Improving the Mobile Experience for 100,000 users
CHALLENGE: Outdated technology leaves users offline and out of touch
Headquartered in Paris and with more than 4,000 barracks across France and its territories, the French Gendarmerie keeps more than 60 million citizens and tourists safe.
With a large geographic area to cover and a nationwide workforce of more than 100,000, accessing its many SAP-driven systems has to be fast, and using applications has to be simple. As smartphones had already been deployed to every gendarme, the IT department needed to take user services beyond the desktop and make them mobile-ready.
The gendarmerie needed to simplify access to more than 150 different HR applications for its SAP users — comprised of military and civilian personnel. An HR portal had been in use for 20 years, but not being mobile-enabled meant it was no longer fit for purpose, and over time, the slow user experience led to poor productivity. It was time to modernize.
The organization needed to keep its existing SAP system, so the portal menu had to easily sync with the backend system and access the personnel data, without using complex web services. Modernization had to be quick, but the development team — while experts in ABAP technology — was new to building mobile and web apps.
“Initially, it was hard to envision the team’s transformation to be able to take this on,” said Major Jérémy Lauraire. “To support our need for speed in the search for a new solution, training for our 40+ developers needed to be easy.”
APPROACH: Equipping the gendarmes with new convenient HR capabilities
The Neogend digital transformation strategy put mobile devices in every gendarme’s hands across France — named AGORHA.M (AGORHA MODERNIZED) — the project aimed to improve the user experience on the national SAP Human Resources portal with mobile capabilities and streamlined technology.
To begin, a few simple applications were prototyped, using a third-party open-source framework, and later SAP UI5 — both were successful. But when the internal developers saw how quick and easy it was to build a prototype with the Neptune Software, it decided to move forward with the low-code Fiori-based platform.
“We chose Neptune software for several reasons. The ability to use existing SAP infrastructure and ABAP capabilities was important, as was the easy integration with the ABAP backend,” said Major Jérémy Lauraire. “Knowing we could achieve our goals of better UX for the gendarmes and deliver fast applications quickly using the Neptune DX Platform was also important to us.”
“Plus, with Neptune Software, it was clear that training would be easy. Asking developers to essentially move to a new job – learning web development – was huge for us. But with Neptune, there was only a small, easy-to-navigate learning curve. The platform was simple to use, it felt familiar to our ABAP-development team, and took a mere two days for training, which made developers happy.”
Once training was complete, it was time to prioritize which of the 150 applications would be “Neptunized” first. It targeted a core set of 25 applications, focusing on SAP Human Resources, personnel data management, along with time, leave, and travel management. Consulting with the super users and a UX specialist meant the team could ensure the new portal would put the users first.
To make it simple, the team made large use of a customized SplitApp snippet and applied the SAP Fiori and Neptune best practice approach of building one app for one key functionality. Carefully merging and reducing the number of apps with similar functionality, meant data would remain easily accessible. And implementing role-based access to apps, meant they’d meet their unique needs.
RESULTS: Vast mobile possibilities support a mission to protect the public
Users are happy with the app for managing personnel documents, which was the first to go live. And the organization now has upwards of 100 running in production. And because Neptune makes development so easy, some domains have been able to rework apps several times, based on user feedback.
“Our user base is enthusiastic about the new experience and all of the new functionality,” said M. Johann Lahitte. As we roll-out the additional applications later this summer, users are actively brainstorming with us to help us adjust the experience to be exactly what they want and need.”
Developers and IT alike appreciated the super-easy transition. With Neptune Software, not only has the organization streamlined both training and associated costs, it has simplified system administration, and eliminated the need to redevelop existing capabilities.
Most recently, the organization is producing a new launchpad, using the Neptune Planet 8 platform. Several applications are currently being adapted for this new standard, and there are also plans to reconfigure how tiles are displayed within the launchpad and how specific functionalities are developed.
“The vast possibilities we have with the “Neptunification” of our environment make us confident that users are going to love the new applications and that we made the right choice,” said M. Johann Lahitte.
“Through the Neptune DX Platform, we have a feature that enables in-house application evaluation — where users can evaluate the quality of the user experience and provide us with valuable feedback we can use to further enhance the system,” said Major Jérémy Lauraire. “We think that this feature, as part of our three-prong approach to testing, will go a long way in ensuring that users accept and adopt solutions rapidly.”
And when the “Neptunization” is complete, it will be easy for police officers to access their HR data anywhere and anytime. And that will allow them to remain focussed on their core mission — protecting the public.
If you want to see more about mobile SAP Human Resources, listen to Johann Lahitte, Agorha Mobility Project Manager at Gendarmerie Nationale discuss their approach to a new SAP era, during his presentation at our Summit in Oslo.
To read this Case Study in German, please click here.
Customer Industry: Public Safety
Geographic Reach: 60 million citizens across France and French territories
Neptune Functionality Scope: Mobile, web, and desktop
Number of Users: 100,000
SAP Version: SAP HCM
Devices: Desktop, tablets and smartphones
Implementation Timeline: Project start September 2016. Rolled out June 2017
Want to know more about mobile SAP human resources? Request a demo.