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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

How do you know your end users understand the critical business processes in your enterprise-wide applications? Can you monitor user proficiency and pinpoint exact problem areas?

It’s clear that enterprise applications provide companies the tools they require to bring value to their organization, but in order for these tools to work, your people need to get it. Application adoption is about attaining full utilization of the enterprise software deployed in an organization. The benefits of adoption seem obvious, and include:

  • full realization of the business plan for which you initially purchased the enterprise software
  • compliant execution of key business transactions;
  • optimizing the performance of employees in the function of their daily tasks.

User adoption of core enterprise applications correlates with economic returns to the business.

SAP Education has identified a number of best practices for application adoption, including the best way to set a baseline and measure utilization as well as how to close the gap with inefficiencies.

* To find out more about best practices for application adoption read on and

Identify Key Applications For Adoption Measurement

Application adoption is best driven across those few critical applications that are the life blood of your organization.  You need to identify those application that support critical business processes and communications.  The more personnel they utilize, and the more time they spend in their day, the more operational benefits you can derive from a managed program to drive application adoption.  There are also strategic implications around core business processes that deliver and record revenue.  Effectiveness in execution and proper application adoption can be the difference between a good quarter and a great one. 

Detail Application Utilization at Baseline

It’s essential to highlight differences in adoption between various groups within your enterprise.  These points of comparison give context and direction to your application adoption efforts.  These can be different groups within the same job function, such as the accounting departments distributed globally. 

These can also be comparisons between very different groups, such as manufacturing and order entry that may use different modules of the target applications and perhaps even navigate the some of the same modules differently. Comparing groups usually presents some startling data.  You can see almost immediately variations in productivity and adoption.  You can get a sense of how to effect change with a pinpoint focus so that you can harvest the benefits and drive your application adoption higher.  Once you establish your baselines you can start to establish improvement goals and measure progress against them.

Identify The Adoption Gap Current State at Your Current Baseline

There are two basic tiers to adoption gap measurement:

The first tier of gap calculation is called the Super User Adoption Gap Tier. The Super User Gap is measured by assessing your baseline measurements in terms of the best-in-class users (super users), your mainstream users and perhaps the new users and/or other groups who are performing below baseline averages or super user averages.  This provides a very achievable path to improvement as you are already seeing metrics reflecting not only what can be achieved, but what is being achieved within your organization.  Improvement of application adoption against Super User Gap calculations allows improvement in the context of your current organizational execution.

The second tier is the Enterprise Adoption Gap Tier.  The Enterprise Adoption Gap now sets milestones against performance based either upon external metrics defined by best-in-class companies in the same industry and perhaps the same geography.  Alternately, this can be calculated by understanding the performance profile and then determining how effectively the theoretical utilization of time allocated by personnel within the target application is being used.

New releases in software can also change the metrics substantially.  Here you want to look at the activity versus the expected active time.  This reflects the number of users that should be on the system on that specific day of the week based on historical data.  New releases of software can effect application adoption both positively and negatively.  These change management events need to be watched carefully.

Select Targets of Opportunity Through Profiling

Targets of opportunity for application adoption are plentiful once you start to profile performance.  Profiling is analyzing execution across business processes, transactions and other key components, understanding deficiencies or problems, and then targeting remediation.  Remediation can vary from additional super user targeted remediation, targeted training, enhancements to the self-help portal, redesign of transactions and perhaps redesign of custom transaction (usually a source of problems). 

Profiling may be focused on performance variations.  You would select those processes that have, in aggregate, the greatest variation in execution across the enterprise.  Profiling can also focus easily on frequency of user error.  One way to easily identify clusters of user errors is with SAP User Experience Manager technology; the path to remediation can be well designed based upon understanding the immediate challenges to the users.

Implement Remediation Strategy

Now you want to implement your plans for remediation.  You have a very clear understanding of performance, areas of error, and relative baselines by a variety of measurements.  You have selected your targets of opportunity and you are implementing your plans against them.

Compare Baseline to Current State to Assess Progress

Periodically, perhaps on a quarterly basis, you can compare your baselines with new measurements.  You will see the changes and positive impact of your programs.  Now you can measure application adoption – only the best in class companies in the world can do this today.  If you can measure it you can improve it and now best practices are supported by Knoa Enterprise Performance Management technology that makes this all possible.

Most interesting is that you can understand very clearly the economic value of your adoption gap and hence the economic value of the improvements already done.  You can also see the remaining potential value you can capture.  You can see that the potential impact of these changes is huge.  The remaining application adoption and improvement will contribute very significant changes to your organization’s performance and operational efficiency.

Learn more, view our ON-DEMAND webinar and demo

It’s clear that user adoption of core enterprise applications correlates with economic returns to the business. To find out more about best practices for application adoption and more, view our on-demand webinar hosted by SAP Education and Knoa Software:

  • View our webinar wrap up report here

Have you found any specific areas that work for your business or industry? Participate in the discussion and discover how you can help your business create an actionable plan to accelerate adoption. The webinar is free of charge and also includes a demo. So find out how you can optimize the performance of your SAP applications and the people who use them. See you there!