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The meeting consisted of two parts: knowledge sharing based on learnings from SAP TechEd and an interactive workshop around the topic of design.

The first presentation was given by vfweiss about Mobility. He immediately jumped into the exciting topic of wearables. Vincent talked about the challenge to design apps for such small screen sizes. He pointed out that Augmented Reality is an area which SAP is paying attention to, e.g. based on Hololens from Microsoft. There are concrete SAP AR solutions already available: SAP AR Warehouse picking and SAP AR Service Technician. SAP is developing new ones such as The Perfect Meeting App, which is based on the Apple Watch and C4C. Vincent talked about the roadmap ( In my opinion the fast development of HCPms is key here, the support for more Kapsel plugins, Windows 10, improved authentication and the plans to provide application building capabilities for people who can’t program. With Fiori mobile services SAP is going to have the full end-to-end development cycle covered: extending Fiori, building new, testing, deploying to the SAP Mobile Place. Regarding point for improvement, Vincent mentioned that at this point in time the documentation is still not sufficient.

The second presentation was from roel.vandenberge about SAP Build and Splash. He set the stage by explaining the lack of designers at most customers and the fact that SAP would like to help customers to improve the user experience of their applications. He introduced Build and positioned it as an open source, collaborative design tool which makes it easy for anyone to create interactive prototypes, get feedback from users and jumpstart development without writing a single line of code. He showed the Splash site ( and emphasized that it is a portal around UX methods, design services, guides and courses, gallery, etc. SAP Build allows business analysts to take photos of sketches done on flip charts, import the pictures and extend them gradually, have it tested by end users, and eventually import the project into Web IDE, where developers can add the detailed programming logic. Another approach is to start from an example app, clone it and modify it. Roel gave a great live demo of this latter approach: he picked a template in Splash and modified it in Build. In the end he had a fully functional Fiori app showing the list of VNSG meetings and some details of them (based on mock data).

The third presentation (actually by me) was about Fiori and Fiori launchpad. I covered all the news in this space. I started with Fiori 2.0 and explained the concept and the gradual delivery SAP is aiming at. I introduced the Fiori Overview Pages, which is a new solution to structure content in the Fiori Launchpad. Watch this movie to get an impression: I explained SAP’s strategy regarding the single UX for clients based on SAP Fiori launchpad. I explained the Fiori launchpad deployment options ( and various techniques to make Fiori mobile. Fiori cloud edition is of course a main innovation in this space. SAP is making possible to run Fiori in the cloud on HCP. As next step even the OData provisioning will be on HCP (via HCI) and then not even a front-end (gateway) server will be necessary on premise. Lastly we discussed the impact of S/4HANA on Fiori.

The second part of the meeting was the interactive part. We formed 3 groups and each group worked on answering the following questions:

Q1: Please give 5 examples for great design in real life. Give 3 reasons why they are great.

Q2: What is missing in your organization to create great design and how the situation can be improved?

Q3: How do you see the role of Design Thinking in your organization?

After the team work, we re-joined in the auditorium, the teams presented their answers and we discussed them.

Here is my summary to the answers:

Q1: The great designs mentioned were: Apple, Tesla, Google Search, Egyptian pyramids, Gaudi’s architecture, one-button control in Mercedes cars, touch screens, swipe on mobile devices, light-emitting bicycle roads, smart boards, smart thermostat. The participants mentioned reasons such as innovative, simple, consistent, sustainable, easy to use, beautiful, suitable for the time we live in, accessible, fast and unique.

Q2: The most common items mentioned were: involvement of users, out-of-the-box thinking, multi-disciplinary teams, iterative way of working, making the business case, adding a UX specialist to projects, close cooperation between business and IT, looking for deeper understanding. An open culture is a huge benefit here.

Q3: The opinions were very different in this area, so we had good discussions. Somebody argued that Design Thinking “doesn’t fit into our processes”, while someone else had great experience with DT applied to the future of their business, but the follow-up, the actual realization of the ideas generated remains to be a challenge. Many people found that getting the end users involved can be difficult. They are busy, may not be willing to join workshops. Explaining and demonstrating the added value is key here. Some people found asking the questions behind the questions is the most important. This means not jumping into development immediately, but first investigating the real demand.

We got very positive feedback for combining presentations with an interactive workshop. For sure we will consider this approach for our upcoming events in 2016.

Agenda for 2016:

May 26, 2016

  • Sapphire recap
  • State of mobility in real life – customer stories
  • September 29, 2016

    • State of Fiori in real life – customer stories

    December 8, 2016

    • TechEd recap
    • Look into the world of graphical design

    Special thanks for h.claessens for organizing this event with me.

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