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As every service provider knows, customers tell the best stories about your service. The best references that exist. When a happy customer tell their story, about how they benefited from your service, then that’s the best story there is. Much better than you speaking about your own service.Webinar_open_screen.png


Yesterday (Oct 14, 2015), I had the pleasure and honor to take part in a webinar that oXya held for customers, prospects and partners. I was specifically proud to open the webinar and introduce three of our distinguished customers – Celio, Smurfit Kappa Group, and Nextiraone – whose IT executives presented their SAP story, and how oXya helped them achieve their business goals.


These are not small companies. In fact, they are world leaders in their respective fields:

  • Celio is one of the world’s largest retailers for men’s fashion, with more than 1,100 stores across 60 countries around the globe.
  • Smurfit Kappa Group is a global leader for paper-based packaging, and Europe’s largest corrugated packaging company.
  • Nextiraone is a leading European IT Services firm, with operations across Europe.


Our business is all about our SAP customers. They are the ones for whom we work around the clock. We support them so they can achieve their business goals, grow and be successful. It is always heartwarming to hear complements for our service when we speak with a customer. All of you who provide services to customers, know what I mean. It is really special when a busy IT executive at a customer is willing to participate in a live webinar, invest the time and resources to develop a presentation, and provide a public reference to the entire world.


We are deeply grateful to Laurent Rousset, CIO of Celio; Tewfik Noumri, Director of Group SAP Competence Center at the Smurfit Kappa Group; and Flip Vandijck, Director of Global ERP Production at Nextiraone, for participating in our webinar, and for the warm words and compliments. We were honored to have them at our webinar, blushed at the compliments, and would continue to work hard and provide a great service to all of our customers around the world.




Listen to their stories, as there are some very interesting things in there, about how they developed their SAP strategy, implemented HANA, and are using SAP to run huge, international businesses. Any SAP customer can probably take something from these stories.



In addition to the customer stories, our webinar presented a decision-making framework that we developed specifically for this webinar, based on nearly 20 years of servicing many hundreds of SAP customers. This framework provides a process for SAP customers who consider a migration to SAP HANA. The framework addresses the two main challenges that such HANA migration entails – the human experience & expertise gap with regards to HANA, and the high cost of infrastructure that is tied to HANA.


We take the listener step by step, and present some options and decision criteria to solve these challenges. This framework is also relevant for current SAP customers who are not thinking about a HANA migration, but would still like to improve the level of service they are getting from their SAP environment – for both the human factor and the infrastructure.


Take a look at our webinar – the three customer stories are presented right at the beginning of the webinar, one after the other, followed by the framework for HANA migration. I’d love to read your comments and questions here, in this blog, and will answer everyone and everything.


Also, come see us at the HDS/oXya booth at the upcoming two TechEd events, next week in Las Vegas, and in a few weeks (November 10-12) in Barcelona. We would love to meet with you face to face, hear about your SAP challenges and concerns, and discuss how oXya may be of service to you.




Melchior du Boullay is VP of Business Development and Americas Geo Manager at oXya, a Hitachi Data Systems company. oXya is a technical SAP consulting company, providing ongoing managed services (run management) for enterprises around the world. In addition, oXya helps customers running SAP with various projects, including upgrades and migrations, including to SAP HANA. Enterprises migrating to HANA are using oXya to perform the HANA migration for them, since they usually don’t have the in-house skillset and prior knowledge to perform that migration.

Playback our HDS webinar event:





October 14

The Advantage of Using Professionals for Run Management of Your SAP

Melchior du BOULLAY

Vice President Business Development and Geo Management for Americas


A Hitachi Data Systems Company

Scott LaBouillere

Vice President Business Development

oXya Cloud Applications


A Hitachi Data Systems Company

One of the most common needs that oXya customers have been asking us about in recent years has been focused on using SAP on employees’ mobile devices (tablets and cellphones). Many companies worldwide are supporting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option for their employees, and they want the employees to be able to use their own devices to connect to SAP and perform their work.


In addition, there are various instances in which the use of a mobile device is almost a must. Think about mobile employees, for example, who are traveling frequently as part of their job. Using their tablet or cellphone to connect to SAP and perform various actions will be significantly easier and a time saver for them, compared to opening their laptop and doing the same thing. There are additional instances in which mobile devices can bring a lot of value, such as working on a manufacturing floor, where a person can move around and perform tasks on a tablet, rather than be constrained to a desktop or a laptop that are not as mobile. And there are additional examples.


All of these things were difficult to perform with the old SAP GUI, which did not have any adaptive capabilities, and was therefore limited to use on desktops and laptops. Aware of these trends, SAP embarked on a journey to provide an answer to its customers. SAP wanted to create a better user experience for its customers, enable the use of mobile devices, and at the same time simplify  interactions to make it more efficient.


The result is Fiori, which is part of the new user experience developed by SAP. Based on HTML-5 and a browser-based GUI, Fiori provides a responsive design which means you can use Fiori apps on your mobile devices. In addition, Fiori provides ease of use that is far superior to what existed before, as well as significant improvements in efficiency for the users.



What is Fiori?



Fiori is a framework for an advanced, responsive user interface. It is a set of SAP applications, that replaces known, standard SAP applications and processes. The emphasis on “standard” is important, because Fiori replaces applications and processes in which you are using the exact same standard processes defined by SAP, without any modifications made to this processes.


When SAP first launched Fiori, it supported about 200 applications. Today, with EHP-7 on ECC-6, Fiori supports more than 500 applications, enabling users to leverage the exact same SAP application and process on their mobile device, in an easier-to-use way.


Another benefit of Fiori is that it enables the user, with one interface, to interact with multiple backend applications (CRM, BI, SRM, etc.). Before Fiori, you had to install different clients on the user side.



Efficiency of Fiori


Fiori is much more than just a nicer GUI that also works on your mobile devices. SAP designed Fiori to provide significant efficiency improvements for its users. This efficiency improvements result in savings of 60-70% in the time of performing an SAP task by the user; in the number of mouse clicks the user needs to make during the process; in the number of screen changes; and in the number of fields that need to be filled.

SAP GUI (old)SAP Fiori UXEfficiency
Duration2:12 mins47 secs64% reduction
Clicks391171% reduction
Screen changes8275% reduction
Fields filled5260% reduction


Instead of just writing about these efficiency savings, take a look at this 2-minute video, which compares between two methods of performing the exact same business process, in the old SAP GUI and through the Fiori version of that application.


The process shown in the video, for Receivables Management, is typical for the efficiency improvement that users achieve when employing Fiori. It’s important to emphasize that the SAP application that you see in the video is exactly the same for both instances, only in one case we are using the old SAP GUI and in the second case it is the new Fiori interface.



Upgrading to Fiori


The process of upgrading to Fiori differs between customers, and depends on each customer’s SAP environment. On average and for most customers, assuming you’re already running the updated SAP environment (EHP-7 on ECC-6), the basic setup of the Fiori backend system takes between one week to 1.5 weeks (Fiori support is limited or does not exist in previous versions of ECC). This project includes installing a SAP NetWeaver Gateway, and the exact length of the project depends on how things are configured on the backend.


Once the backend infrastructure is set, it takes oXya 1-2 days to technically deploy each application to Fiori (again, for standard processes only, meaning the processes and screens that SAP configured and which you’re using as is, without modifications).


SAP Personas: the step beyond Fiori


As mentioned above, Fiori is just the beginning of the road, with regards to the new SAP GUI. Fiori only covers the standard SAP processes. It’s impossible to speak about Fiori, without understanding that when you’re moving to a new user experience, you also have to convert the screens and processes that you created for your company, and which are not SAP standard. To achieve that, we’re using SAP Personas.


Personas is a tool which helps to transition your modified processes and screens to the new user experience. Using NetWeaver Business Client, you can personalize your screens and processes without coding, leveraging WYSIWYG options.


Peter Spielvogel from SAP’s marketing wrote two nice blog posts explaining the difference between Fiori and SAP Personas, and also how to choose between these two.



Have you converted to Fiori?


To summarize, everything becomes simpler, more intuitive, and significantly more efficient, once you convert from the old SAP GUI to the new SAP interface. About 60% of oXya’s customers are in process of migrating to Fiori or have already completed this migration, and they are reporting significant value.


Here’s one example from a customer who moved to Fiori, and just one of the many benefits they achieved—this one in their quality management process, on the manufacturing floor—due to that migration. In the pre-Fiori days, with the old SAP GUI, they quality inspectors used designated scanners to scan finished products’ codes, and then transfer the information to the SAP system. Today, after moving to Fiori, they simply use their tablets to scan the codes (using the tablet’s camera), enter the scanned data directly into the Fiori application (using the tablet, of course), and save significant time on the entire process (plus save the cost of the designated scanners).


Have you already migrated to Fiori? If not, do you have this migration planned? Any questions or concerns? Please comment here, and I’ll address all comments.



Mickael Cabreiro is a Senior SAP Basis Consultant, currently based in oXya’s Montreal, Canada office. Mickael joined oXya in 2008, and has consulted to customers across Europe and Americas, capitalizing on his multilingual proficiency. oXya was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in early 2015.