The SAP BusinessObjects Social Network Analyzer came out last year, combining business intelligence with relationship data to create a “social intelligence” solution. It’s a prototype from the SAP BusinessObjects Innovation Center. It can combine information from HR systems, CRM systems, project databases, committee attendee lists, distribution lists, and any other other system that contains relationships between people.
The new version will be available to download soon. In the meantime, you can try it online at http://sna-demo.demand.com. It features more functionality, an updated user interface, and a fully-developed administration console that gives fine-grained management control over the system.
We’re taking a Web 2.0 approach to innovation – sharing these prototypes so we can make them better. So please give the Innovation Center your feedback.
Find the Right People
We’ve heard a lot about the collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 platforms. But how can you find the people you’d like to work and collaborate with?
The Social Network Analyzer lets you search on attributes, or browse through the left-hand menu, which gives you easy access to all the information available about people using faceted navigation. When you click on a name, you see all the information about them in the right-hand window.
The new version now lets you choose multiple filters, and administrators can easily customize the attributes available for any individual.
Create and Collaborate with Ad-Hoc Groups
You can drag and drop the people you want to work into the clip area, which is now at the top of the interface. More collaboration options are now available, including the ability to automatically create a 12Sprints activity.
The new version features tag clouds that show what attributes a chosen group of people have in common.
Once you’ve navigated to a particular view, you can now save it and send it to others as a URL (similar to the functionality used by Google Maps and other applications)
The relationships available for a person have been more explicit. And the relationships now have history – you can show the state of the network at a particular point in time. For example, after acquiring another company, you could analyze how well the two company networks integrate over time.
You can determine the shortest connection path between you and another individual, across all relationships.
Manage Personal Information
The new version makes it easy to add other information that you’d like to make available to colleagues, such as your personal email address, web site, twitter account, etc.
Customize Security and Privacy
Employees may not want to make available to everybody, so there’s fine-grained security over who can see what information.
Manage information relationships
The prototype allows people to add their own personal, information relationships – these are only visible to the people concerned (note that this functionality is not enabled on the http://sna-demo.ondemand.com platform, but is in the downloadable version)
Users can see the full set of relationships that have been created (note that this functionality is not enabled on the sna-demo.ondemand.com platform)
Some other prototypes extend the social intelligence functionality into other applications, such as this Social intelligence plugin for Microsoft Outlook. As you click on an email, the profiles of the people on the “to” or “cc” list are automatically shown.
And there’s now a free mobile social intelligence iPhone application called “People Finder” available that lets you easily and quickly find the people you need to communicate with.
Drinking our Own Champagne
The social network analyzer has been rolled out to all 50,000 employees, and is used many thousands of times each week.
A Product for Grown Ups
The new version has a full administration interface, to bring in information from multiple sources, set up the entities that are to be shown for each user, etc.
Here’s the high-level architecture of the solution, showing how you can bring information from multiple different sources, and consume it in a wide range of SAP and non-SAP applications.
API based on OpenSocial
The clients communicate with the central relationship server using an API based on OpenSocial – but extended to include multiple levels of relationship. For more information, please see this Enterprise OpenSocial whitepaper.