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Visitors to the SAP Support Portal will soon see an invitation to preview a new look and feel for the website. We’ll be releasing a ‘sneak peek’ of approximately 40 pages in order to provide customers a glimpse of what the portal will look like in 2017.

The redesigned SAP Support Portal has two important benefits:

  • Firstly, it will provide a significantly improved mobile experience, allowing our customers to access the portal at any time, from desktop, phone or tablet.
  • Secondly, the user experience will align with other SAP websites that our customers visit, like the new SAP Community and sap.com.

Customers have been involved with us during the design period of the new SAP Support Portal and have provided valuable direction and positive feedback such as: “I definitely find it more simpleand Everything I do is right at my fingertips”.

Please note that we’re only updating the content pages at ‘support.sap.com’ – these changes will not affect the SAP ONE Support Launchpad or the associated applications. We’re also releasing the preview pages in parallel with the current portal, which will remain fully functional and accessible during this time.

During the preview period, we’ll offer an optional survey to solicit feedback from visitors. Stay tuned for the announcement that the preview is ready for viewing, and we look forward to hearing your feedback then.

Best Regards,

Bill Ahearn
SAP Support Portal Manager

— update on Nov 1st —

I am happy to announce that the preview site of the SAP Support Portal went live on October 31st; when time allows please view the new blog that has been published.

We very much look forward to you continued feedback, which can be shared on the aforementioned blog or by using the survey that is posted at the top of the preview portal’s Home page.

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20 Comments

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  1. Craig S

    I hope you all have been paying attention to the SAP community rollout and don’t make some of the same mistakes.  It’s clear from the first 2 weeks there are issues. While I expect they’ll eventually improve it and get things back to working well, it’s not been fun for users nor the folks having to support it either.  Can I suggest some things from seeing that?

     

    1) Don’t be eager to roll out something that is significantly buggy.  It was.

    2) As pointed out by several users in the community, while your sales folks and marketing folks might be very mobile people, the users using the community are probably mostly more support and technical people.  They are behind a desktop, with large screen monitors, sometimes 2 or 3 of them.  They don’t want a “mobile” experience on their desktop. The wasted space and required extra clicking in the community is really unacceptable on a desktop.

    3) The new experience has to have at least most of the basic functionality the old system did. If you have spell check in the old system, a form of it should be in the new system.  If you could track certain things in the old system, similar capabilities need to exist.  If you had certain system settings, profile capabilities, etc.. you should still have a semblance of them.  Users know it might be a new platform and things won’t work exactly the same way.  But don’t set us back 1 year and make us spend 6 months getting comfortable with something new.

    4) One comment made that I heard was that “If you think you have a good UI and you need to explain it, you probably don’t”.  Can an off the street, average SAP user, figure it out quickly?

    5) We aren’t necessarily looking to “like” things, vote things up and socialize. Most people just want a quick and easy way to find answers.  Just because social media is all the rage doesn’t mean it’s a great platform for everything.  I feel zero community over there right now.

    6) At some point, don’t count on online evaluations by endusers.  It’s a false sense of security.    Consider bringing in a panel of end users from actual clients, from their actual technical people. Bring them in for a 2-3 days and really let them work in it.  Make sure its a good cross section.  project managers, developers, functional design people, database managers, BASIS support people, etc…  See what they say.    Don’t let non-technical users test it. It’s clear from the way some of the ideas in the ideas place have been interpreted that some of those folks are far removed from the actual users.  Maybe you are doing this, or planning on, I have no way of knowing.  Just a suggestion.

    Good luck if you are using the same implementation of the Word Press platform that the community used.  I really worry when you say it will “align” with other SAP websites like the SAP community.

    I really wish you good luck.  I want SAP to be successful. The more successful you are, the more successful I can be.

    PS> i had to come back and put in extra carriage returns to make this look some what acceptable.  It looked fine in my editing window when I saved it.  An editor should at least be somewhat close to being a “WYSIWYG” editor.

    >Dag gone it!!!! It still won’t save this the way I typed it!!!!!

     

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    1. Martin Hinderer

       

      Thank you Craig. When reading the blog I was having exactly the same thoughts (going into the direction of “will they really do the same mistake twice in short time”?)…

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    2. Alyson Munroe

      Thanks to Craig S and others who have read the blog and commented…keep it coming! Let me respond and clarify some points.

      The SAP Support Portal preview will be a small set of pages, approximately 40, which will show a new design for the Support Portal using the One Digital Experience look and feel. When we talk about aligning with sap.com and the SAP Community, we’re talking about the look of the content pages, how icons and images are used, layouts, etc. The main intent it to provide our customers a preview of what is coming and gather as much feedback as possible.

      “While your sales folks and marketing folks might be very mobile people, the users using the community are probably mostly more support and technical people. They are behind a desktop…”

      Yes, the new design is mobile friendly. This is something the current SAP Support Portal is lacking and, frankly, a must in this day and age. That said, we understand that most SAP Support Portal users are connecting with us via their desktops, and that’s why our QA is being performed on both desktop and mobile and why we chose to perform our usability testing with customers on their desktops. We want to ensure that the new mobile capabilities are additive to the experience, not a compromise the desktop experience.

      “Don’t let non-technical users test it.”

      We didn’t. We conducted remote usability testing with SAP customers who are regular Support Portal users. They gave us their feedback on the new direction for the Support Portal and showed us how they would use it to complete tasks that are critical to their daily jobs. Some of those customers are also SAP Mentors. The feedback was positive, as noted above in the blog, and no major usability issues were uncovered.

      Throughout the preview period, we’ll run a survey and work with Support Portal users to gather their feedback and make iterative changes based on that feedback as we build out the rest of the site.

      “The new experience has to have at least most of the basic functionality the old system did.”

      We’re not removing functionality. Some content pages are being consolidated, as we’ve heard from customers that we have too many pages today with minimal content, leading to unnecessary clicks. And, as noted, these changes do not apply to the SAP ONE Support Launchpad.

      “We aren’t necessarily looking to “like” things, vote things up and socialize. Most people just want a quick and easy way to find answers.”

      Agreed, and we hope you’ll find that we have the focus on the right things. We know that customers come to the SAP Support Portal because they need quick answers to solve their problems, and easy access to the support tools that help them preform their daily jobs. Our homepage remains focused on searching support resources and providing quick access to critical tasks like reporting an incident, downloading software, maintaining systems, managing users, etc.

      “I really wish you good luck. I want SAP to be successful. The more successful you are, the more successful I can be.”

      We appreciate that, and it’s our goal to make you more successful, too. I’ll even ask if you’re willing to participate in future usability studies so we can get your early feedback on Support-related initiatives. You and anyone else interested can email us at supportusability@sap.com

      Let us know if you have any more questions and stay tuned for the chance to view the preview site.

      Best, Alyson Munroe

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      1. Craig S

        Thank you Alyson for your reply.  It sounds a bit like it’s not quite as an invasive change as the SAP community change was.

        We all understand the need to be mobile accessible.

        Will this be using the WordPress platform?  I really don’t want to do a search and find I only get 10 results at a time and I have to scroll down twice just to see the first ten.  That white space and format used in the Community is killing us!

        Thanks!
        PS> I’ll be sending an email.

        (1) 
        1. Alyson Munroe

          Hi Craig S, there is no WordPress integration at this time.
          Thanks for your response, I look forward to hearing from you in regards to future user testing.
          Alyson

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    3. Colleen Hebbert

      extend point 6 – whoever you choose must be having a really bad day and hit with a few high priority unusual incidents where they have to very creative in their searching

      (3) 
    4. Jesús Antonio Santos Giraldo

      Mr. Craig,

      You’re right. Point by Point about the new SCN Community.

      In my case I transitioned  without almost any problem to the new support site. I even tested it before it was launched and to be honest I liked the transition.

      Yours are pure words of wisdom. The new support site have to have in count what is happening with the launch of the new SAP Community site and avoid at all costs the mistakes they’ve committed.

      If I have the chance I’d like to see the new approach to support and give feedback if appropriate.

      J.

      (0) 
    5. Johannes Weber

      I fully agree to Craig. Thanks.

      The Support Portal should help people support SAP applications and should therefore be easy to use and quickly find what you need. Due to the agreed wide range of topics to be covered it can’t be fully intuitive for everybody (and unfortunately the search never worked well since the beginning despite multiple approaches). I feel every change a disruption leading to time to be spend to find what you had learned before where things are. This is first of all not necessarily an improvement. The frequency of changes (following some SAP marketing guidelines) is too high and counterproductive for the support peoples needs.

      The Launchpad is still with many topics to be fixed, Community still needs a lot of work, so why already starting the next portal re-design instead of bundling resources to fix what is work in progress?

      What is reality behind your statement “Customers have been involved with us during the design period of the new SAP Support Portal and have provided valuable direction and positive feedback such as: “I definitely find it more simpleand Everything I do is right at my fingertips”.” ? We heard similar statements for the Launchpad nevertheless needs of e.g. large customers were not considered timely.

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      1. William Ahearn Post author

        Hi Johannes,

        Thank you for the feedback!

        I agree with you completely that we need to ensure that the support portal experience enables our visitors to find, and complete, their most common tasks each day; while also allowing them to access the deeper details around other important topics (SAP Solution Manager, maintenance information, support offering details, and more), when needed.

        If you have the time please take a look at the preview site of the SAP Support Portal went live on October 31st; feedback can be shared on the blog announcing the release or by using the survey that is posted at the top of the preview portal’s Home page.

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  2. Simone Milesi

    +1 to @Craig S points, every single one.
    I would like to know if all the issues already pointed out in the old SCN about the Support Portal are fixed or at least evaluated.
    There were a tons of them but we had really few feedbacks

    (1) 
    1. William Ahearn Post author

      Hi Simone,

      Past customer feedback about the current SAP Support Portal, and the older Service Marketplace, were most definitely taken into consideration when formulating our plans for the SAP Support Portal redesign coming in 2017. Would you be able to point me to the specific SCN topic you are referring to? I’d love to review and ensure we are aware of any issues raised.

      (1) 
      1. Simone Milesi

        Hi William,
        first of all, thanks for the reply.
        Second, even if i remember so clear the thread, it took me almost 20 minutes to find it with the new search
        https://blogs.sap.com/2015/08/18/coming-soon-sap-one-support-launchpad-a-single-access-point-for-all-your-support-needs/

        You can see in the comments a lot of feedback, starting from second half of last July as well some workaround to overhelm the non-intuitive interface.
        I’m sorry if i sound too critic or rude in my reply, but both the last product released (this site and the launchpad) saw the light with many missing features and bugs.
        It’s not acceptable, from my point of view, from a company like SAP.

        I used today the launchpad, entering a specific BAPI name and… I spent more time opening and discarding useless Notes where that BAPI was completly absent!
        And all I read is about “ehi! we got a mobile design!”
        I keep repeating it: the people using these tools do not need mobile as first support!
        We use desktops and notebooks all day! We need something working.

        And, again, sorry if i sound polemic and rude.

        (3) 
        1. William Ahearn Post author

          Thank you Simone, I appreciate you taking the time to find the blog!

          This blog is in regards to the release of the SAP ONE Support Launchpad, which is not related to this change, other than the fact a good number of tasks and applications can be found on the portal, then launched in this new tool. Even though we are talking about separate tools, the overall sentiment of the feedback still applies…when we release new tools or sites for our visitors, we must ensure it meets their needs and the main use cases.

          The team and I are aligned with your thinking; our support portal customers are most commonly using their desktops, or laptops, when engaging in a digital support experience with us. Our team must ensure we are protecting the desktop experience and that the mobile experience is necessary but is a value added benefit to be used when needed.

          No need to apologize for the feedback, I encourage it, as we need as much constructive and honest feedback to ensure we provide the best experience possible. When you have a moment please take a look at the preview site of the SAP Support Portal; feedback can be shared on the blog announcing the release or by using the survey that is posted at the top of the preview portal’s Home page.

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          1. Simone Milesi

            Hi William,
            Shame on me! I completly misunderstood the product!
            I read Sap Support and I automatically tought about the Support Launch Pad (ok, SAP is Germany but a bit of fantasy in names’ choice? 😛 ).
            Again, sorry for my previous misplace post.

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  3. William Ahearn Post author

    Hello All,

    I am happy to announce that the preview site of the SAP Support Portal went live yesterday; when time allows please view the new blog that has been published.

    We very much look forward to you continued feedback, which can be shared on the aforementioned blog or by using the survey that is posted at the top of the preview portal’s Home page.

    Thank you for all your comments and feedback up to this point, and please keep them coming!

    Best Regards,
    Bill Ahearn

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  4. William Ahearn Post author

    Hi All,

    We are excited to announce we are entering our next stage of this initiative! There are two main themes in this latest release to the preview portal.

    • Customer influenced changes
    • Full content area releases for two of our sections: My Support & Tools

    Please take a look at our most recent blog on this topic and provide your feedback through our survey or through the comments area in the blog.

     

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  5. William Ahearn Post author

    Hi All,

    Thank you for all for your input over the last few months!

    We’re excited to announce the full go live of the newly redesigned SAP Support Portal.

    Please take a look at our most recent blog on this topic and provide your feedback through our survey or through the comments area in the blog.

     

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