SAP’s push to mobilise all of its key processes has taken another leap forward with the release of Fiori, their new HTML5 application.

SAP Fiori is the first SAPUI5 application that works seamlessly regardless of the device.

SAP Fiori apps provide a simple, intuitive user experience across the most frequently used business transactions. The consistent and responsive design allows users to seamlessly experience the apps across interaction channels – desktop, tablet, mobile – as they accomplish their tasks quickly and easily.

Fiori currently provides 25 of the most commonly, infrequently used apps from the SAP ERP. These apps range from timesheets to purchasing, sales orders and cost centre reports, although SAP CRM processes are not yet available. There is also a generic container for you to expose any SAP ERP workflow for action.

Fiori is unique in its ability to work on any device with a browser, with no changes to the app and no requirement to have multiple user interfaces for the different sizes. It’s out of the box mobile for all devices, with the only limitation being it needs online connectivity.

The other good news about is SAP is in the process of moving all their cloud solutions to SAPUI5 using the same tiled menu you see on the application’s home page. So for those customers with a hybrid onpremise-cloud landscape, the look and feel will be the same for both.

From a technical standpoint, Fiori is relatively straight forward. SAP Gateway is required but eventually it will be able to run through the SAP Mobile Platform as well.

Since Fiori is exposing your back end data outside your organisation once you go mobile, you should be mindful of security. SAP provides the guides required to ensure Fiori does not create a hole in your enterprise security.

SAP is stating that by the end of the year they will have delivered close to 80 Fiori Applications, making it a functionally rich option covering the vast majority of the infrequent user tasks in SAP ERP. In addition, an SDK is being delivered to enable customers and partners to enhance the SAP applications or build their own.

With the cost around NZD $300 per user, Fiori is remarkably affordable for what you get – especially when you consider that you only pay for those using Fiori and not as a blanket license cost across the organisation. Another benefit is that if you have users of Fiori that will not use any other SAP transaction, they can be licensed as a Gateway user, which means limited professional or professional user licenses are unnecessary for these employees.

At Soltius, we implemented Fiori on our demo systems with about three days of Basis time (most of that was spent installing the myriad of notes). The configuration time will depend on how closely your back end configuration is aligned with Fiori’s expectations. We managed to turn on four applications in about two days. So while it is not set-up free, the amount of effort required is compares favourably with implementing a mobile platform and deploying mobile apps. The real point of difference is that as an HTML5 application Fiori works on all mobile devices, resizing automatically to fit the screens.

For many companies looking to mobilise their light SAP users, Fiori could well be a silver bullet. While no reporting can be delivered to the user via Fiori, SAP BusinessObjects mobile is very quick and easy to install as well, so between the two applications infrequent users may never need be confronted with a classic GUI screen again!