Shel Israel got a tough job from SAP. VP Mike Prosceno asked him to do a conventional research into an unconventional area, which might help to make successful company even more successful and give them a leading edge in Social Media.
So Shel went ahead and has done up to now more than 40 interviews with people from 15 countries ... and it is not over jet. See more on his Blog where he publishes the interview and gives some update on progress.
I had the chance to helped him out with some contacts in CEE countries and in return he gave me some more work to do ... he asked (too) many question, about my experience with Social Media, about the status in Germany and fast growing but quite diverse CEE countries and what SAP should do ... yesterday (Labor Day in US) he published my answers on his Blog: SAP Global Survey: Hugo E. Martin
I did not talk much about the blogging scene in Germany as he had already interviewed Nicole Simon, a much more knowledgable person from Germany (blognation)
But I indicated, that from my understanding, SAP has a long way to go before they are anywhere near to be the Global Social Media Front Runner (just look at their 'prospect ware' like website).
Here a snip from my answers
"My SAP-experiences-- as a user, a system house, a publisher and as a consultant are maybe a bit out-dated. Let me just name a few areas that I think they should examine .
1. Internally, SAP staff and management are using social media (like Blogs & Wikis) in a big way for their business, but missing out to provide this features and tools as natural basic components of their software. I would suggest SAP take more care of their clients' basic needs.
2. If you get your WordPress / Socialtext / 37Signals, etc. application offers, when you start thinking about SAP (and you find out that your staff uses them already in their daily life) than SAP has an easy ‘educational job’ creating value by giving a helping hand and first-hand experience. When I talk with corporate clients, SAP does not come up as a social media service provider or even the provider of choice. Just take a look at the SAP Global Website . It is still ‘prospect ware’ it its best – o.k. , they have a ‘contact form’ you can fill out.
3. If I were still a publisher, I would like SAP to deliver my services directly to SAP’s client desks. And I’m sure, SAP clients would like it as well, because their staff would have the information they need for business delivered to their needs and wants. The companies advertising their products and services to B2B would like it. They can finally reach anyone involved in the buying process at a reasonable cost and the B2B publisher should like, because the have a superb and cost-effective way to service their client (readers & advertisers)."
The full interview