SAP Watch

Sep 18 2008   2:40PM GMT

How SAP is making friends, and Web 2.0

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

Famed former CEO Jack Welch singles out SAP in this article in the latest issue of BusinessWeek, as a beacon of how to boost customer loyalty, specifically, by building user communities and getting people together physically at events like TechEd.

The article made me think back to a conversation I had last week at SAP TechEd with some of the SAP executives who are heading up SAP’s ecosystem, or rather, the “customer-focused ecosystem.” They insisted it was, and would continue to be, a major competitive differentiator for them.

We’ve started to see, over the past week, an example of this assertion.

Such a strong, and large, user community would seem to come in particularly handy at a time when enterprise application vendors are trying to figure out how to develop, and sell, Web 2.0 for the business.

By now, you’ve likely heard of the SAP development challenges being offered through InnoCentive, a Waltham, Mass.-based company that brings developers together to solve business problems.

One is drawing particularly strong interest.

A total of 688 “project rooms”– individuals or groups who have expressed interest in solving the challenge — have been opened for SAP’s Web 2.0 challenge so far. SAP’s asking developers to find uses of social networking to enhance business applications in corporate computing environments.

That’s in only the week and a half since it has been offered, there’s still another month to sign up. InnoCentive tells me that is a very high number for a challenge that’s been open only a week and a half.

It’s a great example of how SAP’s working these days, and why their attention to this “customer-focused ecosystem,” could in fact further separate them from their competitors.

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, and what SAP does with the winner’s solution.

Courtney Bjorlin, News Editor

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