Since the beginning of our enterprise software industry, features and functions have been the primary focus. Vendors have been constantly trying to one-up each other by adding more and more features with every release.
I remember when I was doing demos in an enterprise start-up company – every time I showed a new feature, I got a checkmark. The more features I showed, the more checkmarks I would get. This was how the industry worked – you were rewarded by having more features and functions – and in many ways this is still how it works.
The result has led to great progress and enormous innovation, of course. Yet at the same time, the approach also has led to more and more complexity, and the end user has been an afterthought. Now however, the industry is changing and the tide is turning. With the consumerization of IT and the stronger voice of end users, there is a paradigm shift from features, functionality, and business processes to experience. And as a result, a user-centered design approach is taking hold, not just in some groups here or there, but across entire IT departments and companies. SAP is one of them.
This is critical because the experience is what drives business impact and value, which in turn drives more adoption, productivity, and innovation. The experience is how we do what we need to do, better. It is how we live, and live better.
Our mission, then, is simple – change the experience paradigm for enterprise software. We’re doing this in three ways:
- Redefining the experience of enterprise software in ways that delight end users and unlock new and substantial value
- Leading the way in design for our industry
- Providing the tools and services that support and enable customers along the way
Our objective in doing this is to simultaneously simplify and amplify the experience. We’re focused on allowing the user to do MORE – by removing or hiding unnecessary distractions, and by adding user-specific analytical and transactional capabilities. This helps people become exponentially more productive. We can AMPLIFY their ability to understand and act. What this means is that you have both control and power that you never had before. This allows you to do things you could never do before…easier, simpler, faster, smarter … BETTER.
We are increasingly putting the user at the center, and in control of the experience. In other words, YOU are in control. Whether you are a developer, IT manager, or end user, YOU decide what functionality to include, what you need and what you don’t. That is what we mean by a new user experience – whether we are talking about the customer experience of running better, the IT implementation experience, the end user experience, the consumer experience of doing things they could never do before, or the partner experience of working, collaborating, and co-creating like no other partner.
All of this is a fundamental part of what we are doing and working on today. It is guiding us. In many ways, this focus on the experience now is a core part of the overarching purpose I mentioned earlier – to improve the way we all work, play, partner, create, and more.
This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.