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Innovation and SAP Fiori
6 min read

A Fiori Side-Chat Webinar: Innovation and SAP Fiori

In recent months, the world has experienced an enormous change and what we are beginning to realize is that our sense of normal, or economic normalcy, will be much different because of COVID-19. For many companies, the rapid change in consumer behavior has forced supply chains and processes to adapt to a decrease in consumer demand. In many cases, these fluctuations have forced companies to layoff large portions of their staff or close their doors. Although, for those of us still adapting to the new economic situation, this time is being used to create stronger business strategies and increase innovation, helping us emerge slightly unscathed, relative to the rest.  

Recently, our Managing Partner Shaun Syvertsen was invited by SAP to join a Fiori –Side Chat session with a group of experts to share his thoughts on recent innovations. Specifically, Fiori innovation. The event was hosted by the SAP Community, and this webinar series was aimed at bringing industry leaders together to share what’s kept them busy and how to make the most out of working from home during COVID-19.

The Panel

The session began with short introductions from the panellists, and as you could imagine, there was no shortage of SAP knowledge for this Fiori innovation chat session. The panel was hosted by Eugen Winschel, Global Vice President, Product Management for User Experience – Intelligent Enterprise Group and co-hosted by SAP’s Keith Fischer SAP Vice President, User Experience Product Management and Customer Office. Other panel experts included Peter Spielvogel, Senior Director of Product Marketing for SAP UX Engineering, along with Andreanna Michaels from SAP, and of course, our own Shaun Syvertsen Managing Partner, CEO at ConvergentIS.

After some short introductions, the panel wasted no time and jumped right into some important SAP Fiori topics, including Design Thinking with Fiori, customer best practices and sharing perspectives on the real wow factor that drives Fiori innovation.

Design Thinking & Fiori Innovation

For those of us who are in the software space and have a deeper understanding of SAP, Fiori has been the new SAP design user interface standard for some time now. We use Fiori as much as we can internally, with the conviction that to really understand something, one needs to use it. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule certainly applies here. And by the way, we’ve applied that philosophy to other SAP products, including running our own business on S/4HANA. When it comes to design, SAP Fiori is a powerful tool to improve the user experience.

Fiori is designed to be used by anyone from any SAP run enterprise and adapts intuitively to business processes and removes unnecessary complexity. Applications supported by Fiori can be tailored to all forms of business needs from supply chain to financials, and the best part of it all? Users generally require far less support with Fiori than before! Recently, we provided a solution to a client faced with a new purchasing bylaw which required an updated purchasing process.

By leveraging their current investment with SAP, our design team rolled out an updated intuitive Fiori interface with features tailored for their unique process. As a result, and with no training, the client’s complex policy process and SAP requisitioning solution were successfully rolled out to 500 employees. Read the full story.

The Customer Experience

A great user interface doesn’t always make for a great user experience. Our panellists discussed how frequently when we embark on an S/4 HANA project, we err in launching all kinds of Fiori supported applications without the customer being front and centre of the overall design.  What began as a great customer solution on paper, becomes a miserable user experience. It’s key to remember the customer every step of the way. A great end-user experience requires active listening, creating the right user personas and understanding the role of each, taking the time to plan things out based on priorities, and designing the right user prototype and testing it. This is where the gaps are identified, through really hard work, and where true innovation that makes people’s jobs easier and more productive can take root. The outcomes are truly brilliant.

Like many SAP industry leaders, at ConvergentIS we believe design thinking workshops and co-innovating with our clients are so valuable when looking for the right solutions. Innovation needs to be aimed at your customer – and by the way, not everything in the SAP world takes 2 years to develop or costs millions of dollars. An innovative solution is often an out-of-the-box app and a supportive team to help the customer adapt it into a workflow. Think of this as frugal innovation with a huge payback.

Technology Aiding UX Innovation

One of the first examples of recent Fiori innovation was given by an expert SAP developer Paul Modderman. He emphasized the customer and how the UX design process is using human empathy to pinpoint the real pain points customers are experiencing in their current systems. The example originated from a financial enterprise project; their users required customized Fiori applications specifically for the financial tasks they were required to execute. What they discovered during the process was that users were looking for the same fungible answers during certain workflows.

The innovative solution? A prototype chatbot was built to use alongside their new Fiori system and was tested. The resulting feedback was so positive that the prototype was leaked outside the test pool to other customers, which spread like wildfire.  

By understanding the user first, designers pick the right palette, with the right technology. Innovation always begins with the customer. When design teams and developers begin with this as their core value. The possibilities are limitless and often come in prepackaged, intuitive applications. Have you seen our Fiori Apps catalogue? We unlock your company's potential using your foundational SAP investment!

Some Future Innovation Insights

One of the final questions Keith asked the panel was what other features would you like to see come out of Fiori as future innovations? Andreanna Michaels from SAP was the first to chime in. There were three specific features she brought up to the panel, the first was unification. There are a lot of Fiori applications out there and in some ways, having too many applications makes it harder to integrate with new systems and becomes overwhelming to the customer.

“At some point, we need to present one unified face to the customer.” - A. Michaels

The second feature Andreanna wanted to see was an increase in natural language interaction. What does this mean? Well, it’s systems like Alexa and Siri that often take an average user experience to a great one, because, naturally, this is how we interact with other people. Think about the possibilities if natural language interaction was applied to Fiori. Cool right? Lastly, but not least, the panel discussed some data analysis possibilities. What if we could capture data in real-time from our customers and pinpoint exactly what they were working on? This would create new opportunities for innovation within Fiori as well, SAP leaders could locate weak spots and develop better processes for users in the future.

Are you already invested in SAP and looking for an innovative solution for your business that won’t break the bank?