Originally published March 30, 2010
SAPStreamWork — the new on-demand, collaborative decision-making software fromSAP AG — is the company's latest product aimed at transforming the way people work. Currently, most businesses use a range of applications on a daily basis, including email, collaboration products, business systems and Web 2.0 applications to do their work and make decisions. As a result, work often becomes chaotic and hard to follow and can hinder clear decisions. SAP addresses this challenge with SAP StreamWork, which brings together people, information and proven business methodologies to help teams naturally and fluidly work toward goals and outcomes. Teams can assess situations together, develop strategies and make clear decisions, with a full record of what transpired.
With customers looking for low-cost and easy-to consume pricing models that are flexible and can be altered to meet changing business needs, SAP is offering SAP StreamWork through a tiered subscription model that includes a free version. More information can be found at sapstreamwork.com.
Since the beta release (called 12sprints) of the on-demand software in February, many companies, such as start-up TastingTable.com, have been taking the new application for a spin and have been impressed by its ease of use, impact on team productivity and ability to help drive teams toward goals. Additionally, companies such as Box.net, Evernote and Scribd have teamed up with SAP and embraced the software's open architecture, which makes it easy to add on capabilities, templates, methods and content to SAP StreamWork. Customers have also contributed feedback to the development of SAP StreamWork, and the combination of customer and vendor co-innovation as well as a more agile development approach by SAP is resulting in a dynamic solution that optimizes the way people work.
Tasting Table Discovers Enterprise-Software Power in Cloud-Based Application
TastingTable.com is a free e-mail-delivered publication that serves food and drink recommendations to foodies across the country. The company's CEO, Geoff Bartakovics, spent his entire career in large corporations where enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications were the norm. So when he launched his start-up, he focused on creating some of the controls and infrastructure he was accustomed to using in day-to-day business management.
"When I found SAP StreamWork, I was excited to find a strong Web-based collaborative decision-making product that's accessible to a start-up like TastingTable.com," said Bartakovics. "We had been using a variety of tools and services to help with file sharing and exchange, but nothing that helped us manage and organize complex tasks that involved a lot of stakeholders. SAP StreamWork has filled that void in our firm. Every week our 14 full-time employees plus our freelancers jump on the phone to discuss progress and challenges in our key business areas—editorial, operations, marketing and sales. Once we started using SAP StreamWork as the center point of those team calls, the quality of discussion — not to mention post-meeting follow-up — skyrocketed."
"We use SAP StreamWork for everything from posting the next meeting agenda for the team to preview, to gathering input from across the business areas on key decisions using the product's voting and commenting functionality," Bartakovics continued. "I was able to easily set it up to prompt the team to provide updates on relevant KPIs like subscriber growth and revenue forecasts directly within the SAP StreamWork activity. That transparency into our company metrics across the team enables us to make smarter, faster decisions. All of the information that went into those decisions is archived right in the SAP StreamWork activity for later reference."
Bartakovics and the TastingTable.com team also use SAP StreamWork to collaborate on strategic analyses like SWOT, to share new product ideas, to manage complex campaigns for key advertising clients, to gather feedback on difficult issues and more. "On a call with 14-plus big personalities, some voices are inevitably drowned out in the discussion. But in an SAP StreamWork activity, every team member is able to share their input independently so that our larger discussions include everyone's insights. While I don't believe in management by consensus, I certainly want to hear as many viewpoints as possible to ensure that our critical decisions are fully informed. And when you're a start-up like TastingTable.com, most decisions are critical ones."
Companies Add Consumer-Friendly Features, Make SAP StreamWork Even Easier to Use
The open architecture of SAP StreamWork makes it easy for companies to collaborate with SAP and bring their consumer-friendly applications into the enterprise. Examples of companies offering customers familiar, easy-to-use solutions within SAP StreamWork include Box.net, Evernote and Scribd.
New to the generally available version of SAP StreamWork is integration with Box.net, a cloud content management system that makes it simple for businesses to share, access and manage their content online. The integration enables SAP StreamWork users to easily add their Box content, such as research reports, marketing and creative assets, or project plans to an SAP StreamWork activity, so that relevant content can be present in the decision-making process. SAP StreamWork users can also create Box folders directly within SAP StreamWork and associate them with a specific activity. "Our integration with SAP StreamWork is another example of how the cloud continues to be a viable platform for businesses of all sizes," said Karen Appleton, vice president of business development at Box.net. "We're excited to work with SAP on this shared vision for the future of enterprise software."
Evernote, a multi-platform content capture and organization service, is integrated into SAP StreamWork, allowing users to pull information from Evernote directly into an SAP StreamWork activity. "Successful teamwork requires that all stakeholders easily share their thoughts and information in order to make the right decisions," said Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote. "From collecting research to sharing ideas, every aspect of a project needs to be well handled to ensure the best results. Evernote and SAP StreamWork make this possible. Evernote allows individuals to take notes, save research and capture ideas anywhere using their computers and phones. That content is then automatically sent into their SAP StreamWork projects, where team members can collaborate and use the data to inform their decisions. Together, Evernote and SAP StreamWork get users from idea to decision fast."
Scribd has contributed document reader technology, allowing SAP StreamWork users to read documents in formats such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel directly within the SAP StreamWork environment, without having to download or open the file in a new window. "Integrating Scribd technology into SAP StreamWork gives people access to all of the documentation they need to make informed decisions," said Jared Friedman, CTO and co-founder, Scribd.
Following on the heels of the recent SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand solution launch, SAP StreamWork offers people a powerful business tool that requires no training or technical knowledge. Similarly, the software features a flexible, subscription-based pricing model, allowing customers to scale based on their immediate business need. SAP offers a free edition with limited storage and features and a professional edition with more storage and security features that customers can subscribe to starting from $9 USD per month per user. More information can be found at sapstreamwork.com. Companies can gain fast benefits from SAP StreamWork, regardless of their size or resources.
"The products people love today are developed for and with the user," said Marge Breya, executive vice president and general manager of solutions, SAP. "At the heart of SAP StreamWork is this dedication to co-innovation, and the approach clearly works: we made this product generally available less than two months after the public beta was announced. Moving forward, our collaborative innovation model will help us to continue delivering rapid innovation and real business impact."
For more information on and demos of SAP StreamWork, visit the SAP StreamWork YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/SAPStreamWork.