Wall Street Journal: Avon’s Failed SAP Implementation Reflects Rise of Usability
A recent study,published in the Harvard Business Review, identifiedprogressas the primary determinant of employee motivation and performance. Not recognition or incentives. Not the threat of punitive action. Progress. When your employees are able to complete their tasks, they feel better about themselves and their jobs. They’re happier. And happier employees are more productive.
Conversely, but perhaps more obviously, when you present obstacles to getting things done, productivity and job satisfaction suffer. Case in point:The SAP implementation in Avon’s Canadian operationthat had employees leaving departing the company. The Wall Street Journal reports (12/12/13) that
“While the new system based on software supplied by SAP AG worked as planned, it was so burdensome and disruptive to Avon representatives’ daily routine that they left the company in meaningful numbers.”
No one at Avon planned to make employees so frustrated they quit. But the case illustrates what happens when a cumbersome user experience makes routine tasks time consuming, leading to frustration that can drain employee morale and satisfaction.
People have become accustomed to an abundance of simple, well-designed apps in their personal lives, and they are beginning to expect—if not demand—the same sophistication on the job. They want tools that are easy to use and simple to learn. They want an intuitive user experience that makes their jobs easier.
Microsoft Dynamics AX can help companies that have committed to SAP overcome the challenges of low user adoption and mitigate the risks of alienating users. Working together, AX and SAP can help the enterprise find harmony between user-friendly applications and powerful back-end systems.
At Microsoft, we’ve found that balance. While certain internal financial systems run on SAP, the vast majority of our users will never see SAP but will instead work through other systems like Microsoft Dynamics AX that offers a great user experience and can pass data seamlessly to SAP. Unlike the experience that proved frustrating at Avon, Microsoft offers our employees a user-centric experience that actually improves user adoption, satisfaction, and productivity. We benefit from SAP in the back office, while the familiar, intuitive user interface and streamlined workflows that characterize Microsoft Dynamics AX remove obstacles to getting things done. We help people accomplish work efficiently and effectively, increasing productivity while improving workers’ overall sense of well-being.
You’ve invested a lot in your ERP, but you’ve invested more in your employees. Shouldn‘t they work well together?