Sramana Mitra: If you look around at the startups and vendors who are innovating, which strike you as interesting?
Oliver Bussmann: On the social side, there is the integration of social into various business processes. I believe in that the next two years the Facebook or Twitter of the enterprise will be defined. That is something that is open right now.
SM: What about smaller vendors? What is interesting in the sense of if you deploy it to a corporation with 60,000 employees, it would make a reasonable difference?
OB: I moved away from the traditional newspapers to news incubators like polls. You can also apply this way of looking at external news to corporate news. I scan more than 200 headlines every day to see what the domestic and international trends are in business and IT. I am able to share this in one click with my communities internally and externally. So, my communication behavior has changed dramatically from looking at only a few sources of information to scanning lots of feeds. All this in a way that I am able to see the hot topics immediately, drill down, and if I see something important, I can share it with my communities and comment on it with two or three sentences. I engage with my peers and friends. From my perspective, that is the major change of how I find information, look at, and consume information.
SM: Have you deployed any kind of social media expertise location technologies at SAP? Within the enterprise there is a tremendous amount of expertise in different areas. There is a whole set of companies that have tried to correct this problem of giving enterprises a better handle on how to locate this expertise. Let’s say I am a salesperson working on a deal, and I get a question on a specific area that I don’t have immediate access to, but I can go to some type of a LinkedIn database where I can look up who in the organization has that expertise and then ask them.
OB: We have this implemented internally. It is called “Expert on Demand,” and it serves to identify those skills and expertise. This is also a social media on demand solution that we launched a few months ago and was also highlighted as one of the big sales gap in meetings. We have so much knowledge and expertise. To make it accessible to our 60,000 users and figure out who can help solve a problem is one of the major ares of focus.
SM: Is there anything else you would like to discuss in terms of trends you are tracking or your priorities in mobile and social, or even in big data or the cloud?
OB: I think we touched on mobile, in-memory big data, and we talked about social and enterprise social side, and we also touched on the cloud. But I see more and more cloud applications – how to manage people, my finances, my customers, my supply chain, etc.
There is a massive investment going on from our side to move those business functionality to the cloud, which in the end triggers a big change on the IT side. We need less technical expertise on building and maintaining applications. It is more how to manage cloud services, how to prioritize them and understand the business process impact. There is a change going on in IT in how we use those cloud services and what kind of jobs and skill profiles are going to be needed. This will be in high demand. I see a clear shift from technical skills toward more business skills.