Anyone who has known me any length of time knows how much I enjoy working on SAP solutions.  I have always felt fortunate that 14 years ago I fell into my first SAP project as a new hire out of college.  My first question back then was "What is SAP?"

 

Even though I have taken non-SAP roles during my career, I just keep coming back to work on SAP.  "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"- Confucius. I have always loved learning about new solutions, and being part of the product evolution.  I am still passionate about it today.


Now that Sapphire/ASUG annual conference is over for the year, I find myself reflecting on everything I heard.   Like many at the conference, I am still processing everything I heard there.  There were two themes that I kept coming back to from this years ASUG.

 

1. The pace of change in our industry is going to continue to ramp up.  If we try to embody the "Simplicity" as SAP mentioned, we all have to change.  Additionally, our systems will be moving to in-memory technology.  Our old thoughts of separating the transactional from the reporting systems is supposed to disappear, as in-memory should make so many more things possible.  Many things will also be moving to the cloud over time.  It's all a great big mash-up of things colliding.

 

2. 72% of IT spend is on maintenance activities, or what many of us call KTLO (Keeping the lights on). Only 28% of spend is on projects.  This computerworld article talks about the Forrester Research study in more detail:

 

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243312/How_to_balance_maintenance_and_IT_innovation

 

These two themes appear to be at odds with each, unless we come up with new solutions to address them. How do we maximize that 28% and get that to grow?  How do we continue to manage this pace of change without completely burning people out?  How do we balance the sheer number of new companies coming on to SAP systems that have a different set of needs from the customers that have been on the systems longer?

 

Two years ago I took over the role of the Accounts Payable Special interest group chair with ASUG.  5 months ago I took over the role of Treasury Special Interest group chair.  I have great Program Chairs in both SIGs, and we are very interested in building up these communities.

 

We are currently working along a couple different themes as we plan activities for these SIGs- The first theme is getting back to the basics.  How are various parts of the core system supposed to work and how are customers using that as a base to be successful on their projects?  The second theme is focus.  We will focus in on different areas of the system to help break down specific topics into manageable components.

 

Most of these activities will be coming out as webinars on ASUG.  We will start small and build from there. Stay tuned to the AP and Treasury SIGs for more details as these are scheduled.  If you haven't signed up for our ASUG newsletters for AP and Treasury, this is another great way to make sure you hear what we are planning.  Even better, if you want to help us in our efforts and work with us as a customer that has success in a particular area, we would love your participation.  Just drop me an email and let me know.
Let the conversation begin.