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Gaming, Online Business and SAP.

Gaming, Online Business and SAP.


SAP’s origin and growth is mainly based on the delivery of best in class enterprise application systems that support core business processes. When I worked for SAP in the late 90’es we even had the good old MLP system as our internal email system. With no doubt the most rock solid email environment I ever worked with. Same counts for the time recording application in my consulting days, best is class and tightly integrated into all core processes.


From and end user perspective however one thing was lacking and that was experience and emotion. For sure we talk about enterprise 2.0 and are bringing in all these great web technologies to enhance our user interfaces but does this also bring the experience and emotion or is it just usability? To my opinion experience and emotion come into play when a user is engaging in an environment in which he or she feels so special that it greatly influences their mood and has a positive impact on productivity. Ultimately it will impact their (buying) behaviour and he or she longs to get back.

Now look for example to the online gaming industry. Why is it possible here to use software to create great experiences and truly call upon human emotions. You can even get addicted to them and follow special treatment programs. I search the web but couldn’t find any similar program for ERP, CRM or whatever enterprise application system there is. I guess the closed one is blackberry or iphone addiction.

So what’s the point here, you might ask? 

As we all know business models are changing and we are moving for an internal focus towards an online world. In the internal world users are bond to interact with the processes running on our own systems based on predefined procedures and screens. As companies focus on their key competences and streamline their processes over their value chains we have to go online and make sure that the right people can interact with the processes to keep them going.

However in the true online world it’s no longer the process but the user who’s at the center of gravity. He/she has the knowledge, experience and network that are needed to interact with the processes to keep them going. For sure they will decide which processes and hot and which not. So you better make sure that you focus on their emotion to have them interact with your processes.

Maybe someday we have a true online experience for business processes that matches games like World of Warcarft or Grand Theft Auto. I can image World of Sales in which our account managers have to form alliances with online community members to jointly build the best sales team and fight fearsome battles with their opponents. Or Grand Theft HCM in which HR managers can play the cool guy in town, drive the hottest cars and break all laws trying to recruit the best employers for their needs. Retro purchase managers might even wonder around in a virtual PAC MAN world restricted by the rules in our GRC applications trying to collect precious resources before the competitors ghosts gets them.

Seriously maybe it’s a big step but for sure the rules of the game are changing here and you should be fully aware that going online with your business process is not just about installing a webshop or putting some iviews on a portal page. It’s about creating an emotional experience for the end users that they like and would love to come back to. 

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      Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek
      Twan van den Broek
      Hi Pim

      Great to see you combining the gaming and SAP world. Especially to address two main topics of these days:
      - User experience is so much NOT the SAP Gui of the 90's
      - Online collaboration communities, people working together beyond company borders.

      Looking forward to your next blog.