SAP is using iRise’s visualization software to provide advanced view of how software projects will look before they get off the ground.
Inc.’s Enterprise Visualization Platform, which is resold as SAP AG’s Application Visualization software, has now been incorporated into SAP’s ASAP methodology. The platform does something beyond mere prototyping, said Emmet B. Keefe III, CEO of iRise. In what he calls “light speed functional prototyping,” developers can create functioning simulations of applications in minutes in front of assembled business people. The simulation can then be iterated on the fly based on their feedback. For example, a fully-functional mobile banking application could be simulated and look and operate almost exactly like the real thing.
There’s also no coding or scripting involved, so non-technical business analysts, who already use Excel, Visio and PowerPoint to write requirements, can use the platform readily, he added. Instead of using mock-ups and screenshots, they can create much more interactive simulations. Through a three-way partnership between architect, analyst and user, “it transforms the communication with the business users and it also transforms the communication with the architects,” said Keefe.
“In a very short amount of time, they can get to a completed simulation where the business says, ‘yeah, that’s exactly what I want it to look like and how I want it to function, and the architect says, ‘yes, that’s feasible. We can do that within the budget and the timeline that we have.”
The advantage of using a visual platform is not only the speed at which projects can be put into action (as an example, Keefe says it can reduce a three-month time frame to something more like three weeks) but also because less re-work will invariably be needed when business people can actually see the requirements. This eliminates the problems that IT’s written requirements can cause for the business side, which can lead to a “very painful conversation,” between the two entities, he said.
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“Any time that IT is going to have a conversation with the business about requirements, they should have a simulation in hand, not a document, because the business people can’t understand the written requirements.”
Several major companies, including General Motors, Manpower, UPS and Fedex use iRise simulation software. Earlier this year, the company was honoured as a top SAP partner, receiving an SAP Pinnacle award for software solution newcomer of the year.