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My name is Evi Aerts, Director User Experience and Mobile-Friendly Partner Business Applications at SAP. My mission: provide the 17.000+ SAP Partner companies worldwide with intuitive, simple and mobile-friendly business applications to manage and execute on processes related to their partnership.

I am a big fan of the Fiori Makers community. So I am honoured to present in the next upcoming Fiori Makers call on February 8 one of our recent released Fiori apps, which vastly simplified how our Partners can manage their employees’ access profiles to our systems and applications. Designed for mobile first! And available on our SAP PartnerEdge Launchpad.
Do not hesitate to register for the call.

In this blog I will give you a sneak preview of what will be presented.


More self-service and higher quality required

The “Partner Security Manager” of a company partnering with SAP, is the person who receives the responsability for managing their employees’ access to SAP systems and applications. This means creating/deleting/editing Users and assigning the right permission to the right person.

A few challenges:

  • Colleagues do not always know who their Partner Security Manager is

  • A lot of Partner Security Managers are struggling to diligently execute on their responsibilities (high demand for SAP support, many duplicate users, overlapping permissions assigned, users who change roles or leave the company are not deleted, missing communication details)

So we had to simplify the process and make user management more intuitive and transparent.


Why Fiori and designed for Mobile first

The role of “Partner Security Manager” is in reality given to about any possible employee in a company: from Head of Company to Sales Assistant etc. The Persona for our app can be very young or more mature; always on the road or never leaving the office desk; very application savvy or not at all.

So we needed an attractive and very easy application which can run on any device, anytime, anywhere and which guides the user’s attention to where it is required most.

All our SAPUI5 Partner Applications are built according to the Fiori Design Guidelines. This is our SAP standard. Adopting one single design accross the various applications greatly improves the digital experience of our partner users.

We designed for Mobile first to ensure that those personas who are mostly on the road can use the application as easy as the office workers. We also experienced that designing for a small screen simply enforces the project team to keep things very simple and to challenge every single item on the screen. It is not because you have for example a Fax number available in the backend, that the persona is interested in this info nowadays. Less is more.


Building “Manage My Users”

To be inspired, we started with reviewing existing Fiori apps and other phone apps around contact or user management. No existing app answered to our specific needs, so app had to be custom built.

Based on design thinking sessions we then created low-fidelity wireframes in Excel and PowerPoint. These were very helpful to visualize the scope/target functionality when checking and finet;uning our ideas with stakeholders and colleagues who support Partners with their user management

-Examples of these low-fidelity wareframes-


We also visualised the complete process flow:


Then it was time to translate all requirements into high fidelity Fiori Design in Axure.


And we checked conformity to Fiori Guidelines in SAP internal "Design Kitchen" reviews.

Since the developers were still occupied with other projects, we took the opportunity to discover SAP BUILD. To be able to simulate the navigation from one object or page to another with interactive designs, gave us beautiful insights where further optimization was required. We noticed however in the SAP BUILD reports that our test users were reluctant to leave a lot of comments inside the tool.

We continued with personal interviews with our target endusers.
April 2017 the development of the app Manage My Users started, combining SCRUM methodology to be agile and have room for changes, with Waterfall planning, to make sure we delivered the best value in the given timeframe

On September 7 the app was launched on our SAP PartnerEdge Launchpad. The Launchpad tile is only visible to people with the “Partner Security Manager” permission. A visual indicator alerts the user when there are permission approvals waiting to be processed.


To see the app in its first go live version, check out this video.


Lessons learned

  • Manage My Users meant much more than just providing a nice UI on top of existing backend processes. The app was a driver for much broader simplification

  • We changed backend & process taxonomy into more intuitive language. New taxonomy is now used everywhere when we talk about user management

  • The app enforced our company to simplify the “permissions”: reduced list of possible permissions to choose from + "permission naming and entitlement" has to be so intuitive that one can explain in one sentence what a certain permission entails

  • Combining SCRUM with Waterfall ensured better focus during project; good overview for all team members so best design and architecture decisions were made and go live was within scheduled timeframe.

  • Interactive Build mockups allowed for a great test and demo experience


For more details and a live demo of the app, just join me in  the Fiori Makers call of February 8.



Note: I am always looking for SAP Partners who are open to participate in enduser research. Feel free to contact me!