When Haydle launched two years ago there were some very specific problems that the product was targeted to solve. There was the fact that much of the knowledge corporations used to operate was tribal, and as such walking out the door every time there was a retirement or staff reassignment. There was the day to day challenge of finding documents within the existing knowledge management ecosystem of CMSs, Wikis, and Intranets. And of course the frustration that existed when the pressure was on and you knew someone in the organization had the info you needed but there was just no way to ask. Those were all important problems in search of solution, but one additional goal for Haydle was to be an example of an interface that was a pleasure to use. Much of the software deployed at enterprise organizations is slow, clunky, ancient or all three. This affects not only employee satisfaction, but slows an organization down at a time when speed is everything. So it was welcome news from SAP that they are hiring more millennials and establishing a series of strategic start-up partnerships intended to improve the user interface of their product.
SAP isn’t the first company to try and get younger in an effort to offset changing customer and employee expectations. The useability limitations of many enterprise software packages are now impacting sales and reducing competitive strength. This is especially true for firms like SAP who are facing the challenge of new and more nimble start-ups who can build better interfaces into their product right from the start. Simple and intuitive are now the standard and young blood seems the clearest path to success. A positive byproduct of these efforts for the big software vendors is the opportunity to sell their prospects in different ways. SAP for example is nurturing development relationships to increase the number of apps available for their Hana platform. These apps will introduce more customer value in a relationship with SAP and set the stage for more innovative solutions.
So, does the useability of enterprise software really matter? It appears the answer is finally, yes! It took the pressure of a marketplace that demands high levels of user adoption, faster deployment success, and an increasing focus on employee satisfaction to make it a reality. Customers, employees and the bottom line will all share in the outcome.