Last year, the User Group celebrated its thirtieth year helping members to network, collaborate and influence. With a number of new products from SAP, updates regarding indirect licensing, and the enforcement of GDPR regulations, it has been another busy year. With 2018 behind us, it’s time to look at what’s been achieved and share how we plan to continue helping users moving forward.
In a year of new product launches, the User Group continued to support users in understanding SAP’s product roadmaps. Last year we started early by providing advice on what users needed to know about On-Premises HCM in January.
In April, SAP announced its new model for indirect access. The model is a step in the right direction and we believe it will make it easier and more transparent for new ERP customers to pay for SAP licenses. There is still more to be done, however, and the User Group, as part of SUGEN, will continue to work with SAP to address members indirect access concerns.
May saw our Executive Forum take place, where we invited senior IT leaders to come together to learn and network with their peers. We held the event at Searcys at the Gherkin in London, and our guest speaker was legal expert and commercial law specialist Conor Ward, who shared his insight into software licensing contracts. The event was a great success and we will be hosting another London event next year. During this exclusive event, top IT leaders and members of the C-suite gathered to discuss the impact of indirect licensing.
May also saw the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We worked closely with SAP and advised HR and Payroll users on how to optimise SAP systems. Additionally, we offered support for Audit Control and Security teams later in July, to help ensure that SAP users have all the tools at their disposal to maintain GDPR compliance.
Sapphire NOW 2018 took place in June, seeing a host of announcements from C/4 HANA to a renewed focus on the “intelligent enterprise”. The User Group will continue to advise members on how these technologies develop and keep users up to date with SAPs plans.
In November, UKISUG Connect returned bigger than ever before, offering more than 100 sessions from a record 75 exhibitors to 600 SAP customers. Keynote speakers ranged from SAP leadership Adaire Fox-Martin, Brian Duffy, and newly-appointed MD for UK & Ireland, Jens Amail, to Ex-Special Forces member, Ant Middleton, who shared his remarkable story and offered important advice on resilience, assertiveness, and strategic thinking.
During the event we also shared some of the results from our annual member survey looking at SAP product adoption, IoT and users’ concerns about Brexit. And of course, our evening SUGFest event was as popular as ever – this year we went back in time with a retro arcade theme to celebrate our 30 year anniversary.
As we look to 2019, we have plenty of events filling the schedule already, and wish all of our members a Happy New Year.