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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Finally. SAP Bows To The Pressure And Makes A Modern UI An Included Feature

English: Bill McDermott, SAP AG Co-CEO and Exe...
English: Bill McDermott, SAP AG Co-CEO and Executive Board Member (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago I wrote a post that was highly critical of SAP’s decision to charge its customer to use its shiny new user experiences solutions, Fiori and Personas. Well it seems the company listened, for this week SAP announced that Fiori and Personas would be part of the core SAP offerings, at no additional cost. Announcing the decision, CEO Bill McDermott said that:

We want every SAP customer to run simple with a world-class user experience. Judging by the commercial success of SAP Fiori, it’s clear that our customers agree. Some customers and our user groups believe we shouldn’t charge for SAP Fiori. We listened to our customers, I agree with them and now SAP Fiori is included with SAP software

Now obviously this is putting a fair amount of spin on it. The commercial success is debatable, but the real issue here is the huge pressure that SAP faced from both customers and commentators. All credit to SAP for making this decision, albeit a little unfortunate that it took them a few months.

At SAP’s Sapphire event this week, McDermott talked all about simplification – by including UI elements within the core SAP offerings, the company delivers on this theme. It’s also good to see that SAP will give existing paid customers a credit in the event that they have paid for these solutions as an add on.
Fiori and Personas are interesting solutions, it’s great that they will now be available to everyone and it will be interesting to see the extent to which SAP uses this decision as a template for decisions going forward. Rather than looking at customers as cash-cows that can have every dollar wrung out of them, it would be nice to see SAP truly partner with their customers and enable them to obtain solutions that work the best for their particular situation.
Without the hackles of artificial charging, it will be very interesting to see the uptake that SAP gets for these two products going forwards.
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