Just a Footnote on SAP’s SDN

I tried twice to post a comment on Jerry Bowles’ blog on his site and on the Enterprise Irregulars’ site and was unsuccessful. Since I don’t have time to keep fooling around with the software, I will post a link to Jerry’s post today here. Back from Sapphire, Jerry posted on how SAP is getting enterprise 2.0. religion citing among a few things, the SDN network and Harmony, its internal HR web platform, which I was getting around to writing about myself.

On the SDN network, Jerry writes:

The granddaddy of these communities–the SAP Developer Network (SDN)–has grown from 340,000 members in 2005 to more than 750,000 today. (SDN has its own “evangelist,” Craig Cmehil.) The Business Process community (BPX) was launched in the third quarter of 2006 and already has more than 100,000 members. Both have proven to be invaluable resources and converted even the most skeptical oldtimers to the belief that there may be something to this Enterprise 2.0 business afterall.

What I wanted to communicate to Jerry was this:

Hi Jerry. So wishing I had gone to Sapphire! It’s good to hear that SAP is getting religion on enterprise 2.0. It’s worth noting, however, that the SAP Developer Network is run on a Confluence Wiki (Atlassian). I’m pretty sure about this, although I’m sure someone will correct me fairly quickly if I’m wrong. Even a technology giant like SAP with its billion dollar R&D budget can benefit from innovation at the edge from a couple of college kids who started a company on a credit card a few years ago. I just couldn’t resist the irony.

Author: Susan Scrupski

Longtime fan of technology to improve humanity.

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  • What do you mean “maybe” 😉 of course we are!

  • Hi Craig. Thanks for dropping in. This all would have went much more smoothly had I been able to comment on Jerry’s blog, which was having WordPress commenting headaches that day… Jerry was stressing how SAP was “getting it” regarding e2.0 (I’m paraphrasing) using SDN as one of his examples. It was ironic to me that his example of 750,000 software developers collaborating on building SAP software was being done on a wiki built by two college kids. The billion dollar R&D budget compared to Atlassian’s startup coffers was just added drama to the story.

    If it were completely true, as I understood it, it would be ironic. As you’ve pointed out, I stand corrected. What is interesting, however, is how blogging set the record staight. Maybe SAP is getting it. 🙂

  • Funny I did comment, I was the second in fact – wondered what happened? – oh wait I commented over on the other site 🙂 let me copy and paste and add a bit more…

    Actually the Wiki portion is the newest edition to our setup – we went live with it back in October of last year. So SDN is not run on the Confluence Wiki but rather the SDN community uses the Confluence Wiki. We are so much more than just a Wiki although time will be the test on which areas we have remain strong and which migrate to which tool…

    I can see your point of being ironic that we chose to “buy it” instead of “build it” with our billions of R&D and what not (is it really that much – so disconnected from that area you know) but is it really so ironic? What if we came out and say to the heck with all that we are going to just build everything we need? What would be the point of reinventing the wheel? We didn’t do that with our online forums and now Jive Software is certified for NetWeaver product and we are running their newest version.

    What I really find ironic is that no one can tell me was it Visa or Mastercard 😉

    OK the new stuff – but Mike pointed it out already internally to SAP and away from just SDN we are far more diverse in fact I’ve a user on 5 different wiki platforms internally and 2 blogs and 1 podcasting platform…

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  • Hi Susan,

    I wish you were at SAPPHIRE too. Maybe next year? In answer to your question about SDN and Confluence, as Jeremiah confirmed we sure do. And while SDN does use Confluence, I will also add that we use Socialtext and MediaWiki in other areas of SAP. We are equal opportunity wiki users when it comes to the wiki platform.

  • Hi Susan,

    I will chime in although I am not directly involved with SDN at all. Perhaps Craig will comment in more detail later.

    While the new wiki area is indeed run on the Atlassian Confluence wiki platform, the primary areas of SDN are run on SAP technology.

    To your comment about innovation on the edge, I agree completely. Technology titans like SAP benefit incredibly from the larger world of innovators, startups, and smaller established companies. Even within the world of SAP, we are well aware that most of the best SAP developers and most of the innovation is outside SAP walls – at our customers and partners. That’s the true strength of the SAP community, the conversation and co-innovation between community members.

  • Hi Dennis. No, it was Jerry’s enterprise2web wordpress blog that is having the software glitch, where I could not leave a comment, not the SDN, site. (But maybe I should leave it there too, eh? Hee hee.) And on the blogtronix-hosted aggregator sites where Jerry’s post pulled in (Enterprise Irregulars and Social Media Today), I didn’t realize you had to login first, although I’m sure I’ve been told this many times.

  • Susan – were you registered on the SDN site? If not then you would not be allowed to comment. I know it’s a pain but SAP rules so what can I say?