Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How An Account Executive Found Me In The HCM Community

The SAP Solution Management team maintains a community called the SAP HCM Exchange. This community is powered by SuccessFactors Jam. We decided to practice what we preach and created this community for all product and field colleagues to share, discuss and learn from each other about the solutions, sales pursuits, case studies, positioning, competition and challenges. This is an ongoing effort. However I want to share something interesting that proved my hunch on expert finder systems correct.

I always believed that expert finder systems, as they are designed today, do not work. I believe that people who are looking for experts like to see the work that someone has done, sample the work, and talk to them before relying on them for some critical help. In other words, enabling a person to make his or her work visible and thus making him or her find-able is the best way to design expert finder systems.

How HCM Exchange powered by Jam made me find-able
A few days back one of our new account executives from Canada left a message on my Profile Wall asking me if I can help him with a hybrid sales pursuit. We connected and spoke about the pursuit. At the end of the conversation I asked him how he found me and why he reached out to me instead of anyone else. His answer was simple. He said "I saw you posting and writing about the topic of hybrid solutions and read some of the documents and decided you might be a good person to help me." It is that simple. This is how the real world works.

By the way, there are a number of expert finder systems within SAP, on which we spent millions of dollars, where every expert is required to go and update their expertise so that other colleagues can find them. Many of us do not even know where such systems are. Within a Jam group, experts can go about doing what they do everyday without wondering about what their expertise is and they will be discovered by the right people, for the right topic, when they want, with pin point accuracy.

Here is a snap shot of the SAP HCM Community. If you are an SAP or SuccessFactors employee reading this and want access, please leave a comment or send me an email and I'll invite you.


  1. Good post Prashanth!

    This also proves that one of the most powerful features of a social enterprise is to connect people across silos regardless of their roles. When you're looking for someone to help you, org charts and hierarchies don't help. In fact they come in your way to get things done. A loose social layer also helps turn involuntary collaboration into social interaction. I blogged about this here: http://bit.ly/aIp9uY You don't collaborate with your neighbors before you socialize with them. This is where social discovery, as opposed to a resource-search, is critical since it would invariable result into a good collaboration effort later on, just like yours.

  2. Very timely post. "Social" discovery whether that's in the "consumer" social or "employee" social has started to finally get more pervasive and help to find "experts". How easy you make a product to search that is the make or break for any "enterprise social" product. Is Jam a "social"/"collaborative" site for this?

  3. Anand, Jam is a place for people to get together, collaborate and get work done. As you see in the above image Jam can also support structured content organization, like how a wiki does. I use Jam for everything from 3 people activities to 300 people communities.


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