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author's profile photo Anthony X. Uliano

Sharing Vendor Solution Information

The other day one of my comments on a community post was flagged for “Content or comments primarily designed to drive traffic to, increase the search rankings of, generating revenue from, or gain any other personal benefit from a non-SAP site, product, or service.”

Many questions are from community members looking for ways to solve integration issues with SAP products, and third party products (like mine) help solve those problems. Is there an appropriate way to share that information without violating the Rules of Engagement? For example, is it appropriate to share the link to our SAP profile or to our SAP certification? I’m trying to understand how to help answer community member questions appropriately.

I have asked the moderators, but I would appreciate any feedback you have.

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  • Aug 14, 2019 at 10:18 PM

    I shared the moderator perspective privately with Anthony, but since this is posted in the community, perhaps it's useful to share it here too:

    While we realize that third-party products can help our community members in certain situations, it should be understandable that we cannot open up our community to solicitation without damaging the interactions here and losing the community’s trust.

    The best way for third-party providers to approach our community is with a light hand: Fill out your profile with all of your company’s information, and be as helpful as you can in answering questions and sharing knowledge freely. As you gain reputation in the community and are seen as a trusted provider of knowledge, your company will gain exposure when members check out your profile.

    When posting, it's acceptable to mention in general that there are third-party tools out there that might help a certain situation that is being discussed, if that truly applies. If a member then comes back and asks for names of tools or more information, you can reply with a suggestion to “visit my profile” where they will find more details.

    Hope this information helps other partners and third-party product providers as well.

    • Aug 15, 2019 at 10:16 AM

      I did receive a personal reply to my question, but I thought it might be a good coffee corner topic. Some online communities that I belong to, have the same guidelines but several of them have a topic area where community members can ask for product recommendations and partner members can reply with product information. Is anyone else interested in that approach?

      • Aug 15, 2019 at 04:23 PM

        I am. I think if SAP is going to have a forum they need to account for the fact that there is a huge third party ecosystem that exists around their software. There are many ways to deal with this and I think that there definitely should be some reasonable rules around what can and can't be posted. There definitely is a difference between "I have a third party SAP certified tool that we sell that solves your specific problem" vs "Please hire our consultants to solve your issues". I know some other forums just make vendors clearly marked with a badge and also have specific topic areas where there is more freedom to discuss their products so readers know clearly where the information is coming from and moderators police and ban them if they aren't respecting the guidelines.

        • Aug 15, 2019 at 08:13 PM

          I think those are all great ideas on how to support the 3rd party ecosystem while maintaining the integrity of the community. I believe SAP Moderators are taking this under consideration. It would be great to find a respectful way to balance the needs to the benefit of the entire community.

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