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This blog is a little delayed as it was meant for 2nd week of this month, but even holidays intervene with Twitter streams I found out.

So, a month has gone by since the biggest SAP event of the year came to an end, in true Bon Jovi style. I’m talking about SAPPHIRE NOW, just in case someone had the Bon Jovi reference fly over their head, missed the title or my excessive use of tags in this post.

Shortly after the completion of the event I had a round-up on Twitter. I wanted 140 letter key takeaways from some of the voices in the SAP ecosystem and reached out to eight individuals I personally enjoy following on various social platforms. If you have any active interest in SAP commentary or SCN, you will likely know all eight. Not surprisingly I got very similar answers from all of them, as the core messages were loud.

I had also planned to follow up with the same guys a month after the event, to check if they had seen anything develop in the world of SAP which changed or provided additional commentary to their initial takeaways. I’m off the opinion that letting things settle and then provide commentary, when everyone’s had their dessert coffee, is a better approach than be jubilant when the starters are served. So here goes,

Initial key takeaway

4 weeks after SAPPHIRENOW

Jon Reed

@jonerp

Simplicity – worthy aspiration but way harder than it looks – covers everything from UX to install to service, pricing and support

No big changes in the last month.

Content by Jon I recommend:

http://diginomica.com/2014/06/06/sapphire-wrap/

A barroom conversation about SAP and the Cloud – but without the noise and the drinks

Tammy Powlas

@tpowlas

SAP implification, ASUG2014

sharing customer stories, Captsully keynote inspiration, BI client convergence

No commentary so far or changes. [Tammy if you’re reading this, let me know if you got anything to add? 🙂 ]

Timo ELLIOTT

@timoelliott

SAP HANA has gone from being an exotic tool for speed to “simply” the default platform for new apps and analytics

We said “the way forward is simple” — not “easy” — but we’re here to help.

Content by Timo I recommend:

The Way Forward is Simple | Business Analytics

Ray Wang

@rwang0

Simplification must cover product roadmap, services, pricing, customer experience, and user experience

Looking to get an update post put up on it. (I’ll link to it when published).

Even though this falls a bit outside of the ‘4 weeks after theme’ I recommend Ray’s piece from the 30th May: http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2014/05/30/event-report-answers-to-the-top-12-questions-about-sap-ahead-of-sapphirenow-a…

Jarret Pazahanick

@SAP_Jarret

SAP said the word “simple” 100’s of times but didn’t explain how customers are really going to get the “simplicity”

SAP screamed “simple” from the rooftops at Sapphire but I am still waiting to hear more about the realistic “how” for customers.

Steve Rumsby

@steverumsby

The future is Simple HANA. But how you get there from here isn’t quite clear yet…:-)

Pretty much the same. SAP are selling a simple future, but now they really need to simplify the journey. Harder problem!

Content by Steve I recommend: SAP Screen Personas at SapphireNOW

Henrik Wagner

@henrikwagner73

Virtual VMware HANA Prod support will accelerate adoption of HANA & give clients & SP partners flexible deployment options

Incredible to see the positive feedback from HANA clients since Sapphire leveraging VMware to build consolidated infrastructure.

Content by Henrik I recommend:

Breaking new boundaries of Innovation with DSSD | Henrik Wagner

Martin Gillet

@mgillet

Fiori Free. Willingness to adopt change & simplify. Great Avgeek keynote. Fruitful encounters & workshops

I’ll stand by my first feedback for now. Thanks.

I think Henrik’s point on “more options to deploy HANA the better” is a good one. I believe many SAP customers got HANA at some point on their roadmap now, but it’s imperative for SAP to give customers as many ways to use and adopt the HANA platform as possible. Higher and quicker adoption needs to be present before SAP can achieve many of their longer term strategic goals and have customers “Run Simple”.

Besides the captures above I would also like to recommend you to Craig Powers (@TheCraigPowers) two days wrap up over at ASUG News as it’s quite enjoyable reading. I would also refer to Benjamin Wilk post with a whole foray of links to SAP Support blogs and videos, pretty useful repository.

Finally, as you rarely get anything for free from SAP i.e. Fiori and Personas, I wanted to invite everyone to head over to Bob Caswell’s blog to get some guidelines on how to get started and take advantage of these UX products.

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  1. Jon Reed

    Hans thanks for this, interesting to see the comments and how many picked up on the simplicity themes.

    The link you included to my podcast with Dick Hirsch does get into how the cloud message has evolved since Sapphire, there have been some changes there – and more with SAP’s recent SMB strategy announcements.

    Finally, since you pinged me on Twitter on this topic I have had the chance to dig into the Fiori market for a client research project. What I have found so far is that “Fiori is free” message has definitely spurred customer interest in Fiori. UX in general is a hot button issue for many SAP customers.

    It’s a mixed bag though because SAP has a long way to go making Fiori as simple to install and configure as it is to look at – which gets back to the simple messaging that Ray, I, and others touched on. Simple is a challenge SAP has laid down and it will be a high bar to achieve it not only for look and feel but for the entire SAP customer relationship. Fiori will be a huge test of this.

    SAP is aware of these issues and working to simplify many aspects of Fiori and other issues, but time will tell. By D-Code timeframe we’ll need to hear an easier story when it comes to Fiori, SAP Mobile Platform, NetWeaver compatibility and other issues. It’s just one example (Fiori) but it has implications for how much simplicity is truly (fiercely) embraced by SAP, in all of its challenging implications.

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    1. Hans Loekkegaard Post author

      Cheers Jon for the input, solid as always. I do recommend the Cloud podcast if anyone is reading this, some good stuff in there.

      Yes, absolutely, the simplicity message cut through and seeing Ray and you pretty much saying exactly the same thing, leaves little room for confusion.

      I would have been surprised and a little worried, if customers weren’t jumping at the Fiori offering or at least poking at it curiously with a stick. On the topic of Fiori needing to become “easy to install and use”, did you do any research on peoples view on Screen Personas being free at all? Is it easier, will it get obsolete, is it relevant?

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      1. Jon Reed

        Hans – my research was focused on Fiori so I didn’t get to dig into Personas. I do see Personas as relevant, however, particularly in the short term, because customer UX is not a one size fits all solution and from everything I know, Personas has a greater degree of backwards compatibility. For SAP customers, any viable UX options without a license costs are going to get a look. But, Fiori being the forward UI strategy is going to command the long term attention.

        There are some folks more knowledgeable on the Personas side, Owen Pettiford is one that comes quickly to mind. Perhaps we can talk them into elaborating here. 🙂

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        1. Hans Loekkegaard Post author

          Ah, fair enough. I’m of a similar opinion to you on how I understand and see the Fiori and Personas products but I’d be keen to get some more insight into the future strategy here. Owen Pettiford you have some input on this? Also, Steve Rumsby is a man with strong knowledge here? Do keep it simple gents, I’m a simple soul. From a business angle what’s the recommendations here? When Personas when Fiori, the benefits of both?

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          1. Steve Rumsby

            Fiori and Personas complement each other.

            Fiori is a set of apps built and delivered by SAP that provide nice modern interfaces to existing functionality within ERP6. While SAP are building new ones all the time, they obviously aren’t going to have Fiori apps for all ERP6 functionality any time soon, if ever.

            Personas is the tool that allows customers to provide tailored interfaces to those parts of ERP6 that SAP hasn’t, or hasn’t yet, given the Fiori treatment. Beyond that, Personas provides some automation capabilities (scripting to drive SAPgui transactions automatically) that may mean Personas has uses even where there are existing Fiori apps.

            Of course you can also create your own Fiori-like apps using UI5, and then you get into tradeoffs between UI styles and development effort. Personas needs less development effort than UI5, but doesn’t look like Fiori, and Personas doesn’t (officially) run on mobile devices.

            How’s that for a simple overview?

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            1. Hans Loekkegaard Post author

              Rumsby, that is a simple overview. Thank you! 🙂

              I’d wager the longer time chess game would be to completely replace Personas with Fiori, as it would just make more sense to have one UX product covering the lot. But let’s see.

              I’ll likely quote your overview moving ahead.

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              1. Steve Rumsby

                My personal opinion is that Personas will be around as long as Business Suite is. Yes, Fiori will grow, but it won’t ever cover all of ERP functionality. I’m not really sure I’d want to see that anyway. I’d rather see SAP put that effort into developing whatever comes next.

                Plus, as I said over here, the new version of Personas is being baked firmly into the NetWeaver kernel. Once in the kernel, functionality is rarely removed.

                Steve.

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