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November 11, 2014

SAP User Group releases conference app

UKISUG Conference 2014 delegates can connect via the iOS and Android app.

By Joe Curtis

UK & Ireland SAP User Group has released a ‘chat’ app for delegates attending its annual conference later this month.

The UKISUG Conference App is live now on the iPad and enables the 600 expected attendees of UKISUG Conference 2014 connect with peers attending the same sessions as well as browse exhibitors’ stands ahead, during and after the event.

Craig Dale, UKISUG CEO, told CBR the app, soon to be available in HTML5 for iPhone and Android, is geared to helping delegates find the best people for them to speak to at the three-day event.

He said: "It’s difficult when you go to an event with 1,000 people to know exactly who’s there and know who you need to talk to.

"The whole thing is there really to help people get a lot more out of the event."

One way the app aims to do that is by providing ‘suggested connections’, much in the way Facebook recommends friends.

"Under suggested connections it’s showing you either someone connected to a person you’re connected to, someone attending the same session as you or someone with the same interests as you," Dale added.

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"Once you’ve connected you can send in-app messages to each other or set up a meeting."

The app is the biggest addition to UKISUG Conference 2014, which runs in Birmingham from Sunday, November 23 to Tuesday, November 25.

With more than 70 exhibitors, 100 SAP experts and two networking sessions, as well as keynotes from senior SAP staff, delegates can hope to get more detail on the latest innovations from the ERP giant.

This year will also feature 14 breakout streams on various topics and nine workshops on a range of themes.

Dale said there will be a strong focus this year on making new products more accessible to customers.

He said: "This year is around innovation and how do we make it easier for customers to adopt these innovations?
"We have [in-memory database] HANA and we have cloud, we have user experience and we have mobile."

The conference will also aim to help SAP customers leverage more value from their existing investments.

Dale said: "We’d all love to buy all of the latest innovations but sometimes we just don’t have the budget or it’s not in the current budget cycle.

"We have a specific stream focused solely on that."

This year’s conference will be the first since the departure of Jim Hagemann Snabe as co-CEO in May, leaving Bill McDermott solely in charge.

Hagemann Snabe’s focus on product had been seen as key to SAP’s success since the 2010 release of HANA, and the prospect of the sales-oriented McDermott being left in charge had initially sparked fears among customers and observers.

However, Dale said few members of UKISUG have expressed concern at the new leadership ahead of this year’s conference.

"It seems to have continued along quite nicely and SAP’s messages are on simplification this year," he said.

Picture: SAP co-CEO Hagemann Snabe, left, retired last May, leaving McDermott, right, in charge.


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