Nordic companies demand an EA/BPM user group – now they got it

Two of 2009’s hottest IT themes are Enterprise Architecture and Business Process Management – and with more and more companies investing heavily in these areas, the need for a neutral playing field for sharing EA &BPM experiences inter-company has exploded. Therefore, 40 of the largest Nordic companies have taken matters into their own hands and founded a new EA & BPM user group hosted by SAP. Already a success the next step is to copy the model worldwide.

CopenhagenThe new combined EA & BPM User Group had a kick-off at SAP Denmark before the summer vacation 2009 where the 40 founding Nordic companies (incl. Volvo, Vattenfall, LEGO, Danske Bank, Arla Foods and Statkraft) met and discussed the challenges with EA, BPM and SOA in today’s complex business infrastructure. The participants’ feedback from the kick-off was so positive that SAP in collaboration with these decided to make the Nordic EA & BPM User Group permanent.

Besides the obvious reasons for sharing experiences with EA, BPM and SOA, the goal of the new user group is to take advantage of a shared understanding of EA and BPM solutions in order to obtain a closer business and IT alignment, a higher ROI and better business results aimed directly at the companies’ bottom line. The group will gain better insights into ways of working with EA, BPM and SOA through real life examples presented by different companies and to get a better understanding of how EA, BPM and SOA can create synergies within companies for a more efficient and flexible IT setup.

“There is a big demand from CIOs for methods, repositories and best practices for Enterprise Architecture, BPM and SOA in order to set up roadmaps for improved business support. With the new user group, we have created a “playing field” for companies – hopefully learning and sharing within the process,” says Henrik Hasselbalch, SAP Vice President and Head of Field Services Sales, EMEA.

One of the 40 Nordic companies that flagged the dire need for a new Nordic EA & BPM user group is Danske Bank Group. Danske Bank Group has since the end of the 1980’ties worked actively on practical implementation of BPM and SOA in order to have a solid foundation for strategic expansion and development and maximizing the strategic ROI on a Group-scale.

“Danske Bank has come very far in implementing successful BPM and SOA in practice within both our Business development-models and on an International Group-IT Architecture. The new Nordic EA & BPM User Group is a very good opportunity to inspire and be inspired in the pursuit of furthering adoption and implementation of SOA on a Group-scale,” Peter Schleidt, Danske Bank Group CIO, says.

Danske Bank Group`s ERP Business Integration department headed by Jakob Holst has supported the initiative from the start adding: ‘The new user group is an extremely valuable way of maintaining and broadening the network with equally minded people amongst companies within the Northern European area. In today’s IT world you need this to succeed“

The user group concept proved so successful that SAP worldwide is now looking into creating similar user groups around the world based on the Nordic initiative. The next user groups are planned to be set up in Germany and Singapore in late 2009. During early 2010 the U.S. will then start their new EA & BPM User Group. Ultimately, the worldwide EA& BPM User Group will be one of SAP’s largest and most powerful with approx. 1000 members from the world’s biggest companies.

“Ideally, we want the EA & BPM user group to have their own events where we only talk EA, BPM and SOA and leave all other topics e.g. functions & features for events such as SAPPHIRE or SAP WorldTour. Companies from around the world should attend and share best practices – hence learning from each other’s experiences and different ways of managing IT,” says Henrik Hasselbalch, SAP Vice President and Head of Field Services Sales, EMEA.

SAP’s role in the new EA & BPM User Group is very limited as the group is driven by the companies themselves. SAP’s involvement is only to help facilitate participating companies by offering coordination, hosting and topics to support these interests on demand of the customers, by doing this SAP offer a deeper insight into their solutions.

For more information on the new EA & BMP User Group or how to attend, please contact:

Henrik Hasselbalch
SAP Vice President and Head of Field Services Sales, EMEA
+45 3913 3000