To date, more than 10,500 customers have already purchased SAP S/4HANA and there are many more customers still a long way from either starting or completing the migration process from their ECC environment. According to ASUG’s 2019 State of the Community study, the top reasons for the holdout are prioritization, lack of resources, waiting for the product to mature, and business justification.

ASUG talked to Stephanie Grethen, VP, chief customer officer and strategic customer advisor at SAP to get a sneak peek into the ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar she’ll be leading in Orlando in May: Moving to SAP S/4HANA, A Practical Discussion of Your Options.

This full-day seminar will cover how to approach your migration project, identify the right tools, and develop the right migration strategy for your business. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from stories from the more than 2,700 customers who are already live on SAP S/4HANA, plus they will take home some best practices to apply to a future migration project.

Stephanie Grethen, VP, Chief Customer Officer and Strategic Customer Advisor at SAP

Sharon: You’ve been a seminar presenter quite a few times. What are the things you think about as you prepare to present an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar?

Stephanie: I generally begin by reviewing feedback from previous seminars and identifying what attendees liked and didn’t like. Then I work with the other presenters to compare that feedback with our own observations. I always want our attendees to leave with something they can apply.

We realize that everyone comes from different backgrounds based on what they already know versus what they want to learn. Some haven’t even started to think about the journey to SAP S/4HANA, while others are in the midst of moving. We get questions that are all over the board.

Part of the learning experience for this seminar is that everyone brings something to the table, and their experiences make the discussion more authentic. You want to have people from the same company, but different departments attend the seminar because they will have different learning objectives. And the agenda we created aims to address the needs of those attending from IT and from the business.

Sharon: What has changed with SAP S/4HANA since last year and how will that drive what attendees will learn from this year’s seminar?

Stephanie: Over the last year, SAP has developed a significant number of new features and functions related to SAP’s vision for the Intelligent Enterprise. We’ll cover all of them in this Pre-Conference Seminar. The considerations for transitioning need to be much broader than just moving the ERP to a new platform. Beyond thinking about system landscape and deployment, organizations need to consider the value it will bring to the entire business and how to best capitalize on the new features.

Over the last year, we’ve had at least 1,000 more customers go live on SAP S/4HANA. The knowledge we’ve gained from this is reflected in the latest releases. We will discuss all of this during the seminar.

Sharon: Why do you think the topic of SAP S/4HANA is one of the most popular ASUG Pre-Conference Seminars?

Stephanie: Decision-makers are interested in getting a comprehensive overview of the innovations that come with SAP S/4HANA and how to capitalize on them.

This is an opportunity to learn about what you can do differently depending on what kind of business you have. You can discover ways to use SAP S/4HANA as a competitive advantage, as well as how to benefit from its innovations in data management, analytics, machine learning, and much more.

Sharon: Can you provide an overview of your session? What should attendees expect to learn?

Stephanie: We’ll start by giving our attendees a preview into what to expect from this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference as it relates to SAP S/4HANA and its strategy. After that, we’ll discuss beginning the project and how to tackle it, ways to make the move, and everything in between you’ll have to keep in mind.

Attendees can leave with what’s needed for a road map to a successful SAP S/4HANA transition that covers both on-premise and cloud solutions, licensing considerations, data migration needs, and emerging technologies. We’ll talk about tools that are available to help you along the way, share customer examples, and answer any and all questions that come up throughout the seminar.

Sharon: Who will benefit most from this seminar?

Stephanie: Customers who have not made the move yet. They will learn how to thoroughly plan and mentally prepare for a successful SAP S/4HANA adoption.

Sharon: In your opinion, what makes a pre-conference seminar valuable? How is it different from other sessions throughout the conference?

Stephanie: There is a huge benefit to having an entire day dedicated to one topic, in one room. It helps you set a foundation for your SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference experience, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.

Sharon: What would you say to someone who’s on the fence about attending an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar?

Stephanie: That would really depend on why they’re on the fence. But if they’re questioning whether there is value in the additional cost, I would argue that you will never get access to as many experts with this type of knowledge in one location for that price again.

There are a total 15 ASUG Pre-Conference Seminars that designed to help attendees get comprehensive overviews, develop skills, and share knowledge. The seminars are all led by SAP product experts, and take place on Monday, May 6 on the second and third floors of the South Concourse at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

No matter what part of the journey to SAP S/4HANA you’re on today, there’ll be something to learn at the Moving to SAP S/4HANA, A Practical Discussion of Your Options seminar. If you’re planning to attend SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, don’t miss the day of learning beforehand at an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar. Register today and save your spot.

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