New analytics capabilities in the collaborative decision-making application SAP® StreamWork™changes  the face of social software, as users can upload, explore, analyze and visualize data directly within SAP StreamWork, and collaborate with teams to make fact-based decisions. People can also connect to data stored in SAP HANA® to take advantage of in-memory capabilities for rapid analysis of information.


All SAP StreamWork users can benefit from accessible, easy-to-use analytics since no training or prior experience to make use of it is required. Uploading spread sheets to SAP StreamWork activities via Web browsers and using the exploration tool to quickly filter, sort and work with data is easy to do. In addition, users can create and save interactive visualizations from many offered chart types; monitor key metrics by setting visual alerts; and add social features such as pro-con tables, rankings, quick polls and checklists. Additionally, enhanced support for SAP® Crystal Reports® software means users can now embed, view and save interactive report data within SAP StreamWork activities, without having to download files or switch between applications.

"Collaborative work is about getting the right people, data, content and systems together at the right time, in the work context," said industry analyst Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions Group, IDC. "Bringing business-contextual data together with social capabilities for hypothesizing, analyzing and making decisions enables people to get work done, which increases the relevance and business value of the system significantly."

"Collaborative analytic capabilities are critical to how we execute our vision for what social software should be for SAP customers," said Sameer Patel, global vice president and general manager, Social Software Solutions, SAP. "Our belief is that true collaboration to drive action goes beyond just connecting people – it requires access to and manipulation of critical data and exception handling in business processes. As social networks become more pervasive, collaborative analytic capabilities enable our customers to bring process, data and content to where employees, customers and partners work. Business users can now easily interact with a variety of critical data, such as sales pipeline analysis, sales and operations planning, or supplier assessment and management."

Six years after the rise of the Enterprise 2.0 concept, organizations are still struggling to achieve the kind of "natural adoption" that social business advocates keep telling all the time would be right around the corner. SAP’s spokesmen believe that the next generation of useful social collaboration lies in the context of work and feel that StreamWork comes perfectly to play. And indeed, SAP has a natural advantage in social integration with business processes as it offers a broad suite of enterprise applications. Just last December SAP acquires SuccessFactors’ Jam and gained in this way another social collaboration tool. Originated as a collaboration tool for online training, Jam has the potential to emerge as a general-purpose collaboration in the cloud platform like Chatter. End of last year SAP announced further a partnership with NetBase, known for their natural language processing and sentiment analysis strengths.

In any case, SAP believes that StreamWork will ultimately gain the upper hand by positioning itself at the center of business processes, since they are convinced that companies will invest in what they have to offer - the most value for money.

By Daniela La Marca