SAP PartnerEdge Application Tracker

PartnerEdge applicants were being left in the dark after applying, with no way to check their status. PartnerEdge Application Tracker is a tool that gives applicants visibility into the recruitment process and access to enhanced support.

Role

Lead designer

Collaborators

Alexander Lockhart

Timeline

Q4 2021 – Q1 2022

Problem

Over 21,000 companies are part of the SAP partner ecosystem that provides custom SAP solutions and services for businesses. Companies that apply for the PartnerEdge program must wait anywhere from weeks to months before their application is approved. There is no visibility into the recruitment journey during this wait time.

During this phase, we met with business stakeholders and support agents. Our interviews with support agents revealed that they struggle with inefficient internal processes and plain email requests from partners which require extra time and effort to follow up on. Our conversations with business stakeholders helped us understand the business goals of this project.

Key project objectives

Increase Net Promoter Score

Improve the NPS score which suffered as a result of poor recruitment experiences.

Reduce operational costs

Free up support agent resources spent on status requests from applicants.

Improve processes efficiency

Reduce complexity in supporting and onboarding applicants.

Reduce acquisition costs

A function of process efficiency improvements and reduction in operational costs.

Understanding the applicant experience

As part of our effort to understand the applicant experience, we spoke with four applicants from newly partnered companies. It was critical that they were newly acquired partners because we wanted their experiences to be fresh in their minds. Through our analysis we identified four key issues.

Difficult to get updates on application status

Applicants want to know their current status, because it takes so long to get approved.

Support options are limited and hard to find

Available options are generic and not partner-specific.

Poor transparency into the recruitment process

There’s no information on the different steps in the process.

Frustration, lack of trust, low confidence in SAP

Applicants feel negatively towards SAP before they become partners.

Mapping out the applicant experience

After they apply for PartnerEdge, applicants are frustrated and have to jump through hoops to find out their application status. Meanwhile, SAP is conducting internal processes to check the applicants eligibility without updating them on the progress. This disconnect is an experience gap that we need to fill.

Key solution elements

Sharing the insights with my product owner and business stakeholders, we decided that the solution should have three key solution elements to address the problems. These solution elements were derived from the applicant pain points and are intended to focus our solution.

Journey Visibility

Applicants should be able to see where they are in the recruitment journey.

Enhanced Support

Provide easy access to support options.

Internal Access

Giving the PxD support agents access to the tool.

Early ideas

We conducted industry research and identified common elements across various package tracking pages. These included a visual tracker, detailed updates and an order summary. Our early ideations included these three elements so applicants would be greeted with a familiar experience.

Explorations

We explored lots of different designs to ensure that it would remain scalable and useful, while still looking modern and clean. You may notice two different designs below, which is because we were unsure in our early ideations how to use a design system meant for brand and marketing websites. The cleaner designs are when we gained access to a newer design system, meant for enterprise applications.

Home page

As we moved onto the final design, the home page required special attention as it displayed the list of applications for users. There were multiple scenarios that we had to consider. While support agents had a search bar displayed, we hid it for applicants because the applications were loaded based on their user account.

Recruitment process transparency

Rather than providing detailed updates, we described the recruitment process in detail. Applicants provided feedback that this change made the tracker far more useful. This change allowed them to understand what SAP is doing at each step as well as where they are in the process.

Building trust and reassuring applicants

On the Application Summary tab, you can find information about the partner and the application they submitted. The tool also offers additional fields that support agents can use to provide better service. By including this tab, we help build trust with our applicants, who sometimes believe SAP didn't reach out to them because they possess incorrect information.

Improved support experience

Imagine if applicants didn't need to go to SAP.com for support options and send five emails back and forth before getting an answer? The Support tab is designed for this purpose. Our Support section also includes a contact form and answers to frequently asked questions based on user interviews. Using an API integration, submitting the contact form automatically creates a ticket in our support system along with applicant metadata. It improves the efficiency of support agents and saves us time and money.

Impact

Our discussions with support agents and applicants resulted in great feedback from both parties. As a result, we anticipate that this will positively impact the partner NPS score and make support agent lives easier. When the tracker launches, we also intend to monitor emails to see if this reduces the number of emails related to the application process.

This is going to make it much easier to look up partner information and see their status at-a-glance.

Support agent

I really love this idea and thank you for the support – we’ve been struggling with the open-endedness of the email for some time.

PxD Head of Software Partner Experience

This doesn't look like an SAP application. Everything is very clean and simple!

Applicant