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2023 SAP S/4HANA UX & BTP Planning

Throughout 2022, our Mindset Labs & SAP Consulting Practice has presented at several industry SAP events, and many additional customer calls regarding SAP User Experience (UX). Invariably, we are presented with scenarios and questions.  Today, we share this blog as a follow-up to our Webinar held last week. We aim to share a couple of standard methods and a few frequently asked questions. We aim to share some of our insights, information, and assets we have in hopes you find the information valuable.

This first scenario is single-handedly the most common scenario we face…

Scenario 1: We just finished a technical migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, and now we want to realize some benefits from our S/4 investment. Where should we start?

There are many different directions one can go in this scenario. Still, we typically recommend exploring user experience transformation due to its relatively low-cost point of entry, with high impact potential in a relatively short period…  

Here are some things to keep in mind…

  • Decide on User Experience Deployment Strategy – Due to this technical migration scenario, chances are User Experience was not likely to be top of mind during the technical migration to S/4HANA hence the need to evaluate and decide on how to deploy SAP Fiori. There are a few different ways to deploy Fiori, namely SAP S/4HANA Embedded (front-end server), SAP Fiori (FES) as a standalone server/hub, and SAP Build Work Zone via SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).
  • Decide on Single, Dual, or Harmonized User Experience – most SAP customers are familiar with a single user experience. In contrast, everyone has leveraged SAPGUI, which has been the primary UX for SAP for decades.  SAP’s next-generation user experience, Fiori, was introduced in 2015, and some SAP customers began using a Dual UX approach, leveraging both SAPGUI and Fiori for specific processes.  Mindset usually encourages customers to have a harmonized UX in a post-technical migration to S/4HANA, meaning has a single user experience based on Fiori but continues to leverage SAPGUI where applicable by adding SAPGUI transactions to the Fiori Launchpad, thus creating a seamless UX.  
  • Enabling & Deploying SAP Fiori – Due to this technical migration scenario, chances are that most customers have not set up SAP Fiori; therefore, this activity must be complete before going through a user experience transformation or enablement.  Depending on the deployment strategy and the skills of the technical team, this can range from a few days of effort when deploying S/4HANA Embedded to a couple/few weeks when provisioning and setting up a standalone server or SAP Build Work Zone.
  • Start Simple & Keep it Focused – we’ve encountered customers who want to embark on a complete UX transformation, and while this is a noble endeavor, it is best to keep the UX transformation simple and focused.  We recommend focusing on a persona or two in no more than two functional areas.  This keeps the effort focused, concise, and manageable.  For instance, if your organization is experiencing challenges in inbound/outbound processing in your warehouse. Start there! You will have interested parties in fixing the issue(s), but you’ll also notice a tremendous benefit/success because more visibility is in that area.

Scenario 2: We are in the planning stages of an SAP S/4HANA implementation; what are some lessons learned and best practices we should keep in mind?

  • Attend Industry, SAP, ASUG, and Consulting Roundtable Events – networking is one of the most important things organizations can do to obtain much needed insight and knowledge.  For some reason, many overlook this value for fear of budget constraints, perceived value, and lack of time…I promise your teams will be stronger, tighter, more knowledgeable, and more effective if they attend these events together.  Often, the keynote addresses are by your industry peers who’ve embarked on transformation journeys. And, they are willing to share their experience and knowledge.  Then the breakout tracks are where participants can ask questions and engage more with their industry peers.  Additionally, most consulting firms in the post-Covid era have begun hosting virtual roundtables and webinars. At these virtual events, you can interact with consultants and peers and share information.  At Mindset, we host several of these events every quarter; please see Mindset Events for more details.
  • Data, data, data – you’ve likely heard this since you’ve been involved with ERP systems…but having clean, relevant, and timely data is key to successful digital transformation journeys.  Start by mining your data and processes and identifying opportunities for improvement and transformation.  Second, don’t wait to cleanse and enrich your data, do it now!  This effort will only improve your data analytics and visualization.  

Question: We are starting to get more serious about SAP Fiori. What are some resources, tools, or accelerators that can help us on this journey?

  • Become knowledgeable about SAP Fiori – there are a few resources we always recommend to come up to speed.
      • Introduction to SAP Fiori 3.0 – SAP’s brief YouTube video explains Fiori in simple business terms.
      • Training: How to Deliver Great User Experience with SAP S/4HANA – This OpenSAP course (free) will walk you through key concepts and considerations when embarking on a User Experience journey.  This course is for SAP Customers, Business Users, Key Users, and Project Managers; however, functional and technical consultants may also gain valuable insight and information.  This self-paced course was pre-recorded over three weeks using a fictional company: “ABC Corporation”.  One can move through this in a few hours or over several days/weeks.  Many participants, customers, and prospects have found this course valuable and beneficial.
      • Training: SAP Fiori Overview: Design, Develop, Deploy – This OpenSAP course (free) shares an overview of Fiori, and dives into design, development, and deployment considerations.  This course is for more technical resources; however, Super/Power Users may also find this helpful.
      • Training: Understanding SAP Fiori Launchpad – SAP Fiori launchpad is a shell that hosts SAP Fiori apps and provides those apps with services such as navigation, personalization, embedded support, and application configuration. Other openSAP courses explain how to develop an SAP Fiori application and how to work with the SAP Fiori launchpad. This course will show you how the SAP Fiori launchpad works. You’ll be introduced to the diagnostic tools, and learn how to troubleshoot errors when launching a tile. You’ll learn how to diagnose navigation, translation, cache, and transport issues. You’ll see a live demo from the instructors on how to use the Chrome debugger. And, you will learn how to troubleshoot the SAP Fiori launchpad and a live demo on how translation works. The course includes additional demos on replication, transports, and more. (Note: The intent of this course is for technical users, developers, system administrators, and IT consultants.)
  • Tools & Accelerators: Merlin by Mindset is an SAP BTP cloud-based intelligent automation platform built to automate SAP Fiori UX Discovery through Deployment.

Mindset Consulting is ready to help you along your human-centric user experience journey. Please contact us if we can help you in any way.



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Adam Anderson is Mindset Consulting’s Managing Director of SAP, Managed Services, & Delivery Excellence. He's held executive leadership roles both in consulting and in industry throughout his career and a former SAP Customer Advisory Council member for SAP S/4HANA Cloud and holds certifications as an SAP Solution Architect and Systems Integration & Technology Delivery Lead. His passion is driving business innovation through business-led, technology enabled solutions via a simple, standard, and efficient mindset. Adam lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife and three children, and can often be found ferrying the family around to baton twirling competitions and football games.

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