When it comes to enterprise software suppliers, SAP wants to be not simply the largest but also the most simple. That’s the message behind SAP’s new theme, “Run Simple, week” rolled out at its annual SapphireNow user meeting in Orlando last. Initially, the theme of simplicity is an odd one.
For over twenty years, SAP has been broadly regarded as having software that is wealthy but enormously complicated functionally. Its name is becoming synonymous with implementation projects that come across the tens, even hundreds, of millions of dollars, sometimes ending in failure or at least in organizational exhaustion. SAP is simple to stereotype.
Newly appointed to the sole CEO role, Bill McDermott set the firmness in his kick-off keynote: SAP customers need to “fight complexity,” to simplify the way they interact with their customers, starting with how they deal with their own workforce. At the same time, McDermott acknowledged that SAP itself has been part of its customers’ complexity.
McDermott is an inspiring and disciplined speaker. But fulfilling this vision will need more than an inspiring keynote. In my view, if SAP would like to beat complexity, it’ll need to run simple in three ways: in its products, in its ongoing support, and in how it handles its customers.
So, let’s look at each of these. The day of the conference Around the first, SAP announced the near future delivery of Simple Finance. Predicated on interviews and a demo I received on the show circulation, I see at least three ways that Simple Finance is, well, simpler. A simpler code foundation. Under HANA the applications can now simply record transactions without having to create any summarized data fields for later reporting.
With HANA, confirming always dates back to the foundation data in memory space to build aggregated data fields on the soar. This shrinks how big is the scheduled programs, greatly reducing the number of lines of code, making them less error-prone and simpler to debug. It also means that users can now drill from overview data to details in any way they choose down, without having to write special reports or customize the code. A simpler interface. SAP Fiori provides the interface for Simple Finance. Fiori applications operate across desktop and mobile devices to provide a simplified user interface for SAP’s applications.
They are not simply a new presentation level however in many cases combine SAP transactions into a single user process. For example, entering a manual payment in Accounts Payable can now be done in a single screen rather than the multiple screens it previously required in SAP. On the side take note, after much push-back from customers, SAP announced that Fiori apps will now be delivered at no charge to customers under maintenance, removing one barrier to adoption of Simple Finance. Simpler to implement. Implementation methodologies and tools are designed right into the application, predicated on SAP’s previous use its Rapid Deployment Services.
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These include wizard-like tools to guide and configure the applications. There are data-migration tools to map data from existing systems into Simple Finance-whether from previous versions of SAP or from other systems. Implementation screening is also managed within the machine itself. Furthermore, Simple Finance is integrated with SAP’s collaboration system, Jam, to encourage knowledge exchange.
If a consumer runs into problems, for example, they might reach out to other users for help. SAP personnel demonstrating Simple Finance appeared sincerely excited about the product. One indicated she was slated to work on implementations with early adopters. That day on the show floor She said that she got even registered some ramp-up customers previously, indicating a high level of interest.