Is Fiori a growing flower or wilting weed?

I started using SAP GUI at Victoria University whilst studying my Masters in ERP SAP, I was very disappointed and questioned how can I be passionate about a product that is not user friendly?  One day in bco6181 I had the opportunity to use S/4HANA 1511 FP1 OP with Fiori live and WOW my passion is back!

What is Fiori

Fiori means flower in Italian, but is a title enough.  Sap have designed a UX that is role based, no longer transactional based.  This means instead of using long GUI menus paths (SAP has over 300,000 screens and 12,000 transaction codes) to arrive at your destination and then having 100’s to 1000’s of fields to fill in or bypass, you can now use the simplicity of a Fiori role-based UX.  In just a maximum of 3 clicks from the Fiori tile based Launchpad you will be at line item detail.  Once your arrive at your destination with Fiori, you are faced with a simple screen consisting of only relevant and mandatory fields, that relate directly to your role.


Screens can be amalgamated so you can perform multiple associated screens from one page. SAP had simple in mind when creating Fiori.  Fiori will seamlessly go from desktop, tablet, phone and even watch, all in real-time. 

    /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/screens_940810.jpg                                                                 /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/screen_940812.jpg

                                                                                      

Learn, Experience and Judge for yourself


I found there is limited training for Fiori, I believe this is because it is still in its infancy and has not been adopted on a large scale as of yet.  Below are places to go to start to learn and experience Fiori for yourself.

SAP Fiori, Demo Cloud Edition  Go here for a hands on demonstration 

Fiori Apps Library  Information to explore, plan & implement including technical data

http://http//eaexplorer.hana.ondemand.com/item.html?id=10698#!/overview Facts on Fiori

http://open.sap.com/ Free online courses
SAP Fiori – SAP Help Portal Page  Fiori help
SAP Fiori Information on Fiori and much more!

A flourishing growing flower or wilted weed

Well the new interface of Fiori definitely looks better than SAP GUI.  The feel is one that is directed to our upcoming Gen Z and Millennials but for a Gen X like me is it too simple?


I love how quick I can get where I want to go and once there only see what is relevant to the end-user.  Compared to SAP GUI’s over 300,000 screens, 12,000 transaction codes and hundreds or even thousands of fields in some transactions I feel my SAP experience has become uncluttered.  

I am not a Millennial and I have a large finance and business background  and all these graph type reports and colours do not work for me as I am not so much of a visual person as I am a facts and figures person.  Sometimes I want to type in a date or a time and not have to use a mouse click, at times typing is quicker.   Have SAP tried to simplify Fiori UX too much?


                       /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/applications_940817.png

Overall I think it is a welcome addition to SAP’s future direction both as a company and for the end-user as a UX.  I don’t think it will catch on overnight due to the costs and time of implementing Fiori, including the shortage of experienced staff/consultants in this area, but looking to the future once it is second nature it will in my opinion extend the UX.   Simply put decreasing the overall processing time of an individual’s role as well as arming managers with real time analytics to make on the spot in formed decisions will definitely enhance any organisation using Fiori.  A happy staff member will evolve from a happy UX and this in turn will increase a company’s profitability.


I looking forward to watching Fiori 2.0, blossom. 

                                                                                      


https://youtube.com/watch?v=fn2mWcGEIXM

Special thanks too;

paul_hawking and

tony_de_thomasis

for sharing their wealth of #SAP knowledge

and guiding me in the right direction

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56 Comments

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  1. Jeremy Good

    Hi Sonja,

    I see you’ve found the SAP Fiori space here on SCN, so therefore the All Things SAP Fiori channel is readily at your fingertips.  Much of the content contained in the various pages (the Learning page has links to the SAP education and openSAP courses) is more business suite targeted than S/4HANA, so perhaps another blog idea would be sharing some of the highlights or unique Fiori related experiences that are different and/or better with S/4HANA.

    Best Regards,

    Jeremy Good

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  2. Graham Robinson

    Hi Sonja,

    congratulations on your 1st blog on SCN.

    Your perspectives about SAP’s UX strategy and especially Fiori are very interesting as you are just the sort of person that they are targeting.

    My analytical brain forces me to point out that your estimation of “around 5000” SAP screens is a bit short of the mark – by around 295,000! 😛 We all wish there was only 5000.

    Well done. I look forward to seeing more from you.

    Cheers

    Graham Robbo

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Hello Graham


      Thank you for pointing out my mistake about the number of SAP GUI screens.  I went back to my source and you are right and I was wrong.  I will update my blog accordingly.  I thank you for taking the time to point this out, I have learnt from this and will never make that mistake again.

      Thanks again,

      Sonja

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  3. Tammy Powlas

    Hello Sonja,

    Very nice work!

    I want to thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with the community and I look forward to your sharing more of your experiences. 

    This is a very impressive first blog.  I am only starting my Fiori journey and your blog is a good start for me.

    Tammy

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Hi Tammy

      ,

      I will be attending the Jumpstart networking event at the Mastering SAP Conference on the Wednesday night.  Was wondering if you were going so I could say Hi!


      Sonja

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  4. Simon Kemp

    Hi Sonja Jamsek

    I love the title you chose for this post, it will certainly get people’s attention!

    It made me think about something I’ve been mulling over recently in my mind (and with some colleagues) regarding Fiori and “Simplicity”. In my view SAP have done a great job so far with Fiori, but let’s be honest here, creating simple HR self service apps and workflow apps isn’t that hard (there is a reason why these types of applications are the first to market). The real challenge in my opinion is how will SAP create “simple” apps for more “complex” use cases and for S/4 HANA this is certainly something they will need to do. To my way of thinking taking WebDynpro Apps, theming them to look like Fiori apps and putting them in the Fiori Apps Library just doesn’t count. 😏

    I heard a quote a while ago that said good user experience (UX) design is the the ability to create the “Illusion of Simplicity” – whether SAP (and it’s partners) has the magic to create this illusion is still to be seen and may well determine whether Fiori blossoms or wilts.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, great first blog and I hope to see you posting again soon.

    Thanks,

    Simon

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Thank you Simon for taking the time to comment on my blog, you have expanded my thinking.  I look forward to writing more blogs in the future.

      Thanks again

      Sonja

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      1. Simon Kemp

        Hi Sonja,

        I also wanted to add that we need to consider what “simple” actually means. What one person considers “simple” may not be “simple” for another, so everything needs to be taken in context of the target audience. I suspect that personally I will never find a finance or procurement application to be all that simple to use (not being an expert in either of those areas), but that’s just fine so long as the actual users do.

        I look forward to reading your future posts.

        Simon

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        1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

          Thanks Simon, yes simple means something different to each person that’s why it is important to remember that the UX is individual and not a one size fits all type of solution. 

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    2. Jelena Perfiljeva

      Simon Kemp wrote:

      The real challenge in my opinion is how will SAP create “simple” apps for more “complex” use cases and for S/4 HANA this is certainly something they will need to do.

      Simon, my thoughts exactly. The scenarios I’ve seen in the presentations and openSAP course are very simple (even simplistic). Personally, I’m having hard time imagining a sales order entry with VC, for example, using Fiori. Our users don’t seem to like to go to all the different screens to enter those orders, but how exactly could Fiori improve this process?

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      1. Simon Kemp

        Hi Jelena,

        Well that sounds like a good challenge to me. That is exactly the type of scenario that I would be very interested to see how the UX designers at SAP would tackle. While the end result would be interesting to see, the value would be in the process they followed to get to that result. To me this would highlight the essence of what is needed to be done by SAP, partners and customers.

        I’m not sure who we can challenge to help us with this perhaps Sam Yen can point us in the right direction. 🙂

        Thanks,

        Simon

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  5. Matt Harding

    Hi Sonja,

    I too have the concern that either:

    a) Sometimes SAP are unnecessarily simplifying something too much (leave requests, timesheets, etc) which only addresses nicely around 50% of the audience; or

    b) Or are trying to build something Fiori like which looks great, but is not truly a Fiori experience (MRS)

    but in the end, am still hopeful it will be all good!

    e.g. In other words, there are comprises being made to be simple.

    And while I’ve been focused on Fiori at non S/4 customers; it is quite clear we have 2 sets of people to deal with:

    a) Those who don’t like to do much with SAP but have to; and

    b) Those who, possibly like yourself, are in the Finance space (or similar) and want the detail to do complex scenarios.

    At my current customer this means we have a mobile & Fiori first thinking which should make this first group happy; but we realise that we will always cater for the other people by continuing to use Business Client; and native SAPGUI screens (or sometimes Personas to get some easy simplification built).

    Anyway, time will tell how the on-premise and cloud versions of S/4 progress with “simple” Fiori screens but I suspect Fiori will only get more complex; and no number of pretty graphs will get us away from that – and that’s not a bad thing.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Thank you Matt for your insight.  I agree with Fiori getting more complex, it will have to as it develops.

      Sonja

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  6. Sergio Guerrero

    Sonja,

    great blog! Fiori has indeed changed people’s perspective and it’s SAP’s direction to move away from the transaction codes, etc. as a developer I have enjoyed working on a few Fiori-like applications so far and also taken some of the openSAP courses (as you also mentioned them) I personally agree that Fiori (and Fiori-like) have been simplified but also keeping in mind the business purpose. As you said, up to 3 clicks, etc. I look forward to reading more from you as well. well done.

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Thank you Sergio for you comments.  I am also taking openSAP courses and really enjoying them.  I would find them easier if I had some hands on experience and hope to find work or volunteer in the SAP space in the near future.

      Thanks again

      Sonja

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  7. Florian Henninger

    First of all, great first blog.

    I’m also a big Fiori-Liker and pretty happy that you also see the advantage.

    On the other hand I always ask me what a company is looking for. Means, that a company earns money because the have something special or do something better than others. The IT helps to archive it. Do it have to look good? Not for the primary reason and so I think it is very important to also see the jobrole behind if Fiori is the Ui you need.

    And at least a dynpro isn’t that bad, is it?

    ~Florian

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    1. Lars Breddemann

      Florian Henninger wrote:

      Means, that a company earns money because the have something special or do something better than others. The IT helps to archive it. Do it have to look good? Not for the primary reason …

      This is a probably wide spread but also conservative view on the role of IT.

      IT as the department that ‘helps’ the business is doomed to be ‘late to the party’ as the team is always in response mode to whatever ‘business’ request.

      SAP is trying to help customers to take IT out of this corner and right next to the decision makers in organisations. Positioned there, the IT/Data/Business Technology/<your fav. name> clearly has to deliver more than just fulfilled requirements (in time, in budget). It needs to provide ideas and ways to make the organisation more successful.

      And right there, just providing the bare functionality, usable only by trained experts isn’t going to cut it. That’s where I believe technology like FIORI, LUMIRA etc. has its place – not in replacing existing UI tech with a new visual style or by enabling reactive mobile UIs (although this is a big thing). It’s that it helps changing how IT departments can position themselves and how they deliver value.

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      1. Matt Fraser

        Lars, +100 to this comment. I’ve been saying this for a long time. My CIO is a strong believer that IT is a true value-add for organizations, not just “overhead,” but the challenge is getting leaders in other departments to see things this way. And, not all of our prior CIOs have been this progressive, so we have some historical baggage to overcome.

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      2. Florian Henninger

        Hi Lars,

        I’m also agree with you. I think it is part of it but you do not have it to force everywhere… There are some processes in every company which are perfect the way it is and there is no need to change anything.

        For example the delivery-process. I had a customer years ago using an endless printer and it took me a while to get this thing running again under SAP.

        I thought why not trow it out of the window and replace it. Now a few days ago I visited the customer again and the printer is still there. I asked if it isn’t a “dinosaur”thing there and everybody denied and explained that this is the efficient and best way they could ever imagine. They tried to replace it with handhelds and got back to the printer.

        That talks a lot to me too…

        ~Florian

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  8. Lars Breddemann

    This SAP ERP course at University of Victoria seems to be a forge for good blog posts. Nice idea to put the students on to participate in the most important SAP technology community that early on in their SAP lives!

    Your post has everything I like in a blog post. Personal experience, an opinion and it is written well enough to make a good read.

    That puts it right in the top 5% of blog posts sorted by quality of post (yes, just my personal scale is used here 😉 ).

    One thing I would have rather read more about was what the issues were that you experienced with the graphical interface elements. If e.g. the graphs don’t provide you with additional or easier to digest information (say, this sales figure is not just larger than the other, but *that* much larger and this effect grows over time) compared with the tabular display, then these graphs are not properly designed. In my opinion this should be considered a design-bug then.

    Just stating ‘i’m not the visual type of person‘ is surely valid, but hardly says anything about FIORI and of course rings a bell with everyone who was there, when everybody started to use GUI based systems back in the ’90s. (“… command line efficiency will never die…”, fun reads here, here, here)

    Anyhow, the sheer fact that there is something one can argue with in this blog post shows that it actually has ‘some beef’ on its bone. So, again, well done.

    All the best for your SAP career path.

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Hello Lars,

      Wow what a huge compliment “That puts it right in the top 5% of blog posts sorted by quality of post (yes, just my personal scale is used here 😉 ).”

      A thought for my next blog “One thing I would have rather read more about was what the issues were that you experienced with the graphical interface elements.”

      Thank you again for your positive and constructive comments – This is how I learn.

      Sonja

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  9. Samantha Kulkarni

    Thanks for posting Sonja, it’s a great summary … it’s your first blog and my first comment!

    I agree with Simon Kemp and Matt Harding, keeping the ‘illusion of simplicity’ is the biggest challenge.  In these early days we are dealing with a hybrid of SAP UI technologies.  While Fiori may satisfy the ‘light’ users, it will be harder to satisfy the ‘heavy’ users.  A user may want all the powerful apps but at what point do you send them through NWBC/Business Client to navigate and leave the Launchpad?

     

    If the customer has HANA then the super user will most likely want to stay in the Fiori Launchpad to ultilise the powerful searches and fact sheets (which I think is the most powerful change to the user experience). Without Fiori OVP, we don’t want to clutter the Launchpad with too many tiles for these users…so the challenge will be to keep Fiori Launchpad simple.

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Hi and thank you Samantha for writing your first comment on my first blog! 

      so the challenge will be to keep Fiori Launchpad simple.” I agree

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  10. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Sonja, you had me at the title. 🙂 I’m a “Fiori skeptic”, very much agree with Matt’s point about “too much simplification” in some cases. I can already see some folks would be ecstatic about Fiori while others would immediately ask if they can export it to Excel. But will see how/where all this goes…

    One small clarification though: Gen Y actually is the same as Millennials (comes after Gen X) and the next generation (born in 2000s) is yet to be named. Quite interesting articles on this can be found on Google.

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Hi Jelena,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog.  Yes Millennials are from 1982-2004 which covers Gen Y 1978-1990 and the new Gen being Z which is1995-2007  I’m actually a Gen X blog updated. 

      Thanks again Sonja

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  11. John Moy

    Hi Sonja,

    Nice post.  Especially like that you added your opinions, which makes the blog much more valuable than some of the marketing brochure-type posts that I see on SCN.

    I especially like the title you chose!

    Good work!

    Cheers

    John

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  12. Charlie Ying

    Good to hear you have some nice experience with Fiori. Just something fun to try, in search columns like Material Master, try to search something like “FG” , knowing that you have material like FG120, FG130 (adjust according to your actual data).

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  13. Tejas Chouhan

    Hi Sonja,

    Good one. Few additions to your blog :

    People can also start exploring handbooks available at SAP Learning Hub.

    Course name : GW100 – SAP Gateway and SAPX05 – SAP UI5.

    Cheers,

    Tejas

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  14. Jocelyn Dart

    HI Sonja

    Great work in expressing your concerns about Fiori. You are certainly not alone.

    A couple of thoughts from my (SAP consultant & UX strategist) side of the fence that I hope will help your thinking. 

    Firstly the just 3 clicks (1-1-3) idea has already been recognised that this is not appropriate for more complex scenarios. Like “Mobile First” it is a guideline – not a rule – that encourages a focus on simplicity & minimizing what needs to be done.  This is essential to stop the requirements dumping or data model dumping that still happens too often in user interfaces development. 

    The real protection against both over complicating and over simplifying user interfaces is rigorous & focussed user experience design.  Which is why we talk about the discover and design phases of UX so much.  The reality is – as always – customers are at widely differing places on this.  There are some doing brilliant design &/or world class development.  One of the challenges is to identify those customers & encourage them to blog & speak up. Internally our own design process has evolved to become far more rigorous. 

    Good to great UX design also takes into consideration people like yourself who prefer figures to charts – eg by allowing alternate visualisation of data in tables. Really great UX design goes much further to consider more than just a nominal average user… One of the reasons I am passionate about accessibility in Fiori.

    However for most customers I meet the immediate need is to improve *user* performance by giving casual & frontline time-poor users very simple don’t-make-me-think user interfaces.  For this the current Fiori capabilities are a reasonable start…although I grab for new controls – wizards, Fiori Overview Page, Planning Calendar – as quickly as they become available.

    The big challenges *is* the learning curve.  Each new tool or technique or methodology to speed discovery, design & build/delivery adds to the learning curve.  The good news is that we all know this and there are many both inside SAP & in the wider SCN community – especially the SAP Mentors – who are growing the body of knowledge & learning.

    For myself my current personal mantra for UX is…

    Every change to the user experience must make it faster or easier or (preferably) both for the end user.

    If we can’t achieve that we shouldn’t be changing it at all.

    Thanks again for a thought provoking blog

    Jocelyn

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Hello Jocelyn,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and to write comments.

      3 clicks – thanks for the update I actually learnt what I quoted  in my blog about 3 clicks on an open.sap.com course, seems it needs updating.

      “Every change to the user experience must make it faster or easier or (preferably) both for the end user.” What a wonderful thought process I will keep this in mind for my future Fiori experiences.
      You are obviously experienced in SAP and Fiori and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me.
      Thanking you again,
      Sonja Jamsek
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  15. Jocelyn Dart

    Hi Sonja

    Another blog that may help…. On how SAP does design led development https://experience.sap.com/basics/design-led-development-behind-scenes-sap/

    NOTE: My view on this is this needs to happen even for std Fiori apps… Although in a shortened approach … As in:

    Here is the story of how this app could make this task better for our users…

    Now let’s talk about whether the std SAP design fits for our target users & if not… Can we adapt it to make it fit or do we need to do something very different?

    Biggest problem at most customers I have seen is still… Understand YOU ARE NOT THE USER…. That said again some customers get it brilliantly…

    Some are still afraid to talk to their own users “in case they raise expectations”!  My response to this? You should be so lucky!

    Cheers

    Jocelyn

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    1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

      Jocelyn thank you for the link – it was fabulous, very logical and definately along my thought process.

      I was brainstorming the other day and thinking my next blog may well be along the lines of what you say “Understand YOU ARE NOT THE USER…. ” I could open a can of worms here about my experiences with top down and wrong management decisions for their staff but I would be typing all night.

      If your ever in Melbourne and not too busy would love to catch up.

      Thank you again for your comments and information.

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            1. Arijit Das

              Hi Simon Kemp

              Please let us know when you plan to re-initiate the campaign! I would like one of these for sure (or maybe a couple)!

              Is Lucy the cutest mascot ever or what???!!!

              Thanks

              Arijit

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      1. Jocelyn Dart

        HI Sonja

        Suggest not so subtle posters on the walls… 😉

        I’ll be at Mastering SAP Tech in Melbourne in a couple of weeks time with some of the other SAP mentors. Would be good to meet up if you are going also

        Jocelyn

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        1. Sonja Jamsek Post author

          Hi Jocelyn

          I will be at the Wednesday night Jumpstart networking event, will you?  Unfortunately I wont be at the conference as I leave for a cruise on the Thursday.  I am very interested in the workshop “Build your Fiori action plan in a day”on the Wednesday that is being run by Yuriv and yourself but I have my final exam that day from 12 to 3pm.

          I hope to meet you at Jumpstart.

          Sonja

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              1. Matt Fraser

                I wish! Unfortunately I was not able to attend SAPPHIRE this year due to pressures at work. However, I plan to be at TechEd in the fall.

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  16. Arijit Das

    Hi Sonja Jamsek

    This blog is sheer poetry…first timer or an accomplished master blogger – the title just takes the cake! Well done! And proud to see a fellow VU alumni doing awesome stuff on SCN!

    And before I forget here are a few more URLs on UX, Fiori etc. which you may find to be of interest –

    Regards

    Arijit

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