What benefits does the e-learning software Enable Now from SAP offer and which e-learning software is the right for you?
An orientation guide:
Perhaps you yourself are just about to make a decision: You are dealing with the topic of documentation or knowledge management in a very concrete way and are asking yourself: What to do? Should you purchase SAP’s software solution Enable Now for “all aspects of modern corporate learning” in your company? Or are there alternatives that might fit you better?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In recent months, several companies have already approached us with the question:
Enable Now or FlowShare – what works better for us?
With this article we give you an orientation help and assist you to get a little closer to your solution. In the first step it is essential that you answer a few basic questions:
- Are you planning to create content in a centralized (power user) or decentralized (user-generated content) manner?
- To what volume do you want to generate content and what resources do you have for this?
- Do the creators of the content have experience in documenting or are you prepared to train key persons sufficiently?
If you want to operate comprehensive knowledge management for your own company in a centralized manner and by trained experts, and you also have extensive resources for maintaining this knowledge management, Enable Now is a possible solution for you.
If you want to generate content that you own yourself, create content simply and quickly, in a decentralized manner and without training, FlowShare may be the solution for you.
However, there are cases where the decision is not that simple: For example, if you want to get into the topic first or if you want to create content on a small scale. Or if it is not yet clear who will create learning content for you in the future and who is the target group. In this case, we have prepared an overview and worked out the respective strengths of Enable Now and FlowShare.
Training necessary (3-10 days training, depending on previous experience)
No training necessary, ready for use within a few minutes
Cloud or on-premise
Over 40 Languages, Language- and screen-translation
German, English, French (more languages in development)
Videos, simulations, process documentation, e-learning courses, tests, Solution manager content, context-sensitive instructions, e-learnings, training manuals
Editable flow file, PDF, Word, PNG, Powerpoint, HTML, context sensitive instructions in beta test (“guided Tour”)
Distribution or sharing of the created documents to users outside the organization allowed?
Variable costs on a large scale
From 21€ per month per workplace, modularly applicable
Further editing possible?
Yes, comprehensively, link to external programs possible
Yes, partially, in the software and the finished documents in Office
Adjustment to Corporate Identity?
Colours, logo, upload of your own PowerPoint templates
Platform for depositing the learning content?
32-bit optimal, with 64-bit additional effort
32-Bit and 64-Bit
The declared goal of Enable Now is to make knowledge transfer efficient. For that purpose, the software offers a comprehensive range of functions: from simulations, test scripts and e-learning videos, transaction documentation and training manuals to demos and context-sensitive user help. A wide range of materials and formats can be generated and made accessible and shared via a database.
Furthermore, Enable Now is available both in the cloud and on-premise and offers automated translation in over 40 languages. Automatic screen translation is particularly practical: Enable Now’s re-recording capability allows a recording made in German, for example, to be automatically replicated in another language and stored in a new file. Without requiring explicit knowledge of the foreign language, instructions can be created in many different languages within a very short time.
With Enable Now, existing information can be imported from various formats and the materials can be edited afterwards. For the editing, it is also possible to link to external programs, such as Paint. Overall, the software enables comprehensive development, editing and distribution of learning content.
Enable Now is especially useful when you want to display complex content in combination with media such as graphics and process diagrams, as well as when using multiple languages. Knowledge databases are an important use case: Enable Now is very well suited for building a complete knowledge management system. The software enables power users to create a wide variety of documents with high quality and information density.
Less trained software support staff can also be involved using the Instant Producer. This is one of the four components of Enable Now and is less extensive in its post-production capabilities. It can be released to certain users, e.g. to include department-specific processes, thus enabling decentralized documentation.
Nevertheless, the Instant Producer is still relatively complex and is usually only made available to a very limited number of employees. The post-processing of content from the Instant Producer is only possible for users with an author license.
Advantages in short:
- Comprehensive functions, output formats and editing options
- Support of more than 40 languages
- Display of complex content with high information density
- Cloud- and on-premise availability
However, there are also less suitable use cases: Content generated with Enable Now is subject to the consumer license model. This means that the materials may not be distributed and the content may instead only be used within the company. This can cause difficulties for training companies and external authors: They have no control over whether their customers have Enable now licenses or not.
And of course, these features have their price. It is difficult to make general statements, as the price for Enable Now can vary depending on the company and the application. All in all, one can say that the costs reflect the wide range of possibilities of the software – and are accordingly high. Even for small companies, the annual costs can be in the four-digit range.
In addition, a big advantage of Enable Now can also become its drawback. The wide range of functions goes along with complexity. For a successful use, an introductory consultation is necessary after the installation. Without such training, Enable Now is hardly usable. Depending on the intended use and the existing infrastructure, a preparation time of 3-10 days should be calculated before using the software.
On top of this, companies need to be aware that even after the introduction of Enable Now, capacities will be needed continuously to take care of the preservation of the content. The software provides the framework, but it must be filled with content by the company itself. Ideally, Enable Now should be handled by someone who is familiar with the subject matter and at the same time knows the processes of the company. This person can then transfer the content into the software and, if possible, also teach it to colleagues through training. If there is no power user who is familiar with Enable Now and is responsible for its maintenance, the content is quickly outdated.
It is important to note that Enable Now is designed for 32-bit applications. This means that 32-bit applications can be recorded. For 64-bit applications, your company may face increased effort and additional costs because subprograms need to be written to use Enable Now.
Jörn is a trainer and author for IT training projects in the SAP environment and appreciates the various application possibilities of the software: “Enable Now is huge. It has possibilities that go far beyond what was previously common. The original SAP software offers tremendous possibilities and opportunities for companies that want to establish comprehensive knowledge management”. He himself uses the software to create, for example, “user documentation, training presentations and simulations” which are incorporated into training courses. “In addition, these can also be integrated into customer support systems, such as the DesktopAssistant, if required”.
At the same time, Jörn emphasizes that Enable Now is very “intense“: “I have to realize that the use of Enable Now is not something that can be done just like that. As a company, resources have to be created internally, which maintain the system“. Required would be on the one hand time for the use of Enable Now and on the other hand a certain amount of user knowledge, which should be acquired in training courses.
As a SAP trainer, Jörn is also dependent on his customers: “If the customers do not have Enable Now licenses, the SAP licensing model means that the training courses cannot be created with the software.”
Compared to the universal software Enable Now, FlowShare is the little magic dwarf. The documentation software offers fast and easy automated creation of step-by-step instructions.
FlowShare runs on-premise and on Windows. It supports the languages German, English and French, on other languages is currently being worked on. With 21 € per license per month, FlowShare is a much more flexible and smaller investment than Enable Now.
With FlowShare, digital processes can be recorded automatically while they are being carried out and thus be captured for other users. The generated click instructions can be saved in various formats: From PDF, Powerpoint, Word and PNG to HTML format for direct integration into the company wiki. In addition, the instructions can be adapted to the corporate identity using the color selection and the company logo. Individual templates for PDF and Powerpoint can also be created.
Besides the price, simplicity is a big advantage of the software: FlowShare was developed to record user knowledge efficiently and quickly. It is deliberately a “small solution”, with which any kind of process can be recorded without effort. The software is understandable for everyone and requires no training time. In this way, not only trained employees of the IT department can use FlowShare. Instead, every employee in the company is empowered to record and share their user knowledge.
This follows the trend of “user-generated content”: Instead of the provider of a software or centrally of IT, the actual users of a medium create the corresponding content. After all, through their personal work, users often have a better insight and understanding of the issues and processes involved. This is particularly important in view of increasingly decentralized companies and increased specialization. With the help of FlowShare, experts themselves can document their unique expertise.
In addition, FlowShare manuals are fully owned by you after they have been created. This means that unlimited distribution of the instructions is possible and the materials can be integrated, e.g. in HTML format, directly on the company website, in the wiki or wherever else you want them to go. FlowShare can be downloaded from the miraminds website and tried out for free.
Currently miraminds is also working on another software: The FlowGuide. This goes one step further than pure software documentation and provides the user with context-sensitive help. The FlowGuide allows the interactive replay of instructions so that users only have to follow the guide on their screen with their mouse and thus reach the solution to their problem within a very short time.
Advantages in short:
- Lower costs and more flexibility
- No training period – directly applicable
- Unlimited distribution of the instructions
- Free trial version – Try it out without risk
If you compare FlowShare and Enable Now, it quickly becomes clear that FlowShare comes with a much smaller feature set. It does not offer the wide range of output formats that can be generated with Enable Now and allows limited editing of the generated instructions. This also means that animated click instructions created with Enable Now cannot be created one-to-one the same way with FlowShare. FlowShare also allows the creation of click-guides, but in a simplified version and with less effort.
The expert Jörn Halsinger also takes up these arguments:
“The advantages of FlowShare are its easy use, for which no major training is required, and an attractive pricing and licensing model. The license model allows us to create user documentation with our computers on behalf of the customer and to edit it if necessary without the customer having to purchase the software”.
For him, the biggest differences lie in the: “Post-processing-ability and reusability of the raw records”:
“The possibility to create simulations or e-learnings from the content is not available with FlowShare. It is a simple tool that is very well suited for the area of click instructions due to its simple user interface. We like to use it for customers who do not want or are not able to use a big software solution. It is a good tool for the pure creation of simple user documentation in the form of click instructions“.
Enable Now is a useful software with an impressive range of functions that has been developed and optimized for over 20 years. However, the fact that the purchase is worthwhile for you depends on certain conditions and on your goals and budget.
Enable Now’s strengths lie in automatic translation into many languages, collaborative and extensive content work and editing, and the creation of simulations. It is well suited for very high expectations of learning content and extensive post-editing needs, as well as, for example, the development of a comprehensive knowledge management system.
Prerequisites for Enable Now are power users who have been trained on the software and bring along didactic know-how to get the most out of it. In addition, there are the costs for training and for the software itself. Furthermore, the use of Enable Now requires that the target group of the learning content, just like the creators, also have a license for the software.
FlowShare has been designed to provide potentially every employee with immediate, solid and easy documentation. This is based on the approach of being able to distribute documentation on several shoulders without having to be trained beforehand, while still guaranteeing a consistent quality of the instructions. Any employee who has a FlowShare license can create and edit manuals.
The created manuals belong to you and can be accessed at any time. This means that anyone inside or outside the company can use the content, even without having FlowShare installed. The fact that FlowShare documents can also be distributed to your customers makes the software especially interesting for trainers and software vendors.
A great advantage if you are not quite sure about it yet: You can test FlowShare easily and without risk.
You can also see it that way:
Enable Now is the A380, FlowShare is the air taxi (in terms of price as well as functionality) – the question in which constellation, which of these you need, depends on your situation.
We hope that this overview will help you to better evaluate our solutions and to decide which software to buy. In general, there are a lot of other solutions besides Enable Now and FlowShare – all with their own advantages and disadvantages.
If you have any further questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.