This article is in continuation of my earlier article. Here is the link of the article. I have written this to focus on benefit of end users involvement in design and implementation.
Partner’s role in SAP’s User Experience (UX) Strategy
When I talk about User experience, I realize in many situations people are not aware of what user experience is. What is user interface UI, UX? I would like to take a case to focus on this. Which car has best user experience design, – Sport / UV / compact? If we think about it, all these cars have nice design and user interface. But which car has the best user experience is depends on the need of user. If need is speed and thrill then Sport car, but if user is surfer and carry a lot of materials then UV. However if user lives in a city where parking space is a challenge, small car will be more suitable. In nutshell, it’s key to understand the needs of the end users. It’s not just about designing a nice UI but to understand whether it simplify the users work or not.
Now what is SAP strategy in this UX space? SAP strategy is to improve user experience for all end users. SAP is market leader in ERP since many years. It has lots of customers and millions of user, they are using existing solutions. This is a challenge because innovate the existing solution is not cake walk, where as building new solutions are comparatively very easy. SAP has developed around 300,000 screens, a huge long trail of transactions, 100 thousands of UI that are important for many customers. Certain customers have developed their own UI on their own. SAP strategy is to renew the most used UI with concept of SAP Fiori to improve user experience. SAP continues developing new applications, like solutions in the cloud for HANA, for mobile devices. SAP has understood that it is not sufficient to create solutions with more features but understanding the best user experience is equally important. Overall strategy is, to apply SAP Fiori user experience all over SAP i.e. on-premise solutions and for cloud solutions both. I would like to dig a little bit more into details. There are three components of SAP strategy.
- Coherent applications: SAP Fiori user experience is the first part of the strategy. SAP HANA offers platform to run on-premise and cloud solutions.
- New Tools to develop applications: SAP Web IDE offers development of SAP UI5 Fiori applications. The second big tool is Screen Persona because 80% of screen which users use, are still SAP GUI. Existing customers can simply top-up their solutions with Screen Persona. I used top-up which is same as pizza topping J because it will not change the existing solutions. What one can do is, hide fields, rearrange fields, and delete buttons to tailor the transactions specific to user role. This is available for download as part of the existing licensing.
- Help services for better implementation and understanding the need of user: Simplicity should be the key of solution. Some partner implemented SAP solution is so complex that on boarding of new employee (getting ID card, user id, roles, rule and guideline, reporting structure etc) takes 5 to 7 days time. We should stick to the rule that is simple and error free solution for faster and efficient solution. In other cases, where customer has hired contractors only for updating the data in SAP systems. This may be because; user found it so complex and time taking process to update or application does not load on their mobile devise while most of time they are away from office. There may be number of reasons for non-adoptability of solution. SAP is not just system; it offers solutions for business process. If there are no users of the solution, it is not worth to develop it. SAP now offers user experience design services to help customers on their journey. And it’s really interesting to see how powerful it is if IT team engage with the end users also in the implementation process.
How can we as SAP partner help customers to create a roadmap of user-specific strategy? Let’s see what are the challenges customer faces in developing user specific design strategy.
Customers do not understand where to start. Where can they save most money if they invest into user experience, and where do they have the biggest benefit? SAP partners should create a roadmap jointly with the customer.
We need to implement small projects with SAP Persona and SAP Fiori. Give it to the business and end users and make them excited. With this excitement, we can build other projects and continue to deliver the best user experience.
We can also optimise the existing SAP solutions. We should talk to end users, understand their need and make proposals. If we start from a few applications, customer will definitely ask to help them with other applications. We need to make customer understand more about design thinking. We can conduct design thinking workshops for management teams at customer. We can also offer our support to build their UX Centre of excellence. We should help our customers to innovate their old business process.
Our focus should be on, to engage the end users for design of the applications, which is for them. And how we make our strategy is simple. We discover (user need), then design the prototype and discuss with user and finally we take user’s input to deliver the solution. It is not just a solution but the direct engagement of user in designing and ultimate delightful experience. We need to humanise business software with our User Experience Design Services.