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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Sameer Patel, Senior VP and GM – Enterprise Social and Collaborative Software, SAP (Part 3)

Posted on Monday, Jan 20th 2014

Sramana Mitra: The one thing that I haven’t heard you talk about in this whole picture is the incentives for the employees to create this kind of knowledge. That must be part of the system, right?

Sameer Patel: That’s a really good point. In the last few weeks, we met some pretty big investments in how you can use, what the market calls, gamification in a very different way, rather than just badges and challenges. Today, a lot of gamification is useful, but it has its limitations because it’s 100% dependent on social. To incentivize people to utilize the social network, we look at the value of incentive based on not just what someone is doing in the social system but what they’re also doing in the transactional system.

If you want to drive behavior for example, that says, “Hey Support Rep, if you learn something new because of a support ticket that you answered on the phone, how do we incentivize you to be able to take that data and record it onto the social Q&A platform on Jam so that other people can actually start to gain from it? How do you document that into a customer community so that in the sales support process, one less phone call about that issue comes?” When you have access to the system and the work being done in a typical formal transactional system, and you can actually leverage that to scale the knowledge across the social system, you start to see big gains.

Second is how do I consistently incentivize behavior in digital and non-digital channels. Again, because we have access to the support application, we can help drive the same behaviors that we would want the Support Rep to exhibit. Whether they’re talking to a customer on the phone or they’re using a social platform like Jam, they have more of a community conversation. This is just about the only way to start doing this.

The other much more ambient trend that is starting to happen is SAP, via Cloud and on-premise, does sell core HRI systems. We offer the formal system of records for an employee. The ability to start to inform that system of records based on your expertise, the actions you take, the people you help, the types of jobs you undertake and successfully finish, and the ability to add that intelligence back to your employee profile is actually a pretty strong ‘soft’ benefit.

These are the ways that we’re starting to look at incentives in a way where there’s enough to give back to the employees versus not just empty your stuff so others can benefit from it, because that hasn’t succeeded.

Sramana Mitra: My observation is that the enterprise is not exactly a game. People don’t come to work to play games; they come to work to advance their careers, to make a living, and to learn new skills. I think random mindless gamification is not what motivates most people.

Sameer Patel: I agree with you. It’s actually done a disservice to a lot of the promise in those new technologies. I have a lot of interest in those technologies but again, the key here is how is it deployed and is it deployed in the context of very specific business actions, because then, it starts to make sense.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Sameer Patel, Senior VP and GM – Enterprise Social and Collaborative Software, SAP
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