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SAPPHIRE NOW 2018 was all about the Intelligent Enterprise. This was the theme in all the keynotes and a frequent topic of conversation on the show floor. Intelligent Enterprise was also part of the topic areas in the SAP Design Experience zone (watch the booth video).

 

I had some very interesting conversations with customers and partners about what Intelligent Enterprise means to them and how SAP Screen Personas and Fiori UX fit into their future plans. This blog will summarize a few of those conversations, along with highlights of our sessions, and the usual section to clarify some misperceptions we encountered.

 

Interesting Conversations

It was great to catch up with so many former colleagues, customers, and partners that I only get to see once or twice a year. This, for me, is always one of the highlights of attending SAP conferences.

 

One of the more exciting conversations I had was with someone from a large government agency looking at working with us on a major automation project. They will use SAP Screen Personas along with some other tools to streamline a costly, time-consuming, and painful process. I really hope we can showcase this at a future SAPPHIRE NOW or TechEd.

 

I had the opportunity to meet a bunch of new customers, some of whom shared their success stories with me. Several thanked the product team profusely for providing them opportunities to shine in their jobs by improving the SAP user experience for their colleagues. They also appreciated all the material we provide to help them learn about SAP Screen Personas such as our openSAP courses (intro, advanced, mobile), Productivity Power Play videos, and extensive Knowledge Base.

 

Every partner I spoke with is excited about the SAP Cloud Platform. We discussed different business models and the appetite for customers to migrate from traditional per-user pricing to newer pay-per-use or subscription models. What’s the connection to SAP Screen Personas? People have requested that we reduce the dependency between SAP Screen Personas and the kernel, as kernel updates are potentially disruptive (due to regression testing) and costly (especially if you must pay an outside firm to do software updates). The Slipstream Engine is a step in this direction. SAP Cloud Platform offers another possible way to minimize kernel updates when using SAP Screen Personas.

 

Customer Session Highlights (photos)

Monisha Obrecht and Santosh Penchala from Terumo BCT shared how they simplified the screens for warehouse staff resulting in a new 5-minute training program for everyone to become proficient in using SAP Screens. The new process takes 10 seconds for data entry, compared to 1.2 minutes for the original screens. This really adds up when the process happens hundreds of thousands of times per year.
View the slides from ASUG 11200.

 

Rob Boutwell, Patience Scott, and Jason Dyer talk about how they streamlined plant maintenance processes at Evergreen. They faced poor adoption, data entry errors, and poor productivity (more time in SAP means less time fixing equipment). Their 147 flavors fixed these issues. The Evergreen team had some great tips and tricks to share with their audience.
Slides not available from ASUG 10271.

 

Kevin Van Oordt and Colin Gesink of Steelcase discussed how they used a blend of design thinking and SAP Screen Personas to expedite the processes in their warehouse. Since Steelcase is an expert in designing optimized office environments, they were able to apply this into a rapid prototyping methodology to create a series of SAP Screen Personas flavors that they tested with their users. The time invested delivered measurable business benefits very quickly, with a 30-week payback period.
Slides not available from ASUG 10479.

 

SAP Session Highlights (photos)

The SAP Screen Personas lecture from the product team focused on how easy it is to create screens that deliver the Fiori user experience. The audience saw several demos of SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP07 running on a phone and iPad and we talked about how the Slipstream Engine works and what the Fiori UX means. People came away energized to start their own projects to mobilize classic screens in SAP S/4HANA and SAP ECC.
See the slides from ASUG 11652.

Our roundtable discussion was about Going Mobile with SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA Using a Mix of SAP Screen Personas and SAP Fiori Apps. We talked about requirements for mobile apps, some design guidelines, and when to use SAP Screen Personas (if the business logic already exists in a transaction code and you just want to run it on a phone or tablet) and when to build a custom SAP Fiori app (when you need to do something brand new). We also discussed the role of SAP Fiori UX in SAP S/4HANA and how SAP Screen Personas play a critical role to make advanced screens work on mobile devices. There was some heated conversation about what a “bridge technology” means and how SAP Screen Personas is part of a long-term solution and not a stop-gap measure.
Special thanks to Gus Spivak of PwC and Lorraine Howell of Illumiti for sharing their experiences with SAP Screen Personas and mobile app development with the group.

 

Partners

There were many partners on the show floor with deep experience implementing SAP Screen Personas as part of a broader UX transformation or SAP S/4HANA implementation. We are grateful to them for providing a robust ecosystem that gives our customers a choice of how to simplify their SAP user experience. Some lead with design, others with business process simplification, and others with technology integration. If you lack the skills to simplify your SAP screens on your own, I encourage you to augment your team with experts from a partner.

 

Usability Testing

Once again, we offered customers a chance to test the latest version of SAP Screen Personas and provide their feedback as part of SAP’s Usability Testing program. We received great feedback from the 12 testers (every slot filled) and 10 observers. Feedback was very positive on Slipstream Engine and everyone was excited to try the flavors they created on their own phone. The overall sentiment was that people have been waiting a long time for SAP Screen Personas to run on mobile devices, but it was worth the wait. And, of course, there were some suggestions for usability improvements; this is why we participate in the program. We listen to your input; expect to see some adjustments to the user interface in SP08 and beyond.

 

Clarifying some misperceptions we encountered

This year, the main concern we heard was about whether SAP Screen Personas would be around for the long term. As stated in the most recent blog on our roadmap from March 2018, the answer is yes. So, if you are thinking about starting an SAP Screen Personas project to improve productivity, increase adoption, reduce error rates, and cut training time, start now.

 

Watch a 2-minute video summarizing our SAPPHIRE NOW.

 

On behalf of our 2018 SAPPHIRE NOW team (Lynette Guanzon, Klaus Keller, Sebastian Steinhauer) and SAP Screen Personas usability testing team (Sylvia Barnard and Vandana Deep), Peter Spielvogel.

 

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