Blogs

Elevating SAP Collaboration with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint

Originally published on the SAP Community.

When SAP and Microsoft announced they are building integrations to Microsoft Teams across solutions many of us were inspired. With the new reality of remote and hybrid work, the importance of elevating collaboration has grown significantly.

While the advancements of this integration are impressive, it is important to deploy these solutions the right way to achieve tangible business outcomes.

Since today’s globally distributed workers are no longer confined to office buildings, the “workplace” has transformed into a digital “workspace” allowing colleagues to meet, collaborate, and connect virtually across organizational boundaries. A great user experience is a necessity versus a “nice to have.”

Christian Klein, SAP CEO and member of the Executive Board, said it best that this partnership will address, “New ways of working, collaborating and interacting to completely transform how we operate,” and bring collaboration to the next level.

Collaboration is changing rapidly. Each of us are collaborating more often, increasingly mobile, and working on a schedule that enables us to connect more virtually.

Disparate information kept in silos and organized in ad-hoc ways becomes an impediment to performance and productivity. One of the challenging things to do is to keep Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, along with the SAP portfolio, organized so that the content is valuable to users.

Thoughtful leaders step back and ensure that SAP Collaboration represents how the business works both in the short-term and going forward.

The Information Architecture Pre-Request 

Each time you create a new Microsoft Teams you automatically get SharePoint with the Microsoft 365 Apps including Power App, Power BI, OneNote, and Exchange with email and calendaring.

Project teams working with SAP applications such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Digital Supply Chain, SAP SuccessFactors and learning communities, SAP CRM and Customer Experience, Industry 4.0 solutions and/or SAP Activate Methodology should prioritize and implement a well-planned information architecture as a pre-request for a high quality, high-performing intranet, central hub, or group.

It’s important to understand the audience and help them find what they need quickly to support them in getting their work completed efficiently. One expert once referred to it as “help the user get to where they need to go in ONE CLICK versus many clicks and endless folders to assist in completing a task.”

Putting in the time to address Information Architecture helps improve user satisfaction and adoption while reducing information overload.

Customer-Centric Enablement

In this video, “Remove Barriers for Your Sales Teams with SAP and Microsoft it shows the power of the integration,” there are many exciting front-line capabilities, but the power is in the information architecture that supports the tangible outcomes.

Could a sales, marketing, consultant, pre-sales, operations, services or other front-line worker to customers, strategic partners or suppliers have everything they need by primarily using their own individual OneDrive or SharePoint?

Clearly, they need the right resources (“assets”), at the right time for effective engagement including:

  1. Access – Enable secure private, enterprise, and/or external access.
  2. Central Hub – Deploy one location for individuals, teams, and the enterprise to find pertinent information.
  3. Teamwork – Allow for collaboration, chat, video conferencing, calls, meetings, and surveys.
  4. Content – Ensure easy to find central hub for content, information, contributions, and useful links.
  5. Components – Leverage multiuse calendars, planning, notebooks, and other tools and web parts.
  6. Collaboration – Microsoft Teams, comments, surveys, discussion treads, and news updates.
  7. Communications – Engagement and outreach to bring the audience to the central hub and share news, planning, announcements, updates, and access to key assets.
  8. Continuity – Plan that the collaboration continues versus the initial excitement and the investment in a quality set-up drop off months later.

When these items are brought together in full or part, the sum is truly greater than the parts.

Digital Transformation Realized with SAP Collaboration

Collaboration is nothing new and yet it remains a critical success factor for every organization.

Enabling workers to leverage and build upon the work of others is a fundamental principle. When team members work in a silo, they reduce productivity and have a higher probability of duplicating efforts.

With SAP Collaboration, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint the goal is to…

  • Help elevate workers to take advantage of modern platforms and digital transformation environments
  • Increase high quality teamwork, cooperation, and communications
  • Impact the value, growth, revenues, services, and outcomes with a focus on exceeding customer satisfaction.

Working together, people feel more connected to their work and their organization.

With these integration capabilities in place, combined with a well-deployed information architecture, users will always have access to the right content at the right time, to find what they are looking for more quickly and consistently, and support their business requirements.

SAP Champions & SAP Mentors Spotlight Interviews

Check out the SAP Spotlight Interviews which combine a combination of videos and Q&A format. These blogs help showcase SAP Community experts and advocates. View >>

SAP Mentor Spotlight Interview: SAP Learning

Originally published on the SAP Community

The SAP Mentor Spotlight Series highlights key strategic topics, such as learning, and provides insights from Mentors and SAP leaders on turning ideas into innovative approaches that impact people, process, and technology.

Empowering Transformative Outcomes Through Continuous Learning

Staying on the cutting-edge during times of change is more important than ever. One of the keys to success is the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and learning.

As business, technology, and user experiences change, there are a wide range of ways to continually refresh existing skills, acquire new ones, and evolve new ways to think about business and IT challenges.

To reflect on how to take advantage of SAP and SAP Community learning resources, Max Wessel, EVP & Chief Learning Officer at SAP, caught up with Tammy Powlas, Senior Business Analyst at Fairfax Water and SAP Mentor, to discuss what role learning has played in her life, and how she has furthered her knowledge through the SAP Community.

During their session they discussed:

  • Enabling learning, whether experiential on the job, or formal learning to help one progress in their career.
  • Adapting to many changes given the realities of the last year to address digital transformation and embrace the importance of continuous learning.
  • Pressing one’s skills; pushing forward to take expertise to the next level.
  • Turning to the SAP community to get inspired and engage in peer-to-peer learning.
  • Assessing RISE with SAP and how members of the SAP Community can keep their digital transformation initiatives moving forward.

As Max shared during the session, “When driving transformation, the more value we bring to the table, the more guidance we can deliver that helps people step forward, the better it is for all of us.

SAP and the SAP Community provide many learning resources to support building knowledge, driving innovation, and staying agile.

How do you learn? Let us know in the comments below!


Related Links

COMING SOON: Science & Innovation: 11 Ways to Orchestrate Your Next Job!

Author’s NoteThis blog has been adopted into a Job Seeking book which will be announced and published in the upcoming months. The book, which is written and designed, is going through the final review process. Stay tuned! 

Explore Featured Assets:
Target Multiple Organization – Template
Interview Preparation Sheet >>
Job Interview Preparation: A Winning Formula!
Networking Preparation
Interviewing Tips

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Whether you’re a new graduate or long-time worker the best practices required to succeed have many common characteristics.

In sales and business development you must sell a product, solution, or service while in the job hunt you must sell one thing: yourself.

Back in the day, when I graduated from Drexel University, it was beyond hard to find a job that I truly enjoyed. Years later I learned that my graduating class landed in the middle of a BIG recession which added to the challenge.  My path took me on travels through Europe, Middle East, and Hawaii over a year’s time so it was not easy to jump start my career upon my return.

While I found work it was more about “settling” vs. directing my searches. After paying a former professor big money to coach me in “how to get a job” I made a vow, “If I ever learned how to find a job” based on a scientific and innovative approach, “I would share it with others who would follow in this path.

As a result, I have compiled this top 11 list for all who are interested:

  1. NETWORK:  Identify successful people who are in the field that interests you. Make connections and request “informational interviews” to learn about how they got in their positions and background on the challenges they face.  Ask for referrals and knowledge; understand that they “may not have a job” or know of one but they can point you in the right direction. Send everyone who helps you a thank you!
  2. TRENDS:  Research compelling business issues and marketplace conditions which impact organizations that you are targeting. Send notes to those quoted and their teams to make meaningful connections on current and emerging opportunities. Find out where investments are taking place – “Follow the money!”
  3. TARGET:   Confirm a target list of companies and roles that interest you. Connect with the economic decision makers (i.e. VITO = “Very Important Top Officers“) and their teams around posted and non-posted opportunities. Minimize primarily going to Human Resources and Job Board postings. See book list below.
  4. PLAN:  Develop a spreadsheet which tracks your progress. Set goals for each day and week and show your progress to yourself and perhaps one or two friends (or coaches) (Review: JOB_PLANNING_TEMPLATE). Learn the proper way to prepare for an interview.
  5. TIME UTILIZATION: Spend 70% of your time networking and outreach (on-line and in person), 15% with recruiters, 15% with job boards (i.e. Monster.com, etc.).  Too many job seekers have these time ratios in reverse and don’t take charge of their own destiny. Note: If you see a job on a job board focus on a 3 prong approach: (1) Post; (2) Identify who you know (i.e. alumni / friend / colleague; (3) Confirm the economic decision maker. 
  6. SOCIAL MEDIA:  Update you’re Social Media sites such as  LinkedIn and others so they can help you network and build your brand. Makes sure your resume is impeccable and consider new ways to connect including Twitter, YouTube videos, thought leadership blogs as well as building your own website to showcase your skills, work experience and related professional passions. Take down any photos from your sites that are not professional. Prospective employers will check out your Facebook / Social Media posts.
  7. ALUMNI:  Leverage the resources that you have earned as a graduate of a university.  Reach out to your alumni office and career services; make connections via the directory, events, and/or volunteer opportunities.
  8. VOLUNTEER:  Provide weekly and monthly service to a non-profit (i.e. association) or charity around the skills and work experience that you have now or seek to secure in your next job. Find a cause that connects you to leaders, professionals, and the community. Also, make sure you have some part-time work that pays a few dollars as well.
  9. PERSIST:  Expect to receive rejection and a few set backs. When you run into trouble step back and move ahead. It takes small steps to achieve goals; understand there is a process – you can not easily (or practically) leap frog to the end result; start with the end in mind. Remember the famous saying, “When one door closes another will open.”
  10. ACCOUNTABILITY: Accept self ownership. No one owes you a job.  You must wake up each day and make forward progress. Stay disciplined and focused and the results you seek will come to you…but they may take a bit longer then you would like… remember, “patience is a virtue” (just not too much of it!)
  11. 3 PRONG APPROACH:  When you post for a position (i.e. LinkedIn, Indeed, Job Board) make sure you ask yourself:  Who do I know or connect to (i.e. Alumni)? Who is the top economic decision maker (i.e. VITO, CEO, Chief Marketing, Finance, Operations, Information Officer or their teams)?

As you contemplate this list ask yourself what are you passionate about? Where do your skills, education, and work experiences point you to?

Think of a job as an exchange of time and services in return for money. What can you provide that is worth the time and money to an employer who is investing in you?

During your search create small amounts of value along the way. Give your skills to others for free in small amounts. Chip away and success will be yours!

Remember…everything on this list takes time and hard work.

Over the years when I have shared these points with friends and colleagues looking for work they yield results 100% of the time, BUT only a small percent are willing to do what it takes.

It takes discipline and persistence to search for the right position.

If you are willing to climb the steps vs. expect an easy elevator ride to the top than you can secure a great job based on a proven scientific methodology and practicing an innovative approach along the way.

Reading List:
Selling to VITO (“Very Important Top Officer”) – Anthony Parinello
Winners Dream – Bill McDermott
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Richard D. Blumberg, President, World Sales Solutions, writes this series of blogs to help senior executives and their teams, leaders, influencers, educators, and students develop effective strategies and tactical execution which results in more revenues, profits, growth, jobs, and value. More >>

 
 
 

 

Purpose-Driven Design for the SAP Jam Digital Learning User Experience

Written by Elle Savage on the SAP Community.

When deploying SAP Jam and related SAP HR/Learning solutions, there is a great need for design solutions that are positioned to support business processes and add value to the user’s experience.

The challenge is to create high-quality graphic designs that turn ideas and missions into visuals that engage and excite employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders, while also optimizing the business objective.

According to a recent McKinsey Quarterly study, “The Business Value of Design,” companies that address all four of the following design priorities are rare, but those that have, reported increased revenues and total stakeholders returns compared to their counterparts. These four key elements include:

  • Analytics – Bringing data to life
  • Cross-Functional Teams & Talent – Enabling visuals to go beyond the silos of a respective group or organization
  • Continuous Iteration – Continued review, improvement, maintenance, and testing to optimize the user experience
  • User Experience – Design a seamless user experience that adds value to their business requirements

In order to achieve the best user experience, designers must be closely aligned with a project’s business leaders and subject matter experts to ensure they understand the mission and design with purpose.

Assessment of the Design-Driven Maturity Curve

Purpose-driven design should be an integral part of a project’s strategy from day one. In today’s increasingly digital world, users have come to expect an interface that is both attractive and easy to use.

There are many corporate tools at our fingertips to satisfy this expectation such as company libraries of images, icons, videos, font guidelines, etc., which should be leveraged to develop standards, repeatable processes, and efficiencies. Still, it is highly recommended that a project’s core team includes a design professional who understands how to maximize the benefits of available design elements.

Setting high-quality standards, per the “Design-Driven Maturity Curve,” sends a message to your audience that a SAP Jam custom home page or group landing page is valuable, credible, properly maintained, and well thought out.

What is the SAP Jam Design Value?

Throughout a project’s development, it is important to recognize design as a priority versus as an afterthought. The most forward-thinking organizations will strive to make it a substantive part of their activities because they see the value of design at both a strategic and tactical level.

Designing an intuitive user experience will increase efficiencies and generate higher value by enabling site visitors to quickly navigate the interface and find essential information, therefore optimizing businesses processes.At the same time, the interface must maintain the organization’s brand and messaging throughout the experience.

While a high-quality UI (User Interface) fulfills a user’s wants by delivering an attractive digital environment, an excellent UX (User Experience) fulfills their needs by allowing them to efficiently complete the task they set out to do quickly and with ease.

The Delivery Methodology for Optimizing Design Elements

When building a new digital learning community, group, or site, it is vital that the delivery methodology has user testing baked in to the team’s approach from the start (“Initiate” and “Assess”) to finish (“Deploy,” “Post-go-live,” and “Adoption”). Taking an agile approach allows project leaders to incorporate users’ feedback throughout development in order to create the best user experience possible.

Incorporating a Purpose-Driven Design Approach

Business process mapping enables teams to understand the project requirements and objectives before developing the interface design.

When key participants come and go from the project, there should be guidelines in place, by way of standardization, procedures, and protocols, that can be leveraged while still maintaining the team’s ability to be creative.

Organizations and teams that prioritize design addressing the four key elements discussed (Analytics, Cross-Functional Teams & Talent, Continuous Iteration, and User Experience) as a core part of their strategy outperform groups that take a more ad-hoc or even intermediate design level approach.

A purpose-driven design combined with the proper delivery methodology streamlines organization operations, which allow business leaders, subject matter experts, and contributors to focus on creating high-quality content, boosting productivity, and providing a consistent, impactful user experience.


Sources:

  • “4 key stats on the importance of design for business.” Adobe Blogs. Harmer, Tony. October 2015.
  • “The Business Value of Design.” McKinsey & Company. Sheppard, Benedict; Sarrazin, Hugo; Kouyoumjian, Garen; Dore, Fabricio. October 2018.
  • “The Value of Design.” Design Management Institute.

The CEO’s Role with HR in the Digital Learning Workplace Powered by SAP Jam

Compelling business trends and transformation happens every day. New customer requirements. Markets change. Mergers and acquisitions. Government regulations and compliance. Competitive pressures. Advancements in technology and innovation.

Winning CEOs help these transformations succeed by communicating their vision and strategy, setting up the business model with their leadership team, and making strategic learning an organizational priority.

How can HR / Learning professionals respond?

First, it starts with the Chief HR (or People) Officer and their team, who partner with the CEO, to provide access to the vital skills, expertise, and resources required.

Employees who understand the mission and are trained to perform at the highest level are more likely to achieve tangible outcomes, value, and performance which helps drive the top and bottom line of the business.

For the CEO to achieve transformation 4 key factors must be in place:

  1. Showcase the importance of learning as a pillar of the organization’s success.
    – Believe in the content and its impact.
  2. Create an employee-first culture where learning enables incredible upside with customers.
    – Empower career development.
  3. Develop quality learning programs that are linked to strategic direction.
    – Ensure true commitment and accountability.
  4. Amplify top experts, leaders, knowledge (i.e. videos, playlists, podcasts, thought leadership, blogs, books, presentations, key assets, mentoring, etc.) as a central hub to provide context to formal learning.
    – Extend formal learning to optimize the experience.

Maximizing the Digital Learning Workplace Opportunity with SAP Jam provides a powerful, robust, mobile platform which represents an industry leading, complimentary approach to formal Learning Management Systems (LMS).  SAP Jam fulfills an important, unique niche amongst other learning tools to provide clear value which is highly visible with 53+ Million licensed users.

LMS provides the foundation for courses, certifications, testing, scheduling, and formal e-Learning, classroom, and virtual instructor-led training. The key is to combine LMS with a collaborative, business process, mobile enabled platform (“app”) powered by SAP Jam to achieve success. How would you rate your organization in using these tools?

To realize success, the CEO must go beyond the vision and communications by putting the right strategic learning system and approach in place.

As a result, the performance of the entire organization will elevate.

Useful Links

About the Author

Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) (www.WorldSalesSolutions.com) providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations, innovation, and adoption.

Blogs

How SAP Jam and Google Analytics Extend Decision Support

Customers often ask, “How do we know our SAP Jam group, portal/internet, activities are providing the best results?”

Many times, executive management and stakeholders want to know how the investments in SAP Jam are working, and what decisions should be considered to optimize the experience for employees, customers, and partners.

Until we started using the combination of SAP Jam admin reports (& dashboards) with Google Analytics the raw data, assets (i.e. documents, videos), experts’ knowledge, and the business process (& models) deployed were extremely hard to measure.

Extending SAP Jam to Google Analytics is like “turning the lights on” to help identify audience behavior, understand the engagement with content, and make better business decisions.

Given the rapidly changing nature of an organization using SAP Jam, along with both structured and unstructured information, it’s easy to lose track of how to analyze audience behavior in relation to goals and campaign tracking.

Five Overall Benefits

  1. Achieving deeper data exploration to uncover trends & patterns
  2. Operationalizing reporting insights to optimize processes and achieve greater impact
  3. Reducing complexity by understanding what’s working and what needs improvement
  4. Providing governance to have consistent views both in the real-time and by way of regular reporting (i.e. bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly)
  5. Delivering high quality insights to executive sponsors and key stakeholders

The first bit of good news is that the SAP Jam Collaboration platform does not share employee (or user) profile information with Google Analytics. That gives us all a great sigh of relief when addressing the importance of data privacy and security standards.

Examples of what Google Analytics does very well to enhance the SAP Jam reporting experience:

  • Real Time Custom Reports – Addressing visitors’ locations, traffic sources, content
  • Audience – Tracking active users, geo, languages, behavior, new vs. returning, frequency, technology, mobile, devices, user flow
  • Acquisition – Measuring channels, sources, campaigns
  • Behavior – Understanding the flow, site content (views – what content is most engaging) as well as insights on all pages, exit pages, and problematic pages (i.e. bounce rates) and the time of day that receives the most traffic

When you consider the quantity of assets, data, and traffic on a Jam group, intranet or portal, along with growth and scalability, extending SAP Jam to Google Analytics is an essential tool.

With a consistent governance the decision makers (i.e. business leaders, company or group admins) can have a consolidated view, and be in a more informed position, to continuously improve and refine the SAP Jam group(s) or portal/intranet.

Once analyzed, SAP Jam decision support may require…

  • Improving communications (i.e. focusing on outreach & awareness)
  • Recognizing completeness of content / information (i.e. auditing a holistic vs. fragmented view. What are the audience’s priorities?)
  • Improving maintenance (i.e. accountability by content contributors to update or archive old information)
  • Assessing process improvements (i.e. ensure the company-wide, line of business or group’s business model is optimized on SAP Jam for the audience goals & objectives)
  • Leveraging knowledge (i.e. ownership and contribution from experts, mentors, peers)
  • Refining the user experience and design (i.e. make it easy for the audience to find what they want quickly and with the most value. Also, eliminate and reduce problem areas.)

When used the right way, SAP Jam and Google Analytics are a great combination which should be deployed to support data-driven decisions, metrics to inform executive sponsors and stakeholders, and help make decisions which ensure successful outcomes

Useful Links

About the Author

Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) (www.WorldSalesSolutions.com) providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations, innovation, and adoption.


Blogs

SAP Jam for social onboarding: How to Improve First Impressions for New Hires?

As an employer do you want to leave the early impressions of your organization to chance?

The day a new employee is hired it’s an exciting time. Do you want them to rely on a Google search, Glassdoor, Social Media, and/or disparate information for them to learn more about your organization or their new department?

In an Aberdeen Report, “Strategic Onboarding: Help New Employees and the Business” they pointed out:

“Best-in-Class companies are 2.5 times more likely than all others to provide key stakeholders with visibility into the development progress of new employees through the onboarding process.”

“58% of all companies indicate that the biggest influence on onboarding efforts is the need to engage new hires in the company culture.”

“Since 90% of employees make the decision to stay within the first year, it’s more important than ever to determine if new hires are engaged early on.”

When looking at the life cycle of an employee from prehire, new hire, and cross-hire… to becoming a productive employee, it’s important to enable a positive experience, engage, and help reduce the dropout rate.

First impressions make a big difference!

As a result, SAP Jam aligned with SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding (& the related HCM Suite) represents a best-in-class platform (& app) approach to enabling social onboarding.

4 SAP Jam for social onboarding considerations  
  1. External SAP Jam Group – For new hires they can be invited into an external Jam group with a focus to gaining access to company wide and department specific prehire information (i.e. videos, welcome ambassadors / experts, check lists, what to expect Day 1, etc.)
  2. Account Conversion – Once the new hire joins, Day 1, their prehire account can be converted to a full access SAP Jam user account allowing them to keep their existing information and expand into company wide access
  3. Dynamic Member Lists – New employees based on their start date can automatically become a member of a new hire Jam group which addresses both company-wide and departmental new hire considerations (i.e. stay in the group for 100 days)
  4. Complimentary Platforms & Apps – Align SAP Jam to recruiting, onboarding, learning, Fiori, and related HCM business processes and tools leveraging a common user management experience with SAP Foundation (aka – BizX) to enable the employee system of record
The Role of HR and Business Leadership

An organization’s Chief People &/or Talent Officer and their team play a big role as internal consultants within the organization to step back and assess if prehires, new hires, and cross-team hires are getting the best experience and optimizing their productivity?

A check list to consider:

  1. First Impressions – Has the organization taken the time to optimize the first impressions to the new employees?
  2. Knowledge – Do pre- and new hires have clarity on the value, culture, opportunities, and expectations for their new role?
  3. Engage – Are pre- and new hires being engaged in a timely manner with the best knowledge and information available to equip them for success?
    • Who are the experts and ambassadors who can share their experiences / insights?
  4. Busy Managers – While the business leads from the respective departments (“business units”) are very, very busy, have they provided what’s needed for pre- & new hires to be productive?
    • When was the last time the business addressed how long the boarding process takes and the process for efficiency?
  5. Compliance – Do the pre- and new hires have the information they need to address compliance (i.e. privacy, confidentiality, and related industry compliance requirements)?
  6. Strategy – Is onboarding viewed as a strategic initiative to your organization with ongoing reviews to keep the information fresh & current and use the best tools available?
What can the Chief HR and Talent Officer address? 

With digital transformation new employees expect social onboarding tools to facilitate their new hire experience. For recent graduates (“Next-Gen”) who have grown up with cell phones and social media it’s important for a business to put it’s best foot forward in the hiring process using modern tools and capabilities.

When left to ad-hoc approaches it’s proven that satisfaction levels can go down, and the drop out rate increases, which costs both time and money for all participants in the hiring process.

The Chief HR and Talent Officer and their team should develop approaches (“frameworks”) that make it easier for lines of business within the organization to address the business requirements to optimize the ramp up period… and bring on happy successful new employees… and as result, achieve higher levels of productivity, successful outcomes, and satisfaction.

Based on many SAP Jam experiences, it is often best for the business lead and their core team to focus on the business requirements and stakeholder input, and then work with SAP Jam implementation & adoption services experts to ensure that the platform is optimized and best practices are in place.

First day impressions are very important.

By stepping back… and looking at the best processes, key information, and approach… organizations can optimize what happens before, during, and after the first day on the job to develop talent and positively impact bottom-line results.

Blogs

 

Jerry McGuire had it right, “Show me the money!”


So often well intended investments in webinars, seminars, conferences, demand generation and other marketing and partner programs adds value, but unless it can be measured by way of revenues it can be under appreciated.

The WorkSpan approach of providing a platform for “Joint Marketing” and “Joint Sales” is an ideal way for 2 or more organizations to work together on deal qualification and sales cycles.

Consider 2 companies co-sponsor a marketing or partner program. It would be ideal for the account teams in both organizations to have access to the leads as well as the qualified sales opportunities.

CRM systems alone are not the answer in that proprietary information cannot be shared outside the organization. Only with a Joint Marketing & Joint Sales system can this approach be optimized.

What’s the alternative? emails? Phone calls? Texts? Spreadsheets? Social Media tools with disparate, disorganized threads of discussions?

Keep in mind the importance of privacy, security, and that the lead Account Executive wants and must control who participates and who doesn’t. Trust must be built. Often change management is key to addressing new ways to win deals.

A few questions / comments to consider:

  • How often does a sales pursuit include 2 companies and often a third (or more)
  • How can you optimize 2 (or more) talented organizations going after 1 important deal?
  • There can be 1 company with 10 deals and 10 different partners for each… how best to manage the various partners pursuing these deals?
  • And for every deal an account team pursues, the participants inside and outside the organization can change throughout the sales cycle.

As WorkSpan states, “Where you & your partners can nominate joint accounts to pursue, track deals, & report on partner contribution to revenue.” This platform and the methodology that goes with it is an excellent way to bolster measurable outcomes.

When marketing and strategic alliances professionals (“aces”) have measurable success they will make their manager and organization happy, gain more trust, increase investments in future programs, and have better control of important outcomes.

When you and your team achieve “Show Me the Money” status with revenues aligned to marketing and partner programs, more investments can be considered, more customer success can be developed and showcased, and the most important value of them all can be optimized: TIME.

Like

 

Hong Kong: The Sites, Landmarks & Destiny

After an awesome week in Hong Kong, during our ride back to the airport the driver said, “when you arrived you saw Hong Kong as a pin on the map” and I added “and now it’s a magnifying glass with a big spotlight!”

IMG_1257What my wife and I found was a fast moving, bright light, vibrant, safe, friendly city with a surrounding region of country trails and rolling mountains. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we walked 9-10 miles each day to see as much as possible!

What brought us to Hong Kong?

Our son Steven is a Drexel University study abroad student at the University of Hong Kong and having a great experience.  He was a perfect tour guide pinpointing many great sites, landmarks, restaurants, and less traveled fun places to check out. Also, for 3 days he IMG_1353was selected to spend time shadowing the CEO of the top global publication, the South China Morning Post, (on par with the Washington Post / NY Times) which was an amazing opportunity so between this experience and his classes we had some time to explore.

Our first lesson was how to use the MTR system (aka – subways, trains, metro)… Very quickly we learned about the blue, red, green and orange lines and main attractions like…

  • Wan Chai (灣仔) one of the busiest commercial areas in Hong Kong and the closest stop to our hotel
  • hong-hong-mtr-system-map-fullTung Chung (東涌) meaning ‘eastern stream’,  formerly a rural and fishing village and now the gateway to Ngong Ping’s Big Buddha, the world’s largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue and Po Lin Monastery
  • Che Kung Temple (車公廟) the stop to visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum which houses the “Bruce Lee – Kung Fu ‧ Art ‧ Life” exhibit

And of course these lessons allowed us to travel by MTR to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort which had popular attractions like “it’s a small world,” “Disneyland Railroad” and “Jungle River Cruise” as well as unique ones only found in Hong Kong including “Mystic Manor” and “Iron Man Experience.”

IMG_1328Interestingly the short ride to the resort had a custom Disney metro car with Mickey Mouse windows and a custom interior with blue lined seats, Minnie statues, and hand holders in the shape of Mickey.

Other memorable sites included:

  • Victoria Peak – The highest mountain on Hong Kong island with amazing views
  • Chi Lin Nunnery (志蓮淨苑) – Constructed entirely with cypress wood, without the use of any nails and is the world’s largest hand-made wooden building
  • OZONE  – One of the highest rooftop sky bars in the world, located on the 118th floor of The Ritz-Carlton)
  • The University of Hong Kong (aka HKU / Hong Kong University) – Founded in 1911, it is one of the most prestigious universities in Asia (& globe) with a beautiful campus and a great Alumni Affairs office
  • Malls – Some of the biggest and most impressive in the world with many top global and local brands
  • Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system – The longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world surrounded by Hong Kong SoHo
  • Kowloon Walled City Park – Originally a Chinese military fort and more recently restored into a beautiful park
  • Tung Choi Street (通菜街) is a well-known street market popularly known as “Ladies’ Market” where you walk through stalls and shops to find deals

IMG_1254Historically it was interesting to think back to when “Made in Hong Kong” was very popular (back in the day!) to the ancient farming and fishing villages — to today where Hong Kong has evolved into a major port and international financial center with more global brands and shopping malls then we have ever seen per square block.

In fact, our hotel, the Grand Hyatt was right next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China took place in 1997.

As we walked around Hong Kong you realize it’s always on the move… hustling and bustling… the MTRs are clean (we once saw a glass of water or soda spilled and it was cleaned within minutes). Rarely did we have to wait for the MTR more then 2 or 3 minutes… and the people are friendly and peaceful. The streets and malls are alive and busy into the night.IMG_1271

Interestingly we learned that every Sunday maids from Indonesia and the Philippines gather together and take a government required day off where they play cards, picnic, style hair, and socialize.

Perhaps when it was all said and done we realized how valuable the experience was for us.

To gain perspective about Hong Kong, China, and Asia is very worthwhile. Whether for business or vacation we would highly recommend taking time to get to know Hong Kong.

In fact, like so many places I have visited there will always be a part of us in Hong Kong and as the news takes place and others share their stories my interest will be sky high to learn more and share insights.

IMG_1363Who knows? Perhaps our new friend who we met at the HKU Alumni Affairs Office said it best… Sometimes “who we meet” and “when we meet” is simply “Destiny!” (see symbol on right) and it seemed like finally getting to Hong Kong was our destiny which will live on as a priceless memory for a lifetime.

 

 

 

Appendix – Photo Gallery 

Chi Lin Nunnery

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Hong Kong Heritage Museum – “Bruce Lee – Kung Fu * Art * Life” exhibit

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Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – MTR (Custom Train)

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Favorite Restaurant 

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View from OZONE

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Ngong Ping’s Big Buddha

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Grand Hyatt Hotel

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View from Victoria Peak

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Victoria Peak Hiking Trail – Pok Fu Lam Country Park

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Hong Kong University

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