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I thought I had heard and read it all until I read a recent blog that contained the phrase “enhanced user experience”.  The reason this phrase resonated with me so profoundly is that I had just been dealing with an SAP-delivered Plant Maintenance transaction window where the folks on the shop-floor had to navigate thru several trees in order to select three simple organizational values.  (I think the transaction was TW41.)  So what the BA’s wanted was a screen which allowed the shop-floor folks to select these organizational values using simple push buttons, because in our case, only 15 values are possible: 4 for one value, 7 for the second value, and 4 for the third.  (And they were actually ready to use a 3rd-party bolt-on product to build this front-end screen for TW41, until I pointed out that ABAP does contain the verbs “call transaction’ and “submit program”.)  So anyway, we’re going to code a front-end screen for TW41 which is simpler for the shop floor folks to use – kind of like one of those McDonald’s cash register “user interfaces”.  But do you really think that anyone would be willing to go out on the shop-floor and tell everyone that we’re bringing them an “enhanced user experience”?  See how foolish it sounds in that context?  And if so, why is it any less foolish in our context here?
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  1. David Halitsky Post author
    And once we have NW2004s in production in Feb, this is actually a perfect candidate for a WDA/WDJ front-end  that calls IW26 as a “service” (instead of the plain ABAP front-end we’ll give them at the moment.)

    But whether it’s plain ABAP or WDA/WDJ, I ain’t telling no one it’s going to give them an “enhanced user experience”.

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    1. Stephen Johannes
      David,

      Remember the initial mysap.com “release” during the dot-com boom days?  It is amazing how far renaming existing tools can go.  Honestly the 2003/eary 2004 version of netweaver really was merely a “repackage” of what was already being delivered.

      “Enhanced user experience” in my book means users less likely go “postal” on the developer, after having to use the interface.

      Take care,
      Stephen

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      1. David Halitsky Post author
        Sometimes a good idea just has to be marketed the right way.  For example, Adabas got Pepsi Cola and NASA as clients and Model 204 didn’t. 

        This had nothing to do with which database was “better” – they both had very similar back and front ends. 

        But the makers of Model 204 either didn’t have the money to market it properly or didn’t think they had to (because they were based in Cambridge MA, where folks are used to evaluating software on its merits, not on its ad campaigns.)

        So I’m not at all against marketing – just against stupid, condescending, inane marketing.

        Speaking of which, I always put “mySAP” right up there with “Do you Yahoo?”.  I don’t know which one grates on the nerves more …

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  2. Pedro Lima
    This kind of “dream selling” is also one of the things that damages the ecosystem in the long term.

    I like a lot the way you put the finger where it hurts. Thanks, and keep it coming harsh.

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    1. David Halitsky Post author
      Unfortunately, if the US won’t sign the global-warming treaty, why should software companies promise not to heat-up the marketing climate until all software has boiled away into vaporware?

      Please note that I’m NOT saying that ES(O)A, CAF, etc. is vaporware – I’m saying that it’s really such good stuff that it doesn’t need any fancy “hype” to sell it.

      We all just have to help prove that the new stuff:

      a) runs fast, or at least fast enough.
      b) lets folks do their jobs more easily and better.

      We DON’T have to prove that the new stuff gives anyone an “enhanced user experience”.

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  3. Max Favilli
    I think when we will all (we and they) understand that we are not dealing with rocket surgery (long life to Steve Krug) we will all happily use terms like “Enhanced User Experience” much more happily.
    It’s not name we give it, personally I like “Enhanced User Experience”. I don’t like to hear it coming from some guys mouth, actually from specific guys.
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    1. David Halitsky Post author
      because my goal is never to proclaim, but only to provoke (thought, not anger, of course).  But gee – you’ve got me curious now, and I’m sure others as well.

      Which guy(s)?

      Best regards
      Dave

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        1. David Halitsky Post author
          Hi Max –

          That’s interesting, because it goes to my point about SAP, marketing, and the direction of IT.

          Unlike some other software vendors, SAP is in the business of having good market share and good software.  (It’s main competitor only has the first.)

          So SAP is in the enviable position of being able to experiment with a different approach to marketing – an approach that tries to educate customers as well as convince them.

          I realize that most marketeers believe the customer ignorance is their best advantage, but IT is getting so wide-spread and customers are getting so much more sophisticated that maybe a new and non-condescending approach might work.

          There still is a retailer in the US whose slogan is still: “An educated customer is our best customer”.

          Does SAP believe this.  Or not?

          And I’m not talking about “conferences” where customers are force-fed the same pablum over and over again in different ways …

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