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I had the pleasure to speak at the SAP Screen Personas Customer Event in London last week.This was the second event of this kind this year. The first event took place in April and was perceived very well. Interestingly, the IT team from University of Warwick was one of the prospects who saw SAP Screen Personas the first time at the April event – read the blog from Steve Rumsby on this. They became a customer later this year and where now speaking on why they decided for SAP Screen Personas and what they expect to get out of it. Let me recap the main highlights presented and discussed at the event.

SAP's enforced UX strategy

Tobias Gollwitzer from Sam Yen's SAP UX team was providing an overview on SAP's UX strategy launched end of last year by Vishal and Sam at October 2012. It mainly builds on three pillars:

NEW: New SAP application come with consumer-grade UX right from the start. This is achieved by Sam’s UX leadership and team. They ensure SAP's UI Design guidelines are enforced. The Recall's plus application is a great example of such a new application – see also the review from Ray Wang.

RENEW: To support our installed base customers in increasing the UX of the most commonly used SAP transactions SAP Fiori has been launched at SAPPHIRE Orlando in May this year. These 25 out-of-the-box applications work cross device and come with an easy and intuitive User Interface co-designed with some of SAP's leading customers like Colgate-Palmolive. In the first wave SAP Fiori covers workflow requests and approvals and some basic SD transactions like “Create/Change Sales Order” - more expected to come later this year.

ENABLE: This is where SAP Screen Personas comes into play. With this tool SAP helps customers to dramatically simplify their SAP GUI transactions for casual and professional users. With SAP Screen Personas customers can create their own flavor of any SAP GUI based transaction with an easy intuitive editor. "Anyone who can use power point can also create his own SAP GUI transaction flavor in minutes" is what Tobias explained. In a live demo Tony Reed from the SAP pre-sales team showed some of the more sophisticated scripting features of SAP Screen Personas. This allows you to massively reduce the number of clicks required to run a transaction and therefore increase end-user productivity.

The highlight of the day was the session given by David Cowling from University of Warwick on their SAP Screen Personas experience. His small team has to support 3000 users using the SAP system mainly occasionally. 75% of their help calls are a result of user capability training issues. They invest a lot in end-user training but as their users are not using the solution regularly they just forgot how to use the standard transactions and get lost. A traditional response to this challenge would have been to improve training, documentation and processes which is all resource and cost intensive. With SAP Screen Personas they had been able to simplify their transactions significantly reducing the support and training cost. According to David, SAP Screen Personas is “easy to install” and “does not require intensive training”. They are planning to roll the solution out now and we expect to hear more from them at SAP Teched Amsterdam and at the UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference in November this year.

In the second blog review on the event which I plan to issue later this week I’ll recap some additional customer discussions on SAP's enforced UX strategy. I will also give an overview on how SAP's UX Services offering supports customers to achieve a User Experience for their SAP systems which delights their end users - stay tuned.