Enterprise applications are ugly. Oracle, Peoplesoft, SAP, HP, CA, they’re all the same. When E-commerce took off during the internet bubble, we all thought that this is the beginning of something new. Something different.
After I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2002 studying computer science, I was ready to take on the world. I was ready to build the next great internet application.
I joined Accenture and started working with clients on the SAP Enterprise Portal. I thought Shai Agassi really had it figured out when he helped sell TopTier to SAP for $400m back in 2001. The Portal, combined with ITS, the old web-enabling of SAP transactions was going to transform how companies interact with their software. It would finally simplify the enterprise. And then… it didn’t.
A colleague of mine, Craig Gutjahr, has recently been doing some very cool work with SAP user experience: https://www.spyvee.com/demo/vendor/. You keep your enterprise application intact, but rediscover the process from the user’s perspective, and then simplify. Using HTML5, SAPUI5, and simple REST web services on SAP Netweaver Gateway, this dream is becoming a reality.
I think this time around, things really will be different.