Launched in October 2012, SAP’s social collaboration offering, SAP Jam, brings together capabilities from SAP’s collaborative decision making tool, SAP StreamWork, and the acquired SuccessFactors Jam technology. Integrated tightly with SAP’s business application products, SAP Jam focuses on providing social collaboration features to support specific business processes – particularly in the areas of HR, sales, marketing and support services.
SAP takes a business process-driven approach to social collaboration, via “work patterns”
SAP Jam takes a targeted approach to supporting social collaboration activity, focusing on specific “work patterns” – repeatable, line-of-business-driven processes which focus on particular business outcomes and incorporate key business systems and data. Drawing on its experience in selling core enterprise software applications, SAP Jam integrates tightly with SAP’s existing CRM, ERP and HR products to support and capture the interactions that take place between the more transactional stages in a process.
Targeting HR leaders as enterprise-wide drivers for adoption
Taking a different approach to some of its competitors in this space, SAP sees an opportunity to build upon its existing relationships with HR leaders to drive enterprise-wide strategic initiatives for social collaboration adoption. It’s focusing initially on specific HR-related use case such as onboarding and social learning, as well as internal communications and employee engagement. Though HR leaders have not been at the forefront of this trend so far, there is growing momentum and interest in the potential of social collaboration to support HR use cases, and SAP hopes to be at the forefront of this emerging opportunity.
A comprehensive offering and strategy, but there’s still room for improvement
Overall, SAP Jam is a comprehensive social collaboration offering which compares well against the wealth of competitors. However, SAP is a relatively late entrant to the space, and while its differentiators are clearly articulated, it has not yet achieved the same levels of profile and visibility as its competitors. With the breadth of market experience and technology investment that SAP has to draw upon – not to mention its substantial existing customer base – it is well-placed to build market share; nevertheless, this is a fast-moving space, and the company will need to maintain a pace of innovation if it is to compete in the long term.