Monday, March 3, 2014

How to influence SAP

This blog is originally posted on SCN: 

How to influence SAP

Over the years SAP developed a few channels of how outside world can reach out to SAP. Through these channels we can potentially influence the SAP world. Here's one example. Imagine that you have a great idea of how to improve particular functionality in SAP's software. You'd like to let the SAP know about it. And surprisingly there are chances how to do it – how to pass the message. Below I list and briefly describe those channels. The motivation for this blog is to basically gather basic information on those channels into one place.

1. IdeaPlace introduced in 2010 enables you to post idea for new feature or product enhancement of SAP software, solution etc. You can also browser already posted ideas by others, vote for ideas which promote them and subscribe to the ideas to be updated about its further developments. See ideaplace site and following SAP Note for more details. To use the site you need you Service Marketplace (SMP) account although you can browse ideas without login.
For more information follow this SAP Note:
1515837 - How To: Enhancement Request Process - "Idea Place" - BI solutions

Also notice that while posting new ideas you need to assign it to existing directory. The directory represents area of SAP software/product. At the moment all Business Analytics (BA) – covering BI as well, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Data Warehousing, Human Capital Management (HCM), Mobility, on-demand, NetWeaver solutions are now available in Idea Place.

2. SAP Influence Program and (SMP login required). Apart of IdeaPlace there is a program called Customer Influence. In general you need to be really SAP customer to participate in SAP influence. This means you need to have either license or support contract from SAP. Generally speaking via SAP Influence you can participate with SAP on development of products. There are two flavors of this program:
- Customer Connection
- Customer Engagement Initiative and get involved

Below I describe those two plus the others.

3. Customer Connection (SMP login required) or - SAP customer with maintenance contracts and SAP User Groups can suggest improvement of SAP software. These so called Improvement Requests are gathered into so called Focus Topic cycles. Once particular request scores by significant customers it is being review by SAP development teams. Once developed by them customer can implement it in form of either SAP Notes or SAP Support Packages (SP).
There is actually more within Customer Connection initiative. All improvements which were delivered can be found on dedicated sites: – public access - SMP login required
You can search for improvements and get to know how to implement them.
As my background is mostly Data Warehousing I'm very glad to see improvements from this area like:
BI Content Migration of BW 3.x based data flows - SAP Note 1601140
Customer Connection: (NW 730SP11): Complete deletion of data - SAP Note 1864773

To learn more details of Customer Connection following links:
For both above links SMP login required.

4. Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI) - Within this initiative again you as SAP customer or partner can get hands on early development and by this to influence innovations in SAP planned products releases.
To learn more about CEI go to following link:

5. SAP Mentors group - Mentors are selected individuals from community of the SAP Ecosystem. To become member of mentors you need to be nominated by community like SCN. Basically it is extra league of experts into variety of SAP topics.
For more info on Mentors follow links:
1559276 - What are the SAP Mentors, what is Mentoring?

6. SAP customer/user groups - SAP is exchanging knowledge in technical and functional areas within its user groups. Also within this channel user can share experience of SAP products, knowledge and ideas. There are regional SAP user groups across all continents. Just to name few biggest: ASUG — Americas' SAP Users' Group -, DSAG — German-Speaking SAP User Group – Germany There are several types of membership available. You can basically join as individual or as a company. Check particular user group sire for details. Above regional groups there is also SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN). The SUGEN consists of leaders from multiple regional groups. By this all regional groups are united within dialog with SAP.
To learn more about customer/user group use following link: (SMP login required)

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