Obsolete interface, like SAP Enterprise Portal, can really hinder work in your company. Especially if your employees use it for everyday tasks. Dealing with a corporate web application that cannot be open in newer web browsers, has doubled scroll bars and inconvenient screen layout does not only frustrate, but also makes every task take more time.
When our long-time partner decided to switch from SAP Enterprise Portal to SAP Fiori, we were ready to prepare the most intuitive interface for them.
Our client used SAP Enterprise Portal both as a space for dealing with HR matters, as well as the company’s intranet. The range of activities contained form workflow, employee and managers self-service (like sending vacation requests, payslips or Personal Income Tax), purchasing.
The technology used for this solution was Web Dynpro for Java. Unfortunately, this technology has lost its popularity – it is hard now to find a person with competencies in it. Because of that, maintaining the application is very expensive. Additionally, SAP decided to stop supporting it, which means no new updates or security patches. All things considered, there was no point in upgrading the old solution. The company decided to switch to Fiori.
Interface that grows with the company
The first step was to analyse the portal and all its features. The client decided to transfer the knowledge base to a different solution. As for applications, we decided to rewrite them, using SAP Fiori technology.
Roughly half of the applications were available in Fiori standard. But it was not enough to just install them – we needed to adjust them to our client’s specific processes. We make sure that, despite customizing the application, all future updates of Fiori environment will be seamless.
The rest of the applications were written from scratch, in accordance to best practices and keeping in mind that the company will only grow – so the solutions must be scalable.
You buy with your eyes
Fiori is all about UX. The interface is supposed to be intuitive and easy to use. We wanted our client to have a solution that really makes working easier. That is why we prepared a few layouts propositions. We showed how the tables and screens can be displayed, and asked the client to choose the mock-up that feels the most natural.
The visual brand recognition is also important. That is why we designed the layouts, using our client’s brand colours and logo. Because of that, the Fiori interface is tightly connected to the company.
Path to mobility
One of the most important advantages of Fiori is its mobile-readiness. Applications can be adjusted for smartphones and tablets screens, and be as intuitive and easy-to-use as applications we are using every day.
In the beginning, our client was not convinced about mobile solutions. High security requirements were an obstacle. However, the Fiori philosophy states that the applications can easily be responsive. We were suggesting to our client to direct the project in this direction, and prepared mock-ups for both desktop and mobile versions.
In that way, when our client decided to launch mobile solutions in their company, the Fiori applications were ready.
Benefits of the new technology
The Fiori interface is compatible with the new web browsers standards, can be seamlessly updated and scaled. This solution is designed to grow with the company, making the employees everyday work easier and faster. Fiori technology is constantly enhanced and supports the newest SAP ideas and products.
What is more, the performance of Fiori is much better, than the legacy solutions. Even more important is the fact that we removed the technological limitation. The client is ready for further development of applications based on newer conventions.
Author: Marcin Podkowiński, SAP Technology Expert