SAP Jam Review

The mobile app, in-app video recording, and the forum features are particularly valuable.

What is most valuable?

My customers find the mobile app, in-app video recording, and the forum features particularly valuable. In addition, the search function, used to search across all content.

How has it helped my organization?

My customers say they have improved communication and collaboration between their employees, especially those who are scattered across different offices or out in the field.

What needs improvement?

The product has been around long enough to have a large feature set. Sometimes it's a bit confusing with so many options.

As customers are getting more comfortable with the notion of a "social" app, some of the early features having to do with control of content, like the "unscannable" item list and the profanity monitor, can probably be retired soon.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used SAP Jam since 2009.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had stability problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. Product manuals are good to excellent as well.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not have a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. The product is delivered ready to use. You just need to go through the administrator screens to enable or disable the features and functions you want.

What about the implementation team?

From doing many implementations of this software, I have found that certain members of a company’s organization, mainly HR and IT, often have initial concerns about implementing a social tool in the workplace. The usual fear is that employees will post inappropriate material, such as non-work photos, slander, or inappropriate comments. This fear stems from the similarity to Facebook in concept and design, and the perception that employees won’t use their common sense “filter” in the workplace.

As an aside, we have found that we have quite the opposite problem during implementations - people are too shy to post, and are hesitant to join the conversations that are sometimes visible to the whole company.

To counter the fears of IT and HR, the product has several monitoring and control mechanisms that can be enabled. These systems allow moderators to approve all content before it’s seen by others, and write log entries when someone posts a comment that has a restricted word, among other features.

The implementations that were done a few years ago made use of these features, but as companies are getting used to the concept of Social in the workplace, they see that the need to monitor and approve everything really isn’t warranted and is only a hindrance to participation.

Workers are more social-savvy now and are generally smart enough not to commit career suicide by posting something inappropriate for all colleagues to see. Plus, IT and HR are realizing that using a social tool, instead of collaborating via email, actually brings discussions out into the open for everyone to see and to learn.

I doubt SAP will remove the “monitoring” tools but having them in actually slows the implementation down, as we end up opening that Pandora’s Box of a discussion on why they are there.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn’t look at any alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

  • Spend the majority of your project time designing and building out the content in your groups.
  • Make sure your group owners are well-trained in how to be good moderators and curators of the content.
  • Focus on adoption of the tool to get the most out of your investment.
  • Properly done, this software can be a great resource for your employees to stay engaged and connected to each other and to your organization.
  • The absolute worst thing you can do is just "turn it on and see how it goes".
  • You need to tie groups to a business purpose, otherwise there's no reason for an employee to use the tool.
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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