Day one of the SAP User Group Conference 2017 saw the opening keynote focused on ‘The Power of Collaboration’ and how the SAP User Group can better connect with its members in the digital age.
Chairman UK&I SAP User Group, Paul Cooper, gave a bold opening address stating that it is very much more the merrier when it comes to moving forward in the ever-changing digital era.
“The more people that come together, the more we can collaborate together and do more, making it possible to make processes into a usable product for end users,” Cooper said.
Ahead of Brexit next April, Mr Cooper made a timely revelation regarding the amount of help and assistance SAP User Group members would need in the run-up to the UK’s exit from the EU.
Quoting stats from a survey of 376 UK & Ireland SAP User Group members, the Chairman revealed that the majority (53%) said that they are likely to need SAP’s help when preparing for Brexit, in comparison to 47% who believe they will be just fine.
“We anticipate we need changes, whether it’s configuration or following government requirements with SAP support for members ahead of these changes,” said Cooper.
“It is a long time coming before we actually know what is happening, support needs to be quick and timely to prepare our members.”
The two themes of Brexit and collaboration struck a need for togetherness amid uncertain times, with Mr Cooper committing to change and support in order to help members flourish in the post-Brexit world.
It would not be a SAP User Conference keynote without the subject of licensing, with this year’s address highlighting that the majority of members are still unsure around issues of compliance.
Over half of SAP User Group members hold concerns over compliance with licensing agreements, with 73% admitting it is an over complicated service.
Cause for concern for many businesses is around members who are unsure as to whether they have correct licensing, in addition to fears that they will be back-charged following new licensing documents.
Furthermore, 33% of members say that in-direct licensing concerns are delaying the use of IoT in their business.
Addressing these concerns Cooper said: “Almost half of our members involved with licensing didn’t even know about the new models existing. When SAP talk about innovation, we need SAP to articulate what the licensing will be for that innovation and how it will work.”
The theme of collaboration continued as Mr Cooper made way for SAP UK&I Managing Director, Mike Slater, who sold SAP as a sharing, caring company. Most importantly, Mr Cooper impressed, SAP listens when the User Group voices concerns.
“The importance of SAP listening will have an impact on businesses. We try to listen to what customers are thinking and feeling. By looking at things through different lenses [we] will gain a perspective of what other people are thinking and get a different view of our members and their future outcomes.”
Highlighting four key priorities, Slater defined a future vision for UK&I as ‘Driving Customer Centricity’, ensuring customers and members are at the heart of everything SAP does.
The first priority is to win more advocates to ultimately scale up, followed secondly by having a value-based approach to dealing with customers directly in order to achieve their aims.
“Making sure that we are working on and engaging with customers and members is truly transformational. If we address top challenges, we are automatically adding value to businesses,” said Slater.
Thirdly, the company will look to focus on a partner strategy to achieve business aims, with the last of the four priorities focused on ensuring customer success to ultimately achieve the vision for UK&I.
Slater said: “SAP User Group has a vision for UK&I to Drive Customer Centricity, we have a vision to create customer success working together to address those businesses objectives. This is a key focus of our organisation, for 2018 and beyond to put customers at the heart of everything.”