Gamification In Play At Enterprise 2.0 - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
04:47 PM
Connect Directly
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Gamification In Play At Enterprise 2.0

SAP and BunchBall are working on ways to make work more like play.

At Enterprise 2.0, SAP and BunchBall will have a lot to say about making work more like play.

At Enterprise 2.0 in Santa Clara, Mario Herger, a senior innovation strategist for SAP Labs, will appear alongside Rajat Paharia, founder and chief product officer of Bunchball, and Megan Casey, editor-in-chief of Squidoo, in a main stage panel discussion moderated by gamification expert and advocate Gabe Zichermann.

The embrace of gamification at SAP is part of a broader push to improve the user interface of the company's products, Herger said.

"We are not known for having compelling UI designs," Herger admitted in an interview. When working with an SAP application, "you work with it to do stuff you're required to do, but it's not as engaging in form as we'd like to see." The gap between SAP apps and the most compelling applications only seemed to grow wider with the advent of mobile phone and tablet user interfaces, Herger said. He began studying video games as a source of innovative user interface ideas and stumbled across the idea of gamification as part of that process.

Enterprise 2.0

Gamification is the application of game-like techniques for user engagement to applications that need not be games per se. In that context, SAP has already been applying gamification to some of its user experiences, such as the SAP Community Network, where the most active members are recognized with badges and placement on leaderboards. Since then, SAP has sponsored a series of gamification hackathons, first for its own developers and then for partners, in search of ideas for applying gamification principles to business application development.

Herger said SAP is evaluating Bunchball and competing products that provide a foundation for gamification apps, but has also custom-designed applications using the principles of gamification.

[ Learn more about gamification. Read Gamification: 75% Psychology, 25% Technology. ]

Bunchball's Paharia said SAP's interest is one of many sign of the rising interest in enterprise gamification. In addition to providing a gamification platform, Bunchball is preparing to launch its Nitro for Salesforce application, designed specifically to boost sales team performance.

In partnership with Adobe, Bunchball recently created the LevelUp game for Photoshop, which is designed to boost the conversion of users who download the free trial into paying customers. The challenge Adobe is addressing with this application is created by offering a full-featured image editing product with thousands features--an overwhelming prospect for a new user.

"The game walks them through a series of missions, where there might be five to ten things we want everyone to know by the end of a 30-day trail--things like how to lighten something or reduce red eye," Paharia said. The goal is to propel new users through the introductory tutorials quickly, so they will understand the basics and feel comfortable that they can learn the other features as they need them, he said. "If we can move the needle even a little bit on that conversion ratio, that would be huge."

Proving the enterprise business benefits is "the holy grail of gamification right now," Herger said. "The message, for me, is that gamification is not a fad, gamification is going to stay," Herger said. "It's just like social media--when it makes sense to use it, you will use it."

Ultimately, the benefits will have to be proven in the traditional business terms of additional sales or reduced expenses, Herger said. "If the side effect if people have fun, that's a side effect I want to have--I can live with that."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

User names and passwords are no longer sufficient authentication. Security requirements and regulatory mandates are putting pressure on business to adopt strong, multifactor authentication methods. In this Tech Center report, we explain how to weigh cost vs. risk to select the Web authentication method for your high-risk applications. Download it now. (Free with registration.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll