The innovative and context-aware UX of SAP S/4 HANA Finance
The user experience of SAP S/4 HANA Finance (formerly known as SAP Simple Finance)has been widely discussed as Fiori 2.0 is the standard UX across the solution. To provide a quick introduction about Fiori, it is the latest user experience for SAP Software. It does away with the old GUI screens and embraces what IT has come to refer to as the consumerization of business software with a personalized user interface, actionable insights, feeds and most recently the SAP Co-Pilot, a digital assistant that provides business context awareness and is conversational!
So, let’s take a look at what Fiori 2.0 has to offer and most notably how it impacts the Finance applications of SAP S/4 HANA Finance.
The Fiori 2.0 layout offers three-fold sections in the Fiori Launchpad with Viewport. Each designated area has a specific function like the Me Area towards the left that offers personal details and settings option, the Workspace area which contains all the apps and the Notifications area towards the right that updates actions to be taken
The left area of the Viewport contains the ‘Me Area’ that replaces the former User Menu from the top right corner. It offers the user image and sign out option, generic options like App Finder and Settings, context-specific options like Edit Home Page, App Settings, About and Give Feedback (for App), and Recently Used Apps with up to 30 searches.
The workspace contains all the apps users need around their activity of work and is the single entry point of access.
Overview Pages, List Reports, and Work Lists provide domain specific information and action. Users can filter and work with large amounts of data.
The Notifications area supports the user in keeping track of important events without distracting them from their current tasks in the workspace area. The user is able to see pop-ups of pending or current approvals needing action. The user can navigate to the source of the notification and act directly on individual notifications or act on multiple notifications at the same time.
Fiori Standards that aims at improving the SAP User Experience:
Gone are the days of the one size fits all approach, which was a common mistake of the enterprise applications of the past. Fiori designs user interfaces with a specific user in mind, designed around the tasks and activities of the user. For e.g. a particular set of apps are allocated for a Business Process Specialist whereas a Cash Manager has a different set.
The user interface is designed keeping in mind that the end user may use the application on the desktop or on a mobile device. Fiori apps are multi-platform and work across devices catering to users of all hardware devices.
Fiori was designed to be as consumer-like as possible and shift the SAP user from the complexity of the SAP GUI. By saying the apps are coherent, Fiori ensures that all apps within a family of apps function a certain way, use consistent coloring patterns and placing action buttons in the same place for instance.
Fiori apps keep the functionality to a minimal with the 1-1-3 principle of 1 user, 1 use case and 3 screens. This keeps the apps focused on the solution and avoids unnecessary functionality and content.
Fiori employs the latest SAP UI5 front-end technologies, to ensure a standardized user experience that matches consumer-grade UX for business software to increase user adoption and simplify tedious tasks. With the recent addition of SAP Co-pilot, the interactive digital assistant in Fiori 2.0, users have more to look forward to with the dawn of artificial intelligence that does many tasks for you!
How is the latest UX impacting SAP S/4 HANA Finance?
- Financial Reporting User Experience Options and Features:
With embedded financial reporting and an easy to understand Virtual Data Model (VDM), customers can adjust and enhance the financial reporting quickly using the VDM. Additional options are possible based on various open architecture.
- Interactive drill down – It provides flexible analysis on any level of detail along with easy adaptability to the customer setup
- Plan data entry – Integrated plan and actuals with flexible planning levels and forms
- Worklists – Predefined lists with the focus on insight into action
- KPI Reporting – High-level graphical visualization of KPIs with basic drill-down capabilities, focused primarily on management reporting
- Explorative Ad Hoc Financial Reporting – Building and sharing the graphical visualization of individual reports are made easy
- Legal Reports – Legal reports like SEC filings can be created
- Formatted Reporting – Used for reports that have high requirements on exact formatting
A Fiori app like the Process Receivables for Finance is leading to a tremendous increase in productivity and you can check out the stats below. Fiori apps designed for SAP Simple Finance are a notch above the standard Fiori benchmark and very close to the consumer grade level.
There are several apps available for different functions under finance and for different roles like AR Accountant, AR Manager, AP Account, AP Manager, GL Accountant, Controller etc.
The SAP Smart Business Cockpit provides strategic key and operational performance indicators (KPIs, OPIs) for making highly aggregated analytical data accessible via Fiori Launchpad tiles. These tiles can be used for showing one KPI with additional context information such as trend, status via color coding etc. Users can do further analysis of the business data concerning various dimensions. The app visualization can be personalized by the user and integration with Lumira viewer is possible.
As an example, a collection of apps for managers (Sales, Cost, and CFO) may include:
- My Spend
- My Projects
- Track Supplier Invoices
- Profit Analysis
- Gross Profit Margin
- DSO Analysis
- DPO Analysis
- Margin Analysis
- Smart Business Cross Margin KPI
- Smart Business Net Margin KPI
- Smart Business Net Sales KPI
- Smart Business Revenue KPI
You can visit the Fiori apps reference library to explore other apps available for different user roles in the SAP Finance module. With consumer-grade user experience as the new standard, SAP S/4 HANA Finance is equipped with high-speed, real-time decision making, insight-to-action, search & analytics integration empowering the end user in the fast-paced landscape of digital business.