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Here is the first set of business cases you will have the chance to work on at Innovation Weekend. And you will be able to pitch your own ideas!

Please edit and add comments to these cases - we want them to be as rich and complete as possible.

1.       Analyzing and improving marketing campaign effectiveness

Data: Google Analytics, email database

Potential applications: Mobile, BI OnDemand, Xcelsius, financials, email


What types of campaigns are most effective? How do we get people to donate to our cause? What drives people to take action? How do we ensure we are making most efficient use of our scarce marketing resources? How do we respond to breaking news and make instant changes to our strategy? These questions are very difficult to answer without access to the data. And more than that, the data is scattered among multiple disconnected systems. What is needed is a simple way to aggregate these data sources and present the information in a way that can be easily interpreted. The data must be actionable and those actions linked back into our financial and marketing systems. We also need this information to be available to anyone, anywhere. Sometimes it seems like we run our org from iPhones so mobility is key to the solution

Link to business case: Analyzing and improving marketing campaign effectiveness

2.      National-Regional coordination

Potential applications: Mobile, BPM, Streamwork

Challenge: As a national organization we set goals and targets across the U.S. However, each of our local offices operates quite independently. While this gives us a lot of flexibility to serve each region well, it makes it very difficult to coordinate efforts, report success in a consistent way and ensure that we are taking advantage of economies of scale.  What we need is something to help with planning and execution that spans the national-regional-local continuum. This needs to include communication, collaboration, measurement, reporting and mobile access. In addition, we need to ensure that the system is open and can accept imports from sources like local volunteer databases, financial applications (since not everyone is on the same platform) and contact management systems

Link to busines case: National-Regional coordination

3.       Measuring and managing performance

Data: Process in Demonstrating Value, impact data

Potential applications: BI Ondemand, Xcelsius, Streamwork, mobile


The Potluck Cafe and Catering Society in Vancouver, Canada, one of the city's most successful social enterprises, operates a cafe and corporate catering service generating revenue of approximately $1 million per year. With this revenue, Potluck is able to provide over 26,000 free meals to residents of the Portland Hotel Society - residents with severe addiction, mental and physical health issues. In addition, Potluck hires and trains local residents, providing meal support, bus passes and life skills coaching.  Even with these successes, however, Potluck was hard-pressed to quantify and articulate the value it was delivering to funders and community stakeholders, and therefore having a difficult time engaging their Board of Directors in effective strategic planning.

Like Potluck, most nonprofit organizations face heavy demands for data reports, studies and proposals showcasing their mission and social cause. Unfortunately, most of these organizations are often stuck needing to spend vast amounts of their scarce time and resources trying to identify, locate and portray the necessary data in a meaningful way on a case-by-case basis. As a result, much reporting is solely anecdotal, hindering an organization's ability to effectively demonstrate their value and engage in effective planning.

There are also challenges in collecting the data from front line staff, communicating results internally and using the data to make better real-time decisions - both at a management and operational level.

To address this need locally, Vancouver's Vancity Community Foundation and other funders came together with Potluck and other select local organizations to form the "Demonstrating Value Project". This initiative was designed to explore frameworks that could better enable these organizations to understand, communicate and assess their financial performance, organizational sustainability and mission-related impact. SAP Business Objects is a major funder of the project, contributing financial resources, strategic advice, technical resources and software.

Link to business case: Measuring and managing performance

4.       Optimizing fundraising processes

Business Process: Fundraising and Donor Predictability

Data: Raiser's Edge (fundraising application)

Potential applications: Explorer, BI OnDemand, mobile, BPM


Arts Umbrella is Canada's preeminent arts institute for young people, ages 2 to 19. The not-for-profit began operating in a small rented space in 1979, with 45 children attending. Today, Arts Umbrella operates in a 22,000-square-foot facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has numerous partnerships with other organizations across the province of BC. Arts Umbrella estimates that, during 2006 and 2007, more than 36,000 children attended classes, workshops, and outreach performances. Arts Umbrella has more than 150 staff and faculty members, making it the second largest employer of artists in the province. In addition, over 300 volunteers assist in a variety of ways, predominantly in fundraising efforts.

While Arts Umbrella has grown steadily to become a world-class art center, technology in general at the organization has been a slow-going process. In the year 2000, Arts Umbrella changed its database system over to Raiser's Edge, a database used primarily by not-for-profits in the fundraising sector. "Unfortunately," says Scott Elliott, director of development at Arts Umbrella, "we didn't have the capacity in-house to run that system properly. And we had no training. So we floundered around, not able to pull any reports out of the database at all."

Arts Umbrella requires the production and distribution of a variety of reports, but two reports are especially critical - on a weekly basis. One is a forecast report, which summarizes the other report needed: a full listing of who the organization's canvassers are, who the canvassers' prospects are, what kinds of funds are expected from these prospects, and so on. Compiling these reports was a difficult, time-consuming process. "I would export pretty much raw numbers from Raiser's Edge into an Excel file," says Elliott. "And then I'd spend literally days massaging those numbers to get them into some kind of report. I never had any confidence in the finished report. Another problem was that I wasn't able to correct errors in a quick manner because we were running two systems. Whatever I had in the Excel system, I had to re-input back into Raiser's Edge. It just wasn't dynamic at all."

In addition, the reports and data were difficult to access - especially for those working remotely, interacting with potential donors and those attending events.

Link to business case: Optimizing fundraising processes

5.       Financial management

Data: QuickBooks/Simply Accounting/SAP

Potential applications: Business One, Business ByDesign, Xcelsius, Crystal Reports, mobile

Challenge: Running multiple systems makes it very difficult to get a single picture of our organizations financial status. We need to answer questions like how much it is costing us to manage our volunteers? Are we utilizing our staff most effectively? How much does it cost to deliver our services by type and how does that compare to benchmarks? How can we organize our financials in a way that is useful for both our internal management and for external reporting to government and funders?

Link to business case: Financial management

6.       Social media integration

Potential applications: Mobile, streamwork, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, Drupal

Challenge: We need better ways to engage our constituents. We can't rely on people coming directly to our site to find volunteer opportunities, learn about our services or donate to us. We need to "go where the people are". We want to be able to push our content to the various social media services, engage people there and connect them to our network. By their very nature, these services will required a mobile delivery platform. We also need to measure the success of our efforts  by tracking conversion rates (i.e. from reading a post, to registering to be a volunteer to attending a volunteer event). 

Link to Las Vegas business case: Social Media Integration

Favorited by: Oliver and Matthias and Dick  - (currently brainstorming about it)

Link to business case:  Social media integration


 Potential application: ABAP, Web Dynpro for ABAP

 Challenge: Build an foundation for a social networking plattform which respect privatery rights and help to collabrate.

Team up posibilities: Possiblity to team up with business case 6.)

Link to business case:"SAPBOOK" (wink)

 Favorited: Guido Brune

8. "Physician: Heal Thyself": Improving the SCN from within!

Posted by:  Sarah Otner  GOAL:  Improve the recognition systems of SCN by examining the historical data
-          Does the SCN recognition system reward the right kinds of behaviors and contributions?
-          What's the real value of being a Top Contributor?
PROBLEM: Initial attempts to pull the source data already available on SCN into Excel failed as they only returned 10 lines and the same 10 lines upon each request (a problem when one Top Contributor  table has 17,000 individuals).
-          A database of community members and their activity year-on-year for as many years as is available.
-          Scrape the Contributor Recognition Program, the Top Contributors' lists, the Topic Leaders' lists, and the Mentors' rosters into a format easily manipulable (by me! J) for analysis
-          Desired variables (*not exhaustive):
o   Year joined SCN
o   Lifetime points (CRP)
o   Points per year (CRP)
o   SAP Employee? (yes/no)  Since when?
o   Mentor? (yes/no)  Since when?
o   Top Contributor? (yes/no)
o   Topic Leader? (yes/no)
o   Geographic location
o   Company? (or companies, if >1, and when changed)
o   Job title?
o   Technical expertise (certification)?
o   (SCN) Area of expertise?
o   LinkedIn Bio integrated into business card? (yes/no)
o   Gender
-          Part of a Ph.D. on reputation and social status in electronic networks of practice (ENoP)
-          Recognition systems that provide value for contributors
-          Recognition systems that encourage healthy community behaviors, which in turn strengthen the ENoP

Link to business case:  Improving the SCN from within

9. "Kindergarten Busy Bee Tracker"

 Potential application: Google Apps, Google Spreadsheets, River, BIOnDemand,BPM

 Challenge: Listening to the issues faced with not for profit (NFP) organisations in Business Case 3, this is looking at the general requrement of many distributed smaller entities within a NFP organisation and standardising how they track various information in various formats.  The idea is to see how cloud technologies can provide holistic yet easily deployable solutions in order to standardize processes in these organisations for maximum efficiency, less data manipulation, and quicker more visible reporting.

The specific business case comes from the requirement in Kindergartens for parents to be involved a certain number of hours per child per year.  Parents typically need to provide 8 hours of activity time per year per child although they can opt to also pay a dollar amount for time they do not commit to this task.  Curently this is typically done via manual maintenance of a spreadsheet, is prone to error, and puts the onus on the Kindergarten support staff to get this right since there is a financial aspect to this.  The added complexities include the fact parents can swap with each other regularly, payments can be made for less than the full amount based on how much time they can commit, children leaving would not be collected upon, etc.

Note - This business case was defined after looking through the technologies to see what we would like to prove, plus identifying a reusable framework that could be deployed in organisations not just limited to Kindergartens.

Link to business case and Innovation Weekend outcomes:  Kindergarten Busy Bee Tracker

Please take the time to visit Idea place.  This will help improve next Innovation Weekend.

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  1. Really excited to see this taking shape. Many thanks for giving me the chance to contribute and take a look behind the scenes on such an interesting event. (smile)

    So, the first thing I wanted to ask about is on the use-cases: are they all based on
    'real' scenarios, for which we may even have already someone who needs this? If I understood you correctly, the ultimate goal would be able to hand something over to people who could really make use of it, right?

    My favorites are sceanrio 2) and 6) at the moment. Number 2 talks about backend abstraction or so-called technical composition and falls into my primary area of expertise. I'd be happy to offer my help here... btw, when you say BPM you refer to NWCE as a whole right (incl. CAF, Java EE server, WS Runtime etc?)

    Number 6) seems to be the "coolest" one. Would also love to work on that, but I'm assuming this one will be a popular one, so just a 'quote' from my side.

    Well, talk to you on thursday then. Marilyn, will you schedule a meeting request?

  2. Anonymous

    This is going to be so much fun!!!  I'm looking forward to starting this one from the beginning.  
    Last year, I noticed we struggled with scope.   I guess it depends on how many people are working on this.  Also you can only do so many things independently.  A lot of times we would bring together our teams.   I'd like to see all the scenarios scaled down to a manageable scope.    If we start so large, I'm not sure how long it will take to get down to a manageable amount of work.

    -Or maybe we just start our project by scaling it down within our teams, and then start work.  I'm not sure.  I just remember going back and forth.  We knew what we were working on.  It was just so large for a short amount of time.

    Another thing we had issues with - data.  It would help if we had test data available for each of the projects.   Even if it wasn't in the perfect database - an Excel spreadsheet would even help. 

     I'm trying to get through all the links.  BUT do we still have the video from our judge last year?  If I remember correctly she pointed out some of the problems we had.   It would probably be worth taking a look at.

     I'm looking forward to talking on Thursday.  

  3. Former Member

    I'm very much aligned with Matthias' comments above.

    In addition, I believe we need to ensure that we have a very good understanding of the problem space and that we don't build something that cannot be deployed. For example, if we get some new tools that are not GA yet (which will be great for the hacker night crowd), then we should at least get the commitment from SAP that if leveraged, that the Non-profit organisations may be able to leverage this pre GA (but then is that too great a risk for them).

    In terms of ideas, a different take on 6 may be to look at the whole fundraising opportunity to build a social media and other donation gateway solution and allow real-time insight/dashboards into a fundraising drive, linked directly to initiatives. For example, using Twitter, Facebook, and direct deposits through payment interfaces; report in real-time on pledge plus actuals (you can't commit to pledges like you can actual donations) over time which people donating can see what their donations are equating to. This could drive positive behaviours to people donating (especially when you are near hitting delivery of an initiative) and provide transparency around these organisations.
    Now to add even more "cool" factor to this; at DemoJam night, we could present this at the beginning, and keep the dashboard displayed over the whole period to get TechEd attendees (and those watching remotely) to donate to a real cause to provide immediate value from Innovation Weekend. And to make this even more a competition, we could say the winning Innovation Weekend team gets to choose the charity to donate the money to. It wouldn't hurt if SAP could match efforts either (hint hint).

    Definitely looking forward to Innovation Weekend in Vegas and the lead up to it.
    This all said, a subject matter expert may see many holes in my ideas above so key to this is building a real solution with feedback from SME's both prior to the event and at the event.

  4. So the faster we begin to flesh out the business cases and work on more granular details, the easier it will be to have real SMEs vet these scenarios and also (as I understood) the more possible to have folks like Sami from SAP mobile begin to build data.  That of course (as Greg Chase and Steve pointed out on our call)will  be very dependent on the specifics of the business cases.

    Matt, your idea of having a live dashboard with external participation is awesomeness.   Rather than keep these in the comments, perhaps we can begin to build child pages to the main Innovation Weekend Page so that others can really collaborate rather than merely comment.

    I was thinking we could structure this something like the Process Design Slam pages we worked with last year.  A page for each business case (and corresponding sub-pages), a page for attendees in each location, a page for roles, tasks, cases.

    Dick Hirsch did a fantastic job of organizing and reconfiguring content once we began to publish the skeleton.

    I'll take a stab at getting some of these initial pages out there.

    Some of the folks don't notice that there are child pages or even comments so I'll work to make that more obvious as well.

  5. After giving it some more thoughts I think that the more real the scenarios are the better I guess. This is really what had me sold on the entire idea when I heard about it first: the fact that we aim to build a PoC of something that we can donate to a non-profit organization. So, if the scenarios are "real-world" examples it would be great to get more details on the requirements and the systems involved.

    I don't want to reduce room for creativity, but from what I understand innovation always needs to deal with real world constraints, so this is really the exciting part - to see how you can overcome limitations and constraints with your innovation, right?

  6. Anonymous

    After looking at these business cases -

    How are the teams going to split?   How many people to a team?  What kind of coordination has to be done?  Prior to the weekend we want to try to make the teams kind of equal in terms of expertise and number of people.  How can we do that?  Can we do that?

    Berlin is starting prior to Vegas.   How will we leaverage the work that will be done there?  Can we leaverage the work - or do we want to come up with different applications?

    Are we going to keep all these different cases?  Are we adding more?  Can we start setting up agendas for our Thursday meetings where we give tasks to others?


    -Split out our experts.   Determine our skills sets and split between business cases.  It will help when we know the technology.  The experts involved could drive some of the technology.  Make sure there are people that are attending the Berlin TechEd and people attending the Vegas Teched in all teams.  Put together a list.  The list could include which business case we perfer to work on.   Go from there...  Split it out soon.  SO we can start some real work on each of the cases.

    -Break out to smaller teams - come together on Thursday. 

    -Agenda with action items for Thursday's meeting.   What do we hope to accomplish in the meeting?   These first couple of meetings give us a good overview.   I believe that was what meeting 1 was to accomplish.  Meeting 2 - this Thursday.   Technology overview?   Can we talk about divide and conquer?

    -I'm not sure if we can leverage work.  These two weekends are really close together.    Ideas / Brainstorming on how to leverage our work?

     Marilynn -

    I didn't find where you had split up these business cases.  I made some child pages here.   All the information I put on them is easy to move.  I was just brainstorming...  I don't really even have a preference on which case I'll be working on.

  7. Thanks Michelle.  Our meeting today should be the stake in the ground for splitting into smaller sub-groups.  Thanks for creating the separate childpages for each of the business cases.

    The more details we embed the easier it will be for the technology teams to create some form of data against which we can work.

    That will definately be necessary for the Mobile and BPM folks who would like to help you all "keep it real".

    The agenda for Thursday is to begin to see who would like to work with which scenario.  It is also about defining some of the requirements for the upcoming weeks.

    Craig promised that only on the following Thursday will we really take a deep dive into looking at some of the Technologies so we need to begin to flesh out the preferred business cases during this present week (starting today, Thursday September 23rd).

  8. Anonymous

    Thank you!    (tongue)

     I hope to be able to join today.

  9. Anonymous

    I put some notes on technology use cases/ options into the details for business case #2 and #4. As I am no domain expert, I would need someone to discuss what the concrete options for the scenario are and we can start fleshing out one(question) scenario. Just in case another use cases look at similar issues. This is the proposition:

    • Slipstream will enable NW processes to send events about their status/content. It is an extension to NW BPM that uses the Sybase Aleri Streaming Platform and Xcelsius for visualisation.
      Check also:
      This enables a couple of use cases:
      • Process execution can be monitored in real-time
      • Process execution of different processes and different servers can be correlated and aggregated with each other and third party data in RT
      • Process flow can be changed during execution as gate values can be changed 
      • Decisions can be based on BRM data
      • Process can be influenced based on this data in RT by being cancelled, suspended, or started
      • The events can lead also to alerts via email, sms, twitter, xyz (which is standard CEP functionality)

    Drop me an email to gets started.

  10. Former Member

    As some of the business cases use Streamwork, the Streamwork team would like to help out where we can.

    To fully use the StreamWork Feed API, you will want to have a licensed Organization. The best way to do that is to get you licensed with the Professional Edition.

    Please email me at peter dot scholtens at sap dot com if you would like to get a licensed Org for the Innovation Weekend. We can give you a 10 user Org on an Eval basis (expires by end of 2010). Let me know which email address to use -- please make it a different one than you use to do your "real" work on Streamwork (e.g. if you are from SAP, don't use your SAP email).

    Also, I highly recommend that you keep an eye on Robert Horne's blog here -- he will be posting soon with very useful info on the Feed API. You can follow Rob and ask Rob questions on Twitter using his @saasdeveloper handle. I'm @petescholtens but I'm less useful to developers...

  11. Hi Peter,

    I'd also recommend you reach out to those engaged in that scenario directly.  You can ping @rhirsch using his Twitter handle for example or post directly into the Business Case 6 where Dick (rhirsch) and others are already highly active.

    You might want to reach out to fellow employees Oliver Kohl and Matthias Steiner (both SAP mentors)

    Cheers! And thanks for the invitation.  You are invited to Innovation Weekend as well (smile)

  12. Former Member

    Rob Horne wrote an excellent and timely post about the new StreamWork Feed API that you can find here:

  13. Anonymous


    I've been working with Peter and Robert from the StreamWork team. They've set me up with a Organization in StreamWork (which is necessary to use the Feed API) .  So, if anyone needs to use the new Feed API in the InnovationWeekend, they should contact me directly.


  14. Anonymous

    Thought it might be useful to have an overview of the general technologies that are in use in non-profit environments. Here is a link to a blog post just published on that topic: