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.
Q4 2021 – Q1 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Applicants should be able to see where they are in the recruitment journey.
Provide easy access to support options.
Giving the PxD support agents access to the tool.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!