While many people have long assumed that games are just for fun and have little application to the serious world of business, gamification is proving them wrong. While the concept may not be new, the use of gamification across enterprise is gaining speed.
Gamification is the application of game-thinking and game-based mechanics in non-gaming contexts to engage and motivate users. Generation Y, which refers to people who are born from the early eighties to the mid-nineties, are particularly interested in interacting, sharing and engaging within a community through entertainment. German software company SAP understood the value of gamification years ago and has been integrating the idea into its SAP Community Network (SCN).
SAP’s Community Network is a platform where SAP employees can share news and where SAP’s customers, partners, experts and independent developers can communicate, share, network and collaborate. The community has proven to be so helpful that many people reach out to the platform before contacting SAP Support.
However, with over 2 million members and around 6,000 forum posts a day, it is difficult to distinguish the true experts or influencers from the rest. This is where gamification came into the picture.
Since the launch of its Community Network 10 years ago, SAP has been utilising game mechanics to increase user engagement and to identify top contributors and topic-area influencers. With the Contributor Recognition Program, users can earn community points by blogging, answering questions on forums, contributing to the wiki pages, or submitting whitepapers. The points are aggregated into a lifetime leaderboard in which users can grow their reputations as SAP professionals. Users for example need 250 points to reach the initial level of Bronze Active Contributor. True experts are often guided to become mentors for other members or even used as advisors on SAP products and systems.
The platform also allows teamwork; individuals can be part of their company’s team, with their points aggregating into a company score, even to compete against rival businesses.
The Contributor Recognition Program can also help contributors with their career progression. For people aspiring to land a one of the specialist SAP jobs , being recognised on the forum as a Top Contributor in their field of expertise will of course have a positive impact and make them stand out from other candidates. Hiring managers are often looking for SCN points on resumes, or using the platform itself to look for people who are recognised as experts.