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Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham

App in a Day – Bringing together Business & IT Teams to innovate rapidly

In this blog post I would like to share my experience on “App in a Day” events which have been running successfully in Australia & New Zealand. This event is primarily focused on bringing awareness on SAP’s Low-Code/No-Code solutions and how it can empower Citizen Developers and IT teams to collaborate and deliver apps in much faster timeframe. SAP AppGyver is a no-code tool that can be used by business technologist to build apps using drag-and-drop features. We invite SAP customers to come in teams comprised of business and IT. We typically run these events in collaboration with the SAP AppHaus Partners. Thanks to SAP AppHaus Members – Bourne Digital & Datacom for supporting this event. The SAP AppHaus teams leverage human-centered approach to innovation which starts with design thinking, empathizing with the end users to discover their true needs.  

With the business users in the room, the SAP AppHaus team can engage and help identify their business challenges and together with their IT team members they could start developing apps to address requirements. 

Here is a typical agenda  

  • 9.00am – 9:15am  Welcome Note
  • 9.15am – 11:30am  Overview & Enablement on SAP AppGyver
  • 11.30am – 12:30pm  Brainstorming in teams on business pain points and the approach to solve them using technology
  • 12.30pm – 1:30pm  Lunch 
  • 1.30pm – 4:00pm  Build and develop prototypes
  • 4.00pm – 5:00pm  Teams share their experience

We start the morning with an enablement session providing an overview of SAP’s low-code/no-code strategy and how the SAP Business Technology Platform provides citizen developers the ability to build apps and automations much faster.

We then move on to a SAP Developer Tutorial which provides guided instructions on how to build an app using SAP AppGyver

By the end of this session, participants would have an app on their phone which scans a product barcode and pulls product information. We encourage participants to register for a community edition of SAP AppGyver which is available for free.

Going through the enablement, participants would have a good understanding of how they can go about developing apps using SAP AppGyver. After a short break, we then begin the design thinking session where we get each of the teams to brainstorm and come up with ideas. The objective is for teams identify their business challenges and prioritize them. A Design Thinking coach would be allocated to each of the teams to help facilitate this process and encourage them to think out of the box on how best they could solve their business challenges.  One of the popular techniques we used is the Crazy 8.

We could use tools like MURAL or whiteboards to start expanding on the ideas which would be used to solve the business problem. 

After lunch, we get the teams to start using developing their apps. We provided access to a S/4HANA system which had APIs to provide access to Purchase Order, Sales Order, Material Stock details etc. However, we noticed that teams were going beyond the typical business objects in S/4HANA system and we needed to provide them with API endpoints. For this purpose, we leveraged Mock API to generate custom data for their requirements. We also requested teams to focus more on the story telling and showing the app in action with mock data. With 2 hours, we thought it might be challenging for many beginners to build a full-fledged app connected to a backed SAP system.

Towards the end, we had all the teams present their business challenges and the app that they have developed. We saw interesting solutions presented ranging from emergency response, inventory/stock lookup, Waste bin management to Asset Maintenance apps

I loved the energy and enthusiasm in the room especially with many non-developers participating and developing apps for the first time.

I am keen to hear what would you build in a day?

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      Author's profile photo Daniel Wroblewski
      Daniel Wroblewski

      Sounds like a great event ... let's keep doing more!

      Author's profile photo Yogananda Muthaiah
      Yogananda Muthaiah

      Love the idea ...  Seems like Great atmosphere out there & everyone contributed.. 🙂
      Happy Hackathon !!

      Author's profile photo Glenn Roberts
      Glenn Roberts

      Thanks for sharing that update, Murali - am glad that as the AppHaus Partner in New Zealand we were able to full that room with close to 50 people! Having spoken to a number of those customers afterwards, they all had very favourable things to say about the event, AppGyver and using HCD (Human Centred Design) and Design Thinking to work out solutions to their challenges.

      What would I build? I would love to see an application developed, which can surface my designated contact details, so I can then either scan a QR code or using Bluetooth proximity, share those details - normally first and last name, email and mobile number - when visiting multiple locations at both vendor and customer sites....not to mention multiple hotels! We managed this under Covid with a Tracker app, however, this one would simply allow for quick and seamless signing in at different sites.

      Visiting another part of NZ this week, where customers would be keen to have one of these in their city - so we can start planning the next successful engagement!