Fusion project, which he then hired.

SAP is behind IBM, which is rolling out Lotus Connections, which lets people find colleagues with similar interests and share information. It includes a dashboard that tracks the workplace activities of colleagues, and includes feeds from blogs, groups and other data. BEA is working on AquaLogic Pathways (formerly Project Graffiti), which combines ocial bookmarking and tagging with search and analytics to assist users in discovering and sharing information and expertise. In addition, smaller companies, such as Connectbeam and Cogenz, are bringing social networking to enterprises.

Harmony features are expected to make their will make their way into the SAP's Netweaver collaboration portal this year.

Topics: SAP

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