SAP Fiori is the user experience bringing SAP S/4HANA innovations to your employees. So selecting the right SAP Fiori apps for your business is a crucial step in deriving optimal business value from your SAP S/4HANA solution. In this blog we outline the major considerations when selecting apps.
NOTE: While many classic UIs – such as SAPGUI and Web Dynpro ABAP – still provide valuable business logic for experts, it is the SAP Fiori Launchpad and SAP Fiori apps for SAP S/4HANA that provide access to the most important benefits of digital transformation that S/4HANA brings. You should also be aware that some classic UIs you may know from SAP Business Suite or SAP Business Suite on HANA are discontinued as part of SAP S/4HANA Simplifications. You can check these and the recommended alternatives in the SAP S/4HANA Simplification List.
There are 3 main considerations when selecting SAP Fiori apps of SAP S/4HANA for your business:
- Your Business Priorities and Strategic Direction
- Your Business Roles
- Your SAP S/4HANA Version
Let’s take a brief look at each of these and finish with a few thoughts on the risks of not including SAP Fiori apps in your SAP S/4HANA project
Your Business Priorities and Strategic Direction
There are 2 main questions that are the guiding principles for Fiori app selection for your business:
- How do you want to transform the working lives of your EMPLOYEES
- How will transforming the working lives of your employees transform your BUSINESS
Answering how you want to transform the working lives of your employees gives you an idea of WHAT you want to change. In other words, where is the BUSINESS VALUE for your employees that will promote organizational change & will speed user adoption.
It’s helpful to look at both the OPPORTUNITIES you want to take advantage of as well as the CHALLENGES you want to overcome. This directs you to the sorts of benefits and improvements you are looking for, and the advantages that will provide to your users.
|To Achieve Your Transformation Aim||Select Fiori apps that provide|
|Reduce training costs especially when onboarding new employees or when employees change their business role||
Simple transactional UIs
|Simple ways for business process owners and experts to easily monitor & act on the business objects and processes they are responsible for||
Simple “Manage <business object>” apps that give easy oversight of what is happening and easy options to explore details and take action,
|Provide real-time insights for expert users so they can decide and act faster||
Overview pages where the expert can see their insights, filter and act on them together
|Promote a paradigm shift from transaction processing to Processing by Exception||
Decision support apps that may include Predictive Analytics or Machine Learning
E.g. Monitor Back Order Processing Run, Manage Material Coverage, Resource Scheduling for Maintenance Planners, Sales Order Fulfillment Issues, Release for Delivery, consider SAP CoPilot, and watch for more in 1709
|Optimize the time needed to perform deeper analyses of what is happening in your business right now||
Embedded analytics with smart options to slice, dice and share insights & act on them
Answering how these changes will transform your business will uncover organisational PRIORITIES and APPETITE for change. And help you make the BUSINESS CASE for which Fiori apps should be part of your first & future waves.
Your Business Roles
To transform the working live of your employees, and consequently transform your business, start by focussing on their business roles.
When planning the impact of rolling out your selected SAP Fiori apps you across your business, you will need to identify which employees will be impacted by your first and future waves. In practice on SAP S/4HANA projects, the most useful way to group employees for user experience is the BUSINESS ROLE.
People who perform the same business role tend to share:
- Similar tasks
- Similar pain points & challenges
- Similar opportunities & preferences
- Similar expertise expectations (casual vs professional user)
- Similar training needs (on the job, online learning, classroom)
- Similar working environments (Corporate, Urban, Rural, Industrial)
- Similar work gear (Suit, Uniform, Safety Gear, Toolbelts)
- Similar device type needs (desktop, tablet, phone)
- Similar device feature needs (camera, barcode reader, network reliability)
The Business Role is therefore a good default granularity for:
- Understanding your employees’ working lives
- Assessing app and device needs
- Assessing organizational change impacts
Business Roles and their associated tasks also have a natural mapping to Business Processes, helping you to align impacts on both people and processes.
Your business roles can also be mapped readily to the over 100 sample business roles you can filter on in the SAP Fiori apps reference library. This organizational role to sample role mapping gives an easy starting point for which groups of apps to focus on in the SAP Activate phases Prepare and Explore.
Your SAP S/4HANA Version
Your SAP S/4HANA version will determine:
- Which Fiori apps are delivered as standard
- How easy it is to adapt standard apps or add your own custom Fiori apps
- What personalization options are available to optimize the productivity of your employees
There are significant jumps in the numbers of apps delivered, e.g.:
- SAP S/4HANA 1511 delivered 315 SAP Fiori apps
- SAP S/4HANA 1610 delivered just over 600 SAP Fiori apps
- SAP S/4HANA 1709 Beta is already delivering over 800 SAP Fiori apps and when available 1709 is expected to deliver close to 1000 SAP Fiori apps by the time it is fully released
Each version has grown in the number of SAP Fiori apps that assist your UX Lead, administrators, analytics specialists, and functional consultants on your SAP S/4HANA project to activate, adapt, and extend SAP Fiori apps. Such as the Fiori app activation tool, the In App Extensibility options, and KPI Workspace app to adjust analytics thresholds and timelines, and Report Design apps (coming in 1709).
Each version has grown in personalization capabilities so employees can adjust their HomePage, add their favourite classic UIs, control their own Default Settings, adjust which Overview Page cards are shown or hidden, and save their default filters and sorting as variants.
What if we decide NOT to deploy SAP Fiori apps
Well of course the “Do Nothing” choice is always an option, but before going down that path, make sure you understand the risk of doing nothing.
Many times, we have seen customers and partners who have taken a technical upgrade approach to SAP S/4HANA being caught out at the end of the project.
While the project itself may complete successfully, the business protests:
“WHERE IS THE PROMISED BUSINESS VALUE?”.
Without SAP Fiori that business value is not obvious to the business user. With SAP Fiori, the business value is clear, tangible, and integrated into their working lives. We have seen this many times not only at customers but also internally at SAP.
With SAP Fiori apps:
- Tasks become simpler to complete
- Tasks are simpler to find – no more moving from system to system to complete your work as everything is on the one Launchpad
- Business objects can be found with only a partial keyword or reference
- Analytics give real-time Insights and navigate easily to the relevant actions – no more delays waiting for data replication, and no more swapping between the analytics system and the transactional system
Yes, every business is different and every business has different priorities and different needs for their people. However, our experience across many SAP S/4HANA projects is that the more SAP Fiori apps you deploy the more business value you will derive from SAP S/4HANA innovations and the more obvious that will be to all of your business people.
To encourage those customers and partners who are still growing their UX resources and practice, SAP provides a growing body of advice to guide the SAP Fiori aspects of your SAP S/4HANA projects such as: