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SAP could be “dominant player” in social software market

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13th Nov 2012
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SAP’s move into the social software market - via the launch of SAP Jam social software and SAP Social OnDemand, which focuses on social media listening and monitoring – may be late, but because the sector is still emerging and many companies with social solutions still have minimal deployments in place, the German vendor still has an opportunity to become a dominant player.

That’s the verdict of Nucleus Research, which describes the enterprise social software sector as a “greenfield market” despite the fact that IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, and many others have already acquired, developed, and launched social strategies.
At the end of last month, SAP announced two social products: an internal social product called SAP Jam and an external social product called SAP Social OnDemand.
SAP Social OnDemand provides external social media listening capabilities based on NetBase, enabling information to be integrated with a CRM system to track customer-facing opportunities or with a knowledge base to provide direct answers to and from social media dialogues.
SAP Jam, meanwhile, is an internal social software product based on SuccessFactors Jam, one of the products acquired when SAP acquired SuccessFactors in February 2012, and a tool that provides a package of messaging, feeds, status updates, blogs, and wikis for social communications.
Nucleus believes that SAP’s social strategy is “designed to allow companies to both enable social capabilities in the business world and to measure the benefits associated with social. This approach will help organisations that seek to justify their social investment with a quantifiable ROI.”
Furthermore, having evaluated Salesforce.com’s Chatter last year and concluded that companies deploying it could increase employee engagement and increase average productivity by 20%, Nucleus believes that SAP Jam integrated with CRM and other applications would be able to meet or exceed these expectations by directly sharing social information both within social software and within line-of-business applications.
Nucleus also recently estimated that the integration of social with CRM resulted in an average increase of 11.8% in sales staff productivity, and the analyst concludes that the greatest business benefit of SAP’s social strategy may end up coming from SAP’s approach to social sales.
Nucleus suggests: “Both SAP Jam and SAP Social OnDemand play important roles in providing social CRM functionality. As companies integrate social observations and conversations into the challenges of complex enterprise sales, SAP Jam will allow companies to track sales cycles and deal sizes to see how social sales compared to non-social sales. This results-oriented tracking will provide sales organisations with a straightforward measurement of the value that social can provide.”

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