Several years ago, SAP found themselves in a situation which happens to many large software companies. Two separate parts of the organization developed new HR functionality to solve for a common gap: usability. On one side, HR Renewal came to fruition – a new landing page built off SAPUI5 with a new navigation and user experience. The other – SAP Fiori – was a cross-function solution (inspired with a Google design team) with a separate entry point (SAP Fiori Launchpad) and its own user interface using SAPUI5.
Many customers are now perplexed on how to move forward given both are viable solutions to solve SAP’s long-plagued usability problems, especially in the areas of Employee and Manager Self-Service.
It’s apparent that the bulk of innovation will go into SAP Fiori apps, since SAP Fiori is being leveraged across all platforms (On premise, SuccessFactors, Fieldglass, Ariba, etc.) It is SAP’s answer to a common UX, despite the disparate systems behind it. Vishal Sikka (ex-CTO of SAP, now CEO and MD at Infosys) layed out his vision at the 2013 SAPPHIRE show.
His “Fiori UX Paradigm” – drawn by hand and reminiscent of the days when the best solutions in software began on the back of a napkin – showed his vision, which SAP is trying to execute on.
So, with all this talk on SAP Fiori, does this mean that HR Renewal is dead? No. The functionalities are still more plentiful in HR Renewal (by a long shot), and are highly relevant for HR Professionals. It is unlikely that SAP will endeavor to re-write these apps in SAP Fiori. Although SAP Fiori is the better choice from a mobile perspective (since it’s responsive and device-agnostic), HR Renewal is still a good choice for companies who want to roll out services to their HR teams (admins, reporting) who don’t want to deal with the SAP GUI. The hard-core services performed in HR Renewal (i.e., Personnel Administration and Organizational Management updates such as employee movement scenarios and organizational updates) would almost certainly be done on desktop and not on device (e.g. I can’t see an HR admin performing a complex promotion/inter-company transfer on their Smartphone). This should relieve some of the frustration from customers when they realize a majority of the transactions that are new with HR Renewal are using the Web Dynpro ABAP technology which is not mobile-optimized (as opposed to SAPUI5).
I will tackle more sound-bytes in future blogs. In particular, the question may not be HR Renewal versus SAP Fiori, but perhaps how could they work together for your organization.
Until then, please leave some questions or comments below…