Kicking off SAPPHIRE with a focus on the ASUG has become something of a tradition. According to its own statistics, the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group numbers some 85,000 members at around 2,000 U.S. companies running various software configurations. The ASUG’s primary goal is to play a decisive role in helping SAP develop its products and solve software problems.
Hailing from a midsize U.S. company, Bridgette Chambers has taken over as CEO of the group. Anthony Bosco serves as chairman while maintaining his position at the defense company Day & Zimmermann.
SAP Users United: ASUG-GBN Merger Imminent?
SAP’s acquisition of the French software company Business Objects brought with it an additional 5,000 organizations that are currently still part of the Global BusinessObjects Network. The GBN is similar to the ASUG in that it has formed focus groups on specific topics in order to communicate with the company whose products it uses. With Chambers having emphasized the ASUG’s desire to increase its membership in her speech, taking on the GBN’s members (Business Objects Value Membership) would simply be a logical consequence; on the product side, the integration of SAP and BusinessObjects software is nearly complete.
Merging the two user groups would expand the ASUG’s ranks to around 7,000 companies. To ensure success within the group, Chambers is counting on factors such as volunteer members, community expansion, increasing its influence on SAP, and maintaining open communications with the company.
Al Gore and Colin Powell Discuss Sustainability
There was also no shortage of prominent U.S. politicians at the first day of SAPPHIRE NOW. The opening address was given by former Vice President and climate protection activist Al Gore, who spoke about how companies need to pay much more attention to the subject of sustainability. After all, he said, it is important to make more and more people aware of sustainable company orientations. It was Gore who some time ago called on the United States to draw all of its electricity from renewable sources within 10 years. He also made reference to SAP’s own sustainability strategy.
According to the latest sustainability report from 2009, 33% of SAP’s global energy consumption – including offices and data centers – is based on renewable sources. In 2010, the company plans to increase this figure to 50%: It has installed solar cells capable of generating 283,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year at its campus in Palo Alto, California. Virtualization, meanwhile, will enable SAP to increase energy efficiency at its data centers. A comparison of the complete 2009 sustainability report and the 2008 report is available at this link.
At the end of the first day of SAPPHIRE NOW, former U.S. Secretary of State and military security consultant Colin Powell delivered the closing speech. He offered a number of entertaining anecdotes from his time as a politician while stressing how important “good” managers are to companies.