SAP Fiori seems to be one of the most interesting innovations related to user experience with SAP software. Traditionally, SAP systems were known for good reliability and scalability but very poor experience of an end user. The user interface of SAP programs never was intuitive and every new implementation of an SAP system requires a lot of efforts dedicated to training of end users. The training sessions are largely devoted to explaining the users how to interact with SAP user interface because when people see SAP screens for the first time in their lives, they feel very confused. SAP has been heavily criticized for bad user interface for long time but it is only now that they responded to the critique with the release of SAP Fiori. The vision of SAP on the future of SAP user experience is tightly connected with SAP Fiori, and therefore, it is really important for SAP functional and technical consultants to know what is SAP Fiori, how SAP Fiori works, and what impact will it have on SAP jobs market. Moreover, it may be really beneficial to learn about SAP Fiori for people who are new to the SAP field and want to join the community of SAP consultants.
What is SAP Fiori?
Currently, all the interactions with SAP systems are performed through SAP GUI (Graphical User Interface). SAP GUI is software that can be installed on computers with Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems. SAP Fiori is a set of apps for various platforms that act as a replacement of SAP GUI. SAP Fiori apps are optimized to work good on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. They also look much more beautiful and modern than the traditional SAP GUI. One of the key differences between SAP GUI and SAP Fiori is that using SAP GUI you can perform any function or operation in SAP. On the other hand, each SAP Fiori app is intended for only one operation (e.g., approval of a purchase order). Various SAP Fiori apps can be grouped into three primary types:
- Transactional apps
- Fact sheets
- Analytical apps
Transactional apps enable users to perform a certain transaction of an action. They are similar to what the traditional transactions are. For example, using a transactional app a user can change a sales order.
Fact sheets are created for displaying contextual information and key facts about important business objects. For example, there is a fact sheet app for displaying data about a cost center. From a fact sheet app it is possible to navigate to other business objects.
Analytical apps are intended to bring a role-based insight into real-time operations of a company. They collect and display various key figures and key performance indicators (KPIs) that were defined for an enterprise. For instance, there is an analytical app called Days Inventory Held. This app informs stock managers about the speed of consuming materials per day.
For having a quick idea of what SAP Fiori looks like we recommend you to watch this official demo video from SAP:
SAP has a catalog of available SAP Fiori apps. If you are a customer of SAP and have purchased licensed for their enterprise products, you can download and install SAP Fiori apps from this catalog for free. Moreover, it is possible to develop your own SAP Fiori apps with the user interface framework known as SAPUI5.
It is important to understand that SAP Fiori does not provide a complete user interface replacement for SAP GUI. The business processes that are captured in SAP are often much more complex than what SAP Fiori can handle, and therefore, SAP GUI still remains the primary interaction tool of SAP consultants.
Impact of SAP Fiori on SAP Jobs Market
Introduction of a new technology requires professionals to learn this technology and get expertise in delivering solutions based on the new technology. The learning is required to remain competitive on the job market. As SAP Fiori gains popularity, more and more companies will be looking for SAP consultants with knowledge of SAP Fiori. Also, they will be looking for developers who can create new SAP Fiori apps. This way, SAP Fiori has a strong potential for creating a new segment in the market of SAP jobs.
What is the impact of SAP Fiori on current SAP functional and technical consultants? From our point of view, this impact is not very big. SAP functional consultants will need to learn how SAP Fiori can be used for improvement and optimization of business processes. Technical consultants such as SAP Basis specialists and SAP ABAP developers will need to gain some knowledge about integrations aspects of SAP Business Suite and SAP Fiori. This integration is done using SAP NetWeaver Gateway. This will of course require some investment of time into learning but ultimately the time spent on learning SAP Fiori will be paid back very well in the future.
Speaking about people who are just considering careers in the SAP field, SAP Fiori is an attractive opportunity for quick career growth. In the domain of SAP Fiori, you will not need to compete with other professionals who have more SAP experience. This a new and emerging technology that might offer good career path if it takes off and become widely adopted.