Annual Conference

Tweet today – make sure you have secured your room!

Still lots of delegates booking for hotels for the SAP User Group Conference #ukisug11 http://t.co/FRl9SX4c don’t leave it too late.

UK & Ireland SAP User Group announces merger with BusinessObjects User Group UK

Today we issued this press release:

UK & Ireland SAP User Group announces merger with BusinessObjects User Group UK

 

Combined entity to cater for the needs of both SAP and BusinessObjects users

 

London – 26 October 2011 TheUK &Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG) and the BusinessObjects User Group UK (BOUG) have today announced a merger between the two organisations.  UKISUG will now be the overall umbrella organisation for all SAP and BusinessObjects users in theUK &Ireland.  BOUG will now operate as a standalone group within this structure, with its chairman John Weikert becoming a UKISUG board member.

BOUG currently has 157 member organisations which will now automatically transfer to the UK & Ireland SAP User Group.  The combined group will have a membership of over 600 individual public and private sector organisations.  The creation of one sole user group is aimed at better supporting the needs of both SAP and BusinessObjects users, helping them to extract as much value from their deployments as possible.

Figures released by SUGEN (SAP User Group Executive Network) last year revealed that 1 in 3 BusinessObjects customers felt their needs weren’t being met by SAP, demonstrating a need for greater engagement and collaboration.  As part of SUGEN, the UK & Ireland User Group is now working very closely with SAP to address customer needs.  For instance, earlier this year UKISUG announced that it was one of four global user groups taking part in SAP’s Customer Connection program for Continuous Improvement.  This is aimed at giving SAP users more say in the company’s product development.

Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, said: “We’d like to welcome BOUG into the wider User Group family.  With BusinessObjects being SAP’s main Business Intelligence product going forward, this merger makes complete sense for users of either or both products. SAP has been highlighting the benefits of using BusinessObjects in combination with the core ERP suite: we’ll be working hard to ensure the value of this is demonstrated to, and realised by, our enlarged community.  Bringing BOUG into the fold means its members can gain greater access to, and influence over, SAP.  At the same time, our existing members stand to benefit from being able to network and learn from the experience of more real-life BusinessObjects users.”

John Weikert, chairman of the Business Objects User GroupUK, said: “The BOUG will continue to provide a community and services to members using SAP BusinessObjects technology, whether or not they are also using other mainstream SAP products. Being part of the wider SAP User Group community stands to greatly benefit our members.  They will now be able to have greater access to SAP and enjoy greater visibility and influence over upcoming product roadmaps, through initiatives such as SAP’s Customer Connection programme.”

BOUG members will be eligible to receive a discounted rate to attend this year’s annual User Group Conference, which is taking place in Birmingham from the 20th to 22nd November 2011.  Keynote speakers include Timo Elliott, 20-year BusinessObjects veteran and Business Intelligence (BI) expert, who will be explaining why many BI projects fail and what users can do to get better value from them.  His keynote “Business Analytics: The Big Leap Forward” will form the start of a full BusinessObjects stream, looking at how users can maximise the potential of the product.

For more information please visit www.sapusers.org/conference2011.

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 About UK & Ireland SAP User Group

The UK & Ireland SAP User Group’s membership is open to users of all SAP products in theUKandIreland.  Membership consists of organisations from all sectors and of all sizes and includes some of the largest private companies and most significant public sector organisations in theUKandIreland.

If you would like further information regarding the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, please visit http://www.sapusers.org


SaaS To The Future

This week, research by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group has shown that, overall, SAP Users are still positive about using cloud computing and SaaS. While the majority think that there is still too much hype around the cloud, 80% are planning a mix of on-demand, on-premise and on-device services in the future.

Of course, the key word here is “mix”: given the importance of a lot of the tasks we use SAP for, entrusting that data to the cloud will still be a step too far for some. All organisations will need to pay attention to exactly what applications they are using and what they are using them for, then balance the utility of the cloud with the reassurance of having full control over that particular service. At the same time, by moving 100% to a cloud-based model an organisation could leave itself wide open to the risk of a network failure rendering the whole business inoperable so mixed environments will, I suspect, be the norm for some time.

The growing popularity of the cloud doesn’t mean that the journey there will be plain sailing. For example, 58% of users said they lacked clarity over SAP’s cloud road map while 59% didn’t understand how to integrate SAP On-Demand modules with their existing implementations. It is issues like this where membership of the User Group can really come into its own. By sharing expertise and knowledge on how best to use modules such as On-Demand and taking advantage of the extra insight members can get into SAP’s product road maps, users can make better informed decisions and move more confidently towards a mixed SAP environment.

For more information on SaaS and the cloud, next month’s UK & Ireland SAP User Group conference will provide an excellent opportunity to share experiences and find out the latest product information. For further details, please visit http://www.sapusers.org/conference2011/

 

Will anything stop the march of mobile? And would we want it to?

Recently we’ve seen a great amount of news focused on the world of mobiles. While the launch of the iPhone 4S has attracted a lot of attention, yet more has been paid to the troubled iOS5 update and, above all, BlackBerry’s two quite disastrous outages. However, to me what this proves more than anything is the growing importance of mobility to today’s workforce. Even just a few years ago, outages such as these would have been an irritation to businesses: now they could be catastrophic.

As today’s workforce becomes increasingly mobile, so companies such as SAP are recognising that their customers need to access applications on the move.  Over the last 12 months SAP and its partners have started to release a number of mobile solutions, so that workers can access SAP on the go. Of course it is important for organisations to still be able to access on-premise systems : after all, what happens if the mobile network goes down as so extensively demonstrated by BlackBerry? Ultimately the ideal strategy for most organisations will be to support their workforce with a  combination of on-premise, on-demand and on-device applications.

One source of more information for those considering or using mobile SAP apps is this year’s UK & Ireland SAP User Group conference in Birmingham, where we’ll again be running a dedicated stream on mobile. For more information, don’t hesitate to visit http://www.sapusers.org/conference2011/ and keep an eye out for our soon to be released  User Group conference mobile app.

Final Chance for early bird rates for Conference

There are only two weeks left for early bird rates for the User Group Annual Conference so you need to act quickly – also if your suppliers are exhibiting there may be discounts that you can get through exhibitor codes that they can supply you.

The line up is nearly complete and we have large numbers of speakers, exhibitors and delegates ready to go, so get your places booked now.

www.sapusers.org/conference2011

 

SAP announce roadmap for on-premise (Business Suite)

Today SAP announced the following:

http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/press/newsroom/press-releases/press.epx?pressid=17590

For the first time all the User Groups in SUGEN were given early warning of this announcement, which is further evidence of SAP listening to the customers – my take on the announcement:

– For some time we have been saying we need transparency over a longer window so that we can plan our business first and then solutions to support them second. This announcement shows they have heard that message.

– We have also spoken many times about business disruption and diversion that system change/upgrade can give – this approach reduces that for us.

– We often want bits of innovation, not all of it, our appetite and pockets can’t support all of it. This solution also lets us be selective, gives us choice, something we all have been asking about.

– Cloud, mobile and/or HANA, not a problem – I will be able to take advantage of these.

As ever the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but on first pass this looks all in the right direction.

 

 

 

Here’s a hint of why SAP are focusing on mobile business solutions

Today I came across this story:

http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/sap-sets-up-living-lab-for-cashew-farmers-in-ghana-40013

It is interesting for several reasons:

1) Mobile technology in the developing nations is helping them leapfrog the stages that the developed nations went through. All the developed nations business solutions have wired infrastructure something that the developing nations don’t possess, but now is no longer holding them back.

2) SAP’s acquisition of Sybase was a very strategic  purchase, they have the business awareness of how mobile can deliver value, and they know where the growing markets are.

3) SAP are taking consumerised technology and adapting it to the business place – for full business processes, not just personal usage.

I fully expect a large number of mobile business applications to start rolling off the production line from SAP now – and I’m looking forward to see  how they are marketed. SAP’s own application store or from the device manufacturers?

To find out more about SAP mobile solutions come along to our conference.

http://www.sapusers.org/conference2011/

If you haven’t yet booked – see what you are missing

The best value SAP related event – anyone who has attended before knows that, but  for those that haven’t – check out last year here.

…..and this year we will have new ideas, more streams and even more exhibitors……the best speakers and the best gala dinner, ever.

Last year 96% of delegate feedback rated it excellent!

To find out even more and to register click here

SAP v Oracle? Handbags at dawn.

Dennis Howlett, never one known for holding back when sharing his and others views has published an interesting article on Zdnet.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/howlett/sap-and-oracle-the-knives-are-out/3497

SAP and Oracle have always been competitors and likely always will be – and sometimes it can be quite blunt, I remember one Sapphire (2008?) travelling from one of Berlin’s airports to the conference centre to find that virtually the entire route had been hijacked by massive Oracle adverts slung on the side of buildings.

In the heart of the article are some discussions around “old software” and HANA.

On HANA I think the point is missed. The issue, at different levels, is that we are all struggling with is how to deal with the ever increasing volumes of data -quicker. Whilst memory and processors continue to get faster, Disk IO struggles to improve. Physically the disks are literally running at speeds approaching breaking point – so this is where HANA comes in. HANA is a new way of structuring, condensing and dealing with data, and then uses in memory to fully take advantage of that. Sure it’s new to the market,  and it has some challenges, all new products do, but it comes out of numerous debates with customers who are struggling with real world volumes of data. It doesn’t tick all the boxes, yet, but it is already showing such promise as to change the way that organisations can work with their business process – some of the early adopters of our user group members are seeing that for real.

An interesting twist is whether the cloud providers will be able to deliver the same data turnaround times, or maybe it will only be the case for SaaS providers such as SAP who have the capability.

On selling software 20 years old – well there is always a legacy in all new software, and actually thank goodness there is because when it comes to security, governance and staff training/skills (business wise), that ain’t a bad thing.

That’s the real world that we customers live in – and sometimes that is something that people forget.

Please SAP don’t forget the customers like others have, and don’t worry too much about the competition because if you please the customers, the competition will simply go away!

Another great article from John Appleby on this subject – agree with every word.

http://peopleprocesstech.com/2011/10/05/oracle-sap-sticks-and-stones-my-break-my-bones/

P.S. Dennis – looking forward to our annual chat at our conference.  http://www.sapusers.org/conference2011/

You’ve heard all about Apple this week but what about SAP and Apple?

Published on USA Today is a great interview with Bill McDermott – did you know that every time you order from i-Tunes on your Apple device – that SAP is driving that?

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/story/2011-09-29/sap-ceo-sees-big-data-future/50610824/1

Find out more from Oliver Bussman (SAP CIO) at our conference – click here to register.