COVID-19 continues to motivate ASUG to think of new ways of putting its members first. The safety of our members is crucial, and as a result, many face-to-face events like chapter meetings have been temporarily postponed. But that doesn’t mean networking will stop.
The necessary measure of staying at home has inspired a new way of thinking about the structure of chapter meetings. No matter what form a chapter meeting will take during this time, ASUG wants its members to know that your local chapter is still here to help you make connections and find answers to your SAP questions.
Touching Base with the ASUG Canadian Regional Chapters
Hello and bonjour from America’s northern neighbors! Canada welcomes 222 ASUG member organizations that are housed in six ASUG Canadian chapters. Not only will you find great hockey and delicious maple syrup, but Canada also boasts thriving SAP technology.
With an ASUG membership, every employee at those organizations can join their local chapter for networking and problem-solving. While COVID-19 has kept local members at a distance, the ASUG Atlantic Canadian Chapter has checked in with us on how they are doing in this time of social distancing. Lisez et restez connecté avec vos amis canadiens!
1. With measures in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, how have you and your chapter members adapted in your own workplaces?
Our chapter volunteers have always used WhatsApp and Google Cloud to share documents and keep in touch about ASUG. However, we are all experiencing varying levels of impact in our workplaces. Some of our chapter organizations have stalled or paused all of their SAP projects, while others are moving full steam ahead, which means our chapter volunteers are as busy as ever.
2. What have you heard from your chapter members in terms of how they’re coping? What are they missing (professionally) during COVID-19?
The good news is that within Atlantic Canada we are definitely “flattening the curve.” All of the Atlantic Canadian provinces have been successful in that regard. We’ve seen that the sacrifices made in social distancing and isolation have been impactful and our health care system is able to handle the volume of COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
Atlantic Canadians are social by nature—we love a good “kitchen party” or a nice Sunday dinner with a crowded table. Adjusting to only having contact with members of the same household and sticking to essential services has been difficult. It’s against our nature to isolate. Atlantic Canada would like to be out connecting and socializing more than ever. The “Nova Scotia Kitchen Party” group on Facebook has more than 200,000 members and is one of the most popular forums for Atlantic Canadians to share music and lift our spirits. Additionally, one of our volunteers has given birth during the pandemic, so no one knows these challenges better than she does.
3. What SAP products and services are helping either your organization or any of your members’ organizations better manage processes during this time?
We are making use of some of the openSAP courses and the ASUG webcasts. The ASUG Think Tank webcast with Soledad O’Brien was especially popular across the chapter. In planning for the future, we would like the ability to adapt in a more agile fashion to rapidly changing external factors.
4. What are some of the business hurdles caused by COVID-19 that you or your members are having to overcome?
An extreme loss of revenue has hit some of our chapters hard. This is causing some organizations to restrategize their spending and investment completely. Some of the initiatives we were most excited about have been paused or had their scope severely cut. Yet COVID-19 has also increased demand for technological innovations across organizations. People want more virtual connections and more online access than ever.
5. What is your current SAP landscape? Do you have any SAP systems in place that have helped in keeping business going during COVID-19?
6. What are some tips or best practices you can share with your members about working from home?
Sticking to a routine has been essential to ensure that work/life balance hasn’t completely disappeared, and also that weekends stay sacred. It’s an absolute blessing to still be able to say TGIF!
ASUG will always continue to bring members together despite social distancing. We encourage all members to visit our events page to search for virtual opportunities to stay in touch with local members and meet some new faces. Also, be sure to update your asug.com profile and follow your local chapters to stay connected. Once you follow a chapter, you will receive alerts on your ASUG dashboard for upcoming events.