The Rising Power of End User Feedback
Or … Why Integrated End User Feedback for SAP Products makes sense …
From Paper to Software
When SAP was founded 43 years ago, and in its early years, companies implementing SAP Software were changing their business from “paper to software administration”. The decision to use SAP Software was mainly driven by CXOs and the IT departments. The need to have consolidated and integrated data readily accessible and an overview of business KPIs was a high motivator for companies to undergo this change. As a result, businesses and their users were driven to undergo this change as well. At the time nobody cared too much about user-friendliness as the step going from paper to software was revolutionary enough.
Since then we had several smaller and bigger revolutions correlated with massive technological evolvement. For SAP, the change from Mainframe R/2 to Client Server Architecture R/3, to now In Memory with SAP HANA and the offering of Cloud Products. The entry of PCs in every home, the upcoming of the internet, mobile devices and social media tremendously changed how we live, communicate, and do business. Currently businesses are facing the so called “Digital Transformation”.
The Rising Power of the User
The “iGeneration” – young people born after 1997 – cannot remember times without internet, PC or mobile devices. The use of mobile devices, apps, and games is self-evident for them. Only easy, intuitive and user-friendly applications make the game in competition for consumers. To stay relevant, integrated end user feedback has become standard. Thus it makes sense to assume the iGeneration’s expectations in respect to Business Software will be the same. So, providing an up-to-date working environment – and this includes Business Software – will be one of the crucial competitive advantages for companies in their fight for the best talents.
Bernd Leukert, SAP Board Member for Products & Innovation, communicated in July 2015: “I am incredibly proud to announce that the Global Design team has been awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award for SAP Fiori 2.0 – Next Generation Business Software in the category Interaction. SAP came out on top in the fiercely competitive Design Concept discipline, which this year received over 4,500 entries from 61 countries. …”
While this is a tremendous recognition, I am personally sure that we can do always more and I believe in continuous improvement :-). “Integrated End User Feedback” is the next logical step.
Finally … Why Integrated End User Feedback for SAP Products makes sense …
What we learned with end users and customers:
I would like to share with you the essentials we learned by talking to Users, IT guys, Customer Centers of Excellence (CCoE), Partners and CIOs:
1. Business users are extremely busy and focused. They don’t waste time for extras. Feedback functions must keep them in working context, be simple, intuitive and quick to use. Quick means usabilitity in one or two minutes. – This is realized with End User Feedback for SAP Fiori :-).
2. Partners recommended: Start small! – Which we did, concentrating on SAP Fiori.
3. Users want to know that their feedback is valued and used. – At SAP, end user feedback is integrated into the short Cloud release cycles and implemented. For On Premise solutions we currently work individually with our customers.
4. Integrated end user feedback in Cloud environments is something completely different than On Premise environments. Cloud environments have short release cycles. Therefore, features and improvements can be implemented quickly and end user feedback has a “direct” impact. On Premise solutions are often designed to run many years. CIOs and CCoEs made very clear to us that they need a project based approach for End User Feedback which is enabled for the SAP Fiori Feedback. They wish to use End User Feedback only when there is time and budget for changes – e. g. in a post-going-life phase, for the identification of hot spots or for the determination of new projects. In environments without time and budget for changes, End User Feedback would only frustrate end users.
5. It’s not only challenging for SAP to get “real” business user feedback, it is also a challenge for the customer’s internal IT department. We talked to several IT folks with “UX focus”. They said that they get End User Feedback via key users, power users or managers, but normally not directly from end users. What arrives is the result of “Whisper Down the Lane” (German: “Flüsterpost”). So, these stakeholders confirmed that Integrated End User Feedback for SAP Solutions would be beneficial for them as well.
6. Customers first open up the End User Feedback for key or power users. Their ratings are normally better than that of the “normal end user” as they are more skilled and frequently use the apps. CIOs were amazed from the extremely positive ratings from their power users. Our recommendation is: “Open up the End User Feedback to all of your end users – especially the occational users – and areas of improvement will become more obvious.”
Handling of the Feedback Process
The End User Feedback is sent via HTTPS connection to an SAP HANA Cloud server and collected. The “Feedback Data Owner” take care that personal data are handled according to the German Data Privacy law. Feedback Data are communicated to the responsible persons within SAP and – as there is no automated process in place, yet, via email – also to Customer IT. So, please send customer requests for the Feedback Data to email@example.com.
Later on, the idea is to have Feedback Monitors – for customers and their installations and Cloud tenants and also for SAP internally.
I would like to encourage our Customers: Give your end users a voice to be heard. – The UX Explorer content for “Integrated End User Feedback” and the attached video links describe how you can use End User Feedback in SAP Fiori Launchpad.
In case you would like to contact us – the “Integrated End User Feedback Team” – please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– UX Explorer: https://uxexplorer.hana.ondemand.com/ – search for “End User Feedback”
– Video: Integrated End User Feedback for SAP Products – The Concept: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EXcafjc2mY
– Video: Integrated End User Feedback for SAP Fiori – Demo and Process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJlN8YHiWt0
– Video: Integrated End User Feedback for SAP Fiori – Activation and Deactivation: https://youtube.com/watch?v=kZabBFBl30s
– SCN Blog: SAP Runs SAP: The Rising Power of End User Feedback for SAP IT Operations
– CEI 2014 Project Results: https://influence.sap.com/ct/ct_blog_list.bix?c=2C1A5614-D2DF-4EBC-B328-79E536A5BF24
Thanks, Anja, for sharing what’s happening at SAP regarding end user feedback.
I’ll be happy to explain and suggest using the Fiori feedback functionality to our customers participating in the User Experience (UX) workstream of the SAP Enterprise
Support Advisory Council. We’re currently working on an SAP Enterprise Support Value Map for UX with those pilot customers, and the end user feedback topic is definitely an important ingredient to the Value Map.
Hi Alexander, thanks :-). Sharing the end user feedback topic with the SAP Enterprise Support Advisory Council will be a great opportunity to start defining a Customer Feedback Monitor. Kind regards, Anja
Sounds pretty cool, but something is not really clear to me.
Is it possible to get feedback also for our applications collected by us?
Or does everybody's feedback get collected in the HCP and is shared from you to us again?
thanks for your comment.
The feedback is also collected for customer specific apps.
Our plan is to provide for every customer the feedback in a "Customer Feedback Monitor" for the customer's Installation Numbers and Cloud Tenants. This means that SAP collects the feedback data and redistributes them to customers. Currently the process is not automated, yet - so please email to email@example.com in case you would like to get the feedback data now. Currently, we are still collecting requirements for a Customer Feedback Monitor which we plan to provide.
SAP is interested in the feedback for standard SAP Fiori apps for continuous improvement. We will not have a look in customer specific apps.
I hope this answers your questions.
Thank you for giving the insight of Feedback approach. 🙂
you are very welcome. There's a new blogSAP Runs SAP: The Rising Power of End User Feedback for SAP IT Operations. It tells about SAP inhouse experiences with end user feedback. This blog might be of interest for you as well.
thanks for taking the time to write up about this IMHO important and timely development!
This surely is one of the end-user-application features where in hindsight everybody will just say: "of course it's required to have that! It's a no-brainer!"
I wouldn't be interested in the topic if I hadn't any questions though. 🙂 So here they are:
How would users actually know a) that their feedback was heard and considered and b) what happened with it?
good questions ... 🙂 .
Let me start with the "easy" answers 😉 :
System usage (second question) - there's a project in parallel covering this topic for Fiori. In a mid term approach the idea is to bring end user feedback data and "machine feedback" data together.
A/B testing (third question) - yes, that's also planned for our cloud products - it's part of the concepts. For A/B testing end user feedback of course plays a major role as well.
Mirroring actions on end user feedback to end users: There is still some way to go ... - I think it's less critical in cloud products as feedback that is given more often by end users will be considered and the changes in the product are obvious to end users due to the short release cycles. - When we are talking of On Premise where the customers determine the speed of changes the situation is different. Maybe we've got to bring up a concept to give the feedback cycle to our customers inhouse (similar of SAP IT services using the feedback cycle SAP Runs SAP: The Rising Power of End User Feedback for SAP IT Operations.
Does this answer your questions?
You sure did! Thanks for that.