designers with interface on laptop and tablet pc@2x

Does your IT support support usability?

July 20, 2015

SAP IT support usability

IT: “Hi, this is tech support.”

Mary from HR: “Hi, I’m working to approve some purchase orders. Is there a better process for this? I have to work through  multiple screens, and it takes a long time.”

IT: “Is something not working?”

Mary: “No, it works. It just seems there should be an easier way.”

IT: “As long as the system itself is working, there isn’t much I can do. It’s up to you what process you think is best.”


Does this scenario sound familiar? IT gives you the technology, but then it’s up to the end users to make it work. While both are there to support the business, there is often times a continental divide between the two. IT puts technology ahead of user experience, whereas end users want functional and intuitive systems to help make their jobs easier and in turn, make them more productive employees.

Last week at the Pacific Northwest ASUG Chapter Meeting, Intel presented a case that showcased this dilemma that many companies face. System end users were finding SAP difficult to work with, and it wasn’t conducive to the way employees were used to working. No usability testing was done at the start, because IT was concerned about the costs and believed that overall capability of the system was more important than usability.

While costs may have been saved up front, the lack of UI and UX at the start resulted in much higher costs post implementation. Employees felt the system was cumbersome and were left feeling frustrated. Intel inevitably had their IT team conduct a usability assessment and not surprisingly, they found that end users ranked user experience as a top priority for both productivity and satisfaction.

Intel learned what Excellis Interactive already knows – usability testing is key.

By gathering ideas from end users and incorporating them throughout the upgrade process, IT was able to create a better UX by implementing SAP Screen Personas, Fiori for procurement and manufacturing, and mobile applications for tracking shipment statuses. This resulted in increased end-user productivity, decreased training time and higher employee retention.

IT is truly supporting a business when it focuses on the experiences users have when interacting with the tools provided. Is your business being championed? How can we simplify your systems? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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