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Customers Do the Talking at SAPinsider Financials and GRC 2015

June 12, 2015 by Derek Klobucher 5

It’s comforting to hear from satisfied customers before making a big purchase, whether it’s a simple kitchen appliance or a new car — or your organization’s next financial services solution. Hearing from knowledgeable customers will be a huge part of next week’s SAPinsider Financials 2015 and GRC 2015.

SAP users from across Europe and beyond will gather in Nice, France for the co-located user-centric conferences, hosted by WIS Publishing, which produces SAPinsider magazine. A big draw will be the customer sessions.

“These are where you’ll get the inside scoop about implementing software solutions, from your industry peers who want to share their experiences with you,” Chris Grundy stated in his blog post about the top six sessions he plans to attend. “Customer stories like these are the most valuable of all the event sessions.”

Honeywell, for instance, uses governance, risk and compliance (GRC) technology from SAP to help the global consumer products, engineering and aerospace powerhouse automate manual and repetitive tasks. And ServiceNow relies on an SAP financial management application to help the California-based enterprise service management software provider transform how people work.

Focusing on the Customer — and the Region

Customer sessions are about more than new technology at Financials 2015 (@SAPinsider, #Financials2015 and #GRC2015). They’re also about triumph over new challenges.

“Speaking customers have all experienced some form of change in the finance organization, part of the existing transformation initiatives that most companies are going through,” SAP’s Henner Schliebs, vice president and head of Finance Audience Marketing, said. “These customers are sharing how SAP Simple Finance has helped them achieve certain milestones within that journey.”

SAP customers will share how they have streamlined their business across every area of Finance, according to Schliebs, from accounting and closing the books to Planning and Forecasting; from GRC and auditing to treasury and operations. For example, Unilever will discuss how Simple Finance (part of the next-generation business suite S/4HANA) has enabled better performance — and elevated the CFO’s importance to the leadership team.

“It is not a question of having this type of event in Europe, but how we best serve finance professionals there,” Schliebs said. “Customers are sharing their knowledge with customers … we need this kind of knowledge sharing and networking in all regions.”

Toward that end, a similar conference is in the works for Asia in Q4. For now, Nice will focus on European cases and stories for customers, prospects, partners and industry analysts, just as similar events earlier this year in Las Vegas concentrated on the Americas.

Good Old-Fashioned Customer Collaboration

“I’m most excited about conducting the European edition of our GRC Customer Advisory Council for dozens of attendee companies from our European, Middle East and Africa region,” SAP Labs’ Kevin McCollom, global VP and general manager of GRC, said. “There’s always tons of great insight.”

Taking place the day before the Financials and GRC conferences begin, this meeting facilitates customer collaboration and networking, according to McCollom. More than 4,000 global enterprises relying on SAP GRC keep demand for these events growing, but they’re also modest.

“There’s no landing page or hoopla,” said McCollom, who will also be the keynote speaker at the GRC 2015 Spotlight Session. “It’s just a good old-fashioned customer-to-customer-to-SAP advisory session.”

Experience the Entire Finance Portfolio

The Financials and GRC conferences are not SAP events, but the company hopes to showcase best practices from customers, partners and subject matter experts, as well as provide opportunity for networking, according to David Williams, SAP vice president for Product Marketing, EPM and GRC.

“SAP is in a unique position to provide an end-to-end solution for Finance teams,” Williams said, “from order 2 cash, procure 2 pay, right through to analytics-based applications such as Cloud for Planning and Fraud Management.”

SAP will present these financial solutions via customer and other sessions, as well as the solution center, demonstration pods, 1:1 meetings and networking. The end goal is to educate financial professionals about the cost-saving, bottom-line benefits that organizations see when they Run Simple.

“This event is a great opportunity to experience the entire portfolio of Finance solutions from SAP,” Williams said, “whether you’re a CFO, controller, accountant, FP&A pro, treasurer, chief risk officer, chief compliance officer or any other Finance-related role.”

SAPinsider Financials 2015 and GRC 2015 will run from June 16 to 18 at the Palais des Congrès Acropolis convention center in Nice, France.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.
Photo: Shutterstock

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