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 UX||Efficiency|
|Duration||2:12 mins||47 secs||64% reduction|
|Screen changes||8||2||75% reduction|
|Fields filled||5||2||60% 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.
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.