Insight into product roadmaps – a deal breaker for the majority of businesses

The User Group commissioned some research through Vanson Bourne about the effect that access to vendor product roadmaps is having on UK organisations. Unsurprisingly, the majority saw having insight into product roadmaps as critical, with 82% of IT directors ready to vote with their feet and change vendor if another provided them with better visibility into their upcoming product roadmaps. 83% of IT directors also called for better foresight in order to make more informed decisions about future updates to hardware and software.

Currently, a lack of visibility is making it difficult for many organisations to plan effectively especially as the demands on IT to support the business are greater than ever before. At a time when budgets are increasingly tight, IT departments need to be able to make sure they are fully maximising their IT investments. Therefore, it is understandable that organisations can become frustrated when IT vendors aren’t very forthcoming when it comes to sharing product roadmap information.

The research found that, a lack of communication was the main obstacle for organisations and vendors to overcome, with 82% of IT directors stating that this was having a detrimental effect on their IT planning and strategy. It has also forced many companies into costly customisations or purchasing alternative products in order to meet their immediate needs.  Over two-thirds (68%) of IT directors said they had wasted time and money on customising products only to find that vendors updated products a few months down the line with the functionality they required.

The User Group, as part of SUGEN, is working closely with SAP to ensure that SAP users are ahead of the game.  Through a joint working group we are helping users get better visibility of product roadmaps and get them involved at a much earlier stage of the product development process.  In addition, through our SIG meetings members can access previously confidential information about the future shape and direction of SAP’s products. At this year’s annual user conference there will dedicated sessions delivered by SAP experts highlighting the future product roadmaps for a number of SAP modules and industry solutions. To find out more go to www.sapusers.org/conference2010.

New Website design/ Conference imminent

Check out our new User Group design on the website  – I hope you like it. Behind the more modern exterior cover is also a more modern infrastructure and over the coming months we will be introducing new features to enhance your online User Group experience and continue to deliver even more value.
 
It’s nearly the time for our Annual Conference – just a few weeks to go, and what a conference it promises to be! Bigger, Better and more value, running as it does over 3 days for the same cost as last years 2 day conference. This year we have some of the best key note speakers in the history of the User Group headlined by SAP Co-CEO Jim Snabe, the witty yet intellectual Ruby Wax, SUGEN and VNSG Chairman Tonnie van der Horst, SAP UK & Ireland MD Tim Noble, and entrepreneur and founder of Coffee Republic, Sahar Hashemi. With 75 exhibitors and 16 break out streams, and the recently announced BusinessObjects Conference included at the event featuring keynote speaker Timo Elliot, this is truly the largest SAP conference in the UK and Ireland ever. One of our key aims o f the conference are networking opportunities and this conference has more than ever before with a special networking event on Sunday evening, a Gala Dinner on Monday evening and many other opportunities to meet with fellow users, exhibitors, SAP staff and User Group staff and volunteers. 
 
Another interesting feature of this years conference is the opportunity to meet more experts from SAP – especially on Sunday afternoon and first thing Monday morning where you can see SAP solutions live. A group of experts, the SAP Mentors will also be on hand for you to discuss all things SAP. Who are the Sap Mentors? SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions for product roll-in and roll-out. They have been nominated by their peers on the basis of their passion for the community and their willingness to contribute and share as well as motivate others.
 
The extra value seems to have been recognised by User Group members and numbers of delegates have been coming in thick and fast. Don’t leave it too late and miss out on conference places. I hope to see you there.

SAP UK&Ireland MD to take questions at User Group Conference

Tim Noble, SAPs UK & Ireland MD will answer questions in a live debate with me at our User Group Conference in Manchester. If you have any questions put them on the blog. We’ll also be taking questions through our user group SIG meetings. Obviously not all of them can be asked as we only have a limited time slot, but you might be lucky.

Test Drive SAP solutions and hear about the roadmaps

On the first day of the conference there are chances to test drive SAP solutions and to see first hand live solutions being demonstrated. Also on the Sunday will be roadmaps outlining where the SAP solutions are being driven.

Meet the SAP Mentors at User Group Conference 2010

For the first time at the UG conference in UK & Ireland SAP Mentors will be there for you to meet. Who are the SAP mentors? 

SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions for product roll-in and roll-out. They have been nominated by their peers on the basis of their passion for the community and their willingness to contribute and share as well as motivate others

  • Hands-on expert in an SAP product or service
  • Collaborative attitude
  • Good communicator
  • Preferably working at a partner or customer of SAP
  • Interested in improving products and services of SAP as well as the relationship of SAP with its customers, partners and prospects
  • Proactive engagement