Personalization is pervasive. You can order Nike sneakers with whatever colors, options, and labels you choose. You can personalize your Trek bicycle, selecting every component, down to the colors of the shifter cables. You can customize your Maserati, choosing your wheels, the color of the brake calipers, and any artwork you want on the hood. Some of these changes improve usability, others just make you happy. SAP will soon offer additional personalization options.
In Q4 of 2012, SAP customers will be able to purchase a new solution to personalize their SAP GUI screens. SAP Screen Personas provides a simple, drag and drop approach to modify many common SAP screens to make them more usable as well as more visually appealing. IT departments and authorized end-users will be able to modify screens using their own unique knowledge of which information they need on the screen to optimize usability and productivity.
Customers have long been able to modify SAP screens to improve end-user efficiency. Traditionally, this has required dedicated and highly-skilled IT resources. And, such projects typically take weeks or months to complete. What makes SAP Screen Personas unique is the non-technical skills required to use it successfully. Any person with the right permissions can use the intuitive interface to streamline screens to suit their unique role-based needs, with no knowledge of back-end systems, coding skills, or ABAP.
A common concern is how IT can manage an environment in which each user (at least in theory) can have his or her own unique SAP screen. The answer is that IT maintains complete control over what users can modify. In some cases, IT will allow users to change the screen layout and add their own personalized images and graphics. In others IT will make role-based adjustments and push them out to the SAP users in their organization. Companies will choose the policy that works best in their environment. In all cases, everyone has instant access to the original, un-modified screen.
The SAP Imagineering team continues to receive very positive feedback from our co-innovation partners. They are testing SAP Screen Personas with their own business scenarios, on their own transactions, with their own data. Their best suggestions will become part of the product when we release it later this year.
At a recent “Influencers Innovation Day” in Palo Alto, we previewed this solution to a small group of analysts, journalists, and bloggers. The general consensus was that SAP Screen Personas is a move in the right direction to address usability issues.
6 September 2012 update
FAQ on SAP Screen Personas posted to SCN.