After web 2.0 technologies experienced a phenomenal expansion and high acceptances among private users, considerations are now intensified to assess whether they can be equally applicable, beneficially employed and meaningfully implemented in an entrepreneurial context. It could be observed that companies with geographically dispersed sites and markets employ social software more intensely than those with a single national headquarter. The particular choice of the platform or technology to be implemented is however strongly dependent on its future business case and field of deployment and should therefore be carefully considered beforehand as the following paper strongly suggests. The
fast-paced rise of social software like weblogs or wikis and the resulting new form of communication via the Internet is however observed ambiguously in the corporate environment. The traditional form of a controllable mass medial and uni-directional communication is increasingly replaced by a highly participative and bi-directional communication in the virtual world, which proves to be essentially harder to direct or control. For a considerable share of companies this turns out to be hard to tolerate.
The use-case of a highly configured standard version of an open source multi-user weblog system for
SAP – the market- and technology-leader in enterprise software – will form the basis for the presentation outlined here. SAP requested the Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI) to realize such a weblog to support its global internal communications activities. In the current economic environment and with the changes in the SAP leadership, an open and direct exchange between employees and executive board was perceived as being critical to provide utmost transparency into the decisions taken and guidance for the
way forward. Recent discussions about fundamental and structural changes within SAP have clearly shown that need for direct interaction. SAP and HPI therefore agreed to share research, implementation and configuration investments necessary for this project – hereafter referred to as “Point of View”. The platform went online in June 2009, and is at this moment beginning to gain first acceptance among all SAP employees worldwide.