It is also time I found a new secret weapon.
The GUI issue is one I have been battling here at SAP since I joined in 1995, and it was a factor behind doing the start up thing in 2000. I suppose much of my work career has been spent competing with applications that look “sexier” than SAP does.
I wrote sometime ago about my Italian experience with GUIs.
As a presales guy, I have been on the receiving end of SAP’s clumsy GUIs for years. Time and time again, customers would tell me, SAP has the functionality, but PeopleSoft is prettier and sexy.
The best response to this was from an Italian guy who wanted to buy SAP, but his US boss wanted PeopleSoft.
He said:”boss, in italy women she is sexy. in italy, some cars, like ferrari she is sexy, but graphical user interfaces, she is not sexy”
The room echoed with laughter and SAP won the deal. Grazie..
I also think that customer and partner GUI innovations will help kick GUI butt here. But it is more than a GUI thing. It is a design thing. We have hired some bright folks from diverse places like eBay and Apple, and there is a new design mentality starting to seep in here. The consumer stuff is relevant, and we would be mad to dismiss or underestimate its impact on the enterprise space.
This video clip was sent to me by a chap in the HR IT department at a customer a few years ago. His HR director had asked him to go and get some e-HR. He used the video to explain why putting a cool front end on an old process and system spagetti doesn’t help. It creates an expectation that the process can’t deliver on. Eat the broccoli before the ice cream. It also explains why you can’t just give a messed up process to an outsourcer and expect miracles.
I use this a lot. It means I have to talk less.
Prospects tend to expect death by powerpoint from SAP, and this never fails to get a laugh. In fact, with this video I don’t need any powerpoints.