I find that whenever I travel anywhere on this planet, I usually walk away from the experience believing that most of us are actually more alike than we are different. That thought occurred to me in late 2019 as we were finalizing a proposed research project with DSAG (Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe), the German-speaking SAP user group, that would kick off in 2020.

That research project turned into a collaborative effort between the ASUG research team and the DSAG team that included an identical quantitative survey taken by ASUG and DSAG members. We then continued to explore those answers with a qualitative study of participants who volunteered to speak with us and with DSAG for a 30-minute, in-depth interview to get at some of the “whys” behind their answers.

Commonalities Among SAP Customers Worldwide

Now that we have completed this joint effort, I can share what we’ve learned about SAP customers in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Once again, it turns out that we are more alike than we originally thought. In this instance, we are talking about customers’ attitudes toward SAP, as well as about their implementation and use of SAP S/4HANA.

Along with my counterpart Mario Günter, CEO of DSAG, I’m excited to announce the results of this timely study. Below are a handful of the many insights and highlights we discovered from the more than 700 survey participants, which we will be expanding on during our “Insights on Cross-Border Customer Experiences with SAP S/4HANA” joint webcast on July 23, 2020.

5 Things We Learned from Global SAP Customers

While there were plenty of similarities in how the North American and German-speaking SAP customers approached their SAP S/4HANA decisions, there were areas of difference, too. Here are five important takeaways from the survey.

1. What Drives SAP Purchases

For both DSAG and ASUG members, support and cost are important factors when purchasing SAP solutions and SAP-related services. That said, disparity exists across markets, with a much larger share of respondents from ASUG than DSAG reporting the importance of peer and partner recommendations.

2. How SAP Can Make Its Overall Customer Experience Better

Among ASUG member respondents, the number-one suggestion of how SAP can improve the experience is by improving the consistency and availability of support. Other ways SAP could improve the experience involve making the learning process easier through providing in-depth training and materials and a more user-friendly experience for end users.

For DSAG members, the top suggestions are to improve the product experience and integration, as well as the messaging and communications coming from SAP.

3. How SAP Can Help Customers Help Themselves

For both ASUG and DSAG members, the message is loud and clear when it comes to their SAP systems: Reduce the amount of software customizations, which was the number-one suggestion from both sides of the Atlantic.

4. Where SAP S/4HANA Is Deployed

Across both ASUG and DSAG, as SAP S/4HANA is introduced, respondents are prioritizing finance the most, followed by sales and distribution. Business area prioritization is largely consistent between ASUG and DSAG, though the largest disparities between user groups are enterprise asset management (with 10% more ASUG members prioritizing this business area) and supply chain management (with 11% more ASUG members prioritizing it).

5. What the SAP S/4HANA Benefits Are

For ASUG members, the number-one benefit to adopting SAP S/4HANA is improved performance. The number-one benefit for DSAG members is the optimization of existing business processes. The disparity between user groups when it comes to business process optimization aligns with more DSAG members reporting business process impacts, which we’ll dive into more during the webcast.

For deeper insights into this topic, please join our July 23 webcast, “Insights on Cross-Border Customer Experiences with SAP S/4HANA.” DSAG CEO Mario Günter, DSAG board member Otto Schell, ASUG Market Research Manager Carolyn Szczurek, and I will unpack the results and share our thoughts on the similarities and differences between customers in these regions, as well as what’s happening with SAP S/4HANA globally. I know that it will be worth your time, and I promise that—just like when you travel to a new destination—you’ll learn something you never knew before.

Register to listen to our on-demand webcast, “Insights on Cross-Border Customer Experiences with SAP S/4HANA.”

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