In this exclusive interview with SAP News, Maricel Cabahug, Senior Vice President of Global Design and User Experience at SAP, shares her thoughts on winning the prestigious Red Dot Design Award for SAP Fiori 2.0, and how SAP is transforming business application design for the digital economy.
SAP News: What were your first thoughts when you found out SAP Fiori 2.0 had won the Red Dot Design Award?
Cabahug: We are honored and humbled that SAP Fiori 2.0 has won this award. It is like the Oscars of the design industry. While our customers know our global design team sets the design bar very high, being recognized in such an international competition only reinforces that we’re headed in the right direction. We are leading the market into a new era of user experience for business applications in the digital age. This is design that has to be as fun as consumers expect in their daily lives, while also delivering the seriously world-class, reliable performance that business depends on.
How has SAP Fiori evolved since it was first launched in 2013?
SAP Fiori is the story of designing the modern user experience for business applications. It began with the top 25 most broadly-used SAP apps, and has expanded to over 500 apps today. We helped our customers take a giant step forward with the first iteration of SAP Fiori that was expressly designed to simplify everyday tasks with an intuitive and easy user experience for the most popular SAP business applications.
Tell us the back story of SAP Fiori 2.0 – why was it developed and what’s the big idea behind it?
We realized it was time to evolve the SAP Fiori user experience to accommodate more complex scenarios. SAP Fiori 2.0 is the perfect manifestation of digital age application automation because it provides intelligent, contextual-based support for people across the company working on more complex tasks. Traditional business applications operated on a “pull” concept. SAP Fiori 2.0 innovates with a “push” model, anticipating tasks based on an employee’s role, and also bringing in real-time data from other systems across devices tailored to each situation. Think of it as a Siri-like personal assistant experience that automates tedious, repetitive tasks.
Can you provide some specific examples of how SAP Fiori 2.0 will transform how people work every day?
The SAP Fiori 2.0 design concept frees up employees to focus on high-value activities that require human intelligence. It’s really the next evolution of process automation. We’ve created a video that showcases how SAP Fiori 2.0 simplifies one of the most complicated scenarios in ERP – sales order entry.
Even in situations with constant interruptions, exceptions and other complex events, SAP Fiori 2.0 automatically prioritizes tasks, accesses relevant information from other systems, and drives the resultant workflows, doing what computers do best. This leaves room for people to do what they do best, focusing on tasks that demand human judgment and creativity. We see some consumer applications evolving in this way, and this offers exponential benefits to companies when they can use their people resources to perform tasks machines cannot do.
What can customers expect as SAP Fiori 2.0 rolls out?
SAP Fiori 2.0 will be the new face of SAP S/4HANA and other solutions. As we bring SAP Fiori 2.0 into the SAP portfolio now through next year, customers across the enterprise will be able to experience its benefits for both simple and complex transactions. These include people in specialist roles in departments like sales, warehouse management, planning, customer service and finance. While some of these workers are experienced SAP users, many more are digital natives newly entering the workforce. SAP is committed to giving these employees a simple yet powerful user experience, regardless of the complexity of their responsibilities. I’m very excited because SAP Fiori offers a modern user experience for business applications that is foundational to every company’s evolution and growth in the digital economy.
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