SAP User Group Conference is a resounding success

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USER GROUP CHAIRMAN ADVISES SAP USERS TO LOOK BEYOND BASIC FUNCTIONALITIES OF SOFTWARE, IF THEY WANT TO ADD VALUE TO THEIR BUSINESS
SAP User conference is a resounding success, as attendees gain better insight into the software functionalities and their wider business applications
The SAP User Group held its major annual conference this week, with a record-breaking attendance of more than 400 members.The two-day conference, The Knowledge Matrix Adding Value Through Collaboration, attracted companies from every sector, with representatives from a wide cross-section of businesses.
Glynn Lowth, chairman of the User Group, who opened the conference on Monday, warned attendees that the changing world of IT means that SAP users need to look beyond the basic functionalities of their software to add greater value to their business. Lowth also stated that it is no longer sufficient for IT staff to be technically competent in their chosen speciality, as many of the more straightforward IT tasks such as transaction processing have been relocated overseas due to the associated cost benefits.
To gain real advantage over the competition, companies must now implement those things previously left on the difficult list, said Glynn Lowth, chairman of the SAP User Group. Integration, collaboration, and service-oriented architectures are the challenges we now face. The people who will survive and prosper in this new and more challenging world are those who can add real value and real innovation to their organisations.They are the staff who can demonstrate a wider knowledge of the world of business, and who can bring their first hand knowledge of manufacturing, HR, finance, sales - as well as a range of technical skills - to the party to add further competitive advantage to their companies.
Throughout the conference, users were introduced to various methodologies, viewpoints and forecasts on how SAP software is evolving to become more integrated with business solutions. Newly appointed SAP managing director Steve Rogers, spoke to the User Group about the strategic outlook for SAP.
Our relationship with SAP is very positive, which is proven by the attendance of Steve Rogers and other senior SAP staff at the conference, continued Lowth. We plan to continue to work very closely with SAP to communicate the views of all our users.
The conference also offered users a number of networking opportunities, giving attendees the opportunity to speak to others with similar interests in an informal environment.Attendees were able to speak to other users about the problems they have as a business and then find out that those users have not only had the same problems, but also have a solution.
The conference gave delegates an insight into current developments within SAP and a vision of the future, said Samantha Hollingsworth, Kent Police.It also gave delegates the opportunity to share good practice and for that information to extend beyond traditional industry sector boundaries. There are merits in programme managers, consultants, practitioners etc. from all sectors being able to gather together and share information. For example, a complete site upgrade may seem an impossible task, but the key message throughout the conference was that 'anything is possible' if approached with the right attitude and commitment at all levels including SAP.
Also highlighted at the conference is the UK & Ireland User Groups growing international co-operation amongst user groups, and the value placed on these activities especially by members working in the increasing number of multi-national companies. This is a reflection of rising globalisation and the complexity of business. SAP UK & Ireland User Group is already affiliated with other international user groups and will be developing this aspect further in the next 12 months.
In the onsite survey, 90% of delegates said they would definitely be attending the SAP User conference in 2007.

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