SCN Podcast: Using Idea Place to Crowdsource SAP Mobility Apps Ideas

Podcast: Listen Now!
Vendor Podcast - Jon Reed talks to SAP's Nick Brown and Clemens Suter-Crazzolara about using Idea Place to crowdsource SAP mobility app ideas.
An SAP SCN Community Podcast
Hosted by Jon Reed of
Podcast Interview Date: November 17, 2011

Since the "suggest mobile apps" section was launched on SAP Idea Place six weeks ago, there have been more than 150 ideas from 50 contributors, making it one of the fastest growing areas within Idea Place to this point. But there are still many community members who don't yet know about this project. To find out what inspired the "suggest mobile apps" section on Idea Place and how it fits into SAP's mobility strategy, Jon Reed talks to SAP's Nick Brown and Clemens Suter-Crazzolara. 

During the thirteen minute podcast, Brown shares SAP's mobility strategy and his vision for how Idea Place can help pull the ecosystem into a crowdsourced approach to suggesting and prioritizing mobility app development. Suter-Crazzolara, who has been driving the project, explains how those who haven't used Idea Place before can get started suggesting their mobility ideas. The guys give their view on how this project can provide application ideas not only to SAP, but also to its partners. Given that partners will be developing upwards of 80 percent of all SAP mobility apps, it will be interesting to see what role Idea Place can play in aligning partner development with the most popular mobile apps, while warning them away from those that are not as well accepted. This podcast gets that conversation rolling.

Editor's note: In addition to the SAP mobility apps ideas section on Idea Place, you can also check out Clemens Suter-Crazzolara's blog updates about the project on SCN. Also check out the mobility section on SCN.

Podcast Highlights

:54 SAP's mobility strategy in a nutshell and what inspired the "suggest mobile apps" area on Idea Place. Nick:  SAP delivers an innovation platform through the Sybase products, services, and development capacities, and then allows customers, partners, and other developers to join in a community to build out capabilities on the enterprise mobility platform. We're excited to create services and capabilities like Idea Place that allow folks to look at new ideas and quickly deliver value, delivering full mobile capabilities on enterprise products that build on our back end systems. I hope Idea Place becomes a vibrant, innovative knowledge sharing area, where SAP and its partners can deliver lots of mobile apps into out customers. It's an exciting way for us to extend and take the dynamic nature of mobility and crystallize the focus on what customers need.

4:02 Clemens: Idea Place is a unique opportunity in the SAP ecosystem for customers, partners, and any other stakeholders to take part in defining the apps portfolio for the mobility apps that will be built out on the Sybase Unwired Platform. Everyone can chime in and have input directly. The threshold is very low, there are no restrictions, and anyone can join in. We have requests from many partners and customers when we started on this journey to offer more transparency in this process. For the first time, we are exposing the requirements gathering to the outside world -  it's quite revolutionary.

5:28 Clemens: To get strated, just go to the Idea Place web site (you have to be registered with SCN), within 5 to 10 minutes you can post an idea. You only have to come up with a good app name, but don't use the word "mobile" or "app" in the name. Add in as much info into the description as possible. Then you have to activate your personal ecosystem, email the idea to everyone you know and get them to comment. That's the key to crowdsourcing- get as many votes as possible, and let folks know on Twitter, LinkedIn, or SCN.

6:26 Clemens: Essentially you sponsor your own idea - some get a large number of votes, because people have been very active promoting the idea, and others do not get any votes at all. We'll look very carefully at the top ideas and pass these on to SAP development or to our partners, and we'll also look at the bottom ideas that don't get a lot of votes, and critically evaluate and decide if development of similar ideas should be continued.

7:25 Clemens: We have been live for six weeks, have done limited advertising on some social media and drawn attention to the site. The exciting thing is we have 150 ideas and 50 contributors. It's the fastest growing subgroup and people are beginning to notice it. A couple ideas have gotten interesting traction, for example: a sales incentive app, where a salesperson can see on the mobile device where they stand with incentive payments each month. That's a very interesting app and one that deserves very close attention.

8:46 Nick: partners can use this project to get a clear picture of the kinds of apps of what the ecosystem wants, find out what the customers are looking for, what people in SAP's solution management product team are seeing momentum wise. Partners can take an existing product idea and help customers implement that, or they can see where they can leverage their expertise and capabilities and deep knowledge of an industry or line of business solution, I think competition is good, so I'm not worried about similar apps - often times customers configure the solution to their own business. They are going to want a variety of capabilities. We do want to be upfront about what solutions SAP is building with our 10 or 20 percent, and it will be very interesting to understand if a large SI or ISV has started to develop an app. We'll provide links to the ideas that do get developed by partners. We want partner apps development to be a very informed decision, so this is going to be a nice place for our partners to go.

11:10 The best way to get started? Go to Idea Place for the SUP group called "Suggest Mobile Apps" and start suggesting and voting on ideas.