In the last few years, there has been a buzz about User Experience (UX) in the SAP community. With the introduction of SAP Fiori – a collection of 25 simple, cohesive and delightful apps, in May 2013 and subsequent releases including diverse set of apps, it is evident that SAP is focussed on delivering intuitive and consumer grade User Experience. SAP has also clearly specified that Fiori UX will be the standard UX for users across business functions, using different devices to access SAP applications.
Traditionally SAP solutions were focussed on consolidating and integrating related business functions, thereby helping customers to replace multiple legacy systems and simplify the IT landscape. Ever since its inception in 1972, the integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions provided by SAP, revolutionised the ways of doing business. The SAP ERP solutions evolved with time, integrating every possible business function, thereby strengthening the foundation of the most exhaustive and robust ERP system. While some competetiors focussed on solutions in specific modules, no one could match up to the scale and scope of solutions offered by SAP.
Ever since I started working in SAP space 9 years back, I have been asked many a times by different people, why SAP transactions are not as intuitive and easy to use as the apps in their smartphones. I used to politely reply that SAP transactions are meant for smart users with knowledge of ERP and business processes. While some were not satisfied with this answer, some actually went back and learned about the end to end business process related to the transactions. I believe that they still had issues with the usability of transactions, but their perspective about the SAP transactions had changed once they focussed on the underlying business process.
Now, with the introduction of new SAP UX and Fiori apps, I can no longer give the above answer to questions / concerns on usability of SAP solutions. SAP is known for perfection, innovation and excellence; and on a large scale SAP has addressed the usability issue with new SAP UX. Having said that, I would like to mention that, the new intuitive and delightful SAP user experience does not mean that users do not emphasise on understanding the underlying ERP business process. The new SAP UX is a great value add to a strong core ERP foundation that SAP has built and evolved over 43 years.
Hence I think, understanding of ERP and experiencing new User Experience (UX) will lead to Excellent Experience (EX).
ERP + UX = EX