Saturday, March 30, 2013

Turning Off Feeds & Comments In SAP Jam Is Like Ordering A Cappuccino Without The Espresso Shot

A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues managing a Jam group asked me if we can turn of the feeds and comments functionality and lock down all the wiki pages in the Jam group. I was puzzled and asked why she would want to do that. She said that she did not want people changing the content, adding to the content or discussing the content. I was deeply disturbed by this line of thinking and even felt sad the whole day for no reason. I ignored this colleague's line of thinking as an aberration until I heard similar requests from a customer.

Contribution and conversation is the soul of any social business tool. Turning off comments and updates is like ordering a Cappuccino without the espresso shot. Without the espresso shot, it is just foamed milk.

I have seen consumers use products for very creative purposes and even surprise the designers of the product. For example, in Northern India it is very common to use washing machines to make mango flavored yogurt drinks called lassie. At least that is a innovative use of a product.

If a customer wants a web site creation tool or a file sharing tool with no conversation or discussion, they could use a document management system or a web site creation tool. SAP Jam is not the appropriate tool for that purpose. It is not even a creative use of SAP Jam.

Here is an HSBC commercial making fun of the Lassi makers.


  1. Hi Prashanth,

    I find it quite interesting that some customers would consider turning off these value-adding functions - they are foundational features in a social collaboration solution. Do you know what the reasoning was behind wanting to disable this functionality?

    Best regards,


  2. Luke, Thanks for the comment. When I heard such requests I thought they were not aware of the purpose of social collaboration. But I plan to listen carefully to such future requests. May be there is a need that I am missing or failing to understand. For example, turning off commenting in certain specific pages might be valuable. I just hope that it does not become a slippery slope from there.

  3. Iam asking a simple question here: is it possible to have collaboration without interaction? The whole purpose of a tool such as Jam is to support and document virtual collaboration. Without physical proximity, the interaction required by collaborative work needs new tools, and Jamprovides exactly that.
    Turning off the comment functionality sounds like having an outlook professional calendar, and keep it private, defeating the transparency it can provide. Yet it is choice many make. Time will eventually make all of us more comfortable with new ways of interacting.


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