Björn Adam

Head of Consulting Services,
VANTAIO GMBH & CO KG.

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.

SAP Work Zone is an all-encompassing platform with diverse functionality and adaptability. It is not possible to show all the functionalities of this platform in the context of this article. Nevertheless, I would like to mention some of the highlights:

  • Simple, modern and consistent user interface that enables uniform and efficient work. With the help of the SAPUI5 and SAP Fiori design, as well as new technologies such as chat bots and feed conversations, users can easily interact, collaborate and exchange information and documents.
  • Central access to information, data, applications and contacts
  • The SAP Work Zone gives users access to all apps, content and data they need. It offers a central entry point for all business processes and for every employee. Instead of constantly switching between different applications, folders and databases, they can see the relevant information at a glance. On a single page or in a workspace, SAP and non-SAP apps are seamlessly integrated along with various types of content, including tasks and workflows, web content, and business data.
  • Content creation and collaboration capabilities: Users can benefit from a variety of options to present information and collaborate: For example, blogs, simple text, multimedia, polls, wiki pages, events, knowledge base articles, tasks and feeds.
  • Personalization and adaptation: Users can design their SAP Work Zone according to their individual requirements to adapt the platform even better to personal requirements. Role-based content can be easily displayed alongside contextual support, regardless of whether it is structured or unstructured, such as inboxes or group chats. Users can prioritize the applications and information sources that are most relevant to their work.
  • Secure access: Security, SSO and user administration are controlled via SAP Cloud Services.
  • Access via multiple channels: Due to its responsiveness, users can use the SAP Work Zone via different devices.

We at VANTAiO have been closely involved from the start in the development phase of the SAP platform and have already been able to gather some project experience. We are therefore always available as a contact person for all aspects of the new SAP portal platform. I can wholeheartedly recommend that you study the new product in detail. Some of our customers are already doing this with great enthusiasm.

Do you have any questions?
Feel free to contact me.

Do you have any questions about this blog entry or the SAP Work Zone? I would be happy to answer your questions or concerns personally.

Björn Adam
Head of Consulting Services
T +49 6131 – 622280