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Author's profile photo Sebastian Schroetel

How to Create an Amazing Digital Experience for your Ecosystem with SAP Work Zone

SAP’s mission is to help the world run better and improve people’s life.

When asked about typical challenges in their everyday work-life, employees often mention that they struggle to find the relevant information they are looking for, having to spend too much time switching between business applications or not even finding the relevant application they need to accomplish a given task. The reality is that complex enterprise technology landscapes lead to sub-optimal user experiences that are heterogeneous and fragmented across a vast number of content types, UI tools, IT systems, content repositories, applications, and channels. I think that it is paramount for companies, IT departments and employees to improve this situation by bringing it all together and making it easier to consume.

As part of our low-code/no-code portfolio, SAP Work Zone allows you to easily build digital workplace experiences that drive productivity and business agility. This offering enables you to create an easily consumable and engaging digital workplace for yourself, your colleagues, suppliers, customers, and other personas – without writing any code.

Let’s have a look at the main capabilities of this product. These can be divided into three categories with SAP Business Technology Platform being the underlying platform layer bringing those different elements together in a unified way:

  • An application-centric launchpad experience with an extended feature-set that allows integration of SAP and 3rd party business applications from both cloud and on-premises deployments.
  • A modern “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) page editor with a grid-based layout and a selection of pre-built widgets and custom cards to create modern workspaces, or “home” pages, for different personas and use cases.
  • A set of tightly interwoven features to enable use cases around user generated (web) content, communications, and engagement, including user-managed workspaces, discussion forums, knowledge bases or news feeds.

Let me show you a very good example, with one of our valued customers, helped by our SAP partner.

What does SAP Work Zone bring? A customer example by ConvergentIS

Let me first introduce you to ConvergentIS: ConvergentIS is an SAP partner expert in SAP Business Technology Platform. Since 2002, from Calgary, Canada, their team of 75 people creates tailored solutions to improve collaboration, cash flow, and operational efficiency across indirect, direct, and services procurement use cases, built on a foundation of design thinking and SAP technologies, including SAP Work Zone.

One of ConvergentIS customer faced an issue with their distribution channel: indeed, their global distributors were not able to access or update documents including order status, invoices, machine documentation, rebate offers, and more in real-time and through a central location. This resulted in wasted time on both sides spent manually searching for information and waiting for responses. Inconsistent formatting of information being shared from distributors in emails, spreadsheets, PDFs, requiring significant rework to fit data entry requirements. Distributors were frustrated that they couldn’t access the information they need in a self-serve manner, and a lack of centralized and digitized data made it difficult for the customer to effectively measure against KPIs.

Working with ConvergentIS, this customer successfully implemented a new cloud-based distributor portal, built on SAP Work Zone, and is onboarding their 3000+ United States and European distributors. The new portal provides distributors with self-serve access to information not previously available, including the ability to:

  • Request an order directly in their supplier’s ticketing system and have it automatically routed for purchase order (PO) creation in SAP
  • Track status of current orders and if orders are ready for pickup
  • Check invoice status and gain visibility into overdue, partial, and completed payments
  • Submit questions through a ticketing system and have them automatically routed to the appropriate contact
  • View current machines in use and related fees, specifications, and manuals

The results are amazing: this centralized approach not only makes it easier for distributors to access and submit information, but it also enables the supplier to reduce administrative overhead previously spent fielding emails and re-formatting information, and instead focus on higher value activities.

Processes are automated, ensuring that orders are executed, and payments are received on time. ConvergentIS customer and their distributors gained visibility with access to real-time information 24/7/365 via a self-serve portal.  Thanks to this new 100% paperless process, operational efficiency was dramatically improved: time spent answering distributor questions has been reduced by 50%!

These tremendous outcomes should be enough to motivate you to try SAP Work Zone.

A glimpse of the future of SAP Work Zone

Let me now point out some of the key priorities of our roadmap with a short video by Andreas Schlosser, VP of Engineering for Workzone.

For the next quarters, the roadmap is focused on

  • Providing a new site experience for the business user: A new modern and intuitive user experience will be available for SAP Work Zone based on the Horizon visual theme and design.
  • Functional Enhancements: For more flexibility, SAP Work Zone will provide a new Menu Editor for easier navigation and access to content. In addition, there is also planned to have an enhanced search mechanism available, that will allow more customization: users will gain straight access to information and processes relevant in the context of their activity and assigned user roles.
  • Improving enterprise readiness with deeper SAP integration: SAP Work Zone will be enhanced in areas like security, user management and connection with SAP back-end systems. It will also be integrated with SAP Task Center service to display and access user tasks.
  • Aligning SAP Work Zone and SAP Launchpad service: It is the long-term strategy for these two complementary products to become closer in terms of content model, admin tools and user experience.

Get Started with SAP Work Zone

I hope that you are ready to give SAP Work Zone a try in your very own business context. For getting deeper into the product, you can read our blog posts with lesson 1 and lesson 2, and then start with our hands-on tutorials: 

You will also find a lot of useful resources on SAP Community.

Now, up to you to start improving the digital experience of your ecosystem!

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