At its Sapphire annual user group in Los Angeles, SAP announced a major project, EnjoySAP, to redesign the flagship ERP product, R/3, to make it easier for customers to use.
EnjoySAP will take feedback from existing users, software developers, and professional design experts to make R/3 easier to use, with more emphasis on technologies such as point and click, touchscreens, and more intuitive interfaces.
"I'm not a computer wizard myself, I don't have fun on a keyboard, in fact I hate it," said co-founder Hasso Plattner, confessing that he needed friends' help to type his college thesis.
Plattner promised that the 1999 release of R/3 will incorporate the findings of EnjoySAP, and that SAP executives and developers will visit users at more than 100 customer sites over the next few months. Users are also invited to submit their own suggestions, with prizes, including three Volkswagen Beetles, up for grabs for the best.
Plattner was candid about the difficulties R/3 had had in the past. "When we look back at what we wanted to achieve, we have to admit that we didn't achieve all that we wanted," he conceded.
R/3 had to become easier to use to make people want to use it, and so widen its acceptance in the marketplace, he said.
"R/3 has always been hard to configure and hard to use, although it did its job well enough," said Byron Miller, vice president with Giga Information Group.
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