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SAP TechEd 2019 SAP Fiori UX summary

I just experienced another amazing SAP TechEd talking about user experience and SAP Fiori. Some of my colleagues back in the office asked what really happens at SAP TechEd, so I’m changing the format of my summary to a daily diary format. I’ll start with some of my observations regarding SAP Fiori UX, but then switch to a day-by-day recap so you get a sense of the flow of SAP TechEd, if you have never attended.

Here is a short video summary I recorded with Ioannis Grammatikakis, Head of SAP UX Engineering.

Customers are still very interested in SAP Fiori UX.

The SAP Fiori user experience topic still attracts many customers and partners to lecture and hands-on sessions. Many of these sessions were completely full, with people lining up outside the room to ensure they gain access to the content.

SAP S/4HANA is gaining momentum

When we did a show of hands poll at the beginning of our sessions, almost half the people raised their hands when we asked who was live on SAP S/4HANA. In most cases, the rest of the hands went up when we asked who is planning to go live within a few years. This is big change from last year when fewer hands went up for the first question and many people had not yet committed to move to SAP S/4HANA.

It was an interesting to talk to people about why they chose a fresh install (“greenfield”) and why they wanted to upgrade (“brownfield”) their existing system. In an odd paradox, customization was a driver in both cases. Some organizations wanted to clean out years of customizations that meant millions of lines of code that were expensive to maintain. Others wanted to avoid the cost rebuilding their transaction customizations as SAP Fiori apps. Clearly there is no one-size-fits-all solution that determines the best way to move to SAP S/4HANA. Talk to your peers at ASUG meetings or other trusted advisor to assess what will be best for your specific situation.

SAP Fiori elements accelerates SAP Fiori app development

SAP Fiori elements, while not a new product, was new to many attendees. When people learned its capabilities, they generally got very excited and wanted to learn more. We saw many people in multiple sessions on SAP Fiori elements. SAP Fiori elements has three main benefits:

  1. Increase development efficiency with standard page types that reduce the amount of UI code a developer needs to write.
  2. Enforce UX consistency with pre-defined page types that include specifications (and code) for data, controls, and navigation.
  3. Enable scaling of the SAP Fiori UX across enterprises by greatly simplifying the overall app development process.

During our SAP Fiori elements sessions, we showed a sneak preview of some new tools we are working on to streamline the app development process.

SAP Screen Personas transforms SAP GUI screens to SAP Fiori UX

SAP Screen Personas continues to evolve to meet changing customer requirements. We are seeing more customers using SAP Screen Personas in conjunction with SAP S/4HANA. One example came from the person sitting next to me at the keynote. The customer, who works at a large consumer products company, talked about how he is expanding the use of SAP Screen Personas after they went live with SAP S/4HANA to ensure consistency among the SAP GUI screens that remain without a SAP Fiori app replacement. Of course, SAP Screen Personas is also very popular among ECC customers who want a UX transformation now, even as they plan for their SAP S/4HANA migration.

Some of the SAP TechEd content is available online

 

Here’s how SAP TechEd played out for me. In the “unallocated time”, I had conversations with customers, partners, and colleagues on the show floor or corridors outside the session rooms.

Day 0 – Setup

15:00 Arrive at hotel and go to the speaker ready room. Catch up with colleagues from UX, SAP Fiori launchpad, and SAP Cloud Platform teams.
16:00

Visit show floor to set up booth video, finalize staffing plans, pick up t-shirts

19:00 Attend SAP Mentor reception. Catch up with SAP mentors on what they have been working on regarding UX transformation. Speak with ASUG colleagues and SAP Community colleagues, many of whom I only see at SAPPHIRE and SAP TechEd
20:00 Team dinner. I met some colleagues from the SAPUI5 team.

 

Day 1 – keynote, sessions start, meetup

09:00 Keynote. (Among many other topics,) Juergen showed how SAP Fiori 3 is standardizing the SAP user experience across many of our solutions.
11:00 Meetup session. Around 50 people showed up to discuss “Accelerating Fiori UX in your organization.” We talked options for transitioning to the SAP Fiori UX, whether you are starting from SAP S/4HANA or ECC. Aside from a great discussion, I met several people whose names I knew from our SAP Screen Personas practitioner forum.
11:30 Follow-up discussions with several people from the meetup. We walked to the show floor to find answers to several questions about SAP Fiori launchpad integration and some roadmap questions on various UX topics.
12:00 Answer questions from customers about SAP Fiori elements and SAP Screen Personas in the UX area.
13:30 Record “SAP Live” interview with Sanjay Mahajan from Fitch Ratings. He shared some major cost and time savings from using SAP Screen Personas.
14:00 Record “SAP Live” interview with Sebastian and Katja about SAP Fiori elements, its value, and what we are showing at SAP TechEd.
15:00 Attend Tobias’s meetup session. He talked about what we are doing with our planned SAP UX Tools Suite and captured a full whiteboard of requirements and ideas.
16:00 Walk through the partner area and catch up with several partner companies that have a UX practice.
19:00 Dinner with SAP partner company that has done some very advanced work with SAP Screen Personas and also some nice SAP Fiori app development. We discussed collaborating on the planned SAP UX Tools Suite. It was great to meet someone I have “known” virtually for over five years.

 

Day 2 – sessions, mentor meeting, customer event

10:30 Attend UX103 lecture session, Develop SAP Fiori Apps Rapidly with Low-Code Development Tools. Sebastian and Katja did a great job explaining where we are and where we are going.
12:00 Final preparation for my upcoming lecture session.
13:30 Present UX104 lecture with Tobias. Surprise! The session was recorded. I had thought it was being recorded the following day. The full room energized us and the audience had some great questions about SAP Fiori elements and SAP Screen Personas.
14:45 ASUG Influence Council session. Co-chairs David Arfa from Pepsico and Damean Chen from Brown-Forman led a discussion about the role ASUG plays in influencing SAP. Several of the attendees seemed interested in joining the group.
16:00 Record video with Shaun Syvertsen of Convergent IS and Paul Modderman of Mindset on how SAP Fiori elements streamlines the app development process. Susan Galer did a great job of making as all feel at ease in front of the camera.
16:15

Attend IBM session on “Unlock the Endless Potential in SAP Fiori Elements”. This session presented a greenfield implementation of SAP S/4HANA that used SAP Fiori elements extensively to achieve a super-rich user experience.

18:00 Help Conrad Bernal set up our customer event. By the time I arrived, he had pretty much everything in place – thanks, Conrad.
19:00

Host our 5th annual SAP UX Engineering Customer Appreciation Dinner, sponsored by Mindset, Convergent IS, and BluestoneX. It was great to meet so many of our customers at this event. Alex Lingg, head of SAP UX had a nice welcome message for everyone. We received some great and constructive feedback about our UX tools.

 

Day 3 – sessions, office hours

09:30 Final review of the SAP Screen Personas hands-on exercises in the speaker ready room.
11:00 Office hours on the show floor. Four customers at various stages of their SAP Screen Personas deployments stopped by the meeting area in the UX booth. Some of them helped each other and in one case, I took away a long list of questions, many around SAP Fiori launchpad integration.
13:30

Attend lecture session by Sanjay Mahajan of Fitch Ratings. The title was “SAP Screen Personas Simplify SAP Screens for Higher Productivity”. He went through all the steps that he and the Fitch team went through as part of their SAP Screen Personas project. There were many tips and shortcuts that I hope will inspire other customers to achieve similar productivity gains.

14:00

SAP Screen Personas hands-on session with Tobias Queck. Every seat was filled! Attendees simplified transaction VA05 (list sales orders) and went from a complex 2-screen process into a simple and elegant SAP Fiori-inspired app that had the search and results on the same screen, along with a chart. Thank you, Tamas Hoznek for pulling together this great example of the power and simplicity of SAP Screen Personas.

 

In the bonus exercise, people created a version of this transaction that was optimized to run on a mobile phone. Yes, SAP Screen Personas and the Slipstream Engine can simplify a complex SAP GUI transaction to run on a mobile phone!

17:15 SAP UX104 lecture. The attendance was a bit less than the previous day, but Tobias shared a great story about how SAP Fiori elements came into being. Ask him to share it the next time you see him.

 

Day 4 – sessions

08:00

The second running of the SAP Screen Personas UX265. Surprisingly, every seat was full, even first thing in the morning after the celebration night.

10:30

Third iteration of the UX104 lecture. Most of the room was full. The surprise in this group was that there were more people who raised their hands as being SAP Fiori elements users than SAP Screen Personas. The good news is that more and more customers are learning their options for low-code ways to adopt the SAP Fiori user experience.

11:30 Final Q&A and hallway conversations with customers that attended the session.

Thank you to all our customers, partners, and colleagues for making this another great SAP TechEd!

For the SAP UX Engineering team, Peter Spielvogel.

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