According to a survey conducted this year by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), executives at leading companies in the UK and Ireland are prioritizing next-generation analytics and cloud applications in their digital strategies as they seek to reduce operational costs and gain agility.
UKISUG is the largest organization of SAP users in the region, which represents a cross-section of businesses and industries. Topics of current interest to SAP customers in the region include migrations to SAP S/4HANA, data analytics, and cloud. The top challenges these organizations face for IT deployment are integration complexities, lack of resources, and a skills gap. Despite a precarious world economy, more than half of the businesses reported they are undertaking digital transformation with SAP.
“We have to do what’s right for business,” says Craig Dale, CEO of UKISUG, regarding current levels of IT investment. “More and more companies are heading down the road to SAP S/4HANA. When I’m talking to partners, they’re very busy, which tells me that investment has not been overly affected.”
Jens Amail, managing director of SAP UK & Ireland, says, “2018 was the best year on record for SAP UK & Ireland, across both cloud and on premise, and this market remains a key focus area for SAP.” Amail will discuss the business outlook for SAP customers in the region and the move to experience management during his keynote address at UKISUG Connect 2019. “We are extremely proud to work together here in UKI with some of the most esteemed and innovative brands in the world – together with our fantastic ecosystem of global and local partners. Our growth journey continues, particularly where we’re seeing strong momentum in the cloud – both for existing and net new customers.”
UKISUG Connect 2019: The Power of the Network
SAP customers will have the opportunity to get their questions answered on these important topics at UKISUG Connect 2019. The conference is the largest annual gathering of the SAP community in the UK and Ireland with participants from across the spectrum of SAP customers, partners, experts, and executives. More than 500 SAP customers and an additional 200 SAP experts are anticipated to attend for three days of education, networking, collaboration, and influencing.
Engaging Minds and Empowering Success is the theme for UKISUG Connect 2019.
“One of the key things we see through our user community is the power of the network,” says Dale. “We want to get the delegates’ minds engaged on current topics of SAP, how to optimize their existing SAP landscape, and empower them to go out and be successful in the future.”
New in 2019: Earn Continued Professional Development Points
UKISUG Connect 2019 boasts an exciting program that offers something of interest for everyone, regardless of their level of SAP experience or business role. There are more than 100 informative and educational specialist sessions to choose from – including 40 customer presentations from popular consumer brands as well as local government councils. For the first time, delegates can convert their participation in educational sessions into continued professional development points.
The conference opens on Sunday, December 1, featuring an afternoon filled with deep-dive workshops – expanded to accommodate the increasing popularity of the event’s mainstay Sunday-afternoon workshops. Topics will include SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, enterprise architecture tools, cybersecurity, and a hands-on workshop that helps participants build a SAP Fiori launchpad.
The program is organized along 14 tracks that cover perennial SAP topics such as optimizing SAP, financial excellence, total workforce management, usability, and analytics, as well as the newer topics of digital supply chain and customer experience. There will also be a session to help delegates understand issues of licensing.
SAP S/4HANA will be a key focus topic, with a special track dedicated to easing migration by showcasing customer projects, providing expert insights, and ensuring delegates receive valuable information to ensure migration success. “We’re doing a lot around SAP S/4HANA,” Dale says. “There are more SAP S/4HANA sessions than ever before at the event.”
Expanded Networking Opportunities
This year, the program has been expanded to allow 16 hours for networking opportunities, one of the pillars of UKISUG. There will be a catered Sunday evening networking event so that delegates just arriving to the venue can meet up and have a bite to eat. Throughout Monday and Tuesday, there will be several networking roundtables focused on key topics. Also new this year are soapbox sessions – short demo sessions showcasing new innovations.
During the breaks, delegates can stroll the exhibition hall to view SAP partner showcases and gain new insights for future projects. Those in need of a fitness break can participate in a charity cycle challenge to support Pancreatic Cancer UK. SUGfest, the main social networking event, will be held on Monday evening. Themed “The Greatest Show,” it offers an night of relaxing with peers, accompanied by top entertainment acts, live music, and fun.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join the SAP community. Register here for UKISUG Connect 2019!
See highlights from UKISUG Connect 2018:
Top image via UKISUG