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The UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG) and the BusinessObjects User Group UK (BOUG) have today announced a merger between the two organisations.  UKISUG will now be the overall umbrella organisation for all SAP and BusinessObjects users in the UK & Ireland.  BOUG will now operate as a standalone group within this structure, with its chairman John Weikert becoming a UKISUG board member.

BOUG currently has 157 member organisations which will now automatically transfer to the UK & Ireland SAP User Group.  The combined group will have a membership of over 600 individual public and private sector organisations.  The creation of one sole user group is aimed at better supporting the needs of both SAP and BusinessObjects users, helping them to extract as much value from their deployments as possible.

Figures released by SUGEN (SAP User Group Executive Network) last year revealed that 1 in 3 BusinessObjects customers felt their needs weren’t being met by SAP, demonstrating a need for greater engagement and collaboration.  As part of SUGEN, the UK & Ireland User Group is now working very closely with SAP to address customer needs.  For instance, earlier this year UKISUG announced that it was one of four global user groups taking part in SAP’s Customer Connection program for Continuous Improvement.  This is aimed at giving SAP users more say in the company’s product development.

Alan Bowling, chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, said: “We’d like to welcome BOUG into the wider User Group family.  With BusinessObjects being SAP’s main Business Intelligence product going forward, this merger makes complete sense for users of either or both products. SAP has been highlighting the benefits of using BusinessObjects in combination with the core ERP suite: we’ll be working hard to ensure the value of this is demonstrated to, and realised by, our enlarged community.  Bringing BOUG into the fold means its members can gain greater access to, and influence over, SAP.  At the same time, our existing members stand to benefit from being able to network and learn from the experience of more real-life BusinessObjects users.”

John Weikert, chairman of the Business Objects User Group UK, said: “The BOUG will continue to provide a community and services to members using SAP BusinessObjects technology, whether or not they are also using other mainstream SAP products. Being part of the wider SAP User Group community stands to greatly benefit our members.  They will now be able to have greater access to SAP and enjoy greater visibility and influence over upcoming product roadmaps, through initiatives such as SAP’s Customer Connection programme.”

BOUG members will be eligible to receive a discounted rate to attend this year’s annual User Group Conference, which is taking place in Birmingham from the 20th to 22nd November 2011.  Keynote speakers include Timo Elliott, 20-year BusinessObjects veteran and Business Intelligence (BI) expert, who will be explaining why many BI projects fail and what users can do to get better value from them.  His keynote “Business Analytics: The Big Leap Forward” will form the start of a full BusinessObjects stream, looking at how users can maximise the potential of the product.

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