Purpose-Driven Design for the SAP Jam Digital Learning User Experience

Written by Elle Savage on the SAP Community.

When deploying SAP Jam and related SAP HR/Learning solutions, there is a great need for design solutions that are positioned to support business processes and add value to the user’s experience.

The challenge is to create high-quality graphic designs that turn ideas and missions into visuals that engage and excite employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders, while also optimizing the business objective.

According to a recent McKinsey Quarterly study, “The Business Value of Design,” companies that address all four of the following design priorities are rare, but those that have, reported increased revenues and total stakeholders returns compared to their counterparts. These four key elements include:

  • Analytics – Bringing data to life
  • Cross-Functional Teams & Talent – Enabling visuals to go beyond the silos of a respective group or organization
  • Continuous Iteration – Continued review, improvement, maintenance, and testing to optimize the user experience
  • User Experience – Design a seamless user experience that adds value to their business requirements

In order to achieve the best user experience, designers must be closely aligned with a project’s business leaders and subject matter experts to ensure they understand the mission and design with purpose.

Assessment of the Design-Driven Maturity Curve

Purpose-driven design should be an integral part of a project’s strategy from day one. In today’s increasingly digital world, users have come to expect an interface that is both attractive and easy to use.

There are many corporate tools at our fingertips to satisfy this expectation such as company libraries of images, icons, videos, font guidelines, etc., which should be leveraged to develop standards, repeatable processes, and efficiencies. Still, it is highly recommended that a project’s core team includes a design professional who understands how to maximize the benefits of available design elements.

Setting high-quality standards, per the “Design-Driven Maturity Curve,” sends a message to your audience that a SAP Jam custom home page or group landing page is valuable, credible, properly maintained, and well thought out.

What is the SAP Jam Design Value?

Throughout a project’s development, it is important to recognize design as a priority versus as an afterthought. The most forward-thinking organizations will strive to make it a substantive part of their activities because they see the value of design at both a strategic and tactical level.

Designing an intuitive user experience will increase efficiencies and generate higher value by enabling site visitors to quickly navigate the interface and find essential information, therefore optimizing businesses processes.At the same time, the interface must maintain the organization’s brand and messaging throughout the experience.

While a high-quality UI (User Interface) fulfills a user’s wants by delivering an attractive digital environment, an excellent UX (User Experience) fulfills their needs by allowing them to efficiently complete the task they set out to do quickly and with ease.

The Delivery Methodology for Optimizing Design Elements

When building a new digital learning community, group, or site, it is vital that the delivery methodology has user testing baked in to the team’s approach from the start (“Initiate” and “Assess”) to finish (“Deploy,” “Post-go-live,” and “Adoption”). Taking an agile approach allows project leaders to incorporate users’ feedback throughout development in order to create the best user experience possible.

Incorporating a Purpose-Driven Design Approach

Business process mapping enables teams to understand the project requirements and objectives before developing the interface design.

When key participants come and go from the project, there should be guidelines in place, by way of standardization, procedures, and protocols, that can be leveraged while still maintaining the team’s ability to be creative.

Organizations and teams that prioritize design addressing the four key elements discussed (Analytics, Cross-Functional Teams & Talent, Continuous Iteration, and User Experience) as a core part of their strategy outperform groups that take a more ad-hoc or even intermediate design level approach.

A purpose-driven design combined with the proper delivery methodology streamlines organization operations, which allow business leaders, subject matter experts, and contributors to focus on creating high-quality content, boosting productivity, and providing a consistent, impactful user experience.


  • “4 key stats on the importance of design for business.” Adobe Blogs. Harmer, Tony. October 2015.
  • “The Business Value of Design.” McKinsey & Company. Sheppard, Benedict; Sarrazin, Hugo; Kouyoumjian, Garen; Dore, Fabricio. October 2018.
  • “The Value of Design.” Design Management Institute.

The CEO’s Role with HR in the Digital Learning Workplace Powered by SAP Jam

Compelling business trends and transformation happens every day. New customer requirements. Markets change. Mergers and acquisitions. Government regulations and compliance. Competitive pressures. Advancements in technology and innovation.

Winning CEOs help these transformations succeed by communicating their vision and strategy, setting up the business model with their leadership team, and making strategic learning an organizational priority.

How can HR / Learning professionals respond?

First, it starts with the Chief HR (or People) Officer and their team, who partner with the CEO, to provide access to the vital skills, expertise, and resources required.

Employees who understand the mission and are trained to perform at the highest level are more likely to achieve tangible outcomes, value, and performance which helps drive the top and bottom line of the business.

For the CEO to achieve transformation 4 key factors must be in place:

  1. Showcase the importance of learning as a pillar of the organization’s success.
    – Believe in the content and its impact.
  2. Create an employee-first culture where learning enables incredible upside with customers.
    – Empower career development.
  3. Develop quality learning programs that are linked to strategic direction.
    – Ensure true commitment and accountability.
  4. Amplify top experts, leaders, knowledge (i.e. videos, playlists, podcasts, thought leadership, blogs, books, presentations, key assets, mentoring, etc.) as a central hub to provide context to formal learning.
    – Extend formal learning to optimize the experience.

Maximizing the Digital Learning Workplace Opportunity with SAP Jam provides a powerful, robust, mobile platform which represents an industry leading, complimentary approach to formal Learning Management Systems (LMS).  SAP Jam fulfills an important, unique niche amongst other learning tools to provide clear value which is highly visible with 53+ Million licensed users.

LMS provides the foundation for courses, certifications, testing, scheduling, and formal e-Learning, classroom, and virtual instructor-led training. The key is to combine LMS with a collaborative, business process, mobile enabled platform (“app”) powered by SAP Jam to achieve success. How would you rate your organization in using these tools?

To realize success, the CEO must go beyond the vision and communications by putting the right strategic learning system and approach in place.

As a result, the performance of the entire organization will elevate.

Useful Links

About the Author

Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) ( providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations, innovation, and adoption.


How SAP Jam and Google Analytics Extend Decision Support

Customers often ask, “How do we know our SAP Jam group, portal/internet, activities are providing the best results?”

Many times, executive management and stakeholders want to know how the investments in SAP Jam are working, and what decisions should be considered to optimize the experience for employees, customers, and partners.

Until we started using the combination of SAP Jam admin reports (& dashboards) with Google Analytics the raw data, assets (i.e. documents, videos), experts’ knowledge, and the business process (& models) deployed were extremely hard to measure.

Extending SAP Jam to Google Analytics is like “turning the lights on” to help identify audience behavior, understand the engagement with content, and make better business decisions.

Given the rapidly changing nature of an organization using SAP Jam, along with both structured and unstructured information, it’s easy to lose track of how to analyze audience behavior in relation to goals and campaign tracking.

Five Overall Benefits

  1. Achieving deeper data exploration to uncover trends & patterns
  2. Operationalizing reporting insights to optimize processes and achieve greater impact
  3. Reducing complexity by understanding what’s working and what needs improvement
  4. Providing governance to have consistent views both in the real-time and by way of regular reporting (i.e. bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly)
  5. Delivering high quality insights to executive sponsors and key stakeholders

The first bit of good news is that the SAP Jam Collaboration platform does not share employee (or user) profile information with Google Analytics. That gives us all a great sigh of relief when addressing the importance of data privacy and security standards.

Examples of what Google Analytics does very well to enhance the SAP Jam reporting experience:

  • Real Time Custom Reports – Addressing visitors’ locations, traffic sources, content
  • Audience – Tracking active users, geo, languages, behavior, new vs. returning, frequency, technology, mobile, devices, user flow
  • Acquisition – Measuring channels, sources, campaigns
  • Behavior – Understanding the flow, site content (views – what content is most engaging) as well as insights on all pages, exit pages, and problematic pages (i.e. bounce rates) and the time of day that receives the most traffic

When you consider the quantity of assets, data, and traffic on a Jam group, intranet or portal, along with growth and scalability, extending SAP Jam to Google Analytics is an essential tool.

With a consistent governance the decision makers (i.e. business leaders, company or group admins) can have a consolidated view, and be in a more informed position, to continuously improve and refine the SAP Jam group(s) or portal/intranet.

Once analyzed, SAP Jam decision support may require…

  • Improving communications (i.e. focusing on outreach & awareness)
  • Recognizing completeness of content / information (i.e. auditing a holistic vs. fragmented view. What are the audience’s priorities?)
  • Improving maintenance (i.e. accountability by content contributors to update or archive old information)
  • Assessing process improvements (i.e. ensure the company-wide, line of business or group’s business model is optimized on SAP Jam for the audience goals & objectives)
  • Leveraging knowledge (i.e. ownership and contribution from experts, mentors, peers)
  • Refining the user experience and design (i.e. make it easy for the audience to find what they want quickly and with the most value. Also, eliminate and reduce problem areas.)

When used the right way, SAP Jam and Google Analytics are a great combination which should be deployed to support data-driven decisions, metrics to inform executive sponsors and stakeholders, and help make decisions which ensure successful outcomes

Useful Links

About the Author

Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) ( providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations, innovation, and adoption.


SAP Jam for social onboarding: How to Improve First Impressions for New Hires?

As an employer do you want to leave the early impressions of your organization to chance?

The day a new employee is hired it’s an exciting time. Do you want them to rely on a Google search, Glassdoor, Social Media, and/or disparate information for them to learn more about your organization or their new department?

In an Aberdeen Report, “Strategic Onboarding: Help New Employees and the Business” they pointed out:

“Best-in-Class companies are 2.5 times more likely than all others to provide key stakeholders with visibility into the development progress of new employees through the onboarding process.”

“58% of all companies indicate that the biggest influence on onboarding efforts is the need to engage new hires in the company culture.”

“Since 90% of employees make the decision to stay within the first year, it’s more important than ever to determine if new hires are engaged early on.”

When looking at the life cycle of an employee from prehire, new hire, and cross-hire… to becoming a productive employee, it’s important to enable a positive experience, engage, and help reduce the dropout rate.

First impressions make a big difference!

As a result, SAP Jam aligned with SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding (& the related HCM Suite) represents a best-in-class platform (& app) approach to enabling social onboarding.

4 SAP Jam for social onboarding considerations  
  1. External SAP Jam Group – For new hires they can be invited into an external Jam group with a focus to gaining access to company wide and department specific prehire information (i.e. videos, welcome ambassadors / experts, check lists, what to expect Day 1, etc.)
  2. Account Conversion – Once the new hire joins, Day 1, their prehire account can be converted to a full access SAP Jam user account allowing them to keep their existing information and expand into company wide access
  3. Dynamic Member Lists – New employees based on their start date can automatically become a member of a new hire Jam group which addresses both company-wide and departmental new hire considerations (i.e. stay in the group for 100 days)
  4. Complimentary Platforms & Apps – Align SAP Jam to recruiting, onboarding, learning, Fiori, and related HCM business processes and tools leveraging a common user management experience with SAP Foundation (aka – BizX) to enable the employee system of record
The Role of HR and Business Leadership

An organization’s Chief People &/or Talent Officer and their team play a big role as internal consultants within the organization to step back and assess if prehires, new hires, and cross-team hires are getting the best experience and optimizing their productivity?

A check list to consider:

  1. First Impressions – Has the organization taken the time to optimize the first impressions to the new employees?
  2. Knowledge – Do pre- and new hires have clarity on the value, culture, opportunities, and expectations for their new role?
  3. Engage – Are pre- and new hires being engaged in a timely manner with the best knowledge and information available to equip them for success?
    • Who are the experts and ambassadors who can share their experiences / insights?
  4. Busy Managers – While the business leads from the respective departments (“business units”) are very, very busy, have they provided what’s needed for pre- & new hires to be productive?
    • When was the last time the business addressed how long the boarding process takes and the process for efficiency?
  5. Compliance – Do the pre- and new hires have the information they need to address compliance (i.e. privacy, confidentiality, and related industry compliance requirements)?
  6. Strategy – Is onboarding viewed as a strategic initiative to your organization with ongoing reviews to keep the information fresh & current and use the best tools available?
What can the Chief HR and Talent Officer address? 

With digital transformation new employees expect social onboarding tools to facilitate their new hire experience. For recent graduates (“Next-Gen”) who have grown up with cell phones and social media it’s important for a business to put it’s best foot forward in the hiring process using modern tools and capabilities.

When left to ad-hoc approaches it’s proven that satisfaction levels can go down, and the drop out rate increases, which costs both time and money for all participants in the hiring process.

The Chief HR and Talent Officer and their team should develop approaches (“frameworks”) that make it easier for lines of business within the organization to address the business requirements to optimize the ramp up period… and bring on happy successful new employees… and as result, achieve higher levels of productivity, successful outcomes, and satisfaction.

Based on many SAP Jam experiences, it is often best for the business lead and their core team to focus on the business requirements and stakeholder input, and then work with SAP Jam implementation & adoption services experts to ensure that the platform is optimized and best practices are in place.

First day impressions are very important.

By stepping back… and looking at the best processes, key information, and approach… organizations can optimize what happens before, during, and after the first day on the job to develop talent and positively impact bottom-line results.



Science & Innovation: 11 Ways to Orchestrate Your Next Job!

Featured Assets:
Target Multiple Organization – Template
Interview Preparation Sheet >>
Job Interview Preparation: A Winning Formula!
Networking Preparation
Interviewing Tips

So many students, recent graduates, and friends more advanced in their careers, request support in finding a job or taking the next step in their careers.

Whether you’re a new graduate or long-time worker the best practices required to succeed have many common characteristics.

In sales and business development you must sell a product, solution, or service while in the job hunt you must sell one thing: yourself.

Back in the day, when I graduated from Drexel University it was beyond hard to find a job that I truly enjoyed. Years later I learned that my graduating class landed in the middle of a BIG recession which added to the challenge.  My path took me on travels through Europe, Middle East, and Hawaii over a year’s time so it was not easy to jump start my career upon my return.

While I found work it was more about “settling” vs. directing my searches. After paying a former professor big money to coach me in “how to get a job” I made a vow, “If I ever learned how to find a job” based on a scientific and innovative approach, “I would share it with others who would follow in this path.

As a result, I have compiled this top 11 list for all who are interested:

  1. NETWORK:  Identify successful people who are in the field that interests you. Make connections and request “informational interviews” to learn about how they got in their positions and background on the challenges they face.  Ask for referrals and knowledge; understand that they “may not have a job” or know of one but they can point you in the right direction. Send everyone who helps you a thank you!
  2. TRENDS:  Research compelling business issues and marketplace conditions which impact organizations that you are targeting. Send notes to those quoted and their teams to make meaningful connections on current and emerging opportunities. Find out where investments are taking place – “Follow the money!”
  3. TARGET:   Confirm a target list of companies and roles that interest you. Connect with the economic decision makers (i.e. VITO = “Very Important Top Officers“) and their teams around posted and non-posted opportunities. Minimize primarily going to Human Resources and Job Board postings. See book list below.
  4. PLAN:  Develop a spreadsheet which tracks your progress. Set goals for each day and week and show your progress to yourself and perhaps one or two friends (or coaches) (Review: JOB_PLANNING_TEMPLATE). Learn the proper way to prepare for an interview.
  5. TIME UTILIZATION: Spend 70% of your time networking and outreach (on-line and in person), 15% with recruiters, 15% with job boards (i.e., etc.).  Too many job seekers have these time ratios in reverse and don’t take charge of their own destiny. Note: If you see a job on a job board focus on a 3 prong approach: (1) Post; (2) Identify who you know (i.e. alumni / friend / colleague; (3) Confirm the economic decision maker. 
  6. SOCIAL MEDIA:  Update you’re Social Media sites such as  LinkedIn and others so they can help you network and build your brand. Makes sure your resume is impeccable and consider new ways to connect including Twitter, YouTube videos, thought leadership blogs as well as building your own website to showcase your skills, work experience and related professional passions. Take down any photos from your sites that are not professional. Prospective employers will check out your Facebook / Social Media posts.
  7. ALUMNI:  Leverage the resources that you have earned as a graduate of a university.  Reach out to your alumni office and career services; make connections via the directory, events, and/or volunteer opportunities.
  8. VOLUNTEER:  Provide weekly and monthly service to a non-profit (i.e. association) or charity around the skills and work experience that you have now or seek to secure in your next job. Find a cause that connects you to leaders, professionals, and the community. Also, make sure you have some part-time work that pays a few dollars as well.
  9. PERSIST:  Expect to receive rejection and a few set backs. When you run into trouble step back and move ahead. It takes small steps to achieve goals; understand there is a process – you can not easily (or practically) leap frog to the end result; start with the end in mind. Remember the famous saying, “When one door closes another will open.”
  10. ACCOUNTABILITY: Accept self ownership. No one owes you a job.  You must wake up each day and make forward progress. Stay disciplined and focused and the results you seek will come to you…but they may take a bit longer then you would like… remember, “patience is a virtue” (just not too much of it!)
  11. 3 PRONG APPROACH:  When you post for a position (i.e. LinkedIn, Indeed, Job Board) make sure you ask yourself:  Who do I know or connect to (i.e. Alumni)? Who is the top economic decision maker (i.e. VITO, CEO, Chief Marketing, Finance, Operations, Information Officer or their teams)?

As you contemplate this list ask yourself what are you passionate about? Where do your skills, education, and work experiences point you to?

Think of a job as an exchange of time and services in return for money. What can you provide that is worth the time and money to an employer who is investing in you?

During your search create small amounts of value along the way. Give your skills to others for free in small amounts. Chip away and success will be yours!

Remember…everything on this list takes time and hard work.

Over the years when I have shared these points with friends and colleagues looking for work they yield results 100% of the time, BUT only a small percent are willing to do what it takes.

It takes discipline and persistence to search for the right position.

If you are willing to climb the steps vs. expect an easy elevator ride to the top than you can secure a great job based on a proven scientific methodology and practicing an innovative approach along the way.

Reading List:
Selling to VITO (“Very Important Top Officer”) – Anthony Parinello
Winners Dream – Bill McDermott
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Richard D. Blumberg, President, World Sales Solutions, writes this series of blogs to help senior executives and their teams, leaders, influencers, educators, and students develop effective strategies and tactical execution which results in more revenues, profits, growth, jobs, and value. More >>



Jerry McGuire had it right, “Show me the money!”

So often well intended investments in webinars, seminars, conferences, demand generation and other marketing and partner programs adds value, but unless it can be measured by way of revenues it can be under appreciated.

The WorkSpan approach of providing a platform for “Joint Marketing” and “Joint Sales” is an ideal way for 2 or more organizations to work together on deal qualification and sales cycles.

Consider 2 companies co-sponsor a marketing or partner program. It would be ideal for the account teams in both organizations to have access to the leads as well as the qualified sales opportunities.

CRM systems alone are not the answer in that proprietary information cannot be shared outside the organization. Only with a Joint Marketing & Joint Sales system can this approach be optimized.

What’s the alternative? emails? Phone calls? Texts? Spreadsheets? Social Media tools with disparate, disorganized threads of discussions?

Keep in mind the importance of privacy, security, and that the lead Account Executive wants and must control who participates and who doesn’t. Trust must be built. Often change management is key to addressing new ways to win deals.

A few questions / comments to consider:

  • How often does a sales pursuit include 2 companies and often a third (or more)
  • How can you optimize 2 (or more) talented organizations going after 1 important deal?
  • There can be 1 company with 10 deals and 10 different partners for each… how best to manage the various partners pursuing these deals?
  • And for every deal an account team pursues, the participants inside and outside the organization can change throughout the sales cycle.

As WorkSpan states, “Where you & your partners can nominate joint accounts to pursue, track deals, & report on partner contribution to revenue.” This platform and the methodology that goes with it is an excellent way to bolster measurable outcomes.

When marketing and strategic alliances professionals (“aces”) have measurable success they will make their manager and organization happy, gain more trust, increase investments in future programs, and have better control of important outcomes.

When you and your team achieve “Show Me the Money” status with revenues aligned to marketing and partner programs, more investments can be considered, more customer success can be developed and showcased, and the most important value of them all can be optimized: TIME.



Hong Kong: The Sites, Landmarks & Destiny

After an awesome week in Hong Kong, during our ride back to the airport the driver said, “when you arrived you saw Hong Kong as a pin on the map” and I added “and now it’s a magnifying glass with a big spotlight!”

IMG_1257What my wife and I found was a fast moving, bright light, vibrant, safe, friendly city with a surrounding region of country trails and rolling mountains. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we walked 9-10 miles each day to see as much as possible!

What brought us to Hong Kong?

Our son Steven is a Drexel University study abroad student at the University of Hong Kong and having a great experience.  He was a perfect tour guide pinpointing many great sites, landmarks, restaurants, and less traveled fun places to check out. Also, for 3 days he IMG_1353was selected to spend time shadowing the CEO of the top global publication, the South China Morning Post, (on par with the Washington Post / NY Times) which was an amazing opportunity so between this experience and his classes we had some time to explore.

Our first lesson was how to use the MTR system (aka – subways, trains, metro)… Very quickly we learned about the blue, red, green and orange lines and main attractions like…

  • Wan Chai (灣仔) one of the busiest commercial areas in Hong Kong and the closest stop to our hotel
  • hong-hong-mtr-system-map-fullTung Chung (東涌) meaning ‘eastern stream’,  formerly a rural and fishing village and now the gateway to Ngong Ping’s Big Buddha, the world’s largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue and Po Lin Monastery
  • Che Kung Temple (車公廟) the stop to visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum which houses the “Bruce Lee – Kung Fu ‧ Art ‧ Life” exhibit

And of course these lessons allowed us to travel by MTR to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort which had popular attractions like “it’s a small world,” “Disneyland Railroad” and “Jungle River Cruise” as well as unique ones only found in Hong Kong including “Mystic Manor” and “Iron Man Experience.”

IMG_1328Interestingly the short ride to the resort had a custom Disney metro car with Mickey Mouse windows and a custom interior with blue lined seats, Minnie statues, and hand holders in the shape of Mickey.

Other memorable sites included:

  • Victoria Peak – The highest mountain on Hong Kong island with amazing views
  • Chi Lin Nunnery (志蓮淨苑) – Constructed entirely with cypress wood, without the use of any nails and is the world’s largest hand-made wooden building
  • OZONE  – One of the highest rooftop sky bars in the world, located on the 118th floor of The Ritz-Carlton)
  • The University of Hong Kong (aka HKU / Hong Kong University) – Founded in 1911, it is one of the most prestigious universities in Asia (& globe) with a beautiful campus and a great Alumni Affairs office
  • Malls – Some of the biggest and most impressive in the world with many top global and local brands
  • Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system – The longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world surrounded by Hong Kong SoHo
  • Kowloon Walled City Park – Originally a Chinese military fort and more recently restored into a beautiful park
  • Tung Choi Street (通菜街) is a well-known street market popularly known as “Ladies’ Market” where you walk through stalls and shops to find deals

IMG_1254Historically it was interesting to think back to when “Made in Hong Kong” was very popular (back in the day!) to the ancient farming and fishing villages — to today where Hong Kong has evolved into a major port and international financial center with more global brands and shopping malls then we have ever seen per square block.

In fact, our hotel, the Grand Hyatt was right next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China took place in 1997.

As we walked around Hong Kong you realize it’s always on the move… hustling and bustling… the MTRs are clean (we once saw a glass of water or soda spilled and it was cleaned within minutes). Rarely did we have to wait for the MTR more then 2 or 3 minutes… and the people are friendly and peaceful. The streets and malls are alive and busy into the night.IMG_1271

Interestingly we learned that every Sunday maids from Indonesia and the Philippines gather together and take a government required day off where they play cards, picnic, style hair, and socialize.

Perhaps when it was all said and done we realized how valuable the experience was for us.

To gain perspective about Hong Kong, China, and Asia is very worthwhile. Whether for business or vacation we would highly recommend taking time to get to know Hong Kong.

In fact, like so many places I have visited there will always be a part of us in Hong Kong and as the news takes place and others share their stories my interest will be sky high to learn more and share insights.

IMG_1363Who knows? Perhaps our new friend who we met at the HKU Alumni Affairs Office said it best… Sometimes “who we meet” and “when we meet” is simply “Destiny!” (see symbol on right) and it seemed like finally getting to Hong Kong was our destiny which will live on as a priceless memory for a lifetime.




Appendix – Photo Gallery 

Chi Lin Nunnery




Hong Kong Heritage Museum – “Bruce Lee – Kung Fu * Art * Life” exhibit



Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – MTR (Custom Train)




Favorite Restaurant 


View from OZONE


Ngong Ping’s Big Buddha



Grand Hyatt Hotel


View from Victoria Peak



Victoria Peak Hiking Trail – Pok Fu Lam Country Park




Hong Kong University



Building a Global, Integrated SuccessFactors HR Services Model with SAP Jam

 – Grow Your Talent –

Perhaps Bill McDermott, SAP CEO, said it best on a recent investor call that deploying an HR solution is a “more comprehensive decision” than just HR alone (i.e. WorkDay).

When you look at the importance of having a cloud platform including the digital core of “S/4HANA and the nucleus of the 21st Century Enterprise and all line of business (LoB) executives evolving their use of their individual LoB with the center of gravity, the data and the process of the company. You know, that’s game set match for SAP [and SAP SuccessFactors] (1).”

When assessing your organization’s HRIS program, my team and I find that the BEST RUN organizations consider how the HR Service Model, SAP Jam, and company-wide goals align to the business requirements Including: increasing HR operational process efficiency, reducing costs, and aligning HR to strategic revenue imperatives.

A ONE Company Approach
The integrated HR service delivery model works best with one single, holistic, core HR system which addresses:

  • Deploying one common employee data model
  • Improving people management and talent development
  • Reducing the time spent on HR transactional activities
  • Enabling better reporting for improved decision support

Successful companies develop a strategic HR value map (often with a 3+ year view) which identifies priorities, user cases (scenarios), and enables collaboration and communications.

Quantifying the Challenge
The numbers speak louder than words including a Dale Carnegie Training survey which outlines the drivers of employee engagement and highlights why it is critically important. This study was based on national representation of 1500 employees which found (2):

  • 11 Billion (USD) is lost annually to employee turnover
  • Companies with engaged employees outperform those without engaged employees by up to 202%
  • 71% of all employees are not engaged

While these numbers may vary proportionally in your organization the trends are alarming and every business leader and HR executive and manager is aware of their importance.  Providing the combination of HR and SAP Jam provides the ideal platform to engage employees and stakeholders.

Leaders, employees and contractors, managers, centers of excellence, and experts all have a common responsibility to work together and help achieve company goals, objectives, strategies, and execute tactically in support of a ONE company approach.

Too often there are silos, disparate unorganized information, barriers to cross-team engagement (internal & external to the organization), which impedes progress, creates roadblocks, and increases the risk of failure or inefficient processes — all of which impact the bottom– or top-line of the business.

When the best and brightest in our organizations work together with common goals, excellent communication and collaboration, more often successful outcomes are achieved along with continuous improvement.

Building the HR Service Model with SAP Jam
The business model is clear. Using SAP SuccessFactors for User Experiences, Reporting Systems, Talent Management, Core HR, and Technology increases the odds for enterprise-wide success (see Print Screen 1) and enables an organization’s ability to manage and grow its talent.

Print Screen 1: Building a Global, Integrated SuccessFactors HR Services Model with SAP Jam

Moving all the employee master data onto a single global system, to reduce complexity and deliver better data for analysis, provides a greater ROI (return on investment) and reduces the TCO (total cost of ownership) of the overall HRIS Global System.

While many customers deploy the entire HR suite and others implement a few modules (i.e. Learning, Performance & Goals) at a time… the BEST RUN companies leverage HR and SAP Jam Collaboration together:

  • Deploying enterprise-wide Learning & Development Academies or Universities
  • Ensuring HR communications and collaboration are in place to improve engagement with employees, contractors, and new hires (as well as internal/external stakeholders)
  • Replacing old or ineffective HR intranets / portals with SAP Cloud Platform &/or SAP Jam
  • Leveraging SAP Jam to reduce the risks and costs of implementations, adoption, and change management

The decision to deploy SAP Jam Collaboration with HR is very different than using disparate non-HRand non-business process related collaboration platforms such as Yammer, SharePoint, Jive, Chatter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, Connections and HR boutique throw-in collaboration and discussion boards.

SAP SuccessFactors (along with SAP SuccessFactors Foundation – formerly BizX) and SAP Jam provide a powerful, unified basis to grow talent and address strategic HR management. Together they provide a core set of capabilities centered around one global system of record, fine-tuned to meet local, enterprise, and business unit requirements.

HR leaders and HRIS management should always consider the bigger picture of a comprehensive enterprise HRIS Global System, along with consistent processes and employee data, in setting in place the most effective tools and resources which empower the workforce.

The Importance to HR Leaders
HR leaders have a growing responsibility of great importance = To optimize employees engagement, skills, work experiences and to stay ahead of technology developments which provide value to company-wide and individual KPIs, goals, objectives, and achievements (3).

Given the many changes which will happen from today to the year 2030 in the marketplace (i.e. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Big Data, and Analytics) the choice is simple: stay up with the times or risk being left behind which can impact jobs and company success or failure.

The decisions made today will impact the next year and the next decade plus.

The times we live in are exciting and important. Those early adopters who pay attention to the strategic direction of their company’s leaders, along with marketplace conditions which impact employees and customers, will be in the best position to stay ahead.

When entrepreneurial visionaries like “Elon Musk Thinks AI Will Beat Humans at Everything by 2030,” it at least sends a signal that we must position our organizations and people to be ready for change and transition to new jobs, skills, and expectations which will affect us one way or another going forward.

Those who consider the BIG picture and make comprehensive HR decisions will be in the best position to (a) grow in their own jobs and careers, (b) help employees and stakeholders, and (c) provide the most value and impact to their organization.

Useful Links / References

About the Author

Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) ( providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations, innovation, and adoption.


From Now to the Year 2030 – SAP Jam Collaboration Will Play an Important Role With SAP Leonardo and the Digital Revolution

What is the role of collaboration in the digital age?Collaboration.1.jpg

The recent SAP Executive Summit 2017 in Italy, the home of Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, shared insights on the “4th industrial revolution” to remind us that we can learn from each new wave of progress and change.

Bill McDermott, SAP, CEO, referenced in his keynote at Sapphire NOW the “fourth industrial revolution and an incredible opportunity for companies to re-imagine themselves in this digital age.”

And now with the overwhelming success of  Leonardo Live in Frankfurt Germany there is an opportunity to further understand digital innovation and leading-edge solutions with customers, partners, and experts from around the globe.

As we consider the historic and future trends related to the cloud and digital transformation, one of the leading common denominator grows in importance: collaboration.

The Industrial Revolution – A Look Back & Forward

Upon hearing and reviewing these presentations, keynotes, and events, I decided to research the previous industrial revolutions and consider the role of collaboration in respect to connecting people, processes, and technology.

  • The first industrial revolution saw the growth of steam power, coal, iron, railroads and textiles
  • The second one involved mass production advancements in industry, technology, energy, electricity, petroleum, steel, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation
  • The third realized information technology, new energy, and renewable electricity
  • Now the fourth is the digital revolution

Collaboration played an important part in each of these industrial revolutions.  And now we look forward to the digital age before us and the next big wave of opportunity: SAP Leonardo.

For SAP Leonardo solutions to work at their optimum level there will be many business and IT considerations including a key universal theme = collaboration. Whether addressing all or one of the following: Internet of Things (IOT), Machine Learning, Blockchain, Analytics, Big Data, SAP Cloud Platform, Digital Supply Chain, Leonardo Bridge, and Design Thinking — they all work best when people team together.


Collaboration – A View from the Top

Perhaps Hasso Plattner, SAP co-founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board said it best, “Simplicity, Speed, Collaboration, Security Drive – The Intelligent Future.” During Sapphire NOW he shared a key message about “tapping into the collective intelligence of workers” (Proof point: watch the first 20 seconds of this video, see the orange arrow below where he identified SAP Jam).


SAP Jam Collaboration Plays a Central Role

SAP will continue to invest in SAP Jam as a central component of the digital modular suit. As the value map and roadmap continue to evolve, SAP Jam will play a unique role to enable SAP Leonardo and Digital Transformation. SAP’s Modular Suite highlights the importance of collaboration, SAP Jam Collaboration.


Collaboration has a Purpose & Unique Place in the Digital Age

It all makes perfect sense.  Digital Transformation for business and IT requires collaboration to harness the intellect of the entire workforce. Where there is collaboration, individual and group intelligence can be realized to accelerate revenues, growth, value, learning, productivity, and success.

Jobs and successful outcomes, between now, 2030 and beyond, depend on collaboration to address and stay ahead of the rapidly changing marketplace.

Where there is innovation…
When a team redefines a business challenge or opportunity. As SAP and third-party apps and data are used to turn ideas into action. Where rollouts go from pilot programs to scale across the enterprise.

From disparate silos to holistic central hubs of knowledge.

To turn a vision into reality. For the early adopters, business colleagues and lines of business, both internal and external to the organization, who are empowered to transform the business.

For community building.
To gain the competitive advantage.
To accelerate initiatives and create win-wins.

The best bet, both now and as we go to 2030 and beyond, is SAP, SAP Leonardo and for collaboration: SAP Jam.


Useful Links / References

About the Author

RDBRichard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) ( providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations, innovation, and adoption.



14 Ways to JumpStart #SAPJam Collaboration, Communities or Groups

How a Group Admin or Leader Ensures Adoption!

Important strategic initiatives, business outcomes and processes, collaboration, content, communications, and/or community building takes “time and effort” to translate onto SAP Jam.

The recent study, “Forrester Total Economic Impact™ of SAP Jam Collaboration for Learning, Onboarding and Employee Development” showcases the impact to cost savings, productivity,  operational efficiencies, and overall strategic objectives. Several customers that my team and I work with participated in this study and continue to realize the value highlighted. Together we see on a first hand, daily basis …that it works!

And yet, sometimes a SAP Jam group admin, business owner, or leader needs to consider ways to drive (or “spark”) sustainable growth and momentum for their respective audience. They need to step back, assess, and plan out the priorities. The last thing any of us want to see is that 3 to 9 months after go-live that the group has “zero” activity.

As a result, my team and I, based on hundreds of work experiences and success stories pinpointed a “Top 14” list to help organizations JumpStart their SAP Jam initiatives.

Which of the following are applicable to you and your current or emerging SAP Jam initiative?

Business is complex. And from complexity we want simplicity. It takes a certain skill set to turn the complex into simple. There are business challenges and technical requirements. SAP Jam can be stand alone or integrate with other SAP, SuccessFactors, or 3rd party applications and data. All of these requirements take cross-discipline expertise.

Every quarter their are new SAP Jam releases. New features and capabilities. My team and I welcome the challenge on a daily basis with the multitude of business and IT considerations (& approaches) to help our customers achieve successful SAP Jam implementations and adoption.

At the end of each day, we appreciate the many important and diverse groups we work with to address their challenges and find solutions. It takes both the “science and art” forms to achieve success.  No matter how many implementations take place and questions are answered there is always more to address, learn about, and discover.

Consider a 1000 piece puzzle. We work together to put the pieces together.Plane.Blog.png

The Many Attributes of SAP Jam
SAP Jam is compared to other platforms which is fine.

The part that’s comforting is that SAP, SuccessFactors, and the SAP Jam product team are market leaders.

SAP Jam and the attributes it represents rank very high in Analyst reports including:

  • Integration – SAP SuccessFactors integration is built in by way of SuccessFactors foundations (previously BizX) (i.e. SuccessFactors Learning / LMS, SAP HCP, SAP CRM, Hybris Cloud 4 Customer, Fiori, S/4HANA, SAP ECC (SD), Document Repositories such as OpenText, Box, etc.) with an excellent Developer and Open API environment (OData).  SAP Jam  works well with SharePoint, Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint (Web Parts), Outlook Plug-in and YouTube. Public documentation is excellent.
  • Social Learning – SAP Jam for Social Learning (Jam + LMS) reduces the cost of training
  • Roadmap – SAP Jam is part of the overall SAP roadmap so the enhancements and value continue to grow in leaps and bounds throughout the SAP portfolio. The SAP Jam roadmap is based on customer feedback and provides continuous innovations on a regular basis.
  • Admin Controls – Strong Permission Levels… Moderation Levels… Language capabilities built into the platform for the users… Users can be removed (made inactive quickly…)…
  • Groups –  Enterprise collaboration goes beyond feed conversations. Both structured and unstructured collaboration is available along with sub-groups and auto groups.
  • Feed Aggregator – SAP Jam provides a feed aggregator, SAP Jam Activity Hub, that can be used. to follow and chat in Yammer, Connections and Jam which allows for one view without having to log-in to multiple applications..
  • Mobile App – SAP Jam Mobile App, which is used for Apple (iOS – iPhone or iPad) or Android, is ready out of the box! No extra programing required.
  • OpenSocial Gadgets – Feeds and data can be embedded  such as RSS Feeds, Stock Tickers, Countdowns, Facebook, Twitter… Survey Monkey which go into widgets.
  • Work Patterns – Admins can leverage templates available, out of the box, to enable repeatable best practice and business processes when creating a group. With work pattern builder, templates can be changed and enhanced easily for custom specific needs.
    SAP has “1” enterprise collaboration platform only which it invests heavily in.
    > All the information is in one place (uploaded, linked, or embedded), one enterprise collaboration platform, one “central hub.”
    > Offline access allows users to select content from SAP Jam to and from a local file system via Jam File Sync Client

Summary: SAP Jam is the Best Bet!
Given the investments and attributes of SAP Jam and with a long-time career in the high tech, entrepreneurial, cross-industry, and SAP Ecosystem space, my team and I bet on SAP to make the continuous investments in collaborative enterprise business software as an essential part of the portfolio to support customers.

The value of SAP Jam is both a today and tomorrow decision. Today for what it can deliver and tomorrow for the investments to the roadmap which is based on a 40+ year history of SAP success.

At the end of the day, my team and I enjoy working with a diverse, smart, progressive group of senior executives, leaders, business owners, instructors, group admins, and stakeholders who want to work on a platform, which delivers the most value and impact, to help them and their fellow internal and external colleagues do their jobs and realize the type of outcomes highlighted in the Forrester Study.

The ideas associated with enterprise collaboration have been around for hundreds of years. However, the realization in the cloud with digital transformation are available NOW in full force with SAP Jam.

About the Author

  Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) ( providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations and adoption.


Featured Link: SAP Jam Collaboration Help Portal

This video highlights the value of turning the complex into a more simple productivity resource.

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