We all know by now that the deadline to move to SAP S/4HANA has been pushed back to 2027. But as ASUG CEO Geoff Scott said, “I don’t want SAP customers to see this as a reprieve and delay making any important decisions on their futures. These are complex, resource-intensive projects that require commitment to business, technological, and cultural change. If you’re already started on your SAP S/4HANA move—keep going. If you’re thinking about moving—get started. Because the future is already here.”
This year at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, ASUG is offering three Pre-Conference Seminars focused solely on SAP S/4HANA. Depending on where they are in their projects, attendees can pick from “Strategy for SAP S/4HANA: Finding a Path that Fits,” “Implementing SAP S/4HANA: How SAP Solution Manager and Focused Build Can Support Your Journey,” and “Already Live on SAP S/4HANA: What’s Next?”
ASUG sat down with Stephanie Grethen, VP, chief customer officer, and strategic customer advisor at SAP, to preview two of the seminars that she is leading. She talked to us about the different approach this year and what it means for customers. “SAP S/4HANA is a mature product,” she said. “Customers in all different stages of their project can find value in learning more. One seminar just won’t do the trick anymore, so we are making a point to have a platform for everyone.”
Sharon: Let’s start with “Finding a Path that Fits.” Can you give us a brief overview of the seminar? What should attendees expect to learn?
Stephanie: The “Finding a Path that Fits” seminar is specifically tailored for those organizations that are in the planning phase. They’ve already decided to move to SAP S/4HANA but have not yet started the project.
This will be an opportunity for them to learn how to build their business case, learn about the different tools available, and most importantly, it will help them decide which approach—brownfield, greenfield, or hybrid—is the best choice for their project. There were a lot of questions around that in 2019, and we plan to place a little more focus on that this year.
This will be a full-day seminar, but slightly different than last year because we are breaking it into multiple tracks. Attendees will not only learn best practices, but they’ll also have the opportunity to interact with SAP experts as well as other organizations that are already live on SAP S/4HANA.
During the first half of the afternoon, attendees will have the opportunity to use SAP S/4HANA and gain a better understanding of the benefits that come with it by using the ERPsim for SAP S/4HANA. Having a hands-on opportunity will give attendees a chance to come up with more questions on how to best incorporate all the innovations within their own specific projects.
After the ERPsim game, we’ll break out into different tracks focused on a greenfield implementation, a brownfield migration approach, and the third track will be a deep dive on the SAP cloud deployment strategy for SAP S/4HANA.
This seminar is key to learning how to approach the project, build the business case, and find value scenarios that apply to your organization.
Sharon: Let’s discuss the “Already Live” seminar. Can you provide a brief overview? What should attendees expect to learn?
Stephanie: There are thousands of customers live on SAP S/4HANA, and we know that they have a completely different learning objective than an organization that’s still in the planning phase or perhaps in the implementation phase. This seminar was designed to address their needs.
We wanted to offer a comprehensive seminar that would answer a range of questions on how to best realize the value of an SAP S/4HANA investment. Customers want to know how to gain from the innovations, or how to empower business users to use SAP Fiori apps, or simply the best practices to making the most out of SAP S/4HANA. Upgrading SAP S/4HANA is a new topic to those customers who are already live, so we will dedicate some of the time to providing useful insights.
This will be a full-day seminar dedicated to live users and their needs. They’ll have access to SAP experts as well as each other to exchange ideas and more. It’s going to be exciting to have this space available at this year’s ASUG Annual Conference.
Sharon: How should attendees navigate through the different tracks and decide which one is best suited for their needs? What if they want to know about more than just one?
Stephanie: We’ve taken a holistic approach to SAP S/4HANA this year so that it is easier for attendees to pick the right seminar for their needs. If you’re still in the planning phase, then attend the seminar that will help you best prepare to make it a successful project—Finding a Path that Fits. If you’ve already started the move, go to the seminar that will help you navigate and focus your project—Implementing SAP S/4HANA: How SAP Solution Manager and Focused Build Can Support Your Journey.
And if you’re already live, then of course go to the seminar that will help you best gain value from your existing SAP S/4HANA system.
Sharon: There is a lot of buzz around the recent announcement on maintenance extension. Will this news be addressed during any of these seminars?
Stephanie: The recent announcement about maintenance extension and maintenance commitment is clearly an important topic for all our customers. Although we have not specifically planned content around the topic, we will certainly answer any questions that come up.
Sharon: These are all full-day seminars. Will attendees have the opportunity to exchange ideas and ask questions?
Stephanie: In addition to the content that we’ll be providing, attendees will hear from other customers who will share their experiences. We have planned a lot of time for Q&A because we know it’s important that customers can learn from each other as well.
As I said earlier, there are thousands of customers live on SAP S/4HANA and it’s important to draw from their experience and lessons learned. It’s vital that customers—in any phase of their project—are aware of possible pitfalls as well as best practices, so we will provide that format in all the seminars.
Sharon: In your opinion, what makes an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar valuable? How is it different from the other sessions throughout the conference?
Stephanie: There is one very clear advantage to attending an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar: It’s a full day dedicated to the specific agenda where the topics build on each other. It’s a little bit like a training class, where at the end you will have gained a comprehensive education.
Alternatively, if you decide to go to different education sessions throughout the conference, each one will target a specific topic, and you have to build your own holistic overview.
The Pre-Conference Seminars already have that structure built out for you.
Beyond that, you also have a full day of access to the speakers who are experts in their respective areas. Speakers will answer questions, whether it’s one-on-one or in a peer setting, during and after the seminar.
Sharon: For someone who is attending an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar for the first time, what advice would you give them to prepare?
Stephanie: Bring your questions. Look at the agenda, think about the questions you want answered, and come prepared to ask them. There is value in it for everyone.
Sharon: What would you say to someone on the fence about attending an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar?
Stephanie: That’s simple—sign up. I do not know of any other comparable event where you get so much specific content in one day, paired with the exceptional speakers whom you have access to all day long. The value is there.
Register today and save your spot for one of the three ASUG Pre-Conference Seminars on SAP S/4HANA.