SAP Gains Customers’ Views During Visit from ASUG CEO and Board

Earlier this month—for the first time in two years—ASUG CEO Geoff Scott and Board Members brought the ASUG voice and visibility directly to SAP leadership in a series of in-person meetings.

Scott noted the importance of renewed face-to-face conversations—typically held each year at SAP headquarters—which had shifted to virtual formats given the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“What a pleasure, and how important it is, to get back together with SAP and talk about strategy, the journey the customer community has been on over these past two years, and to represent the thoughts and needs of this vast ecosystem,” Scott said, as he recapped the conversations.

ASUG Board Cross-Industry Attendees

Scott also noted the important presence of and meeting contributions from ASUG Board Members who attended the meetings and represented a diverse cross-section of industries. The following Board Members made the trip: Mark LeClair, Board Chair and CIO of GE Current; James Johnson, Board Vice Chair and VP and CIO of Carpenter Technologies Corp.; Tara Gambill, Director at Large and Senior Director of Enterprise Systems of MOD Pizza; and Tony Caesar, Director and Head of IT of Ericsson-MANA.

Scott offered brief comments on several session topics. He emphasized how important each topic is to the customer base and he committed ASUG to connect with SAP leadership to deliver additional updates on these areas near-term. Stay tuned to ASUG channels for more information and insights on the meeting themes Scott highlighted, including:

  • Business Process Intelligence (BPI): Rouven Morato, SAP General Manager, BPI, discussed BPI in digital transformation; BPI’s role in the future of ERP; integration of the Signavio business transformation suite; and BPI in RISE with SAP. Scott characterized BPI as a “top topic” on the agenda.
  • Business networks strategy: Paige Wei-Cox, SAP Senior VP and Global Head of SAP Business Networks, covered several areas, including SAP Ariba Networks, SAP Intelligence Asset Networks, and SAP Logistics Business Network solutions.
  • Industry cloud: Peter Maier, SAP President, SAP Industries and Customer Advisory, highlighted plans for industry cloud solutions. Maier also plans to leverage partner relationships in key industries, including consumer products, retail, utilities, manufacturing, and automotive.
  • SAP S/4HANA: Jan Gilg, SAP President, S/4HANA, provided an update on SAP S/4HANA and described SAP aims for net new S/4HANA public cloud customers.
  • RISE with SAP: Uwe Grigoleit, General Manager of SAP S/4HANA, recapped RISE with SAP progress since its introduction.
  • Technology and innovation: Anja Schneider, Senior VP and COO, talked about the SAP outlook and plans for its Business Technology Platform enterprise integration approach—also a top area of interest with current and future potential SAP customers.
  • SAP strategy: Sebastian Steinhaeuser, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief of Staff, spoke about the evolution of SAP ERP strategy, as well as future opportunities across the vast SAP portfolio.
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud: SAP Executive Board Member Thomas Saueressig, SAP Product Engineering, focused his comments on the adoption and importance of SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
  • SAP CEO Christian Klein had an interactive dialog about perceptions of SAP in the market.

Customer Takeaways

Board Chair LeClair found valuable the opportunity to hear “Anja articulate the Business Technology Platform and how it fits into the strategic direction.” He said that SAP understands “the need for actionable use cases to help showcase the value and speed to market for the customers.”

LeClair also said, “the ability for us to communicate transparently on how the public and private cloud offerings are viewed in the marketplace will enable SAP and ASUG to improve membership/customer journeys in their decision-making process.”

Caesar, meanwhile, said he was struck by the intense, attentive interactions with SAP leaders throughout the visit, his first as an ASUG Board Member.

“From a customer’s perspective, everyone really wanted to hear our opinions, our pain points, and as we gave our opinions, they took notes, and we had Q&As. I had the impression they would take actions on it,” he said, adding that the focus from SAP leaders and their time spent with ASUG Board Members attest to “the value ASUG has for us as customers.”

Caesar closed by noting, “It’s a testament to the relationship ASUG has built with SAP. If ASUG has this connection, our members have this connection with SAP.”

Thinking about starting your SAP S/4HANA journey? ASUG has you covered. Join us November 8-10 for ASUG Best Practices: SAP S/4HANA—Your Path to Success. Register for the virtual event here. 

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