ASUG Accelerate, held in conjunction with SAP Sapphire later this month, will offer a robust series of Power Peer Group conversations. We’ll feature virtual sessions from SAP on sustainability, cloud migration, SAP S/4HANA, and other focus areas. We’ve created a great joint event for ASUG members attending on site and for virtual attendees.

As we gear up for our return to Orlando for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak began, here’s a preview of a few virtual and in-person learning opportunities that SAP Sapphire & ASUG Accelerate attendees should consider adding to their conference agenda.

Introducing ASUG Power Peer Groups

ASUG designed these groups to be highly interactive and provide a space for peer dialogues and connections. Our 23 Power Peer Groups will feature hand-selected facilitators. These facilitators are all experienced professionals with varied backgrounds who will share stories, perspectives, and, importantly, actively tap into attendees’ views. Each group has a cap of 20 people and will run for a maximum of 40 minutes.

The Power Peer Group format, an ASUG first, “will attract event attendees from any industry and leadership function,” said Jennifer Divelbiss, ASUG VP of Enterprise Content, and the format’s creative force. “We expect attendees to engage in powerful, high-impact conversations; gain new perspectives and knowledge; and establish new, valuable relationships that last long after ASUG Accelerate ends.”

ASUG Women Connect

Two Power Peer Group sessions draw from interest and issues across the ASUG Women Connect community, a program dedicated to the advancement of women technology leaders and professionals working in the SAP ecosystem. In the “Explore Female Empowerment and the Future Growth of Diversity in Technology,” session, Tara Gambill, Senior Director, enterprise systems, MOD Pizza LLC; Jacqueline Grunwald, VP and CIO, Advansix Inc.; and Lisa Dalesandro DiChristopher, EVP, Head of North America Industry Advisory, SAP, will facilitate a discussion. They’ll tackle several topics, such as the greatest opportunities and challenges women leaders face in technology; differences and advantages that women bring to technology leadership roles; and developing and supporting next-generation women IT leaders.

Kris Cowles, Topcon Positioning Systems Senior VP of IT, and Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASUG Managing Editor, will draw Power Peer Group attendees to their session, “Evolve into an Influential Women’s Role Model in IT.” Cowles and Nelson-Rowe plan to engage participants by answering key questions involving role model characteristics; IT women leaders’ role model responsibilities and pressures; the crossover of role modeling and mentoring; and how role models influence and benefit careers.

Change Management in SAP Technology Projects

Two Power Peer Group sessions will delve into the importance of change management in IT project success. Each year, when we ask ASUG Pulse of the SAP Customer study respondents about focus areas, change management is a consistently strong response. In both 2021 and 2022, 29% of study participants listed change management among the top focal points. (Click here for further insights on the 2022 ASUG Pulse of the SAP Customer research.)

In Patrick Camocho’s session, “Identify the Right Starting Point for Your Business Transformation,” he’ll describe Delek US’s “Phase 0” change management approach to its SAP S/4HANA project. Camocho, who is Director of Delek US organizational change management, said that he’ll ask group participants to consider, plan, and manage for how each technology and workflow change will affect colleagues—co-workers, departments, suppliers, and leaders.

Also on the change management front, Deborah Powers, Senior Director, global functions, Harman International Industries, and Carla Lewis, CEO and Chief Leadership Strategist, CTL Innovations, will draw from their SAP project work. In their session, “Optimize Your Technology Investments with Organizational Change Management,” they’ll discuss how they led change management projects at Ford Motor Co., as well as their other experiences.

Powers will discuss the importance of inclusively developing a non-technical vision, storytelling, and creating impact assessments that answer the question, “What do we want to achieve?” in business benefits from a technology initiative.

“Organizational change management is not just training and communications. It needs to begin long before a project is initiated and needs to continue long after go-live. Projects can fail if there is not a clear picture of what the organization wants to do,” Powers noted.

Learn About the New Accenture and SAP Collaboration

Earlier this week, SAP and Accenture announced a new joint offering aimed at assisting large-scale enterprises as they migrate their IT systems to the cloud. The new offering combines RISE with SAP—the subscription-based offering SAP released in 2021 to encourage more customers to migrate to the cloud and implement SAP S/4HANA—with SOAR with Accenture, “a collection of assets and services that can enable business transformation across specific industries and functions.”

“SOAR with Accenture is a great complement to RISE with SAP, our cloud-based solution to drive business innovation,” said SAP CEO Christian Klein in a press release. “It enables enterprises with large and complex IT landscapes to accelerate and simplify their business transformation journey while benefitting from the full value of RISE with SAP. Together, Accenture and SAP provide a comprehensive solution to support our customers in becoming intelligent and sustainable enterprises.”

With this offering, customers gain access to the entire RISE with SAP bundle, which includes SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Signavio, SAP Business Technology Platform, and a contract with a hyperscale cloud provider, along with the SOAR with Accenture bundle. SAP and Accenture will showcase this offering in a booth at SAP Sapphire. Customers interested in learning more should visit the SAP-hosted booth, #PA 221, when they’re in Orlando for the conference.

Virtual SAP Sapphire Sessions

For those SAP customers who cannot physically make it to Orlando next week, SAP Sapphire offers a variety of virtual sessions, including the keynote address on May 10 with Christian Klein and SAP Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer Julia White. A few other speakers will join them, including Susanna Hasenoehrl, Head of Sustainability at SAP, to discuss how organizations can become “intelligent, sustainable” enterprises. Immediately following that address will be a session focused on the new technology innovations in the SAP ecosystem, featuring Juergen Mueller, Chief Technology Officer at SAP.

Beyond those keynotes, SAP Sapphire will also feature virtual sessions focused on topics ranging from migrating to the cloud to making use of SAP BTP. On May 11, Jan Gilg, President and Chief Product Officer for SAP S/4HANA, and Kris Cowles, Senior VP for IT at Topcon Positioning Systems, will host a session on how SAP customers can effectively leverage SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Later that day, JG Chirapurath, Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer for SAP BTP, will headline a virtual session on how organizations can harness the power of SAP BTP to improve agility and resilience in their operations, along with using the platform’s integration and AI features.

ASUG will attend these virtual sessions, along with our Power Peer Groups and in-person SAP Sapphire events, so we can break down the conference’s biggest announcements and insights. Look for our wrapups next week.

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