If you are an avid follower of SAP Support, you may already have heard that we are working hard on delivering a new Support Portal. A program has been running internally for around two years now to improve the content and applications hosted on the Support Portal, which is part of the Service Marketplace.
The Support Portal is used every month by around half a million SAP customers. About half of those customers use the Support Portal every day and the infrastructure needs to support 5 million knowledge base searches and a million downloads a month for starters.
The purpose of the portal is to enable access to support resources, such as the Software Download Center, xSearch, SAP Notes and license keys, as well as information about Solution Manager, remote support, the Enterprise Support Academy and much more. Over 70 applications run on the Support Portal and there are currently thousands of pages of content available.
In designing the new Support Portal and prioritizing requirements, we put the customer at the heart of our program. Our work is based on over 3 years of customer research, through surveys, usability tests, user groups and web analytics. This led to the creation of the Customer Advisory Forum in 2012, a dedicated customer feedback group. We have been discussing ideas, mock-ups, content templates and more with this group of customers and that feedback and encouragement has been crucial for the program. One great example of this is the customer input we had for our new primary navigation through card sorting and tree testing exercises that we ran with around 800 individual customers.
Much of what we heard from customers aligned with our internal thoughts and discussions, but there were also some very important points raised that surprised us. We learnt for example that a mobile-enabled website was not a priority for customers and that ‘how to’ videos are not the best vehicle for explaining applications and processes for many customers.
We are working towards a soft launch of the new Support Portal in early December 2013. This soft launch will mean that the new Support Portal runs in parallel to the existing Support Portal. We will invite and redirect customers slowly but surely towards the new portal, listening to feedback and tweaking the portal along the way. Early in the first quarter of 2014 we envisage a switchover to the new Support Portal.