2013 Conference – selling very well!

Get in quick to get your tickets. If your supplier or SAP partner is exhibiting or an affiliate member contact them to see if they have a discount code arranged before booking.

Apart from the excellent conference sessions (especially looking forward to Jim Snabe and Mandy Hickson), the Gala Dinner and Evening will be the best we have ever run to celebrate 25 years of success and growth as a User Group.

NOTE: The main conference hotel – the Birmingham Crowne Plaza has sold out already – still spaces in other affiliate hotels.

conf 2013

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No need to be disappointed that Sapphire Now is cancelled

We recently heard the news that Sapphire Now 2013 is being cancelled in Europe. It’s a shame that SAP has decided not to host its annual event, as many users have found it a good forum to hear the latest from SAP senior management. However SAP did instead announce a ‘renewed focus on dedicated customer-centric events’ for its 2013 strategy, alongside plans to expand its SAP Forum events in order to compensate for the loss of Sapphire. Hopefully we’ll hear more about these soon.  However, the good news for UK&I User Group members is that we have SAP’s co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe confirmed as a keynote speaker at our User Conference in Birmingham this November.  

It looks like this is going to be the biggest year yet for the conference as we move to the ICC for the first time. We’ll be providing users in the UK and Ireland with the opportunity to hear from SAP’s experts and its partners on the latest innovations, with over 70 breakout sessions on a wide range of topics. At the same time, users will have the chance to network with peers and speak to them regarding how they are using SAP technology. Remember there are some cracking early bird deals at the moment, only available if you book early, saving up to £300 per person.

For more information about the SAP User Group conference, click here.

New User Group app now available

So the conference starts tomorrow and to make the experience better still download this app now!

http://webapp.sapusers.org/downloads/index.html

Two new firsts for the conference

With just a few days to go – 2 new firsts for our conference. The first slightly quirky which I like – the first time that we have organisations attending that represent every letter of the alphabet. But the second and most important – more members attending than ever before, and there is still time to get the number higher still……………..book now.  http://www.sapusers.org/conference/

All go in the world of SAP

As we fast approach this year’s User Group conference, the IT media has been awash with S A P news (not to mention on the hot topic of licensing).  So what have been the key announcements that may be shaping the agenda?

SAP has announced its intention to build a brand for itself in the enterprise mobility space, in much the same way that Apple  has in the consumer space. SAP has also been active in the areas of cloud and big data. The company has recently announced plans to unveil its HANA Cloud, based on in-memory technology. SAP NetWeaver Cloud Service and SAP HANA One Platform are the first applications to become available on Amazon Web Services, and can be deployed for production use with small data sets in minutes, opening a door to starter projects from customers, ISVs and startups.

New packages that integrate Hadoop software with SAP’s analytics and database technologies have also been recently launched. These will allow users to employ a data warehousing solution for real-time analysis on large data sets from a number of different sources.

At the conference we’ll look to understand more about how SAP’s investments in mobile, cloud and big data will impact on and benefit users in the future.  So make sure to check out the conference programme to ensure you don’t miss the latest updates from SAP and the opportunity to hear from and network with your industry peers.

Breaking News

Only 20 days to go until our conference and one organisation has booked 22 places for its staff – what an outstanding endorsement for value!

Survey reveals SAP users’ licensing concerns

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, here at the User Group we recently surveyed our membership regarding their thoughts on SAP licensing.  I can now reveal some of the top-level findings from the study:

95% of SAP users believe that the company’s software licensing policy is overly complicated

  • 89% of users stated that they would like SAP to reduce complexity by offering software that is only limited by one license or usage metric
  • 67% stated that as SAP’s product catalogue has continued to expand they have found it increasingly difficult to track license usage
  • 97% stated they should have the ability to ‘park’ unused licenses for support periods
  • 97% didn’t believe that SAP has effectively explained the migration path of moving from on-premise to its mobile or cloud offerings and how this impacts on their existing licensing agreements

In many respects the results aren’t a surprise, as in the current business climate many organisations are looking to ensure they are getting maximum value from their software licenses.  At the same time the changing IT landscape is also having an impact on the complexity of software licensing.  This is an issue currently facing a lot of software vendors and their customers, as many license terms were agreed at a time when workforces were larger and the vast majority of deployments were on premise.

SAP users are no different and these findings illustrate that they would like to see license costs and conditions that are transparent and flexible.  Encouragingly SAP has acknowledged these concerns and is starting to work with SUGEN to engage on a topic that is clearly challenging for both parties.

We will be looking to work closely with SAP in the UK, to ensure users are provided with greater clarity when it comes to licensing.  To find out more about the licensing workshop we are running at this year’s User Group Conference click here.