Anyone who has been working with SAP applications as long as I have (19 years and counting), the words SAP and User Experience almost come across as two words that should not coexist, such as cake and ketchup.
Reality is that today’s SAP applications, are a long way off from the grey screen GUI of the 90’s and early 2000’s. What this means for our customers, is that they have capability of providing their users cutting edge modern UX, without compromising on essential business functions, be it in the Front office or the Back office.
SAP’s UX direction: digital transformation
Fiori Client (aka Responsive UI) is the direction where SAP Hybris Sales and Service Cloud is making investments to align with SAP’s Fiori Client technologies, enabling our customers to have a consistent user experience across all applications. In addition, Fiori Client provides a unified user experience across all device forms – Desktop, Tablet and Smartphones, thereby simplifying the user experience and reducing user training needs.
The core FIORI design principles around which the designs are modeled are that the UX should be –
Role Based - Designed for you, your needs, and how you work
Adaptive - Adapts to multiple use cases and devices
Simple - Only what is necessary
Coherent - Provides one fluid, intuitive experience
Delightful - Makes an emotional connection
When SAP embarked on its cloud based CRM journey, the solution was built with a ‘mobile first’ approach with a modern architecture (in contrast with an 18-year-old architecture that some of our competitors boast of). The result was a feature rich application with a UX unparalleled with any of our competitors.
SAP Hybris Sales and Service Cloud (formerly branded as SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer)
Let’s look at how these Fiori principals have been embedded in SAP Hybris Sales and Service cloud.
One of the reasons that customers traditionally did not like SAP UI was the complexity and difficulty of its user experience. In 2005/2006 with SAP CRM WEB UI (on premise offering), SAP took a step in the right direction but it was not enough. When we designed SAP Hybris Sales and Service cloud, a lot of focus was given on the idea that users should not be exposed to more information and options than what was needed to complete the task at hand. As it is designed for specific user-roles, their needs and their work, we see a breakdown of complex screens into much simpler screens with only the fields required to fulfill a single task.
Sales Rep – Home Page
Sales Manager – Home Page
More than half of North American and European companies are developing BYOD programs in response to workforce demand (Source: Forrester). It is not uncommon to see a single user using multiple devices on different platforms. E.g. I have an Android Smartphone, an IPAD 2 and a Windows laptop. Depending on the need I use one or all of them on any given day. This is probably true for most of you reading this. Sales and Service reps are no different. They expect to use multiple devices and desire a user experience which is optimal for that device; to put in other words, the app should be responsive.
The SAP Hybris Sales and Service cloud app is designed as such. Features such as chunk view, condensed view, enable the users to decide their experience. Did I mention all of this comes at no additional cost?
Tablet view – List of Visits
Smartphone View – List of Visits
What do we mean when we say we want an app which is simple? Easy to use? Nice big buttons? In the world of business applications, to me simple means clarity. What this means is no matter how complex the process, how many steps needed to fulfill a business function or how many ways there could be to achieve the same result, it is important to have a clearly defined screen.
The SAP Hybris Sales and Service cloud app takes this clarity into consideration…simplifying the user experience without compromising the critical business logic that is needed. We have taken great effort to ensure that when any user logs in to the app, regardless of who they are, a sales rep, a service technician or a call center agent, their most important functions are made front and center, and reducing the number of clicks/taps it takes to complete an action
Tablet – Follow on actions post Visit
Smartphone – Create new Visit
The most beautiful application, where there is no logical structure of everyday business functions, would be cast away by the users in a New York minute. What today’s users look for in any app (especially business applications) is one which provides easy navigation and helps solve their problems more efficiently. This aspect is well reflected in the design of the app – using smart grouping we bundle together related functionality e.g. Tapping on menu item CUSTOMERS brings up functions such as Accounts, Contacts, Individual Customers, Target groups.
Work Center - Customers
To me, a delightful app is one which is fast, consistent with the navigation, simple to personalize and notifies me when something needs my attention. Another plus point would be an app which provides me the same experience whether I am online or offline. The SAP Hybris Sales and Service app does exactly that. Users can personalize the app to their specific needs, easily see new alerts which require action from them, power users can tailor the app to match their organizations branding and use the app without loss of functionality or user experience online as well as offline.
FEED – Collaborate with your team. Notifications/Workflow alerts
Branding – Theme builder
Looking Ahead – FIORI 2.0 (2018 and beyond) *
With FIORI 2.0, SAP Hybris Sales and Service Cloud is set to elevate the user experience to the next level. Some of the future thinking concepts are highlighted below.
Example 1: Refreshed Home page – Improved visibility to your upcoming activities and tasks. Adjustable ‘tiles’ make it easier to display more information upfront to make the app more useful to the user.
Example 2: Improved thumbnail responsiveness – Conform the screen based on the device being used
Example 3: Updated look to HEADER information – See key information of the object (Visit, accounts etc.) right away. All actions such as ‘edit’. ‘flag favorites’ will be moved to the top right hand side, making it easier for the user to access them and improving productivity.
SAP Hybris Sales and Service Cloud’s user experience (UX) goal is to deliver usable, extensible, and beautiful designs. To evolve our product design, we listen to our customers. We at SAP believe in not only providing a world class user experience but also provide your organization a ‘solution’ to grow your bottom line.
When customers use our cloud solution the User Experience they get is:
Singe harmonized UX for role based analytics and transactional scenarios, online and offline
Relatable experience which resonates with people’s needs
Actionable user interface (UI) with clearly defined goals
Simple design with progressive disclosure
Modern and trendy visual aesthetics
Natural Language voice commands to support frequently used actions such as entering a note, updating an opportunity etc.