Article: New approach to mobility and user experience- SAP Fiori.
Summary: Article provides overview of mobility in ERP landscape highlighting benefits and challenges involved while using SAP Fiori.
Author: Kamal Dial
Created on: 30th September 2014.
Author Bio: Kamal is a Consultant at Infosys and has over 4.5 years of professional work experience as business process and domain consultant. He is engineering graduate from PEC Chandigarh and post graduate in Management from Symbiosis Pune.
Introduction :Mobility in ERP landscape:
With increasing penetration of handheld devices and mobile applications, Users are demanding that their enterprise applications have the same mobile capability and ease of usage which they get using with other applications. Mobility is driving the need for more adaptive,
dependable and cost-efficient IT solutions. Enterprise mobility can lead to efficient business processes, quick customer connections, and faster decision making. Easy access to information helps business managers across the enterprise to make real-time, strategic decisions that deliver the business value.
System as large and complex as SAP requires some meticulous planning and prioritizing for implementation process. ERP based mobile applications should handle work beyond field services-related processes and it should be competitive enough to improve the overall end customer responsiveness.
Simply moving the SAP interface to a mobile device is not going to work for ERP landscape. Market expectation is that it ERP applications should have simplicity and ease of usage like browsing Amazon application on IOS or Android. This adds another challenge and hurdle for a mobile deployment. Only cloud-based application with no offline function can lead to situation where user is stuck without connectivity and device is of no use in that scenario. Hence solution should reinvent the user experience by offering solution approach and enabling customers with tools to improve the overall user experience.
New approach to mobility and user experience- SAP Fiori :
Fiori is a collection of applications with a simple and easy to use experience for broadly and frequently used SAP functions and business process. It is completely new user experience (UX) for SAP software. It gives reimagined user experience providing personalized, responsive and simple user experience across devices and deployment options.
SAP Fiori UX supports a variety of roles in lines of business include HR, Finance, Manufacturing, and Sales and Procurement etc. It provides role based approach and currently there are 360+ role-based apps providing enhanced user productivity and personalization for customers using SAP Business Suite on any database and SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. It delivers optimal usability on multiple devices like desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
The whole concept and focus is on user experience to increase the user adoption and productivity across different industries.
Types of applications provide by SAP Fiori can be classified as below:
- Transactional: They allow users to perform transactional tasks like create, change, and display process with guided navigation.
- Analytical: It provides visual overview of key performance indicators.
- Factsheet: It gives view to essential information about objects and contextual navigation between related objects.
SAP Fiori Architecture
Fiori Architecture consists of below three components
- SAP backend system-ECC
- SAP NetWeaver Gateway
- SAP UI5 for NetWeaver (Front end)
Fiori apps are built using the SAP UI5 framework on the front end which calls backend functionality using NetWeaver Gateway services. Fiori apps can be connected to any version of ECC 6 or lower as backend.No mobile platform is required for SAP Fiori.
SAP Fiori UX Design Principles
Basic design principles used in SAP Fiori are as below:
- Role-based-Role based applications are created rather than functional based.
- Responsive– Providing support at mobile places across multiple devices.
- Simple-New simple UI approach to focus on customer driven needs.
- Coherent-providing seamless interface experience.
- Delightful– end customer experience by providing only relevant data and functions.
New Role based approach
SAP Fiori uses new role based applications as compared to functional-based application. Currently ERP interface provides one transaction for multiple roles which exposed all the data and functions to all business users. In comparison SAP Fiori decomposes apps for each role and provides user only relevant data and functions. This helps in providing consistent and delightful user experience across the business line.
SAP Fiori – Apps strategy
SAP strategy is to identify the most common SAP transactions and business scenarios used across the SAP customer base and renew them providing new consistent user experience . Prioritization of business process is really important and challenging here while using this approach.
Currently there are 360+ role-based apps provided by SAP Fiori, they are categorized as Manager Apps, Employee Apps, Sales Rep Apps and Purchasing Agent Apps etc.
- Workflow approval apps as well as a baseline app you can use to create your own approvals
- An app for budget and spend information for departments and projects.
- Shopping cart apps for purchasing.
- Employee apps for leave requests, time sheets, travel requests, pay slips, benefits.
- Sales support apps for pricing, availability, sales orders, shipments, invoicing.
Key benefits involved:
- Improved customer satisfaction with coherent and responsive interface.
- Faster business activities with overall turnaround time reduction.
- Focus on customer driven requirements and customer centric approach.
- Helps in aligning sales strategy and collecting data for analytics.
- Saves time and boots productivity by exposing end user to required information only.
- Drives efficiency by providing cost optimization.
- Standardization in the interface and approach.
- Shared service model approach can be adopted easily.
- Avoiding delays by providing instant access to workflows and approval process.
- Virtually no training or very less training required for the end users.
- Business process involved is complex to provide seamless experience on mobile devices.
- Huge enterprise structure and large number of process involved.
- Prioritization of processes is required while using mobility approach.
- User adoption- involvement of end users in the process to adopt the changes.
- Needs continuous improvement and program management based on user experience, feedback.
- Requires change management process.
- Apps cannot be simply used out of box as it needs to be customized according to business process and customer requirements.
- Offline synchronization management/monitoring is a challenge. It needs integration with SMP (SAP mobile platform).
SAP Fiori brings complete change in the user experience providing consistent delightful user experience on different devices. The focus is on user experience to increase the productivity across different industries.
It requires continuous program management where we need to build upon on the continuous customer feedback and changing business process/needs.Future of mobility approach completely dependents upon end user adoption and usability it provides.