December 7, 2020
Get with SAP Work Zone to a comprehensive digital workplace?
A classic problem of IT landscapes are the so-called silos or island solutions. These individual solutions usually only include one or a few use cases and represent a self-contained system without significant interfaces to other applications. When I talk about use cases in this article, I mean all activities that a user carries out to achieve a technical goal; This can be, for example, the booking of working hours, but also information about a company agreement for travel expense accounting. In general, these activities can come from the following four areas:
Attempts are made again and again to dissolve these isolated solutions and to take a step towards interoperability. Portal solutions are often used here. In this environment, the developments of recent years show a recurring change in the strategy of these portals. Initially, there was a desire to be able to cover all use cases with a portal solution. This mostly cost-intensive and time-consuming project was followed by the “two-portal” strategy. The result was that the two large business software providers Microsoft and SAP were established in the company with their respective existing portal solutions and used according to their original strengths. On the one hand Microsoft with the SharePoint platform. This portal solution has its strengths in the areas of collaboration and content/document management. On the other hand, SAP with its portal solutions, which of course has its strengths in the areas of analytics & data and application due to its proximity to the process.
Experience shows that the interoperability between these two portal worlds does not work well in real life. The ongoing developments and changes in work organization and the way of work (keyword: Work 4.0) mean that the desire for a portal solution that encompasses all four areas is growing ever greater. We at VANTAiO have been dealing with SAP-based portal solutions for a long time and the areas of collaboration and content have not been particularly well developed in terms of functionality.
The “multi-portal” strategy leads to various problems in practice. Employees spend more time switching between applications, which increases the likelihood of errors, and decisions and actions are often made without complete information. The same applies to recommendations and findings that are not made with full context. Most of the different platforms each have their own task inbox. This makes it difficult to prioritize and track tasks from multiple systems. All of this results in problems being discovered too late, for example (budget overrun, project being late, missed income). There is no overarching dashboard that e.g. offers strategic insights and interpretation options via consolidated key figures and information flows. Instead it results in time-consuming manual, complex and time-consuming processes to obtain precisely this important information.
SAP has now closed this gap with SAP Work Zone. The new portal solution from SAP, which is offered on the SAP Cloud Platform, offers all four areas outlined and thus represents a comprehensive digital workplace/portal solution. SAP Work Zone will also replace the Cloud Portal Service of the SAP Cloud Platform. A “single portal” solution can be created from a “multi-portal” using the SAP Work Zone. SAP Work Zone is a comprehensive, intuitive digital workplace solution with the aim of increasing the efficiency and productivity of users by making relevant applications, information and collaboration functionality accessible at any time.
The illustration shows the anatomy of the SAP Work Zone. The system has a modular structure and can therefore be quickly and easily adapted to requirements by editors. In addition, the SAP Work Zone can be used from a classic laptop or desktop PC as well as from mobile devices such as smartphones. There is a native app for smartphones.
The tight connection of the areas of collaboration, content, data and applications results in cross-area use cases and possibilities. Typical examples in practice are general communication and cooperation in teams and projects within the company and with partners, onboarding processes with process integration, e.g. for ordering work equipment, as well as mentoring, support and support services.