As I stepped up to my new role as Chief Design Officer at SAP at the beginning of this month, I reflected on the words of Leonardo da Vinci, who said “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
This is how I feel about delivering exceptional user experiences (UX) to our customers.
CEOs of businesses know that they need to transform their business if they are to succeed in the digital economy. I am acutely aware that some of you reading this may be such a CEO and that you want us to show you how to utilize technology to help such a transformation. We owe it to you to deliver software experiences that delight users because when this happens your ROI responds positively. We also know that when users delight in using our software, they are encouraged to think outside of the box, and we know this is a prime source of innovation. You want all these things and so do we at SAP.
If you are in IT, I know you are looking for easy-to-adopt solutions that integrate with your existing IT landscape and scale to your organization.
If you are from elsewhere in the C-suite, you will be interested in speed, agility, innovation, easy implementation and delightful user experience.
Regardless of which role you play and whatever your goals, under my leadership I promise we will continue to bring you the user experiences synonymous with excellence and success you have come to expect from us at SAP.
I am no stranger to the importance of user experience. I came to SAP seven years ago from my role as the CIO of an SAP customer. As a CIO, it was not technology per se that was difficult for my team to implement or manage. Rather, it was the adoption of the technology that was one of the biggest hurdles in realizing the expected ROI.
Back in February 2013, I was asked to save a massive project that was about to fail. Although I had no people reporting directly to me at the time, I didn’t let that hold me back because I know that people are always ready to become part of a challenge especially for a worthy cause. I created a mission that galvanized 300 professionals from various SAP organizations located across several continents to come together as one team and passionately contribute to the success of this project. Four months later, the team not only overachieved on the target, we exceeded all expectations. The new user experience that had its beginnings with that project was SAP Fiori. When it was introduced to the market, SAP received over-whelming positive feedback about UX for the first time from customers, partners and employees alike. The common statement from customers was “SAP finally got it (UX) right.” SAP customers started clamoring for the same user experience across the company’s large portfolio of products. Since then, we’ve introduced many award-winning experiences: SAP Fiori 2.0 (the next iteration of the Fiori design language), SAP CoPilot (our digital assistant for the enterprise), font 72 (our own typeface), and project E-Quill (an innovative, natural user experience prototype based on “digital paper”).
Having now worked on both sides – as an information technology executive who was a trusted partner to my peers and as a software designer and vendor, I bring a unique perspective to this new role that has proven invaluable to both sides.
I have a degree in mathematics and computer science. Even today, this is still not a common field for women to be in. On graduating, I chose to focus on business application development because I believe that technology is critical to business success. Successful businesses help the economy and that helps feed families. This is something that people like me who have come to the United States from 3rd world countries can deeply appreciate. I am truly an example of the American Dream and am continually grateful for the opportunities my new country provides.
I love my work and I am honored to continue my journey with SAP. I am passionately committed to the company’s vision of helping the world run better and improve people’s lives.
The maxim that guides me is, “Every moment is the perfect moment. We don’t wait; we make things happen.” These are exciting times and I am thrilled to engage very closely with our customers and partners to leverage technology to improve how people work.
This blog was originally published on LinkedIn.