User Group to unveil Conference App for Smartphones and Ipad.

Our user group is all about networking, and for our conference we are going to take this to a new level. New this year will be an app for Iphone, BlackBerry and android smartphones and also for Ipad. As well as helping attendees network, you’ll be able to plan your time and find your way around the conference venue.

Available free and only to attendees – keep watching for further details.

Only 7 weeks to go to our 2011 conference

With only 7 weeks to go we are ahead of last year in terms of delegate numbers, and already have over 75 exhibitors booked to attend, with several others finalising their plans. If you haven’t yet booked – you need to do so quickly to take advantage of the last early bird rate.

When you book you will be joining organisations representing all sectors within the UK & Ireland. Join  Utility companies including Anglian Water, British Gas, E-On, EDF Energy, National Grid, Scottish Power, Thames Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water.Mix with retailers including Boots, Halfords, Home Retail Group, Lloyds Pharmacy, and confer with manufacturers including Apple, AstraZeneca, Bentley Motors, Diageo, Jaguar Landrover, Kellogs, Nestle, Premier Foods, Rolls Royce, and Warburtons. Learn alongside City University London, London Metropolitan University, Newcastle University, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Leicester, University of Warwick, and discuss with Public Sector including British Council, Derbyshire County Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Southwark Council, Staffordshire County Council, Surrey County Council, Welsh Assembly, and Worcestershire County Council.

These are just a small selection of some of the great organisations attending our conference this year – there are many more! Too many to mention.

This year we have made linking up easier than ever before – all attendees will have the opportunity to download an app that will run on iphones, blackberries or android smartphones and make contact with their peers to network better than ever before. You’ll also be able to plan your time over the three days.

Don’t miss out book your place here.



Solution Manager 7.1: Can it be a solution to all life’s ills?

TechEd Las Vegas has seen the launch of SAP Solution Manager 7.1. SAP intends this to be a major step forward for Solution Manager, intending to give us users an improved user experience, optimised performance and documentation of events and, most importantly, failures. Organisations within the User Group that have taken up Solution Manager have seen some great value: 7.1 should do nothing to change this.

Unfortunately, what needs to change is the slow uptake of the product to date. If it remains like this then neither SAP nor we, the users, will ever see Solution Manager’s full potential. If SAP can educate users on the potential that Solution Manager brings, and find ways to dispel the belief that implementation is difficult, then we could see users taking it up en masse. Then, analyst claims that this is a “semi-mature product” would soon be a thing of the past.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the next Application Life-cycle Management Special Interest Group Meeting is only 3 weeks away! This SIG is taking place on Thursday 13th October 2011 at SAP Clockhouse Place, nr Heathrow. This event is focused around the latest version of Solution Manager (7.1) which will shortly be available on general release.

To book your place at this event please follow this link.

The Agenda has been designed to give you a flavour of the new functionality that will soon be available, how to upgrade and the afternoon will focus on one specific area – ‘Technical Operations and System Monitoring with Solution Manager 7.1’. In addition we will be joined by at least one customer who have taken the opportunity to be involved with the Ramp-up of Sol Man 7.1. The content of the day has been built around the feedback we received from the recent webinar, this will be followed up with Solution Manager speakers at the forthcoming conference and the ALM & ALM-Testing SIGS next year.

Clair Walton from SAP will present an Introduction to SAP Solution Manager 7.1. With SAP Solution Manager 7.1 now in unrestricted shipment Clair Walton from SAP UKI will present the highlights and new features of this release.This will include a Q&A session and a guide to where more detailed information on Solution Manager 7.1 will be given at forthcoming user group events.

Andy Lawrence from SAP will deliver Upgrading to SAP Solution Manager 7.1. Customer’s usage of Solution Manager is varied and ranges from the minimum needs right up to full end-to-end application management and monitoring. With this spectrum of use, it can be difficult to assess what the optimum upgrade approach to Solution Manager 7.1. Andy Lawrence from SAP UKI will provide an overview of the functions affected by this release change and also the methods that need to be used to ensure the new Solution Manager functionality can be adopted smoothly and effectively.

Andy Lawrence will also deliver the presentaion Technical Operations and System Monitoring with Solution Manager 7.1. Solution Manager 7.1 has delivered an entirely new engine to monitor and manage an SAP Landscape. The engine to process alert data and the user interfaces to visualise this data have been built from scratch to deliver an intuitive and responsive monitoring environment that allows a customer to understand at a glance the health of their SAP environments. Andy Lawrence will provide insight into this technology, how it can be deployed easily and then used to streamline operations. He will also demonstrate some of its key capabilities. The session will conclude with an open Q&A.

Paul Williams from Kingfisher Plc will share his experience of SAP Ramp-Up Program. What it is like to participate in an SAP Ramp-Up program? What motivates a customer to do so and what benefits can they expect to realise from this? These are questions many customers can ask themselves when considering this. Paul Williams from Kingfisher plc will provide an overview as to what motivated their participation in the Solution Manager 7.1 Ramp-Up program.They will outline their experience of the program from the support they had from SAP to what they have gained from their participation.

Paul Williams will then speak about Real World Use of SAP Solution Manager Technical Operations. As part of Kingfisher’s participation in Solution Manager 7.1, they deployed the new Technical Monitoring Solution to support the rollout their new Forecast & Replenishment functionality. As this functionality was new to Kingfisher and critical to their business, there was a focus to ensure that technical operations were in place on the right platform from the initial go-live. Paul Williams will share what motivated Kingfisher to use Solution Manager 7.1 for this purpose and the experience they have had in deploying this into their business so far.

SAP TechEd: Game On, or as we’d say, Kicking off.

As yet another not-so-glorious summer rolls away, it’s time to gear up for the excitement of conference season. This year, SAP’s TechEd series of conferences has announced that it’s “Game On ”,  beginning in Las Vegas on September 12th then moving to Bangalore on October 19th, Madrid on November 8th (where User Group representatives will be attending) and culminating in Beijing on November 15th.

Looking at the planned content, there are a range of interesting subjects being addressed.  However, for those unable to attend have no fear: the UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference from November 20th in the rather more accessible location of Birmingham will contain a lot of the same information and more. For instance, the hands-on sessions and educational programme at TechEd will provide a number of interesting insights into SAP’s technology and how best to use it: sessions that will also take place at the User Group conference. We should also note that
TechEd shows a new and welcome focus on SMEs from SAP, which will be great news for those members of the User Group that want to make the most out of SAP without having the needs or resources of a large enterprise. Again, this year’s Conference will provide plenty of food for thought for these businesses.

There is also an interesting degree of attention being paid to innovation this year. For example, at both SAP’s own TechEd events and at the User Group Conference, the planned InnoJam and Demo Jam sessions should encourage the creativity of SAP, its partners and users. This innovation also moves beyond technology. For example, TechEd Las Vegas also has a (quite appropriate) focus on gamification. For those of us looking to make the most not just of SAP but of the people using it, this should offer a number of interesting perspectives and is sure to be a subject
for discussion in Birmingham.

Regardless of whether User Group members are fortunate enough to attend TechEd or are instead relying on the proven value of the User Group Conference, there are sure to be a number of insights we can all gain from attending and paying close attention, as well as from sharing and digesting those insights in the aftermath of the events themselves. For those of you attending TechEd, enjoy and maybe we’ll see you in Madrid. For others, we look forward to seeing you at the User Group Conference in Birmingham this November.

Click here to register.

Olympic Athlete Steve Cram MBE to speak at Conference

Steve Cram MBE is to speak at our conference and our Gala Dinner .

Steve is one of the UK’s most well known sporting individuals. As an athlete his career was forged alongside Coe and Ovett to form a period of unprecedented success in British athletics and since retiring has become one of the BBC’s most respected commentators.

In a career spanning over three decades, since appearing as a 17 year old at the Commonwealth Games in 1978, Steve’s many achievements include six Gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and the European and World Championships.

At the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles he took a Silver medal in the 1500m behind Sebastian Coe. The following year he broke World records in the 1500m, 2000m and Mile, all within 19 days; the latter lasting almost 9 years.

Since retiring from competitive athletics Steve has become a very successful television commentator, first with Eurosport, and then with Channel 4 before joining the BBC as the Chief Athletics Commentator.
Steve has co-presented the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Athens in 2004 where his commentary of Kelly Holmes’ victories will always be well remembered and more recently both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing as well as the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Away from the track and the commentating Steve is also Chairman of the English Institute of Sport, which is a nationwide network of sport science and sports medical support services, designed to foster the talents of our elite athletes in all sports.

Closer to home though Steve was honoured to accept the role of Chancellor of Sunderland University in 2008. An establishment where he received his own BA Hons degree back in 1983 and a region which is extremely close to his heart up here in the North East.

A huge part of Steve’s life is also COCO, a children’s charity he co-founded in 2000 with Jim Panton. COCO has raised well over 1 million pounds in the last decade and continues to help thousands of children enjoy the opportunity to receive an education and change their lives for the better.

To register for our conference, click here