Three fascinating keynote presentations, a vibrant drumline performance, an engaged audience of more than 700 SAP professionals—but what resonated the most with me at ASUG Tech Connect? The genuine sense of ASUG members coming together, embodying the essence of community in action.

As the emcee for our inaugural edition of this conference for the SAP community, held across three jam-packed days in New Orleans, I had the privilege of observing attendees from a unique angle. Much like a conductor guiding a symphony, I not only got to engage with speakers, customers, and event partners, but also was able to help orchestrate the harmonious blend of diverse perspectives and innovative energies that characterized the event.

What stood out the most to me was how important it was that we brought this group of SAP professionals together when we did and how we did. In the rapidly evolving world of technology, where virtual interactions often replace face-to-face connection, ASUG Tech Connect provided a tangible reminder of the significance of fostering in-person community

Meticulously timed and strategically planned to follow SAP’s virtual TechEd event, and tailored to a North American SAP user audience, this first edition of ASUG Tech Connect promised each attendee the opportunity to “become an SAP superhero.” And, true to that theme, we saw heroes from all around the SAP ecosystem unite in their quest to obtain peer-driven insights and expert guidance, learning from one another and sharing hard-won wisdom on how best to navigate business and technology challenges.

From discussions between influential ASUG and SAP leaders—including ASUG CEO Geoff Scott, SAP Chief Technology Officer Juergen Mueller, and Max Wessel, Executive Vice President & Chief Learning Officer at SAP—to authentic dialogues with customers, there was a continuous exchange of conversation and innovation. The ASUG Hub served as a natural setting for much of this activity, complemented by vibrant exchanges during the Power Peer Group sessions. However, some of the most inspiring moments were witnessing the sharing and practical application of lessons learned and best practices during hands-on sessions, which gave attendees actionable insights and strategic priorities they could bring back to their businesses.

The power of learning, connection, and growth that I observed from the keynote stage, as well as unfolding in customer-led breakout sessions and networking activities, emphasized the vital role that community plays in propelling innovation. It served as a reminder of the power of a shared experience and underscored the irreplaceable value of physically bringing together like-minded individuals, particularly for this community of SAP professionals.

Through our year-round commitment to in-person events like ASUG Tech Connect, ASUG recognizes and embraces the need for SAP technologists to congregate and listen to their fellow customers share stories of determination and ingenuity. At this conference, attendees also had a front-row seat for breaking roadmap updates from SAP on crucial topics like generative AI, clean core, and SAP Business Technology Platform. And, of course, the event gave attendees an invaluable opportunity to connect with partners and learn which services and solutions will best support their transformation needs.

Ultimately, the success of ASUG Tech Connect wasn't just measured by the number of attendees or the caliber of the presentations. It was defined by the palpable spirit of community that reverberated throughout the premises. This event reaffirmed the importance of creating spaces where professionals can unite, share ideas, and collectively shape the future of technology—indeed, becoming true SAP superheroes.

In coming together to successfully plan and execute ASUG Tech Connect, our community planted the seeds for ongoing collaboration, innovation, and camaraderie that will undoubtedly continue to flourish in 2024 and for years to come. As Bob Bucy, IS Business Analyst, Supply Chain at bioMerieux, ASUG Carolinas Chapter Chair, and longstanding ASUG volunteer stated on stage during the day-two keynote, “Everybody here has something that they can share, and somebody that needs to hear it." I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next for this community. Together, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

Kelly Dowling is Director of Content Strategy at ASUG.

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