Today’s companies are under increasing pressure to transform at a rate unprecedented in our history. In many instances, companies either evolve their operations and go-to-market strategies or they cease to exist. These demands for change, not only impact how an organisation operates but also the fundamental duties performed by their workforces.
Given the rate and nature of current business transformations, it’s important for organisations to consider strategies that will allow their workforces to continue to operate proficiently, in their changed work environments. Failure to consider the ‘people’ aspect of business change, is likely to reduce the adoption of the new systems and processes and severely impact the benefits obtained from the transformations.
SAP Enable Now is a solution that enables organisations to drive proficiency and adoption of the new systems and business processes. SAP Enable Now can be used to build knowledge and capability prior to a go live and allow users to learn, in application, on an ongoing, continuous basis. Ultimately, this will ensure that end users remain proficient, in their changing roles, and drive greater solution adoption and business benefits. Eva Zauke (Senior Vice President, Global Head of Enterprise Adoption) confirms this when she says,
“Enabled users are empowered users, and empowered users exhibit resiliency, drive performance, and enhance sustainability of an enterprise. When people can complete their tasks with confidence, they are also more able to adopt the latest innovation. As we have just recently seen, companies that can adapt to disruptions and changes are more likely to have sustained success. SAP Enable Now helps organizations to empower their workforces by providing them with the information they need, when and where they need it.”
The remaining sections of this post provide additional clarity on modern SAP-related business transformations and the value that SAP Enable Now provides to support these changes.
Trends in SAP-related business transformations
There is a common saying that states, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” In some respects, this saying is true of SAP-related business transformations, which have always helped organisations to deliver their core business operations more proficiently. In other respects, however, this saying is no longer relevant. Organisations are now under unprecedented demand to modernize their business operations and facilitate new go to market strategies, to support changing customer demands.
As an organisation, SAP was incorporated in 1972 and began working on software to help organisations process business transactions in real time. During those early years, SAP’s staff worked closely with customers to understand their business processes and to develop software that supported those processes, in real time. These initial implementations, and all successful implementations that followed, focused on three core components: business processes, technology, and people. Whilst this will not surprise anyone, all successful SAP-related business transformations consider how their organisation will operate once the new technology is introduced, what technology must be available to support the end state business operations and how they will retrain and support their staff to effectively transition to the new operating environment. From this respect, the saying holds true. It has always been important to consider business processes, technology and people when undertaking an SAP-related business transformation.
Business transformations typically impact people, processes, and technology
Whilst it has always been important to consider business processes, technology and people when undertaking SAP-related business transformations, there are aspects of modern transformations that have significantly changed in the last decade. Some of the key trends of modern SAP-related business transformations that are significantly different to their predecessors include:
Reduced transformation timelines and budget
Overall, the uptake of cloud solutions has resulted in significantly shorter transformation timeframes, with substantially smaller budgets. The result is that changes occur far more quickly and are delivered by significantly less staff, than ever before.
In many instances, this change has occurred because less time is spent configuring and customizing software, which generally results in greater change to an organisation’s processes and people. Traditionally, there was less change on an organisation’s workforce because the software was often modified to suit the existing operations, not the other way around. Whilst the changes now occur more quickly, it does not mean that modern transformations do not have a significant impact on the existing business operations and the people delivering those operations. In fact, the requirements for businesses to align with standard software solutions can result in significantly higher impacts on the organization’s workforce and yet there is less time and budget available to support the transition to the new operating models.
Increased rate of change
In 1972, I’m sure that the five founders of SAP could not have imagined a world involving the current rate of change. Customers implementing the early versions of SAP software would have expected to undertake their transformation and then have their business operations remain relatively stable for the next 10-20 years. This is no longer the possible.
In the current business climate, organisations that undertake a transformation and then do very little for the next 10-20 years will likely cease to exist within that timeframe. In our lifetimes, entire industries appeared and then disappeared, e.g. think Blockbuster video. The introduction of the Internet has changed customers’ expectations around how and when they can engage with organisations. Organisations that don’t change to meet these new expectations and engage with their customers in the ways that they want to engage, at the time and place that they want to engage, will quickly cease to exist.
Significant impact of change
Whilst it is true that business transformations are, on average, shorter and occur more frequently than ever before, it is not true that these transformations will have a smaller impact on the corresponding workforce. It is important for organisations to continue to change to meet the evolving expectations of their customers and to engage how and when they want, however, the changes required to achieve these new capabilities often have a significant impact on the associated business operations. For example, the introduction of AI or robotic process automation into an organisation’s operating model can completely change the way that an organisation operates and engages its customers, but it can also require staff to undertake significantly different duties, to support the new capabilities.
Ultimately, every transformation that changes the operating model and technology that supports the new operating model, impacts the daily work performed by an organisation’s employees and requires those employees to obtain new knowledge and skills, rapidly. It’s that simple!
Significant change impacts, the rapid rate of change, and reduced budgets and timelines to deal with the changes all impact an organization’s ability to successfully change
Why SAP Enable Now is a critical component of successful SAP-related business transformations
It is clear that organisations must develop a modern approach to managing business change, including their approach to retraining and supporting staff through those changes. This is particularly important given that many organisations are now in constant cycles of change.
Traditional approaches to training and supporting end users that require large teams of people using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to create content, which is delivered through classrooms and then sits on bookshelves gathering dust, are no longer optimal or sustainable. A modern approach to supporting business change must:
- Allow for the rapid creation and publishing of new, media-rich content with a minimal of effort. The time, budget, and people are no longer available to use traditional approaches to retraining and supporting end users through a constant cycle of business change.
- Allow for the reuse of standard content to retrain and support end users. Standard content is significantly more relevant in a cloud world, because people and processes are required to change to align with standard business practices, not the other way around.
- Allow end users to continuously learn at the place and time of need. It is no longer feasible to take large numbers of employees offline for days or weeks at a time, to teach them everything they need to know to operate in their new environment. Employees must be provided with options to extend their existing knowledge and skills, as they require new ones.
- Allow content assets to be repurposed and distributed in multiple formats to suit varying information requirements. For example, a standard Enable Now Simulation can be used to train end users before go live and also used to support the use of a system, post go live.
SAP Enable Now is a critical element for supporting business change. It contains functionality that allows content to be rapidly created, repurposed, and published to suit varying information requirements. It contains options to train end users prior to go live and allows them to learn, in application, continuously, following a deployment. SAP Enable Now supports a constant cycle of business change by:
Enabling the rapid creation and publishing of content to support ongoing business change
Using SAP Enable Now, it is possible to rapidly create new media-rich, engaging content and update existing content to support business change. New content can be instantly published to make it immediately available to end users to ensure that they have easy access to up-to-date information about their changing systems and business processes. For example, a Simulation can be quickly recorded for a new piece of functionality and immediately released to explain how to use the new functionality. The Simulations can even be immediately distributed through the target application so that the end users do not even need to leave the application to learn about that new functionality.
Outside the rapid creation of new, media-rich content, SAP Enable Now can also be used to access a massive library of standard SAP content. This standard content library is available for multiple SAP Cloud applications, including SAP S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors. Standard content can be updated, re-branded, and republished by individual customers to ensure that it contains clear instructions for the organisation’s workforce. The effort and time required to amend, re-brand and republish standard content is significantly less than the effort required to create new content manually, even if some modifications are required to ensure that it aligns with the specific organisation’s business practices.
Standard content can be updated and republished to speed the development all required content assets
Supporting a continuous learning culture
SAP Enable Now supports a continuous learning culture by providing options to train staff prior to go live and to support application usage, post go live. SAP Enable Now allows organisations to develop a training strategy that limits the time users must attend training prior to go live and allows for continuous, ongoing learning, in application, following a solution deployment.
SAP Enable Now allows organisations to embed their Enable Now content into an application and make that content instantly available to end users. This functionality, called Web Assistant and Desktop Assistant, significantly improves the ongoing usability and accessibility of content and ensures that the content is far more likely to be used, thus resulting in more informed and efficient end users. Using this approach, it is also possible for individual organisations to create new content and update existing content and then publish it to make it immediately available to end users. This ensures that they will also have access to up-to-date, accurate information to extend their existing knowledge and skills.
Not only does SAP Enable Now allow for the distribution of existing content within an application, e.g. the distribution of Simulations in SAP S/4HANA, it also allows for the creation of other content-types that support in application learning. For example, using Web Assistant, it is possible to create Content Help bubbles and attach message bubbles to application screen objects, such as buttons or text fields. Context Help bubbles allow end users to quickly obtain additional information about a screen object in cases where the purpose of the button or text field is not clear.
Along with Context Help bubbles, it is also possible to create Guided Tours. Guided Tours act as an online coach to show end users how to use system functionality, within the live application. Guided Tours can be used to teach end users new functionality whilst also processing a live transaction into a system.
Another useful option available through Web Assistant is the ability to highlight parts of an application as new. When What’s New content has been published by an SAP Enable Now author, end users accessing that corresponding screen are informed of the changes and provided with guidance about how to handle those changes.
SAP Enable Now support continuous, on-the-job learning
Allowing for the re-purposing of individual content assets into different formats to speed development and reduce costs
SAP Enable Now provides the ability to publish content in multiple outputs from one source. For example, a single Simulation can be embedded in an eLearning module to provide structured learning for a business transformation, leading up to a go live. The same Simulation can be made accessible through an application using Web Assistant or Desktop Assistant. This allows end users to access the content without leaving the application, so increases the chance that the content will be used.
Along with embedding the content into an eLearning course and making it available in application, it is also possible to generate other output from the same content, e.g. to generate a Work Instruction document or test script from the Simulation. Generating multiple outputs from a single source not only ensures that content can be created more quickly but also reduces the effort required to produce the content assets required to support a business transformation.
A single content asset can be used in multiple different ways to meet different information requirements
Given the ongoing cycle of change currently being undertaken by many organisations, these organisations must define strategies that enable their workforce to continually re-skill so that they remain proficient in their new roles. These strategies must allow for continuous, on-the-job learning and for the rapid creation and distribution of new information, necessary to support constant change. End users must have easy access to this information and must be able to learn as they need new knowledge or skills.
SAP Enable Now provides the mechanisms that allow organisations to rapidly create and distribute new information, including mechanisms for distributing information within applications. These options not only enable organisations to build new capability and knowledge prior to a go live but also to allow continuous, on-the-job learning following a business change.
After reading this post, if you feel that your organisation is not obtaining maximum value from their SAP Enable Now subscription, contact your Training & Adoption Customer Engagement Executive (CEE) for guidance and advice. If you are not certain of who your CEE is, email CEE.firstname.lastname@example.org and your CEE will be in contact.