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It’s Easier with IT

Feature Article | April 21, 2014 by Mark Arato

SAP can make life easier. Pille’s story is proof of that.

Pál Zsolt

Meet a talented member from the SAP ecosystem. Zsolt Pál, or ’Pille’ as his friends call him, didn’t just contribute to the development of an add-on to an SAP solution at a small, innovative partner company. He is also editor-in-chief at an online radio station, performs at a theater and teaches information technology to blind youngsters. He knows what blind people are facing when they sit down at a computer since he is blind himself.

Zsolt Pál was not born blind, but lost his eyesight soon after birth due to a failure in an incubator. As a child he fell in love with ’talking’ computers with screen readers because they opened a new world for him. So when he left elementary school for the blind, it was an obvious choice for him to further his education at an IT-oriented technical college, and then continue studying at a university, where he earned a first-class degree in programming mathematics. You can probably imagine what challenges had to solve during his studies, just moving from one side of the room to the other was not an easy task, especially being the only visually impaired student there.

Pille invests his energy in helping other blind people. He not only teaches programming and the handling of databases in school, but also helps local companies make their homepages accessible to visually impaired people.

Teaming up with an SAP partner to improve blind people’s lives

Pille improves fellow blind people’s lives also through his work on an SAP product: He contributed to the development of an SAP Business One add-on, which makes many functions of SAP Business One ERP system accessible for blind people.

Pille worked as a contractor for an SAP partner company in Hungary. The add-on was developed by OnLive IT, a small SAP partner, employing only five people. Tamas Matolcsi, managing director of OnLive IT, used to teach blind people, and worked voluntarily at “Informatics for the Blind,” an independent non-profit foundation. His background led him to pursue his mission to enable blind people to participate in business by enabling them to use an enterprise application system.

The idea was followed by action. As an experienced, and recognized SAP partner – OnLive IT won multiple SAP competitions – the company developed an add-on for SAP Business One (SAP Business One for Blind) that case-sensitively reads what’s on the actual SAP Business One user interface and allows effective application navigation.

The SAP Business One for Blind Add-on

The SAP B for Blind Add-on makes all the functions of SAP Business One ERP system accessible for blind people. It empowers companies to employ blind people in jobs they couldn’t do before. With the support of the Add-on, visually impaired users can get a quick overview of the information important to them in the given situation, avoiding wasting time on irrelevant information

Through his work with SAP Business One, Pille identifies strongly with the application. He does not only think that the solution is a useful tool, but particularly likes the fact that it can be accessed from anywhere.

“We’ve had interest from as far afield as Canada and Australia. Currently the implementation is on its way to a Canadian customer,” says Tamas Matolcsi, who admits his company is not actively marketing the add-on due to a lack of resources.

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