At the recent ASUG Volunteer Meeting, two members of the ASUG Board of Directors—Mark LeClair and Laura Tibodeau—addressed ASUG Volunteers, ASUG staff, and SAP professionals, reflecting on how the board helps ASUG meet member demands and make the most of their SAP investments.
On stage at the Jan. 27 event, hosted in Chicago, LeClair and Tibodeau gave ASUG Volunteers a glimpse at the board’s priorities for 2024.
LeClair and Tibodeau discussed the ASUG board’s relationship and interactions with SAP leadership to positively influence and support member needs/interests.
Identifying and Addressing Members’ Priorities
Throughout the year, ASUG gauges its members’ specific attitudes and technology needs via the annual ASUG Pulse of the SAP Customer survey and regular post-event surveys. (Research findings for the 2024 ASUG Pulse of the SAP Customer survey will be published in the coming weeks.)
Consistently gaining and analyzing such insights is incredibly valuable to the board as it strategically aligns communications with SAP leadership, Tibodeau said. “We share the insights gleamed from various ASUG functions directly with the SAP leadership team,” she explained.
Each year, a small delegation representing the ASUG board meets with the SAP leadership team in Walldorf, Germany to discuss SAP’s strategic priorities and how they plan to deliver enhanced value to their customers, LeClair added.
“We’ve had a fabulous partnership with SAP for a long time,” LeClair said. “I think that partnership continues to get stronger and stronger.”
Both Tibodeau and LeClair affirmed that the ASUG Board’s discussions with SAP executives in Walldorf—including meetings with Christian Klein, CEO, Thomas Saueressig, Head of SAP Product Engineering, and Juergen Mueller, Chief Technology Officer—are highly productive, as members’ top-identified suggestions and concerns are shared to help guide and steer SAP’s innovation roadmap.
Tibodeau remarked that, “The sessions in Walldorf foster a culture of active and constructive dialogue and collaborative problem-solving to drive positive outcomes for both SAP and their customers.”
The ASUG Board of Directors sets the tempo for ASUG’s year-round engagement with members by quantifying specific KPIs the user group must meet to achieve success.
“We’re always talking about priorities with the ASUG executive team, and it’s all KPI-driven,” LeClair explained. “We measure financial elements and other specific goals—such as member acquisition.”
Both leaders affirmed the importance of growing membership value as critical to ASUG’s long-term success. Tibodeau shared her perspective that “providing a compelling value proposition that aligns with members' goals and enhances their professional growth will result in increased engagement, retention, and satisfaction.”
To keep abreast of how the organization is performing, the board reviews a multitude of KPIs, including membership growth, membership retention, member satisfaction, chapter engagement/participation, event attendance, financial health, and net promoter score.
'The Sky is the Limit’
Tibodeau stressed that insights derived from ASUG Chapter meetings help ASUG Members advance their professional goals and maximize the value of their current and future technology investments.
Both board members discussed capitalizing on the success of other recent ASUG initiatives, such as the inaugural ASUG Tech Connect conference (returning for a second edition Nov. 12-14, in West Palm Beach, FL).
“What we did [at ASUG Tech Connect] in November 2023 was truly amazing,” Tibodeau said, emphasizing the forward momentum the ASUG community experienced following the event. An expanded collaboration with SAP TechEd has already been announced for this year’s edition.
Tibodeau also discussed her excitement for ASUG Best Practices (Oct. 14-16, in Houston, TX), which will bring together business and IT leaders from core industries in the ASUG community for an immersive three-day event. “This will be an exciting opportunity to leverage the synergies of both the chemicals and oil and gas industries,” Tibodeau said. “We hope and believe that this new unified approach will lead to richer conversations and connections and value for attendees.”
Looking to the future, the ASUG Board of Directors is keeping an eye on how emerging technologies—like generative artificial intelligence (AI)—can improve IT operations. Between these developments and the work ASUG is doing to help members maximize their SAP investments, both Tibodeau and LeClair are excited about the future.
“I absolutely believe that the sky is the limit,” Tibodeau said.