It’s not too late to register for the UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference 2015 (UKISUG15) – to be held at the ICC in Birmingham, UK, on November 22-24.

Making connections and bringing people together from across the SAP community – that’s just one of the aims of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), which has over 4,500 individual members. Members will convene this year for the Group’s annual event: the UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference 2015, held at the ICC in Birmingham, UK, on November 22-24.

During last year’s conference, the User Group celebrated the “Formula for Success” – which served to unite the User Group, SAP, partners, and customers. This year’s event – themed “SPECTRUM: Connected” – will take delegates a step further on the path towards the future of business.

“We feel very strongly that’s what the User Group does. It brings everybody together from across the SAP community and connects them and allows them to work together,” says Craig Dale, CEO, UK & Ireland SAP User Group. “The whole ethos of the User Group is one of learning, networking, collaborating, and influencing – and that’s what we will do in the span of the two-and-a-half days.”

Central to this year’s theme will be an in-depth focus on digital transformation and what it means for SAP customers. The conference will have an agenda stream dedicated to the topic digital transformation, starting with the basic characteristics and narrowing the focus to help SAP customers make sense of how the digital business revolution will impact their organizations.

Highlights: SAP S/4 HANA, License Management, IT Skills Gap

Anyone with questions about how to optimize their SAP software or build a future-proof IT roadmap will not want to miss this event. Offering more than 100 hours of education across 16 agenda tracks – including popular SAP-related topics like payroll, HR, business intelligence, supply chain management, mobile, financials, and UX – the conference promises to deliver useful insights that can be put into practice for UK and Irish customers.

On Tuesday, the SAP Mentors will host a dedicated technical track and be available to answer questions. Another agenda highlight will be the focus on SAP HANA and SAP S/4 HANA, including a stream dedicated to SAP S/4 HANA with customer presentations. When delegates are not busy in one of the 120 sessions on offer, they can visit the exhibition floor, which will showcase the offerings from 75 SAP partners, including many smaller niche partners.

“I would hope that Conference delegates can take away a few things,” says Dale. “One, being able to look at what they are currently using from SAP and how to get better value from it. The other one is a glimpse into the future: where is SAP going? What is S/4 HANA? What is their roadmap?.”

Compared to past years, there is much more interest in the cloud among delegates, who now want to know more about what the cloud means for their businesses. The User Group reports that an increasing number of its members are plugging into the cloud and consuming technology via the cloud. Cloud-related topics therefore will be included in the various agenda streams, with one stream entirely devoted to SAP Business ByDesign.

SAP customers continue to seek information about how to better manage their licensing of SAP software. In response to this need for more information, the User Group will host a workshop on Sunday afternoon with SAP experts about how customers can optimize their license agreements. There will also be a follow-up session on Tuesday to introduce new tools customers can use to make sure they are managing their licenses better, and also looking at best practices in analytics licensing.

Another topic the User Group feels compelled to educate its members on during the Conference is the IT skills gap facing businesses in the twenty-first century. The User Group has taken a proactive position in working with educational institutions to limit the shortage of skilled workers in the future.

“We’re moving into a digital age now and there seems to be a potential for a huge skills gap. We’ll be talking about what we are doing with the universities, with Academy Cube to fill that skills gap,” says Dale.

The Digital Business Revolution in the UK & Ireland

Among the keynote speakers on Monday is UKISUG Chairman Philip Adams. Also, speaking at the event will be Cormac Watters, Managing Director, SAP UK & Ireland, who will speak on what SAP is doing to promote business in the region; Sven Denecken, SAP Global Vice President, Co-Innovation and Strategy, SAP S/4 HANA, will talk about what SAP S/4 HANA means for customers and how they prepare for the future; and Ray Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder, Constellation Research, Inc., will discuss digital transformation and disruption, plus how companies can make sure they are transforming to cope with the digital economy.

Tuesday morning kick starts with motivational speaker Nigel Risner, who will inspire delegates as they think about their own situations and how they can drive change in their personal lives.

Quality Networking Opportunities

The UKISUG Conference is known for its excellent networking opportunities. This year will be no different, with 21 hours of quality networking built into the agenda. “We feel we’ve taken networking to a new level for our delegates this year,” says Dale.

The first networking session will be on Sunday evening at the start of the event. In the past there traditionally has been a gala dinner on Monday evening, however, this year the User Group has decided to switch things up by offering another networking event, called SUGFest, in the ICC conference venue with an inclusive format that features a jazz lounge, a chill out zone, a beer keller, cocktail lounge, main stage and comedy club. “There will still be lots of fine food with lots of quality entertainment. It will be split into 6 areas where delegates can really move around the venue, get involved, and really take their networking to the next level,” says Dale.

UKISUG Undergoes Its Own Digital Transformation

UKISUG plans to make several groundbreaking announcements during the event that are intended to highlight key milestones on its own path to digital transformation, including details about its recent implementation of SAP Business ByDesign, and well as information about its new Web portal for members, which will use SAP Jam as its collaboration platform. The User Group also plans to launch its new branding, intended to showcase its reinvigoration and reinvention.

Register for UKISUG15 today!

Photo source: UK & Ireland SAP User Group