Broken House, Social Enterprise and SAP

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Are you surprised to read the title? Why SAP? Here is a little bit of history that hopefully will clarify things for you.

As you probably know I was a part of very vibrant Price Waterhouse SAP practice for a while [sad to see what happened to people and culture since.. – separate post]… SAP practice was a place to be – sharp, innovative leadership, tons of excitement and fun.

Companies were hiring PwC to help them with their SAP implementations. In most of the cases the implementation process was done in phases. So if company XYZ wanted to go with SAP financials module, they will issue an RFP, get responses and pick an implementation partner for this module. In a few months or years the same company decides to implement some other SAP module. And…. in quite a few cases this company had to re-deploy or make some significant changes to the previous SAP module configuration. Why? Because they did not look at the whole enterprise architecture from the beginning! To solve this problem, PwC created a very interesting methodology that we named Enterprise Application Architecture [I was part of the core team building this methodology]. The main purpose of this methodology was to analyze the overall enterprise business processes across functional areas and make sure that all those pieces are aligned.

Why I am telling you this?

Because I think we might be facing similar issues with Social Enterprise methodology or luck of the existence of one! There are people who come to enterprises and advise them on their Social CRM [out-facing] activities, there are others who advise on Enterprise 2.0 [internal] strategies. Vendors are pushing technology solutions.. But.. we are talking about the overall Enterprise. With integrated business processes. Seems to me that the social house we are building for enterprises is not structurally sound. Will they have to re-deploy and re-implement their social solutions? Is now the right time to start fixing the house? Will this new terminology Social Business or Social Enterprise that puts an overall umbrella over Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 survive?

Hope we’ll get to discuss some of these questions next week.

Would love to get your input!

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