In just over a month’s time the UK & Ireland SAP User Group Conference will descend on Birmingham under the strap line – Connect.
Running from the 20th-22nd November at the ICC in Birmingham the event will be looking to cover the big issues that are impacting the SAP user community, answer their questions, and help them make the most out of their SAP deployments.
In 2015 the show ran under the strap line of Spectrum Connected and the conversations focused on being cloud first but not cloud only, and there were fears about potentially costly S4 HANA upgrade fees.
CBR spoke to Craig Dale, CEO, UK & Ireland, SAP User Group ahead of the conference to see what it is on the agenda this year.
The strap line is designed to indicate one of the main purposes of the conference, to connect the SAP environment and the community together, along with SAP partners and everyone in the ecosystem.
Dale said: “It’s all about imparting that knowledge and experience through the event.”
The event will have a similar a similar feel to last year with customer keynotes, streams dedicated to S4 HANA and digital transformation, and there will be more on customer experiences from using S4 and what they have done with the technology.
Workshops will take place on the Sunday in three hour long workshops on using S4 HANA and Personas.
Last year there was a lot of focus on S4 HANA upgrade fees and this year Dale thinks that one of the key things being discussed will be integration.
“Customers are looking at lots of new digital technologies, so customers looking at staying with SAP will need to think long and hard about S4,” said Dale.
So customers will be looking to find out how S4 works with everything else that the SAP customer has, asking questions such as: “I haven’t implemented HANA, do I now go through the upgrade process through upgrade packs, or do I start from S4 as a new implementation?” Said Dale.
One of the popular elements of the 2015 event was around usability testing, so attendees can expect that to return this year with more topics and more testing.
Customers are looking at technologies like Success Factors, Hybris, Concur and all the technologies in the cloud and wanting to know how it works, said Dale.
These are essentially breakout sessions where attendees can go and get expert advise on how to do things with SAP.
The streams will focus on everything from App Development for Business ByDesign to Your cognitive fuelled path towards digital transformation with IBM and SAP HANA.
In total 14 streams are running through the event and 10 workshops. That gives the conference well over 100 sessions and 100 hours of education.
Dale said, “Delegates get 100 hours of education and knowledge from attending this one event, hopefully providing maximum value to our delegates.”
Keynotes will be delivered by Hala Zeine, SVP of SAP Portfolio and Commercialisation
Strategy, Will Kintish, Acknowledged UK leading Authority on the subject of Networking, Kintish Limited, Philip Adams, Chairman, UKISUG, Paul Cooper, vice
chairman UKISUG, Cormac Watters, MD, SAP UK&I, Colin Brookes, Chief Operating Officer, SAP UK&I.
The keynotes this year will be slightly different from in the past as they will be presented on a whiteboard. This is to take delegates through the world at large and SAP strategy, building it up piece by piece to allow them to get through more of what is being talked about.
Dale said that this is so that it will resonate more with people.
One of the most popular informal networking events in the conference calendar, the SUGfest is back with a more food and more entertainment.
In 2015 the event changed from being a formal black tie dinner to a more relaxed evening with various different styles of live music and food.
2016 will see the return of the Comedy Club and the Casino, along with music from the main stage including the RPJ Band, and Millennial, the SAP UKI sales organisation’s band.
The event will also feature a Busker’s Corner, Tapas bar, and Pie ‘n’ Mash.
A full three day conference pass, including SUGfest is available for £675 for UKISUG members. The cost for non-members is £975.
CBR will be in attendance and will have interviews with top executives from both the User Group and SAP.