A series of blogs for the User Group…



I’ve been doing a series of blogs for the UK and Ireland SAP Users group.

  1. Transformation is THE word.
  2. It’s a Cloudy Business.
  3. Data, Data it’s everywhere!
  4. Who runs IT now?
  5. Licensed or not? (part 1)
  6. Licensed or not? (part2); The SAP Story
  7. UKISUG CONNECT : A CIO’s view.
  8. Time for an Upgrade?
  9. It’s just the IT department…..
  10. It’s new and we need it….

See what you think, and happy to get feedback here……there are more to come and if you’d like a particular area focused on let me know.





Only 18 days until the conference

It is only 18 days to go until our annual conference – so you don’t have much time to book a place. Don’t delay – with hundreds of organisations present and with some organisations registering more than 20 attendees you can see it is popular.

With Steve Cram, Ray Wang, Oliver Bussman, Timo Elliot, and Steve Winter as Keynote speakers plus 8o exhibitors, multiple streams, many networking opportunities, including the welcome reception on Sunday and the Gala Dinner on Monday it really is a value for money event.

The good news is that there are still some spaces left so go to the conference website to register:




SAP announce roadmap for on-premise (Business Suite)

Today SAP announced the following:


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.




Why would you pay £1299 for an SAP related event when you can pay £500 or less for ours?

Other SAP and Business Objects related events in the UK & Ireland cost more than ours. That’s a fact! Compared to another event in October…..in fact it doesn’t stop there! Ours has better speakers. Actually 7 times more speakers, and 4 times more streams, and runs over 2 and half days not 2 days.  It covers much more in terms of topics and is the best place to network of all the SAP events in the UK & Ireland, and includes a gala dinner for that very reason.

So if you want value, treasure an independent view of all things SAP, and need to learn and improve your SAP network, don’t waste money and spend it where it counts.

See our conference website for details.

More than two thirds of UK SAP users now using ERP 6.0

However, survey reveals that user adoption of SAP BusinessObjects is still slow

 London – 25 July 2011 – New research released today by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group has revealed that more than two thirds of organisations (69%) are now using the latest version of SAP’s core ERP business suite, ERP 6.0, with a further 22% still using the older R3 4.7 platform. However only 7% of SAP users said they were currently using SAP BusinessObjects, showing that SAP still has work to do convincing users to adopt what is now its flagship business intelligence product.

“It is encouraging to see that so many SAP users are moving to ERP 6.0,” said Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group. “Here at the User Group we have highlighted the potential benefits of upgrading to ERP 6.0, such as enhanced levels of functionality and support. Indeed, we have seen many users come to us who see the need to upgrade but require advice and support on the best way to migrate. However, the figures also show that there is still a lot of work to be done by both SAP and the User Group to demonstrate to users the potential combined value of using SAP BusinessObjects.”

The survey of UK & Ireland SAP User Group members revealed that ability to network with other SAP users, gain customer access to customer insight and being able to advance their understanding of current SAP products and services continued to be biggest drivers to join the User Group. 78% of respondents also believed that the User Group had the right levels of influence over SAP when it came to getting users’ voices heard.

The research also went on to look at member’s usage of SAP’s current support offerings. Of those surveyed, over two-thirds (67%) are now on the Enterprise Support offering, compared to 11% on the recently re-introduced Standard Support. While the cost of Enterprise Support will rise this year, increasing the gap between the two support options to more than 1%, these figures seem to show that it is currently the favoured option in the majority of organisations.

The research also revealed that SAP has a lot of progress to make in encouraging organisations to create Customer Centres of Expertise (Customer CoE). Only 14% of respondents said they had certification granted by SAP recognising their organisations’ commitment to continuous improvement of SAP operations. The relatively low number of CoEs may be due to a lack of understanding of the benefits and the lack of a clear financial incentive to take part in the certification process.

“It will certainly be interesting to see how many customers stay on Enterprise Support when the next set of price rises comes into effect in the next year. With this in mind we will be making sure our members are provided with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their support requirements. As such we have just run a dedicated support event to help address this,” continued Alan Bowling. “The survey results also highlight that SAP could still be doing a lot more to help educate its users about the benefits of the products and services it offers. It is here we see the User Group providing continued value to organisations, through our Special Interest Groups and annual User Conference, both of which were seen by members as highly beneficial to them.”

The survey questioned 204 SAP user organisations in the UK and Ireland, providing a snapshot of the products and support services that SAP users are currently working with. The UK & Ireland SAPUser Group Conference 2011 is taking place in Birmingham, 20-22 November 2011. For more information, please go to http://www.sapusers.org/conference 2011





About UK & Ireland SAP User Group

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


Overcoming the maintenance backlog

According to a report from Gartner last week, global IT debt will total approximately $500 billion in 2010, with the potential rise to $1 trillion by 2015 (http://bit.ly/9Ut9Lz). Gartner defined IT debt as the cost of clearing the backlog of maintenance that would be required to bring the corporate applications portfolio to a fully-supported current release state. While you can argue the validity of the overall IT debt figure, it is clear that a lot of organisations are deferring upgrades to their application portfolios in the face of ever-tightening IT budgets.

Research we carried out last year revealed that 54% of SAP users in the UK & Ireland were planning to upgrade their software over the next 12 months. However, of those questioned 70% felt that the cost of upgrading was too high, particularly at a time when organisations are facing reductions in IT budgets. So many organisations still face a difficult balancing act and need to be wary that delaying their upgrade cycle doesn’t bring unexpected long-term costs. For example, older versions may require more maintenance and management and have limited capability compared to newer versions.

Many SAP users will continue to face important decisions over the next 12-18 months as whether to upgrade their software, so guidance is essential. At this year’s annual user conference, we will again be aiming to further help educate SAP users on how to best approach upgrading their SAP software and make best use of the latest functionality. Hopefully by doing this, users will then be able to further realise the performance and cost-reduction benefits.

Official….the biggest yet

This years conference which takes place on Monday and Tuesday is the biggest yet – more delegates, more speakers and more exhibitors. You can still book on line for the last few seats – but you need to be quick.

Great keynotes, Chakib Boudhary, Ray Wang, Kriss Akabusi, Tim Noble, and Richard Newman plus 0ver 90 other speakers. Great venue, great Networking dinner – and a great opportunity to learn.

…………….and great value!

Conference just 2 weeks away!

As expected the number of delegates continues to swell – we’ve beaten 2006 already, look set to beat 2008 early this week, and are still ahead at this stage of our best ever in 2007.  With over 90 speakers and over 70 exhibitors it really does look set to be the biggest conference we have ever run. If you are going to go and haven’t booked your place yet then get in quick as there really is limited seating in the auditorium.  Book on the website.


So you want to use Windows 7 with SAP Business One and Crystal reports……

Well guess what – it’s not a problem! Orchestra a company from the US reports that it worked and works well – in fact better than XP.  Check out the story on their website.

New article posted in Computer Weekly

I got another article published in Computer Weekly this week, both online and in print.

It also sparked some interest from a CW blogger. To get more information aroundthe benefts of SAP upgrades get to our conference in Manchester.