The fast-approaching ASUG & SAP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Virtual Summit North America will deliver content to attendees with varied experience—from IT newcomers to experienced pros—and offer unparalleled access to experts such as SAP customers, SAP partners, and SAP corporate leadership.
These are some of the commitments the ALM Summit planners—ASUG members and SAP leaders—are making in the run-up to the early 2022 event. In a recent ASUG interview, SAP VP of ALM Tim Steuer previewed the Summit’s distinct elements, which will include unique access to Q&A sessions with experts across the board.
Here are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Q. What are you hearing from customers about current business and technology challenges related to ALM?
A. When we talk to customers, they don’t immediately start with ALM. They are busy moving their companies forward and addressing their overall IT and business challenges. These days, what I hear a lot from customers in Europe and in North America relates to supply chain breakdowns, supplies not going where they need to be, and extreme waiting times for goods. We also hear of customers’ needs to digitalize their businesses, to go through with transformation, with the expectation that transformation to a more digitized organization will overcome some of those [supply chain] issues.
Successful business transformation is at the heart of RISE with SAP. We’ve learned from ASUG how big of an appetite our customers have for RISE and how far along on the journey they are. Once you pursue a transformation journey, it needs to start from the top, from the business, where decisions are made that determine the future direction of your company. Then, you define your target operating model. At a later point, you begin to make IT decisions, and that’s when ALM enters the picture.
Our ALM mission is to help customers implement solutions faster and operate them without disruption. Implementation is different in the cloud—it’s a lot faster to use a cloud product compared to a standardized one. Yet this requires a true transformation. It’s important that the customer reinvents business processes and leverages industry best practices. We also see customers that move to the cloud without business transformation. These customers leverage their existing processes and just move the technology stack to the cloud. No matter which way is right for the customer, the important message is that we have an ALM solution for each customer situation.
Q. What are the general compelling factors for ASUG members and customers to attend the Summit?
A. We try to serve and reach different customer groups. Some know quite a bit about ALM. Some know very little about how ALM supports their journey. Customers that come from the cloud world may not even know the term ‘ALM.’ Feedback from ASUG suggested we offer foundational jumpstart sessions. For customers new to the topic, the Summit offers two [January] seminars to gain an overall understanding of the ALM topic and to put it into perspective. The Summit itself is targeted for an audience that understands SAP ALM generally and knows why it is important to have a platform like SAP Solution Manager, SAP Cloud ALM, or SAP Focused Run.
This is the one and only event in the Americas where all ALM experts come together. This is a one-stop opportunity not only to learn, but [also] to be able to ask questions focusing on both implementing and operating SAP solutions. You get the benefit not only to listen, but [also] to engage and talk with the experts and get all questions answered. This will be done for each and every session, and [will] also include senior management stakeholders and chief product owners directly from Germany. This event is focused exclusively on the [ALM] topic, with the perfect menu of ALM sessions, and the best complement of topic experts available.
Q. How about a short preview of your fireside chat session?
A. We will talk about the key challenges that we hear from customers and how ALM can address them. I will talk about how SAP Solution Manager helps with transformation, and the importance of RISE with SAP. We will share news and announcements of what we plan for 2022, especially on support beyond SAP S/4HANA, going more into SAP SuccessFactors and other SAP Cloud products. We plan to broaden the scope beyond our existing support for SAP SuccessFactors and the first monitoring support for SAP Ariba.
There are two questions customers frequently ask in ongoing conversations: ‘What is the right ALM solution? Which of the solutions will lead me into the future?’ For valid reasons, it is not one-size-fits-all. During this event, we will give clear guidance on which ALM offering is the right solution for which customer case.
It’s also important to know we have a very engaged and collaborative partner ecosystem around our ALM offerings. Partners are very involved in the topic not only by offering services, but also by adding capabilities on top of the ALM offerings. So, if there is something customers are missing in ALM, it is very likely that there is a partner that has been through their situation and that has complementary offerings.
Register for the ASUG and SAP ALM Virtual Summit here.