Digital Experience for SAP Enterprise Business
Uma Anbazhagan - Uma.firstname.lastname@example.org
Trend for Digital User Experience or Customer Experience is the key for enterprise businesses to spread the avenues and influence users to enhance business operations. The bar is raising on getting customer experience to be in-line with business experience. Along with digital channels or multi channels, the expectation of application to be able to be multisensory is becoming a requirement.
New age users and their trends are forcing this change in the ecosystem. Making the Enterprise Business Ready to accept and accommodate this change is the need of the hour.
Though the focus and the need for better user experience is understood clearly, the adoption of the same is picking up in the industry at faster rate with the way technology is advancing. Is technology pushing the change or the customer expectation?
This paper talks about getting insights into how can organizations start to build the digital experience for SAP Enterprise Businesses.
Forrester defines digital experience platforms as, “Software to manage, deliver, and optimize experiences consistently across every digital touchpoint.”
As we have seen the need for better user experience in the area of consumer based apps, the same is moving for the enterprise business users as well. There are multiple digital channels that one can start adopting to; the most intersecting aspect is the mobile for all of them. Starting from the stationary UI to a more mobile-based UI is what the users are expecting. A utility, which is seamless for professional or personal user, the expectation, is both needs to behave in the same way so that it is easier on the users.
It is important for us to know and evaluate how technology will be applied to UX across all the industries and all different set of users. Things or Digital Experience is going to augment the user experience factor and usability across user-base for entire business applications.
This paper talks about the need, approach and different tools and technologies available for SAP Digital user experience for enterprise businesses at the same time will give an insight into where to start small to expand the horizon.
Defining Digital Experience for SAP Enterprise Business
SAP User Experience as we know has advanced from Graphical User Interface to mobile – smart devices based Conversational User Interface over period. The goal being provide the consumer based experience for the business users. Thought process towards this term digital experience is to make digital assets intelligent enough to help and enhance business process execution. This is required currently as users are wanting to experience and act promptly with the applications that they use at personal level to be made available for the business as well. Be it approvals, requests, reports all to be made available in different channels.
It is required for us to define what digital experience is for SAP. For SAP, it was more of portal based platform for external and internal users after the traditional SAP GUI , which was providing the user interface for customers, and employees, however with the current state of technology starting from mobile to AR/VR to Remote Process Automation, Conversational Bots & AI are the trends where business data is required and made available.
SAP Fiori led us towards mobility and setting the standards set for SAP User Interface. Starting from there, SAP has enabled options and compatibility with smart devices that can integrate with SAP ERP systems for business transactions interactions.
We have seen the adoption as well as mobility picking up for SAP scenarios, on similar line SAP transactions integration with smart devices, board rooms, bot enablement are also need of the hour.
Identifying the need for UX Experience for SAP Business Users
The expectation of end users are increasing rapidly as the things around us are changing into digital mode be it in the form on mobile applications , sensor based gadgets which is providing relevant information or quicker way of getting things done based on advances in technology.
The business data that is being captured requires enormous and clear way of using it, unless used it is worth nothing. End users are being exposed to lot of other UI Avenues, which is getting preferred for business applications as well.
The need around this is to bring in productively and efficiency of the users, the next step is to maintain the loyalty and make the users get back to the same product/application repeatedly which in turns lowers the operational cost and increases the revenues. New business models can be generated once the users are using the new technology options as their system for applications.
The demand from end user in terms of need of innovation, omni channel interactions and integrations and cutting edge technologies are today’s requirements that needs to be addressed for enterprise businesses.
The drivers for better UX for SAP can be looked from business need, technology adoption need and the end user need. All of these put together as shown in the picture above will be categorized and prioritized for the changes on the UI/UX front for SAP applications.
Approach to Enable Digital Experience for SAP
Channels for digital enablement for end users are increasing and at the same time, is fragmented all over. Though users expect these integrations, organizations are taking it slow at this point of time.
The approach to change the user experience for business application via multiple channel require a good study and plan in phases.
We need to identify the interactions that people would like to have with internal and external users through different digital endpoints. Users want digital assistant, which can direct them to perform the actions along with providing help as, and when required during work, a shop floor/warehouse operator provided with mobile devices/smart devices to perform actions quickly etc. are some of the digital channels which need to identified.
As a first step, identify the channels which needs change or that need to be incorporated. Based on which the applications which can be enabled can be finalized. Quick winners would be the applications that can give quick adoption in the company and which can help user accelerate the application usage and help process improvement.
To improve on the adoption, the most used business processes needs to be piloted, which give multiple personas to experiment the technology.
This requires strong focus on innovations, study the UX needs of the users and help deliver quick and optimized applications.
Designing Digital User Experience Platform
SAP Fiori being the user experience design and implementation for SAP Apps, this is the standard set for any UI for any channel.
For Business Applications, SAP Fiori 2.0 is the framework for mobile enabled applications. Along with the design framework, SAP Cloud platform enabled development platform gives organizations the support to be able to move towards Cloud. This covers the stage 1 where UX and Cloud is addressed along with partial mobile support.
Enablement and support options for multi-device to stay firm for the design framework gives options for SAP Fiori for iOS and Android, Native Development Support, Hybrid Development Support and SDKs for development. This purely covers the stage 2 where mobility is the focus.
The next-gen technologies gets incorporated with Conversational systems to be setup for businesses which enables people to be more equipped with systems understanding and performing the tasks on behalf of the users. SAP’s tools and technologies for this start with SAP Co-Pilot, Augmented SDK, libraries specific to iOS and Android for native mobile development, integration with 3D Visualization. Remote process automation enabling and integrating from User Interface also adds automation and ease of usage to end users.
To start with, strategy towards getting the SAP UI to Next-Gen UI for all users, couple of decision points based on the organization vision and goal have to consider. Keeping these as a base, we can step up for deriving a clear UX Strategy. Couple of key considerations –
- Cloud-based / On-Premise Implementation
- Enterprise Mobility Strategy
- User Experience Measures to be met
- Adoption Rate
- Users to be equipped with enterprise data from work devices
- Inculcating AI in user tasks
One of the recommendations to start the change for UI start with ‘Start Simple ‘. The pre-requisites and key considerations are the critical decisions that needs to be in place before we start with design or plan
Step 1 is to identify set of standard Fiori applications and must-have applications. This will set the path and give the business users quick-wins and confidence of being on the right track. It will help evaluate the user’s perception, adoption, changes needed etc.
Step 2 is to get to the next level where the business process optimization and whitespaces is addressed with applications bridging the gap. This sets the foundation for digital experience where lot of manual processes are slowly retired.
Step 3 is to completely set the journey towards digitally enabling most of the application and include automations in the processes. Is this focused on UI? Not really but yes on the User Experience and Digital Experience for the business users.
Strategic Benefits of Focusing on UX for Enterprise Businesses
Good UX adds value for good business is many aspects, as we know. If we need to get back the end user back to business back again, the intuitivism of the application along with the rich, functionality overarching with ease of usage are the key aspects.
User Experience for business applications focused on the below will derive the business benefits with better ROI and might end up generating new business models –
- Increase the adoption of the organization strategy towards mobility , cloud An organization deciding on vision towards digital transformation, customer excellence, innovation as some of the key focus areas surely needs the internal and external workforce to be bonded and work towards the goals.
- Acquiring new customers and retention of existing customers where ease of usage and stickiness to the application will generate new business revenue The HEART Framework from Google captures the UX metrics in terms of happiness, level of engagement, adoption, retention and task success that are more towards binding of one towards the brand/application. Better UX can create that impact which will lead us towards this goal.
- Generate many more application with rapid development and lesser support issues to the applications. People get used to the format and navigation that once captured need not be changed often unless we beat the existing design! The HEART Framework or any framework that gives an organization recognition of benefits of brand reputation, customer excellence helps organization with directions of finalization and making trend of applications.
All of the above definitely roles into the Return of investment and the quantitative benefits in terms of savings and revenue can be derived at.
Aspiration to bring the change for enterprise business is the need of the hour as it is gets closely linked to the business models that one should generate in the system.
Bringing this change need all the above aspects to be clearly researched for each organization and decide on the phased approach of generating new experience for users.
Starting this initiative means bringing the technology advancements and enterprise business systems together which will serve people well both internal and external to the organizations.