SAP gets on the Enterprise 2.0 bandwagon

During his keynote, SAP CEO Henning Kagermann showed how SAP is beginning to embrace the concepts of Web 2.0.

During his keynote, SAP CEO Henning Kagermann showed how SAP is beginning to embrace the concepts of Web 2.0. He identified self sufficiency (self service), enhancing work patterns and    collective intelligence as three key areas for Web 2.0 in the enterprise--also known as Enterprise 2.0.

I wrote about Harmony, a collaborative internal application in which SAP employees publish their skills and make connections. "We are using it within SAP," Kagermann said. "We are famous for integration, but it cannot be dictated from the top. It comes from a network of people who understand their domains."

Harmony screen courtesy Craig Cmehil

The company has also prototyped a collaborative workspace application with business process automation. For example, a manager receives an email alert canceling a part order in Outlook. The alert can  be saved within SAP via Duet, where the context of the event exists. The application includes a Thought Pad for writing notes, like an inline wiki; Bookshelf for listing documents associated with the event or project; Task Pad for keeping track of tasks; and an Info Panel that for capturing details, creating tags, assigned tasks, sharing with other employees and setting up meetings in a collaboration space.

As you would expect, the application ties into master data and directories for connecting people, data and projects. The interface is slick, with Ajaxy drag and drop; for  instance, you can drag a task template that qualifies new suppliers on top of a task and it adds all of the required steps to the task. It can also surface supplier analytics and create an RFQ when responses come back from suppliers in the workspace, create purchase order, documenting everything.


The Info Panel at the top left  in the collaborative workspace shows people assigned to a task, and the task below it. On bottom right are part suppliers surfaced from the SAP system. (Sorry for the poor quality of the image)

"It's the way we want to work," Kagermann said, "combining this workstyle with company rules, enabling collaboration across the network in the context of business processes and events. People want to collaborate across the enterprise and have governance, compliance and risk, guaranteeing the rules of the company are automatically triggered."