As we kicked off 2023, ASUG Tech Connect was not on our agenda.

Indeed, ASUG had not planned on hosting this conference until late May, and it wasn’t until June—five short months ago—that we had officially decided to move forward with bringing it to New Orleans. But having recently returned from the Big Easy after three packed days of learning, connection, and growth for our SAP user community, I’m delighted to report that the end result was a phenomenal success.

Like all of our organization’s initiatives, ASUG Tech Connect was a team effort. ASUG staff, our amazing volunteers, our supportive and energized partners, and key players from SAP all contributed to the event. Everyone understood what was required to make it successful and how much value we had the potential to unlock for our community. On the ground in New Orleans, and in the months that led up to our time there, we were surrounded by SAP superheroes.

To those who joined us for ASUG Tech Connect, thank you for all your energy and insights. This was the perfect event to wrap up 2023 and look ahead into next year. And to those who couldn’t make it, I have good news—we’re coming back in 2024. On behalf of all of us here at ASUG, I cannot wait to show you what we have in store for the next edition of ASUG Tech Connect. Get ready, because this conference will be the best place for you to hone your SAP skills, expand your user community, and take your SAP technology stack to the next level.

From ASUG’s research, surveying our members, we know that skills are in demand. You tell us, time and time again, that everyone needs to know more about how to best leverage their investments in SAP technology. You can get some of the skills you need online, but to truly learn, connect, and grow we know there is no substitute for working directly with your peers, hearing their stories, and taking what you’ve learned back to your organizations. If you feel like you or your team members have not yet mastered all the necessary SAP skillsets—or wish, as we all do, to expand your knowledge—ASUG Tech Connect is where you can get up to speed.

At this year’s event, we experienced a confluence of technology, with cloud migration and digital transformation coming together with generative AI, the “clean core” approach, and the SAP Business Technology Platform, to name just a few of the topics that were top of mind for our member community. On stage for the event’s opening keynote with Juergen Mueller, Chief Technology Officer at SAP, and Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Cloud + AI Group at Microsoft, I addressed these topics and more—but the learning only accelerated from there, with over 130 learning sessions, including SAP licensee case studies, that provided in-demand skills and expertise for attendees.

It's difficult to fathom that ChatGPT was initially released only one year ago; already, we live in starkly different times. One new challenge we’re hearing about from our members is that some business leaders are starting to think, “If ChatGPT can do it, why can’t you?” Giving SAP users the ability to fully utilize all the technology at their disposal, to stay ahead of the curve and keep their businesses at the forefront of innovation, is more important than ever. Technology leaders have a choice to make: lead the charge or wait for somebody else to take the lead.

Through my many conversations with SAP users and partners, I understand what a remarkable and challenging time this is for technologists. It’s amazing how much innovation is available at your fingertips. This is one of the most intense periods of technological advancement we’ve experienced in our careers, and keeping pace with the rate of change will only become more difficult as innovation accelerates.

How can you stay knowledgeable and continue to build your skills around new and emerging technologies? Funny you should ask—this was the focus of my keynote session with Matt Schwartz, Global Head of AWS SAP Alliance and Partner Network at Amazon Web Services, and Max Wessel, Executive Vice President & Chief Learning Officer of SAP Learning, as we dove into the technology skills gap and what resources are available for those looking to upskill today. Here at ASUG, we’re innovating as well—we recorded this session as our first-ever live episode of the ASUG Talks podcast. Stay tuned to our weekly First Five newsletter for that, coming soon.

As we settle back into our weekly rhythms and routines after ASUG Tech Connect, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I must again express my heartfelt thanks to our team: to all of our valued ASUG members, our exceptional ASUG volunteers, hard-working SAP partners, and essential SAP community leaders, to all of those at SAP and to all of our passionate and energetic staff at ASUG. I must thank you all not only for a dramatically successful ASUG Tech Connect but for a standout year of continuous learning and community engagement overall.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Geoff Scott is CEO & Chief Community Champion at ASUG.

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