as you might know, there are different distribution channels available within SAP Enable Now. In addition to the creation of content, we offer quite a few ways of getting that content to the learners – no matter if they are key users, end users, call center agents or administrators.
A great way to deliver your content in a contextualized way, meaning when and where the user needs it, is via the Desktop Assistant. This application-agnostic performance support tool presents your books, book pages, projects, and text units for the target application and page defined. In addition to those standard types of content, the Desktop Assistant also offers two other types – the Guided Tour and Context Help, both of which will be explained in more detail later on.
Have a look at this quick tour video to find out the basics.
Some of the major use cases of the Desktop Assistant include:
- Enterprise wide content delivery (optionally automated)
- Change management directly in the target application
- Business performance management
- Compliance management support
Prerequisites and supported applications
Before starting to build and deploy the Desktop Assistant, it is useful to think about your goals with this application and ask yourself a few questions:
- Which problem should be solved? What are your use cases?
- Are you aware of the technical prerequisites (cloud & on-premise)?
- Do you have the required support from your IT for the roll-out (cloud & on-premise)?
- Have you discussed how the content should be accessed (auto-start, links, etc.)?
- Who is the target group of the Desktop Assistant content?
- Are there different locations, languages, or target infrastructures?
- What is known about the target application(s)?
The question about the target application is especially important, because you need to make sure that this application is supported. Please check the Product Availability Matrix (PAM) for the cloud and on-premise versions. If the target application is not listed in the PAM, navigation can be offered when the window caption or the URL provide sufficient context information. This has to be evaluated case by case.
As stated above, the Desktop Assistant can deliver all the standard content like book pages, text units, and projects. Two native content types are the Guided Tour and Context Help.
The Guided Tours offer user support in carrying out predefined processes in an application. Users are guided through the process step-by-step with instructions, making it possible for them to carry out the displayed actions properly right in the live application.
How does it work: A process step is shown with a highlight and the respective bubble within the application. Once the user has done the respective action, the next required step is shown.
The Context Help supports users to work with an application by offering help descriptions of specific issues and functionality independently of a process. The information can be presented in relation to different contexts and is provided pro-actively (via push delivery).
How does it work: Icons within the target application indicating help that can be opened to access the content once the user enters the respective context.
When creating content for Desktop Assistant usage, the possibilities are vast. An overview of the features can be found in the Infocenter Desktop Assistant section. It includes many materials and how-to guides. However, if you are planning a larger content creation project with a wide roll-out, I would recommend getting in touch with our Services team or a Partner to help plan and execute the Desktop Assistant implementation.
Launching the Desktop Assistant
Once you have your content ready it’s time for the roll-out. There are different ways to start the Desktop Assistant, but remember that the SAP Enable Now Launcher (or Java) is needed in order to start the Desktop Assistant from your Cloud Manager. The Desktop Assistant will be started and will then in turn download the required content from the Manager and store it in the local cache.
You need to generate the final published version of your Desktop Assistant object or group. Then you can start the roll-out.
- Via URL
- Put an icon on the desktop or inside of your target application and link the published “Start Link Desktop Assistant”. This is a link ending with /.inav in case of the SAP Enable Now Cloud version.
- Via Auto-Start
- Set up a scheduled task including your published link to launch the Desktop Assistant for example when the user has logged in. A step by step guide is available here.
In both cases you need to make sure that the network is ready for the additional load and that your IT is aware of this and the caching topic (which folder, is it big enough, etc.). Again, if you are unsure let us help you with a Services contract.
This blog-post is supposed to give you a first idea about what the Desktop Assistant is and how to use it in your company. There are many cool things you can do with it, so it’s worth diving into the details and checking out the possibilities. If this blog post has raised more questions for you, contact your Customer Engagement Expert if you’re a SAP Enable Now Cloud customer or your Service representative to find out more.