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Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel

SAP Screen Personas roadmap update 2023 February – focus on SAP S/4HANA

I recently had the pleasure of attending the ASUG Volunteer Meeting in which leaders from the chapters and community alliances come together to discuss how to help member companies obtain more value from their investments with SAP. One topic that came up frequently in my conversations with various SAP Customers was how SAP Screen Personas fits into their current and future UX transformation plans. In this post, I’ll talk about the SAP Screen Personas roadmap, clarify some misperceptions I heard from ASUG members, and provide some recommendations about where SAP Screen Personas functionality can fit into your IT landscape.

What is the roadmap for SAP Screen Personas?

SAP Screen Personas is currently on service pack 16, and we are still making ongoing improvements to usability, performance, and integration, based on feedback from our customers. Here are a few of the things we are working on:

  • Continue to work with customers to gain a deep understanding of their requirements and use cases. This allows us to prioritize the functionality we add to make life easier for flavor builders, often business analysts, and flavor consumers, usually business users. In every recent service pack, many of the enhancements we deliver are ideas suggested by our customers.
  • Simplify how SAP Screen Personas works with adjacent products such as SAPUI5, SAP GUI for HTML, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. We want to make the experience seamless when you use your SAP system.
  • Make ongoing refinements for Adapt UI, which is embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. As you might have noticed, innovations in public cloud often make their way into private cloud and on-prem versions. We want to make it easier for business and key users to adapt the screens of their classis apps. Usually, we see people hiding screen elements they don’t use and rearranging items on the screen. Automating simple tasks with the scripting engine is also popular.

We also list some additional areas of investment, in somewhat general terms, in the SAP Road Map Explorer.

Clarifying some misperceptions about SAP Screen Personas

While most SAP customers I meet are aware of SAP Screen Personas, some of what they know is outdated. Here is the latest information about the product.

  • SAP Screen Personas is a strategic part of SAP’s UX portfolio. While SAP Fiori receives most of the focus when we talk about user experience at SAP, there are many ways to provide the SAP Fiori UX to your employees. SAP Screen Personas is the way to simplify the classic apps that we ship with SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. In fact, SAP Screen Personas is a standard feature in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition and comes with an innovation commitment to support SAP Screen Personas functionality through 2040.
  • SAP Screen Personas is largely independent of the kernel. Yes, there is a minimum kernel version to run SAP Screen Personas in your on-prem or private cloud ERP system. But, when we release service packs, you do not need to update the underlying kernel, assuming the kernel is supported. This has been the case for several years.
    Action: If you are running an older version of SAP Screen Personas (SP13 or lower), we strongly recommend you update. It should not require any kernel update. You can validate that in the latest release note.
  • SAP Screen Personas still has a role in SAP S/4HANA. Some people believe that when they move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP S/4HANA Cloud, they will be able to run all their business processes with SAP Fiori apps. While this is possible in some cases such as finance or asset management, many times, classic apps are an integral part of the process flow. To tailor classic apps to your business needs and to provide a consistent and simple UX to your users, SAP Screen Personas will be part of your IT landscape.
  • Investments in SAP Screen Personas on ECC might also work in SAP S/4HANA. No one wants to invest in throw-away technology. This has caused some customers to pause their UX transformation efforts until they are live on SAP S/4HANA or SAP S/4HANA Cloud. This approach also has a significant risk.
    Poor usability costs your company money. Do the math – How much time are your employees spending on repetitive processes in your system using classic applications? How much time and money are you spending training users how to use classic applications? How much do you spend on rework to fix data entry issues resulting from confusing screens?
    When moving to SAP S/4HANA or SAP S/4HANA Cloud private edition, you can use your acquired knowledge to evaluate available UX innovations such as new SAP Fiori apps. If you decide to use classic apps, you can use your flavors as starting point. Using SAP Screen Personas can provide a very fast return on investment to deliver measurable savings to your business.

Where SAP Screen Personas fits in your IT landscape

After reading the above, I hope you are ready to get started with SAP Screen Personas. If so, I recommend that you take our 2022 openSAP course, “Adapting the UI in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Using SAP Screen Personas”. This uses the latest version and is applicable to on-prem, private cloud, and public cloud implementations. It will give you a great overview of all the capabilities in the flavor editor, scripting editor, and admin side.

Once you understand how to use SAP Screen Personas to simplify or adapt classic apps, a great next step is to talk to your business users and decide how you can streamline the classic apps they use frequently. Perhaps you want to use the design thinking methodology to bring all the relevant people together.

If you have questions about whether SAP Screen Personas is right for you, please join our monthly practitioner forum call where you can see other customers demo how they have used SAP Screen Personas to improve usability, and in some cases, generate millions of dollars in efficiency gains.

On behalf of the SAP Screen Personas product team, Peter Spielvogel.

 

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      9 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Brian Wills
      Brian Wills

      Great article Peter! Question: Is Slipstream supported in S/4 Hana Cloud or is it SAPGui for HTML only?

      Thanks,

      Brian

      Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel
      Peter Spielvogel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Brian,

      Slipstream Engine is supported in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.

      In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, the only client for classic apps is SAP GUI for HTML.

      Regards,
      Peter

      Author's profile photo Frank Stødle
      Frank Stødle

      Hi Peter, thanks for sharing - can you tell me how Personas fits into the "clean core" philosophy and the extensibility framework? Is Personas a "clean", upgrade proof technology?

      Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel
      Peter Spielvogel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for the great question.

      Yes, SAP Screen Personas is one of the Key-User adaptation options, along with SAPUI5 flexibility. Both are considered "clean" as they are not affected by system upgrades. You can find more information here:
      https://extensibilityexplorer.cfapps.eu10.hana.ondemand.com/ExtensibilityExplorer/#/ReadMore

      Regards,
      Peter

      Author's profile photo Kayra Mikail Ciftci
      Kayra Mikail Ciftci

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for your continued supply of information for this exciting tool SAP Screen Personas. I am a student and I am writing a paper about the implementation of this tool in my company.
      We are currently using SAP ECC on the desktop, but are in the middle of the S4/HANA transformation and implementation of SAP Fiori. I just wanted to ask if using SAP Screen Personas on the desktop version is possible at all, or only on the web gui & Fiori apps. This is an important key point of my work regarding the strategy of the rollout.

      Regards,

      Kayra

      Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel
      Peter Spielvogel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Kayra,

      If your company is moving to SAP S/4HANA, then SAP GUI for HTML is the default client for the classic apps. SAP Fiori apps always run in the browser.

      In this model, you can launch all your apps, both SAPUI5-based Fiori apps and classic apps (with or without SAP Screen Personas flavors) from the SAP Fiori launchpad.

      When you mention "desktop version" it sounds like you mean the SAP GUI for Windows. This is generally not part of the SAP S/4HANA stack. But, you can run SAP Screen Personas flavors in SAP GUI for Windows after creating the flavors in SAP GUI for HTML, where the editor runs.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Peter

      Author's profile photo Sriram Rekapalli
      Sriram Rekapalli

      Hi Peter,

       

      Thanks for your wonderful blog. This is really helpful. Are there any accelerators (tools or methods)  for mass activation of identified classic apps with SAP Screen Personas approach?

       

      Best Regards

      Sriram Rekapalli

      Author's profile photo Sriram Rekapalli
      Sriram Rekapalli

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your informative blog on this topic. Are there any tools or methods available to support mass activation of chosen Classic apps(SAP GUI for HTML) with Screen personas flavor in S/4 HANA ?

      Best Regards

      Sriram Rekapalli

      Author's profile photo Peter Spielvogel
      Peter Spielvogel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sriram,

      Since SAP Screen Personas flavors are supposed to be created for specific roles, we do not have bulk creation options since it is important to understand the user requirements before building a flavor. That said, if you need to create flavors for similar transactions, there is a way to copy a flavor to a different transaction.

      https://help.sap.com/docs/SAP_SCREEN_PERSONAS/b6a24c359e2142e3a86ff405f43ba282/3b07d6e8d1764c5184f46fd5b37e013c.html

      Regards,
      Peter