That’s the first thing I thought of this morning when I heard the news that Sameer Patel has joined SAP as Global Vice President for the Social Software Business group.
Sameer is consultant. But just as important, he is a blogger. That means Sameer has the knowledge of a practitioner and the persistence that comes with people who write frequently and engage with people across different media.
This has a value for SAP. Sameer can talk about the technical and business aspects of activity stream technology and also engage with people, be they influencers or customers. Few executives actually do that. They may use Twitter but only to broadcast the company’s message. Few actually write about what they do. There are exceptions. I think of people like Chuck Hollis, the vice president of marketing at EMC who is active both on Twitter and with his blog.
In a blog post, Sameer writes that he believes few companies have the ability to align core business activities, data, process and exceptions with the right people and insights. SAP, though, has the core pedigree to make this a reality.
How Sameer will fare inside SAP is the big question for me. An organization like SAP can get intimidated by people with high profiles. Sameer is a humble guy so that will serve him well. He’s well liked. But places like SAP can be tricky. It’s just the nature pf the beast.
But SAP has also come a long way. They are building a developer community. They are executing on a mobile strategy that appears to be gaining momentum. HANA is getting positioned as the underpinning for SAP’s overall architecture. And then there is Success Factors. SAP acquired Success Factors last year for $3.4 billion This is where Sameeer may play a vital role. He knows the collaboration space as well as anyone in the market.
Dennis Howlett writes:
Back in January, Sameer, Jon Reed and I were consulted by SAP on Streamwork so I know first hand what it is like to work with Sameer. He knows his stuff and has an encyclopedic understanding of the social space. He’s a top communicator around complex issues and is probably the only person I know who can speak for three full minutes without taking a breath!
Sameer is an expert. He knows the intricacies of collaboration technologies and their role in a services context. Activity stream technologies such as Yammer, Salesforce.com Chatter and VMware’s Socialcast all run on a services infrastructure. Success Factors acquired the activity stream technology from CubeTree two years ago. The market is beginning to mature. Sameer’s understanding of new collaboration technologies and the context with business processes will no doubt be of value to SAP. The difference, though, may be in how effective Sameer is in communicating the scope of the impact to customers and the outside world.
Yep, one of us just joined SAP.