SAP StreamWork – Enterprise 2.0 of collaboration portal and BI

August 13th, 2010 admin Posted in BI, Collaboration 1 Comment »

холови гарнитуридомейнSAP has released a new collaboration portal that the vendor says will help end users make faster and better business decisions, the latest in a wave of products bringing collaboration to business intelligence (BI).

SAP StreamWork, previously known as 12Sprints while in beta testing, allows users to access and share documents, including Excel spreadsheets, BI reports and data visualizations, all from one environment.

Users can create action plans around specific tasks, invite colleagues to participate, and track their progress against business goals.

As for StreamWork, which was released at the end of March, SAP is working on integrating it with its business software – specifically CRM – but wasn’t ready to specify when that would be ready. The focus now is on bringing in more tools and templates from partners, facilitated through StreamWork’s open APIs.

StreamWork is a collaboration portal that allows users to work together on one screen — creating action plans around specific tasks, inviting colleagues to participate in work, and tracking progress against business goals. There’s a free version and an enhanced version that costs $108 per year on average, according to SAP. The professional edition – which has higher limits for recording and storing information — costs $9 per user, according to Gartner.

But StreamWork as a collaborative decision-making platform isn’t quite there yet, according to analysts.

It has some good capabilities – including tracking activities and recording collaborations, as well as integration with email, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Adobe, WebEx, Evernote and But it has limited capabilities for defining decision attributes such as success criteria, priority and due dates as metadata. It doesn’t show participants where they are in the decision process. It doesn’t suggest the right participants based on relevant skills or past successes with similar decisions. Also, according to a Gartner report, it doesn’t allow participants to mine previous decisions for best practices, techniques and templates.

According to an Article in Forbes magazine (by Dan Woods – where he compared various collaborative software offerings by other companies) SAP StreamWork has taken steps in the direction of offering structure to one form of collaboration: making decisions. StreamWork proposes a model for making a decision, tracking the arguments for and against, capturing the supporting evidence and the key objections. The goal of the product is to not only accelerate collaboration during the decision-making process, but also to provide a historical record. As the results of decisions come in, it is possible to see what was right and what was wrong about how the decision was made.

Some reviews of StreamWork have focused on the lack of one feature or another without recognizing the potential that such a decision-making system could have on management. For example, it is not at all unusual in business for a team to be tasked with making a decision, prepare a methodical case and then have the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) carry the day without much regard for the analysis. If an archive of the decision is available at the time of the decision, and more importantly, known to be available later, it is much less likely that the analysis will be ignored.

In a sense, StreamWork applies the Lean Manufacturing concept of standardizing work to the process of decision making, which makes a variety of continuous improvement processes possible. First of all, you can see what evidence turned out to be most predictive. I was surprised when the StreamWork product managers told me that they did not consider direct connectivity to SAP ERP data such as purchase orders or materials masters or budgets to be of primary importance. They said business intelligence analyses were the key evidence most of the time to support decisions.

Another nice feature according to Dan: Because you can see who said what about the decision, it is possible to see who has the best intuition for predicting the behavior of consumers, markets, competitors, regulators or anything else. Also, in most companies decisions take far too long. By standardizing the process, people can stop reinventing the wheel again and again and start focusing on the data needed to justify a decision.

And according to an article on, with demise of Google Wave, could SAP’s Streamwork be next for the chop?

SAP Mentors use it and as part of that see plenty of problems with that technology, not least the persistent email notifications when something changes. It’s downright annoying. But for some the big issue is that they don’t get it.

During SAPPHIRE 2010 a senior evangelist for Streamwork was asked what it’s about. She replied that Streamwork is a social application that helps people make collaborative decisions. But still one wonders where is the process element that ties a user back to economic activities? Perhaps not easy to find.

As a user pointed out, people who live in the enterprise world have a hard enough time juggling different applications. Why would they step into something like Streamwork and then back out to the app they use on a day to day basis? It doesn’t make sense.

Hopefully SAP will keep Streamwork alive and find a way to integrate it to apps in a contextual manner. If its own mentors using it are at pains using it, how can SAP sell it as an innovation?

Enterprise 2.0 is the strategic integration of Web 2.0 technologies into an enterprise’s intranet, extranet and business processes. Enterprise 2.0 implementations generally use a combination of social software and collaborative technologies like blogs, RSS, social bookmarking, social networking and wikis. Most enterprise 2.0 technologies, whether homegrown, free or purchased, emphasize employee, partner and consumer collaboration. Such technologies may be in-house or Web-based. Companies using YouTube for vlogging or a private Facebook group as a modified intranet, for instance, are implementing a form of Enterprise 2.0.икони на светциСувенири

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SAP StreamWork for collaboration

April 14th, 2010 admin Posted in Collaboration Comments Off on SAP StreamWork for collaboration

SAP StreamWork is a web-based collaboration product.
StreamWork aims to help groups of employees make better collaborative decisions. Previously known as 12sprints, SAP StreamWork has come out of beta release and is now generally available.
Pricing starts at $9 a month for each user. There is also a free edition with limited storage and features.

There is also an integration API available:

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