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I recently conducted a webinar on key capabilities and integration options for the ASUG UX Special Interest Group (SIG).

The recording and slide are now available to all ASUG members here:

SAP BC: Key Capabilities, Configuration and Integration Options  (login required)

(Just btw, there is no demo. However, I showed the same demo in March this year to the UK Ireland Group. Video of the demo is here:

YouTube: SAP BC Webinar (from about 40 minutes after the start -> nearly the end)).

The ASUG UX SIG is a well-established group, with Damean Chen of Brown Forman as a genuinely committed chair. So if you are a NA customer, and you are interested in UX, then you may want to consider joining them: ASUG UX SIG.

Many thanks to Damean and the ASUG staff for organizing this, and making it go so smoothly.

I also noted down some questions that may be of general interest.

Questions and Answers

1.       Can I use SAP Business Client on a Windows tablet?

You can use, eg, a Surface device as a desktop. SAP BC supports touch enablement for Windows desktop devices. However, there are no tablet-specifc apps (no “Universal Win. Platform ” apps) that you can consume – ie there are no apps optimized for tablet.

For more details, see What’s New in SAP NetWeaver Business Client, section “Support for Microsoft Windows 8 Touchscreen Input”

(For details of new features in each patch, see SAP Note 2030419 (5.0) and 2201009 (6.0).)


2. We are hoping to move to S/4HANA soon. How easy is it to migrate from SAP GUI to BC?

Damean also had some interesting personal experience to share regarding this. I’ve transcribed part of the recording below:

  

JP: Simply installing SAP BC and enabling your users to access transactions via SMEN takes very little time – probably a few weeks for the whole enterprise. However, you do need to manage the change – eg by providing training in the new look and feel for end users.

Damean also had some interesting things to say about this, based on his extensive experience in Brown Forman:

DC: Yes, simply installing SAP BC and offering the same transactions you would have in SAP GUI takes only 2-4 weeks. But to access the aspects that increase productivity – roles, side panels, other non-SAP GUI applications – requires change management.

Also, to move from SAP GUI to the SAP UI landscape takes time and effort.

JP: Fortunately, if you are on  SAP GUI 7.4 and NWBC 5.0, you are on SAP UI landscape, which means that all your system connections from SAP Logon are automatically transferred to the SAP BC system selector, so that makes it easier.

However, you are moving away from SMEN to a role-based index page. So you need to take the time to analyze the users’ work processes, then create  the necessary roles, then get users used to the new look and feel. But [I asked Damean] surely, once the users have opened the new index page a few times, it is relatively easy for them.

DC: Yes, for end users, it’s easy. For the admin, who has to create the roles, it’s hard work [laughs]

JP: There are a few things that make it easier for users transitioning:

  • You can still enter a transaction code via Quicklaunch
  • If you open a new tab, you get the “top 10” – frequently used and last opened transactions.

Basically, the advice from one of our partners still holds good:

  • NWBC must be treated as a portal (ie an implementation project that takes time)
    • Security, authentication, and authorization must be in place in your project
  • Start implementing role by role based on new requirements
    • Take time to roll out new functionality
  • Manage the change and explain the value

(Source: NWBC, Roles, and Finding UI Innovations )

3.  If I have Google Mail (ie in the Cloud) plus SAP GUI for Windows, which client should I use?
JP:
I was dubious about this. Afaik , it should work, since it is just a URL; however, it’s not supported, since it is third-party. Therefore, you can try it out, test test test; if it works , then fine. If not, then not.

Damean agreed with the testing and support points. However, he personally often uses Gmail + SAP GUI at home – ie on one monitor. Therefore, he does not want to open too many windows; therefore, opening Gmail as a tab in SAP BC is better for him. He simply connects to the Brown Forman server via VPN.

The only thing that is not entirely clear to me is whether this would still work with a large number of concurrent users.

Next steps

Decide whether SAP BC is the right client for you: When to Use NWBC – and When You _Really_ Shouldn’t

If so, download SAP BC from Service Marketplace: http://service.sap.com/installations , then search in A-Z Index under B. (not N).

For a detailed guide to setting up SAP BC 6.0, see SAP Business Client for Desktop 6.0 Setup (slide deck).

For an overview of SAP BC, see : SAP BC6 Overview


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