Very common and easy way to criticize SAP R3 System is to complain about its Lousy UI, Complex Screens, Pathetic User experience etc. I would argue differently. When you go out on a look of a MUV, you typically give importance to a powerful engine, ruggedness in the build, easy handling, adapt to difficult terrains and beat the dirt. The challenges faced by an ERP system are nothing less as compared to a MUV.
It is amazing to see the completeness and the perfectness of the R3 system and seamless integration it offers with in its modules. You think of a business need or change in the business process, you have it in it. Of course it does not look cool like an aesthetically designed windows application or Mac application but one must understand that these are applications meant for different purposes. A blue hued R3 screen is no comparison with the look and feel of the MS word where I am typing this blog. But how many times one wanted to change the way they want to make documents or customize MS Office application.
Generally people confuse the terms UI and Usability. All the applications with good UI are not necessarily have good usability. Very impressive feature in the R3 application in the F1 and the F4 helps which are so powerful and makes life easy for the end users. A user just needs to know the business process to understand the fields and what they meant. The context based help offered by the application is one of the powerful and just tells what is required, rather than dumping a lot of information in a colorful way. The value of the F4 help lies makes it easy for the user to find his input values avoids data integrity issues which is very essential for an sturdy business application.
With the new age UI technologies like Silver Lite, Adobe Flex, and few from SAP too, using which application with killer looks and rich user experience are made, one would like to have a error free and powerful application. Beauty fades away over a period of time and no one will like a beautiful looking car which breaks down every now an then.