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This article examines some of the major challenges faced by industries running on SAP in leveraging their staff and existing investment in an era of constrained budgets and expanded demands. The feature is predominantly written from the perspective of the C level executive with some reference to the technical, distinguishing points of our solution. Although our partner has developed very innovative and cutting-edge technology that SAP users will enjoy, our solution readily delivers four key economic advantages:

  • Reuse of current investment,
  • Simplification of increasingly complex business processes,
  • Increase in productivity, and
  • Lower maintenance costs.

We describe some of the challenges created by the current trends in ERP implementation specific to SAP, and the potential solution.

Executive Summary

CIO’s face the challenge of adapting to an increasingly complex software world with yesterday’s tool sets. The Internet, e-commerce, internal integration demands, supply chain re-engineering, and customer relationship management are all contributors to the growing demands on today’s developer. How do we deal with all this complexity and the difficulty in employing the necessary IT talent to successfully wade through this quagmire? Conceptually, the perfect system would be one in which we could reuse our software, describe software architecture so that a non-expert could successfully execute and simplify complex business modeling, and automate most user tasks.

GuiXT Software Suite allows corporations to adopt a ‘user-friendly’ and ‘intuitive’ SAP by introducing a modular scripting technology that dramatically increases productivity with its powerful automation and customization features. Web interactivity and external application interactivity with SAP is introduced; which takes business processes to an entirely new level. Repetitive processes with excessive data entry and navigation cease to be painful, and instead become automated templates that dramatically accelerate processes. All of the above is achieved without adding or modifying the underlying business logic (ABAP code) of SAP. Core component of GuiXT is included as a part of SAP GUI 4.6 installation and therefore is a part of every SAP client installation.

We estimate that with complete training and adoption of customized processes throughout an organization, a process that requires few days of product training and few weeks of consulting, the product can deliver total ROI gains for SAP’s past infrastructure investment of 50% plus.

GuiXT Software Suite layers into an organization’s existing SAP implementation to seamlessly bridge together disparate technologies available for enterprise implementation. Most organizations have made significant investments in existing SAP model to achieve the luxury of enjoying ‘user-friendly’ and ‘intuitive’ interface to simplify their processes; however, these investments have not produced the expected results, because they are either difficult to develop using or they achieve the results by altering the underlying business logic of SAP, which becomes difficult to maintain and cannot address future changes without heavy development costs and time. GuiXT shields the developer from ABAP and allows them to focus on writing business logic.

Current Challenges

With ever increasing changes, CIO’s of companies are acutely aware of the need to choose the right technologies that will enable them to remain agile and to respond rapidly to the changing demands of the marketplace. The pace is demanding with changing distribution patterns, globalization of commerce, and mergers and acquisition activity allowing little time for reflection.

Recently, the push has been for user interfaces to be simple, clear, and intuitive. Users want a system that is easy to learn and use, and is flexible. Challenges faced by CIO’s of SAP customers are, having:

  • User-friendly screens,
  • Error-free and tedium-free data entry,
  • Low training and maintenance costs,
  • Automated business processes, and
  • Integration with web and other applications.

We would be able to describe GuiXT of having multi-dimensional value, which would address and overcome the aforementioned challenges, both in less time and less cost.


Reuse of current investment

With the growth of the Internet and interdependent software systems, the need to leverage existing systems has grown enormously. Call of the hour is ‘reusable’ systems. Solutions that are reusable and scalable to prevent or minimize costly upgrades would be ideal.

GuiXT not only ensures reuse of current investment, but also spares future recurring investments, in terms of training and retraining SAP users. Ease of use; scalability; reliability; manageability; and flexibility are some of the highlights of GuiXT solutions.

The Solution

You can use GuiXT components to implement a whole range of screen customization options. With GuiXT Software Suite (GuiXT, InputAssistant, Designer, and Viewer), you can:

  • Combine and consolidate SAP screens to reduce the number of screens users have to wade through; in most cases up to a single screen,
  • Change the layout (i.e. refine terminology or delete/move screen elements) of any SAP screen to improve productivity and reduce errors in data entry,
  • Add relevant documentation by integrating web based help within SAP GUI itself, and reduce training costs,
  • Add automation driven by one-click process; hence simplifying the business processes.

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Components Overview

  • GuiXT (Shipped with SAP GUI) – Allows you to change text and remove redundant data-entry fields in R/3 without touching core R/3 data. The runtime engine is bundled with SAP GUI.
  • InputAssistant – InputAssistant allows you to streamline business processes by combining stock R/3 screens and transactions into a customized, personalized, error-free data-entry screen.
  • Designer – Allows you to add or change R/3 text and remove redundant data-entry fields in R/3 by simple mouse ‘click-drag-drop’ operations, without touching core R/3 data. The result of the screen modifications are GuiXT scripts.
  • Viewer – Allows you to embed any HTML or RTF page inside any R/3 screen for Help or Internet lookup.

Strengths

  • Ease of use – Screen customizations are done using Designer, a WYSIWYG tool that empowers users to click-drag-drop elements in an editable SAP GUI screen.
  • Scalability – GuiXT supports wide range of implementation sizes; from small businesses to large corporations. GuiXT supports R/3 installations 3.x and above.
  • Reliability – Since GuiXT is bundled within SAP, it eliminates the need of any additional development activity within SAP.
  • Manageability – Personalization and customization are script-driven. GuiXT scripts (simple ASCII text files) can be stored and managed within R/3 database.
  • Flexibility – Once GuiXT is activated, all SAP transactions become candidates for simplification and personalization. All it takes is additional GuiXT scripts.


Benefits

  • For Users:
    • Intuitive R/3; Easy to understand and use
    • Process automation; Minimal errors
    • Tedium-free; Smart and quick data-entry
    • Huge time savings; Allows them to focus on their actual tasks
  • For Management:
    • Proven and scalable (bundled by SAP AG)
    • Data consistency and integrity
    • No ABAP necessary; Ensures swift implementation
    • Transparent deployment
    • Low cost; Less training for users
    • Error-free, streamlined processes; Increased productivity

Access to all information, documentation, tutorials, downloads and examples at Synactive site: http://synactive.com

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4 Comments

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  1. Paul Hardy

    Clearly you work fro SYNACTIVE,  and I am not surprised you are worried / puzzled, that after 14 years of SAP working with you, they have suddenly kicked you in the teeth by releasing Screen Personas.

    I would not be too worried though, the current ludicrous pricing level of Screen Personas, as opposed to the freeness of the basic GUIxt product should give people pause for though.

    Someone said to me, “oh but parts of GUIxt also cost a license fee”

    This is true, but the base product is free, and even the bits you have to pay for are a small faction of the price that SAP is charging for Screen Personas.

    I say again, I am sure Screen Personas is a great product, but surely it is difficult to make a big inroad when the incumbent gives their product out for free and the alternative is so expensive it beggars belief?

    That having been said experience has shown that some companies will buy ANYTHING no matter how expensive it is, regardless of the business case. A lot of organisations selling software (or indeed any product at all) base their business model on this factor of human behaviour – with a large amount of success I might add – so I think SAP may win here….

    Cheersy Cheers

    Paul

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    1. Vishal Mehta Post author
      Hey Paul,  I completely agree with your views and acknowledge the fact about Personas. Thanks for the detailed analysis and mention of the behavioral influence.  I did work for Synactive a decade ago. Lately, been helping few companies who already have GuiXT in their ecosystem.  Nice to know you.  Best, Vishal
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