SAP Fiori UX can truly start your digital transformation and move to SAP S/4HANA
Working in the SAP market day in and day out, talking to partners and customers, the overall perception is ‘Cloud and SAP Fiori UX is a nice to have’ but most teams are still very happy when their existing on premise SAP landscape is continuing to run smoothly. Yes, the transition to SAP S/4HANA has been started, but in most companies, it is still in sandbox mode and not close to being fully realized. But why are decision makers not crazy about the opportunities that arise by digitizing and therefore upgrading heir company and processes? The answer is, business and end users are not screaming for “performance” or “digital” because they are used to – and have almost just accepted – slow and bulky SAP systems, that just run and do the job.
I want to share three key reasons why you should start transforming your SAP UI today to get your enterprise ready for SAP S/4HANA … whether you are moving today or tomorrow or in a year. Get ready for SAP’s vision of simplicity, mobility, IoT, and consequently, AI and muchg more down the road.
1. True Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation starts with your employees and customers learning to operate and interact with a new breed of applications. Design Thinking and User Experience are means to ultimately close the gap between your workforce and your soon-to-be digital enterprise. No matter if blue collar workers in the field or white collar managers in the office, mobile devices with smart applications will be their constant companion.
But true Digital Transformation is not about the big bang change – it is about incrementally creating new and lean applications that will help the users to fulfill their daily tasks and make their lives easier. You need to offer your users a launchpad with a handful of smart apps today and go from there. Surprise your end-users with a new tile in their launchpad, a new offline app and more each month and truly transform your SAP UI and business processes – step by step.
However, digitization is a long-lasting endeavor, consuming time and resources for months and years. While the path defined by SAP for SAP S/4HANA is clear, starting this journey on a small scale has proven difficult for many SAP customers. In fact, companies starting to consider SAP mobility as the typical first step into transforming their processes are stopped almost immediately by high infrastructural requirements to get Fiori up and running. In order to productively run a single standard SAP Fiori app, customers must fulfill a list of requirements: SAP upgrades, oData protocols, and SAP Gateway server setup are just the most commonly known.
But there are many lights at the end of the tunnel when looking into the direction of SAP S/4HANA. NetWeaver based low-code/rapid application development platforms [hint Neptune DX Platform] are on the rise to enable any IT department to design UI5 based Fiori applications step by step on their existing SAP landscape. As a certified SAP S/4HANA tool, the platform is directly based on the ABAP stack and does not need SAP Gateway middleware and oData services. The idea is to start your Fiori journey TODAY and optionally use SAP Cloud Platform (SCP), as well as oData to drive your SAP landscape towards the future.
2. Flexibility & Future Proof
If you look at current IT trends, open standards and robust APIs are prerequisites for your Digital Transformation. Companies must create stable interfaces to remain competitive. SAP promotes oData as the protocol of the future. At the same time, ABAP remains the core SAP language – Yes, SAP S/4HANA core is completely coded in ABAP!
Ideally, your IT architect combines the best of both worlds:
- Leverage and re-use your company’s ABAP based processes today, especially all custom coding
- …and whenever fitting, plug-in the right oData service to connect to third party systems or the SAP Gateway.
This approach makes sure that the existing SAP business know-how of your ABAP team remains your preferred interface while guaranteeing that your apps are fully compatible with the ever so more emerging SAP S/4HANA world. You will also experience that your IT department remains independent from external know-how [turning it into a true powerhouse] instead of being tied to changing consultants and web development teams with little to no SAP experience.
This ‘best of both worlds’ approach will furthermore increase IT departments’ budget flexibility:
- Less external consultants and developers paired with less infrastructural changes
- Speeding up process innovation and mobilization of your workforce
- Not needing to make the big investment today but learn and transform for tomorrow, today
- Truly establish flexibility and simplicity [hint: agile on the rise]
Neptune Software itself has seen more than 500 customers over the last couple of years who have been ALREADY successfully transforming their SAP UI on mobile and desktop without waiting for the big change to SAP S/4HANA or SCP. Today, those companies already have happy users who already love their UI, using mobile devices anywhere on any device, while now approaching the next steps in the overall enterprise wide digitization.
3. Familiarize users with Fiori TODAY
Digitization essentially means the user moves to the center. It is a mistake to restrict SAP Fiori UX to future apps and products by ignoring today’s transactional Business Suite applications. Successful enterprises start redesigning their solutions now to improve user satisfaction and performance for the future. No matter if the transformation starts with a desktop applications in the browser or specific mobile applications that leverage mobile device capabilities like GPS, camera, barcode scanner or offline.
There is tons of transactional processes with huge potential for improvement:
- Your onsite technicians will be able to work offline, take pictures of damage and use GPS to find the right functional location (PM)
- Traveling salesman will be able to create sales orders with their tablets directly at customer sites (SD)
- Decision makers can approve purchase requisitions and leave requests while on a plane (WF)
- All employees will be able to take care of their timesheets, travel expenses, leave requests, pay-slips on whatever device they feel comfortable with (ESS/MSS)
These are standard requirements which must be transformed today to boost your employees’ adoption to the digital enterprise of tomorrow.
And while you read this, your company is hiring a new generation of young and motivated workforce, who have been growing up using and consuming digital technology 24/7. These ‘digital natives’ must be armed with applications which enable them to use their full potential in the workplace. This is one of the reasons SAP is talking about ‘User Experience’ (UX) rather than just ‘User Interface’ (UI) when it comes to the digital generation of SAP. It is a wild management misconception to argue new interfaces are ‘nice to have’. In the age of digital – in the now and here – companies must make sure that new technology, powerful devices and software is combined, that they bridge business and IT to be prepared for any upcoming challenge of transforming and optimizing the value chain of your enterprise as a whole.
- Digital Transformation is happening now, there is no stopping anymore
- Decision makers need to find the right means to make this a smooth journey – step by step
- A strong focus should be on happy end users
- Rethinking your UI on mobile and desktop by incorporating SAP Fiori UX in your business applications is the perfect way to start your road to SAP S/4HANA
- By familiarizing your end users to SAP Fiori UX already now, the overall digitization process of departments becomes a smart and easy journey on mobile and desktop
About the Author
Christoph Garms – Managing Director
For Christoph, the key to successful digital change lies in the right technical tools. His vision as Managing Director of Neptune Software in Germany is to bridge the gap between business and IT and to move the DACH market towards a true digital transformation. With his cross-industry expertise, Christoph is certain that this is a question of digitalizing from process to process, creating a new work culture with agile methods and cross-functional teams. As a graduate software architect and with extensive background in pre-sales for Neptune Software, he knows the importance to supporting partners and customers from the first demo to implementation, onboarding and expert training.
Want to know more about how Neptune Software utilizes SAP Fiori UX to transition to SAP S/4HANA? Get in touch with us.
For other great articles, webinars and customer successes on Mobile Solutions, SAP Fiori UX and Digital Transformation, browse our Resources Section.