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S4/HANA with Fiori: Improving User Experience for S4/HANA ERP

Michael Cunningham - July 18, 2022

What Is SAP Fiori?

SAP Fiori is a user experience and application design language that SAP customers and partners can use in their business applications. SAP uses the Fiori design language in several applications, including C/4 HANA, SAP S/4HANA, Analytics Cloud, Data Hub, Ariba, etc.

Applications using Fiori as their design language are sometimes known as Fiori user interfaces or Fiori applications. You can implement SAP S4 HANA Fiori designs using most technologies, although SAP offers special UI libraries to help you build Fiori-compliant applications. You can find these libraries in the SAPUI5 JavaScript library. The SAP Cloud Platform also provides software development kits (SDKs) for the Android and iOS operating systems.

SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA

SAP’s introduction of S/4 HANA confirmed the software company’s continued emphasis on Fiori interfaces. S/4 HANA is an ERP system running SAP HANA, a high-performance in-memory database. While you don’t have to use Fiori for SAP S/4 HANA, it is the recommended option to enable system access from browsers or mobile devices without requiring the installation of thick clients.

There are several reasons to use Fiori with S/4 HANA. First, it is a new, specially designed UI that incorporates the latest trends and technologies relating to user experience. It is more advanced than the previous transactional interfaces, often containing many redundant options. Fiori interfaces tend to be more transparent, optimized for specific user roles, and tailored to users’ needs.

Second, Fiori is not just an application—it offers several useful options focused on Fiori Launchpad, the core of the Fiori ecosystem. Fiori Launchpad gives you access to applications based on user-specific business roles and permissions. Launchpad lets you access Corporate Search, a powerful search tool that you can use to locate any resource across the system via a single search box. You can find documents, clients, and applications, and the system will present the data using a suitable application based on the context.

Another advantage is that Fiori lets you integrate with CoPilot, a digital assistant that communicates using human language to help you search, establish contacts, and plan meetings. Another powerful tool you can use is Overview Pages, which aggregates and presents analytical information in the form of cards. It lets you view all relevant risk data to respond quickly on the same screen, directing you to dedicated resources to establish contact with the individual in charge of the risk area.

Given the growing range of Fiori-based applications and services, it is clear that Fiori interface technology is the future of SAP offerings. SAP Fiori revolutionizes the established SAP systems and offers opportunities for building functionality and improving performance based on user experience.

SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA: Best Practices and Tips

Utilize SAP Fiori Launchpad

Launchpad allows users to easily access all Fiori applications from a simple UI. It also provides access to customization and support. Users can access information about each application they have access to. Accessibility and visibility of these applications are limited according to the user’s role to promote security and allow users to focus on the applications they work with day to day.

Related content: Read our guide to S4/HANA security (coming soon)

User Experience Strategy

Incorporating good page design into your SAP S/4HANA project requires planning the UX early in the project. It sets expectations for what can be expected by end users and what functions need to be maintained by technical teams.

For the SAP Fiori home page, the following are important considerations:

  • Confirm which business users are affected by changes and the degree of impact
  • Determining the business roles using the interface
  • Determine which Launchpad features are needed as part of the user experience—for example, search, notification, and personalization options.
  • Determine the entry point for each business role—which roles will use LaunchPad via a web browser or the SAP Business Client Launchpad Connection.
  • Determine if users have previous knowledge of SAP applications, and use this to decide whether to offer SAP Easy Access and the SAP Menu in the App Finder.

Understand the options available to configure the home page in your version of SAP S/4HANA by consulting the relevant SAP Fiori Launchpad guide:

  • Optional features available in Launchpad provide a smoother user experience, for example, tabs mode and GUI in-place mode.
  • What to show in tiles and links within the UI.
  • Best practices you can use to organize Launchpad content.

Best Practices for Home Page Design

An important part of implementing a good home page design is the SAP Fiori insight-to-action approach. This approach states that users don’t need to see all the relevant applications and links as tiles on the homepage—only relevant entry points for their particular role.

Follow these best practices for home page design:

  • Keep the homepage slim and focus on what really matters to users.
  • Follow a clear structure that focuses on business requirements, not technical requirements.
  • Focus the homepage on the user’s job role and day-to-day tasks.
  • Focus the homepage on the user’s most important and urgent task entry points.
  • Try to reduce scrolling. Have 5 groups and a maximum of 8×8 tiles for all users.
  • For users with multiple roles, consider setting one of them as a default for the home page mode and allowing them to switch to other groups when needed.
  • Leverage personalization—allow users to optimize their homepage to increase personal productivity.

Perform Cross-Browser Testing

During the testing phase, it is important to ensure that the UI works in all major browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Administrators should be aware of issues that may occur with other browsers. Aim to ensure seamless migration to SAP Fiori by solving unexpected behavior, performance issues, and other issues with common browsers.

S4 HANA Fiori with Pathlock

Moving to S4 HANA can be a massive undertaking that requires careful planning and preparation. Far too often, companies forget to think about how their access control and security strategies will change until they are getting close to going live on a new platform. S4 HANA will often require a new approach to access control that can adapt to the new landscape and challenges.

With Pathlock, organizations using SAP S4 HANA can automate many of their SAP security processes to provide 360-degree protection across the SAP system landscape. The Pathlock platform can provide complete capabilities, including:

Financial Impact Prioritization

Pathlock automatically prioritizes your most critical violations by quantifying access risk by tying violations to real dollar amounts of the out-of-policy transactions.

Comprehensive Rulebook

With Pathlock’s catalog of over 500+ rules, Pathlock can provide out-of-the-box coverage for controls related to SOX, GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, NIST, and other leading compliance frameworks. 

Real-time Access Mitigation

Pathlock allows users to quickly investigate and respond to potential risky transactions by reviewing access, de-provisioning users, forcing 2FA, or even allowing Pathlock to respond intelligently in real-time, terminating suspicious sessions and blocking transactions in real-time.

Out-of-the-Box Integrations

Pathlock’s out-of-the-box integrations extend workflows to the provisioning and service desk tools you already have in place, such as ServiceNow, SailPoint, Okta, Azure AD, SAP GRC, and more.

Lateral SOD Correlation

All entitlements and roles are correlated across a user’s behavior, consolidating activities and translating cross-application SODs between financially relevant applications.

Continuous Control Monitoring

Pathlock identifies the largest risks by monitoring 100% of financial transactions from applications like SAP in real-time, surfacing violations for remediation and investigation.

Interested to find out how Pathlock can help to automate your SAP Security program while keeping your landscape secure and compliant? Request a demo of Pathlock today!

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