SAP continues to build out Jam Collaboration, its enterprise social-collaboration software, which creates spaces in the cloud where businesses can connect with customers, partners and employees, regardless of the other business software they use.
Its newest features, introduced Oct. 4, were created to relieve IT staff of a few duties by passing over the controls to employees—and making them less likely to forge ahead without IT and create workarounds that are less secure and in the long run less effective.
The new features allow IT administrators to:
• create customized home pages for specific groups of colleagues, enabling IT to leverage Jam as an intranet supplement or replacement;
• designate home pages for specific departments or employees; and
• allow departments or other groups to create and manage spaces to collaborate in, freeing IT from the tedious task of adding and removing users and information.
"In today's digital age, IT is receiving more requests than ever before, with new technologies constantly coming on the scene," Anthony Leaper, senior vice president and sales general manager of Enterprise Social Software at SAP, told eWEEK.
"We saw IT departments becoming overwhelmed, so we added new capabilities to SAP Jam Collaboration to better motivate employees to find answers, make decisions, identify experts and have more at the touch of their fingertips—as well as to empower key users to configure their own specific business areas," Leaper continued. "By offering employees self-service access, IT can spend fewer resources and support on collaboration requests."
SAP introduced Jam Collaboration Learning in February, describing it as a place to improve "informal learning," or learning from mentors. An internal repository also makes it easy to review information and ideally help teams or individuals to avoid replicating past mistakes.
In July, SAP announced that Jam Collaboration had more than 34 million subscribers. Steve Hamrick, vice president of product management, Collaboration Software, at SAP, noted at the time that Jam arrived at a moment with five generations in the workforce, creating a need for better communication, as well as a way for continuous learning by employees.
Collaboration can serve as a mini classroom, a place where colleagues or groups can leave information for each other, or as collaborative or evolving spaces. A space created to engage a prospect and create a sale, for example, can continue to exist, evolving into a place where the customer can be nurtured and ask questions.
In August, a study by research firm Forrester and commissioned by SAP quantified Jam's worth to a number of interviewed customers.
Over three years, companies can experience a 15 percent reduction in the time it takes to access needed information or expertise, which can lead to gains of more than $17 million, according to the report.
Jam also can reduce the amount of time it takes to close a sales deal—an efficiency worth an average $4.8 million over three years. And, among other findings, Forrester found that Jam reduced overlapping licensing fees by about 20 percent.
In summary, it said, enterprises using Jam reported a combined net present value (NPV) of more than $19 million and an ROI increase of 11 percent.
Editor's Note: This story was updated with comments from SAP.