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The insideEdge with Dr. Vishal Sikka

by Dr. Vishal Sikka | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 2

April 1, 2014

Dr. Vishal Sikka, Member of the SAP AG Executive Board, Products & Innovation, discusses how SAP is redefining its user experience (UX) strategy, part of an ongoing effort to simplify the overall customer experience. SAP HANA, SAP Fiori, and SAP Screen Personas all contribute to this focus on a more seamless IT experience.


I believe the purpose of technology is to amplify human abilities — to augment our capabilities, help us reach beyond our limitations, and fulfill our true potential. We have demonstrated the breakthrough technical capabilities and the incredible customer benefits of SAP HANA, resulting from a fundamental rethinking of the database in an era of multi-core processors and very large, but low-priced, main memory.

As our competition scrambles to follow the lead of SAP HANA, we have already extended the offering substantially. It is now much more than a database — it is a real-time enterprise platform that allows us to renew existing applications and develop new ones that were previously infeasible. The benefits of the SAP HANA platform extend well beyond the boundaries of SAP to applications developed by customers, partners, and thousands of startup companies.

Today, we have SAP HANA applications that monitor millions of key performance indicators (KPIs) in a real-time data stream to detect changes in the business environment. SAP HANA has been used in genomic analysis involving an unprecedented number of test subjects and genetic variants, and is having a tremendous impact on fundamental scientific discovery. For the enterprise customer, SAP HANA collapses several layers of redundant infrastructure and results in a dramatic simplification of the IT landscape. By running our own enterprise systems on this platform, we have seen a ten-fold reduction in code, data, and the complexity of our own IT landscape.

Another focus of our simplification is the end-to-end experience — including the experience of our customers and of the end users who work with our applications. Last year, we engaged with hundreds of customers to help us redefine our user experience (UX) strategy and found that customers want a pragmatic approach that allows them to achieve both quick wins and a strong vision for the future based on modern designs.

We intend to further empower end users and touch people’s lives through purposeful applications and delightful experiences.

With this in mind, we introduced SAP Fiori and SAP Screen Personas. Our goal was to bring new experiences to our customers without disrupting their mission-critical back-end applications. SAP Fiori provides a modern set of applications that cover broadly used scenarios, such as employee or manager self-services. SAP Screen Personas enables customers to simplify transactions not covered by SAP Fiori, allowing them to easily modify screens based on end-user roles and responsibilities, and to increase productivity. The customer response has been extremely positive, and we will now invest in expanding SAP Fiori not only as an improved alternative user experience, but as the long-term paradigm for all of SAP’s products.

The user experience is only part of simplifying the customer experience. Recently, we formed a Design and Co-Innovation Center to work with customers to realize their SAP UX roadmap at their own locations. We are deeply committed to creating a more seamless IT experience to simplify the consumption of SAP innovations and substantially reduce the effort of SAP solution setup and implementation. We intend to further empower end users and touch people’s lives through purposeful applications and delightful experiences.

Whether we are talking about a streamlined commercial process, a simplified IT implementation experience, or a more desirable end-user experience, it is all a fundamental part of what SAP is doing today. It is this quest for the all-pervasive and ultimate end-to-end experience that guides us in all our work. 

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Vishal Sikka
Dr. Vishal Sikka

Member of the Executive Board
Products & Innovation

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