SAP Cautiously Ponders Social Networking
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Possibly lost among the much more significant announcements at SAP's SAPPHIRE conference this week -- a natural language enterprise search engine and a renewed commitment to the green bottom line -- SAP executives provided a preview of social networking applications currently under development.
"We showed a peek inside the technology in our development organization," said Jonathan Becher, senior vice president of marketing at SAP.
In the demonstration, co-CEO Léo Apotheker and Ian Kimbell, SAP vice president, collaborated on a decision. Both manipulated data using the SAP Business Objects Explorer in order to choose the next state in which their fictional company would provide RIM mobile devices to its employees.
It seems clear that SAP wants to add the best of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to its service, but the offering seemed primitive and lacked customization features.
Nevertheless, the company is embracing Web 2.0 in anticipation of change. Apotheker said that the company is preparing for a new generation. "Over the next 10 years one-third of the world's workforce will retire and the digital generation and those that grew up with social networks will join workforce," he said.
SAP intends to be ready...