Unlike consumer applications, business software isn’t always associated with a beautiful experience. SAP Fiori is changing all that for thousands of users of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) software. Aptly named for the Italian word meaning flower, SAP Fiori is designed to bring managers, employees, purchasing, and sales a beautiful new, consumer-grade interface for 25 of the most popular SAP software applications.
It’s all part of SAP’s user experience strategy to give customers a simpler, consistent experience, whether they’re on the desktop or a mobile device. Designed in SAP’s branded version of HTML5 (SAPUI5), Fiori is the result of conversations with over 250 customers. “Customers told us they needed a new user experience for everyone, not just mobile,” says Sam Yen, Global Head of Design and User Experience at SAP. “With SAP Fiori, customers can leverage their existing investment in SAP for instant value to every employee and the entire company.”
Consumer-like experience saves time and boosts productivity
SAP Fiori mirrors familiar consumer online shopping and social media experiences. Instead of lengthy step-by-step printed instructions, users need almost no training to quickly gain access to their applications. Home page personalization allows them to display the applications they use most in their daily work. Users are presented with layers of consumable data such as missing time or outstanding customer invoices which they can prioritize and take action on. Easy-to-navigate screens designed for optimized mobile viewing help users find what they’re looking for and respond to requests quickly, as well as print and save data. Auto-entry saves time with repeatable tasks such as timesheets. Attachments and comments are easily opened for more detail on any process.
The real beauty of SAP Fiori lies in fast access to information that people need to do their jobs every day. For example, Employee Self-Service lets users access their paystubs without having to be physically in the office while the company can go paperless for a more sustainable business model. Not everyone is a procurement specialist but all users appreciate how easy it is to find the item they need to order and check on its status using SAP Fiori with its Amazon-like search experience. Plus, no one has to wait for approvals from managers on the road. SAP Fiori provides instant access to workflows such as purchase orders, travel requests, expenses, timesheets, and more. Best of all, customers receive instant answers as salespeople can check product availability, and create and track sales orders, shipments, and invoices anywhere, anytime.
Customer feedback from business users has been very positive. According to Tom Greene, Chief Information and Business Services Officer at Colgate, “Our users are excited about the ease of use and simplicity of the interface. We worked very closely with SAP on the vision and mission of SAP Fiori, and we think the first release of our collaboration looks great.”
Virtually no training necessary
According to Greene, Colgate had SAP Fiori up and running with virtually no user training in a few weeks. He says that the new, intuitive interface meets the demands of casual SAP software users who are also bringing their own devices to work. “Applications like SAP Fiori are important to Colgate. It’s extremely easy to use and people can adopt it quickly. Our people appreciate how fast SAP Fiori performs, and that it’s available on a mobile platform so they can access it anytime, anywhere they want. We see this as the starting point for many more applications that we’ll be able to deploy at Colgate in the future.”
SAP Fiori is currently available in English and German, with eight more languages planned for the future. In addition to enhancements for existing roles, SAP is investigating apps for more roles including purchasing manager, sales analytics, controller, credit manager, sales manager, and production planner.