James Governor's Monkchips

SAP Social Network Analyzer: On Company Integration

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At Sapphire last week the bloggers had a great session with Timo  Elliot, one of the influx of Business Objects talent at SAP.  I was pleased that the green shoots of enterprise unstructured/social tooling progress I identified in depth last year had not been stamped out during the long night of the short knives that marks any software M&A.

No siree BOBJ.  Timo pointed to the Business Objects Relationship Analysis Server (still a prototype not a product) – which takes information from LDAP directory, applications, databases, etc… and visualises it. Quite nice actually.

Certainly the Adobe Flex front ends the Business Objects people are using are lovely enough to annoy some of the SAP not invented here old guard. As I said on twitter during the demo

SAP is going to get fresh. expect the old farts to fight back http://www.sapweb20.com/blog/

I thought it was kind of funny, though obviously not surprising, that one of the reasons SAP has been slow to turn the prototype into product is European data protection law. While American firms would consider metadata about employee interactions to be company property, under German law that is certainly not the case – no, in Germany it would be called spying.

But what entertaining spying it might be. Can you imagine the insights generated watching employee interactions during a major acquisition? How does someone come out on top in a scenario like that?

Don’t worry: there will be more analysis to come from Sapphire. This is just a warm up.

disclosure: SAP is not currently a subscription client although we are doing some project work with the firm.


  1. the SAP Social Network Analyzer. http://bit.ly/ePMII No shit?
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. SAP Social Network Analyzer coverage from @monkchips: http://bit.ly/BWaDm
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. Actually, what would be quite nice would be if this was applied to the SAP Developer Network and related SCN sites.
    It would be very interesting to amalgamate the information in those separate systems and see what pattens drop out. Unified contact information from the blogging system the forums and the wiki. See who is commenting on which blogs etc.

    The good news coming out of SAPPHIRE is that BOBJ is bring some UI goodness to the SAP table so we can have our brocolli and our ice cream.


  4. Blog callout of the day, “No siree BOBJ” from @monkchips 🙂 http://snurl.com/ihi0l
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. @ITSinsider How has that not been used! RT @ITSinsider Blog callout o’the day: @monkchips’ “No siree BOBJ” http://snurl.com/ihi0l
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. […] has built a Social Network Analyzer prototype for inside the organisation. (Hat tip James Governor.) It aggregates existing enterprise data to display and discover organizational relationships. It […]

  7. But isn’t that really spying? Do the employees or target know they are being watched? The community should be wary of the information being made public

    1. it depends James. this is somewhat of a grey area. if the corporation has a policy that comms can be monitored for knowledge management then its up to the employee if they choose to work in that environment. of course it should not be done secretly, and indeed would have far less value if it did. in some jurisdictons though such monitoring would be illegal- ironically enough Germany is one of of them!

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