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Author's profile photo Yvonne Waibel

Silicon Valley: The Significance of Innovation & Experience

What is the reason that so many innovative products from Silicon Valley are so successful?

Apple, Google, Facebook, Tesla, AirBnB, Uber you name it …launched innovative and incredible successful products.  I have a theory. User Experience! Living in Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, for more than 12 years, I observed, there is something these innovations all have in common. It’s experience!

The major innovations that are around to stay are the ones that change our experience!

Can you imagine a life without google maps? Your iPhone or Google search? It’s hard, isn’t it?  What did we do before smart phones ?! The experience we have as a user, decide whether we are going to use this app, product or service again or not. How does it make us feel? Do we feel empowered? Do we feel more efficient? Does it help us to do what we want to do? Can it do something no one else can do for us?

Experience is the key. Innovations that give us a great experience seem to have the best chance to be successful. Just look at the iPhone….

At SAP we have realized, that changing the experience, the user experience, is necessary to stay in the game and retain the big companies of the world.  75% of all business transactions globally go through a SAP system.

One of the key complains from SAP users was the User Interface.  SAP’s leadership was pressed to find a solution, to bring innovation and a positive experience back to the SAP customers and they looked to Silicon Valley.  In 2004 Co-Founder and Chairman Hasso Plattner read an article by IDEOs CEO, about innovation and user centric design.  IDEO is a well-known Design firm headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley.  One of the methodologies they teach to companies is ‘ Design Thinking’.

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Design Thinking methodology at SAP Design Co-Innovation Center

Design Thinking opens the mindset and gets into the creative part of your brain. It is not only a process, it is a methodology which opens the mind and shifts the focus from jumping directly to solutions to observation and understanding the actual end user and his context first. 

The Design Thinking methodology was adopted at SAP and Design Thinking inspired spaces were created. AppHaus-02.jpg

Design Thinking workshop at SAP AppHaus Heidelberg, Germany

Not only in the Silicon Valley offices, also in Germany, where a big percentage of the software engineers are still located, design inspired spaces were opened up.

When you walk into the creative works space on in SAP’s campus on Deer Creek Rd in Palo Alto for example, you get inspired and want to create right there!

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SAP Campus building 8, Deer Creek Road

SAP has now an intuitive new user experience for SAP , called SAP Fiori. The customers love the new innovative user centered User Experience Design.

Now all new product developments are happing in the Fiori Design and the user experience through Fiori is night and day for SAP’s users.  SAP Fiori even won very prestigious design awards. That’s right, SAP wins Design Awards! Unthinkable years ago.…


SAP Fiori for all devices

If SAP, as a 43 year old enterprise software company can make such a shift, you can , too!

Of course if you are an SAP customer, you know your existing Enterprise Software cannot be as easily replaced as your new Apps on your iPhone. Just like you won’t change your financial advisor so quickly. For this reason, SAP has teams, services and tools to help you with the shift to Fiori User Experience and the transformation to a user centric design and software development methodology, without having to rip out all the existing software. Check out the many real life customer examples and enjoy an SAP system your users will love, be the IT hero. After all, it is all about the EXPERIENCE isn’t it?

Feel free to reach out if you want to hear more about SAP’s innovation journey and how to shift your software, processes and organization to embrace the user centric design experience.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Yvonne, I love your comments on how user experience is becoming the new competitive advantage for innovative companies.  We see this happening everyday with our customer projects.  Design Thinking as a problem methodology is applicable beyond the business boardrooms.  It's something everyone can learn and benefit from, solving everyday problem for everyday people, like US!!