Preparing members for the next step

Registration desk: More than 600 user registered for the SAUG Summit 2008 in Sidney

The summit provided SAP customers with an opportunity to find out more about the topics that matter to them and their companies in their day-to-day business, including:

  • The future strategy for business intelligence and Business Objects by SAP
  • How to manage change and Gen-Y
  • How to connect to trading partners and how tight should those links be
  • How to manage the challenges of rolling out to the Asia-Pacific region
  • Value engineering

A wide range of keynotes

Ally Thorne, SAUG Chair

After Ally Thorne, chairperson of SAUG, opened the summit, Tim Ebbeck, president and CEO, SAP Australia & New Zealand, held the first keynote, with the latest news from SAP and an overview of developments in the SAP-SAUG partnership.He also spoke about how value engineering can help organizations and what the Business Objects acquisition means for SAP customers.

A number of keynotes were held over the three-day summit, covering a wide range of topics:

  • Ian Kimbell, vice president of Business Process Validation at SAP, spoke about SAP’s business network transformation initiative and how to focus on customers and suppliers and integrate their systems.
  • Rod Masney from the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group, talked about how to create customer value through community engagement.
  • Martin Riedel, head of the Global Upgrade Office, senior vice president, SAP, addressed the future product road map for the SAP ERP application and the importance of the upgrade path.
  • David Jacques, senior director – ITS, Developing & Emerging Markets, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, explained how his company managed to successfully consolidate its global IT operations for over 55 countries on four regional SAP landscapes in one data center. They recently completed their SAP rollout in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The keynote by Anders Sorman-Nilsson, managing director of Thinque, focused on his “Funky Thinking” methodology Gen Y 2.0. He explained how organizations need to move from generational collision to generational collaboration to become true talent incubators.

Ian Bertram from Gartner Research held a keynote speech on “the CIO’s view of Business Intelligence”. Among others, he spoke about the necessity to open communication between business and IT.

In addition to the keynotes, the summit focused on four concurrent streams: strategy, operations, solutions, and infrastructure. A range of product sessions and demonstrations provided attendees with the information and action plans they need to prepare their companies for “the next step.” The sessions included presentations on SAP Customer Relationship Management 2007; governance, risk and compliance; upgrading from the multi display multi processing (MDMP) standard to Unicode; and migrating from SAP Business Connector to the SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) offering.

Knowledge + entertainment = enthusiastic attendees

Circus show of Cirque du Soleil

The exhibition area included an SAP Theatre, where SAP demonstrations and presentations were held throughout the summit. The SAUG also held its first service-oriented architecture (SOA) boot camp to enable attendees to gain a better understanding of the topic. Over 70 attendees were present at the beginning of the all-day session, and throughout the day, four groups worked on ways to strategize SOA solutions. The gala cocktail party at the end of the first day “Offered a perfect opportunity for attendees to unwind with hot food, cool drinks, entertainment provided by the Cirque du Soleil, a circus workshop, and the talented physical comedy act the Umbilical Brothers,” said James Rennick, Powercor.

Attendees were impressed by the “professional attitude and how everybody worked together: customers, partners, staff, and speakers”. As one visitor said: “The whole event was fantastic. I took away so much information from the event that I have been able to communicate and start changing processes and practices at our organization. The quality of the keynote speakers was fantastic. Well done for the informative mix of speakers and truly representing issues from a business context, rather than a technical context.”

The SAP Australian User Group (SAUG) is a non-profit organization with over 2,000 members, including SAP licensed customers, partners, and individuals. SAUG offers unparalleled benefits for people with an investment in SAP solutions in Australia. SAUG members have access to a large database of other SAP users, numerous opportunities for virtual and face-to-face learning, and the ability to directly influence current and future SAP products.