In late May, SAP released the latest version of their collaboration platform, Jam. Alan Lepofsky shares some insights about the product.
SAP is not unique in this area, nor are templates a new concept. Lotus Notes had these in the '90s, Microsoft SharePoint followed with them in the 2000s, and Jive Software delivers them today with what they call Purposeful Places. Still, it’s good to see SAP providing them for their platform.
MyPOV: In order to get people to change the way they work, it’s essential that the new tool/process provide value above and beyond what’s already in place. As customers start to use SAP Jam, it’s critical that the barrier to entry be low. Having templates that pre-populate with workflow specific content and connections to other systems makes it much easier for people to get started and find value in their new SAP Jam groups.
Perhaps the most important announcement at SAP Sapphire (wrt to Jam) was that third-party developers will now be able to build their own add-ons and customizations to Jam. That means business partners with specific domain expertise will be able to build their own Work Patterns, or add features to Jam that SAP is not delivering themselves. Similarly, customers with their own in-house developers will be able to extend Jam to meet their specific needs. Documentation, code samples and other information about the SAP Jam Developer Community can be found here.
SAP Jam has a complex history, evolving from products like Cubetree and StreamWork. The SAP Jam team should leverage the new Simplify theme to help customers understand that the Future of Work is collaborative, and SAP Jam provides simple deployment and simple user experience, but at the same time has a deep integration with the business patterns people use to get work done.