Jeff Gan, Product Manager, SAP Jam Collaboration, joins SAPinsider Studio at the SAPinsider SCM-CRM 2016 event to discuss SAP Jam and offer insight into how organizations can better connect with employees to drive business results.
This is an edited transcript of the discussion:
Natalie Miller, SAPinsider: Hi, I’m Natalie Miller with SAP insider, and we’re here at the SCM-CRM-IoT event in Las Vegas, and I’m joined today by Jeff Gan, who is a Product Manager for SAP Jam Collaboration. Hi, Jeff, how are you? Thanks so much for joining me today.
Jeff Gan, SAP: Thank you, I’m well. Thank you for having me, Natalie.
Natalie: So I was hoping you could start by just telling us a little bit about your role at SAP.
Jeff: I am Project Manager for SAP Jam Collaboration. My role as a project manager is to connect with our valued customers, really understand their business needs and requirements, and then capture those requirements and translate them into technical specifications for our engineers. Our engineers then do their magic and turn those specifications into what we see as world-class SAP software. The ultimate goal here at my job is to help our customers win, save on costs, and engage their employees better, find better ways to connect with their sales teams, with their service teams, with their marketing teams, and really drive bottom line business results. That’s my role.
Natalie: So for those who don’t know, can you explain a little bit about what SAP Jam Collaboration’s all about?
Jeff: Sure. SAP Jam Collaboration is SAP ’s social collaboration platform in the cloud that brings together people, content, tools, as well as data to help drive business results and to solve a business problem. So that’s what SAP Jam Collaboration is. SAP Jam Collaboration integrates with back-end business applications, whether those are SAP applications or third party. The goal of integration is to really connect with the sales team. So if you’re in sales, you want to increase your sales margin, shorten the sales cycles; if you’re in service, for example, what’s top of mind is obviously customer issues and complaints and escalations, so your goal there is to use SAP Jam Collaboration to de-escalate those situations. So those are examples of integration. Another thing about SAP Jam Collaboration is that it brings together stakeholders within the organization, so whether those are employees within the organization, or even the customers or partners who are outside of the organization. So, essentially, internal and external collaboration use cases are both supported. So that’s what SAP Jam Collaboration is about.
Natalie: Can you give a few examples of how SAP customers are using SAP Jam Collaboration in their companies?
Jeff: Yeah, I’ve worked with a number of very large, Fortune 500 customers, and some of these customers are using SAP Jam capabilities such as videos and photos and document annotation, very advanced social capabilities, that would help their, let’s say, their sales team, for example. Imagine if you were the account executive or the sales executive who’s gathering a team of experts, who’s trying to close a sales opportunity. Maybe this is a multi-million opportunity. There’s a lot of communication that’s required, maybe not all in one location, maybe it’s across the world, different regions of the world, different time zones. And our customers are using SAP Jam as a collaboration platform to bring together all of this conversation in one place so they can talk about the customer’s RFPs, for example, what the requirements are, what’s the discounted rates, what are the quantities and the qualities that are required. And decisions can be made very quickly within this virtual collaboration space. We call that a deal room, in other words. So that’s one example.
Natalie: What are some of the big innovations that are coming out right now that you’re excited about?
Jeff: I’m very excited to tell you some very recent innovations that just came out in the recent release of SAP Jam Collaboration. We are starting to target the it audience. So if you are an it administrator in an organization, you can now use SAP Jam Collaboration to design, to build, and to publish a full-blown, modern intranet site. So what I’m really talking about here is a full intranet site that could support hundreds and thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of employees within your organization. This is a single place, a single page, where everyone can come and get the latest company news, they can get the latest company announcements, as well as a dashboard of the data that’s relevant to them. So if you’re a sales person and you come to this intranet, you can see the top ten opportunities that we’re closing this quarter. If you’re service, you can see the top ten customer escalations that are going on, not so good news, but you can at least see them on the dashboard on the intranet. So no matter which role, which department, which line of businesses you’re in, this intranet site provides the right information, the relevant information to you, through this one intranet site.
Natalie: So it’s a lot of possibilities for companies.
Natalie: So user-friendly.
Jeff: Extremely user-friendly, yes.
Natalie: Can you talk a little bit about the cloud and social capabilities?
Jeff: Yes. Well, SAP Jam is a cloud solution. It is subscription-based, so Software-as-a-Service. We operate it out of several data centers across different regions of the world, so they’re all secure data centers. Customers save on costs, obviously, like any cloud solution, because we do all the cloud hosting, the infrastructure, the security, we do all of that for our customers. The other thing with the cloud aspects of SAP Jam is that we can push, or the product team can push, critical updates and patches, and new features, for that matter, out to all of our customers very quickly. We do quarterly releases, so every quarter we have net new features and functions and capabilities for our customers. We also do weekly patches and enhancements. We can even do on-demand updates if necessary. So that’s really the exciting part of running in the cloud.
Your question around social – so the social aspect of SAP Jam includes all the social capabilities that you will find with our competitors, like wikis and blogs and documents and videos and images and forums, Q&As, idea generation. But the nice thing about SAP Jam is that we go way beyond all of those capabilities. SAP Jam really integrates with the back-end systems, as I mentioned earlier. And our goal really is to solve business problems. We’re not here to be social for the sake of being social, we’re here to drive the kpis that I mentioned.
Natalie: And the integration piece is pretty important.
Natalie: So how does this solution fit in SAP’s overall strategy?
Jeff: Well, I think SAP Jam is right on track as far as the overall roadmap is concerned. SAP Jam Collaboration already integrates, is actually part of the cec, or the Customer Engagement and Commerce portfolio. So SAP Jam Collaboration integrates tightly with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, that includes the Cloud for Sales and the Cloud for Service component. So We’re integrated there, and of course you know that cec is very much part of our SAP roadmap. We also have other integration touchpoints with the hana Cloud Platform, for example. So that’s also part of our overall roadmap, where we have a lot of investments there. So overall I think, this is very exciting, we’re on track, basically.
Natalie: What’s the future look like?
Jeff: The future. Well, the future is very exciting for me, for my team, and for the product, and for our customers, ultimately. I feel that we’re just beginning to show customers what the power of collaboration can do to the business, to really drive those kpis that I mentioned earlier, like better sales margin, shortened sales cycle, better promoter score if you’re in service. We’re just starting into the e-commerce space as well with SAP Jam communities. That’s where the future is heading. We also talk about innovation, so innovations like the modern intranet, building the intranet in a matter of minutes with very low cost. So that’s really I see where the future is, but I think overall, we are trying to help customers transform their business, digitally. And I really believe, personally, that SAP jam is the right solution for them.
Natalie: Great. Well, thank you so much, Jeff, for being here. I appreciate it.
Jeff: Thank you so much, Natalie. Thanks for having me.