What is your ERP interface?

Being techno-enthusiasts, how ERP vendors are pushing the envelope to develop new and easier ways for people to process their business data has fascinated us. But we often forget the end-user, who simply has to work with an ERP Software tool day-in and day-out.

Recently we participated in a series of demonstrations that included SAP MySAP, Oracle EBusiness Suite, Microsoft Dynamics AX, IFS, and JD Edwards Enterprise One. The interesting outcome of this demonstration series was that the users gravitated towards the systems that had “old fashioned” grey data form. They were confused by the Web Based Portals and any other non-traditional form. MySAP even showed a great interface from Adobe Forms, but that confused the team even more.

Bottom line, the team was looking at the systems from the current frame of reference that they all possessed, which was a Windows-like form that was easy to understand. It was interesting in how little they grasped that was outside of what they were familiar with. Even with great explanations on how this could help them, if it didn’t make sense, it didn’t register.

Lesson learned: keep the discussion within the frame of reference within the users and introduce the new interface options in small easy to understand sessions. Do not give the latest and greatest to a group that cannot conceptualize it.

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