UKI SAP User Group Connect – Birmingham

Monday November 12th was a big day here at the UKISUG’s 30th Anniversary Connect Conference.

The keynote speeches from SAP UKI’s leaders went down well; with positive reactions from many we spoke to. Key was hearing from Adaire Fox-Martin, the member of SAP’s Global Executive Board responsible for Global Customer Operations. In particular she reassured customers about SAP’s new licensing arrangements, which many had expressed wariness about. She also shared SAP’s assessment that 78% of its customers are planning to move to SAP S/4, 29% are planning to use IoT, but only a disappointing 6% had any plans to use the broader Leonardo “digital innovation system” so far (this covering artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, advanced analytics and blockchain).

A survey of SAP’s UKI customers referred to by Adaire indicated that 44% (up from last year’s 39%) are worried about the impact of Brexit on their SAP processes. We’d picked this up through the year, which was why we created a packaged “Brexit readiness assessment” – which we’ve had many discussions about during the conference.

There was a lot of chat and Googling going on about Qualtrics, a significant SaaS business, following SAP’s announcement that it has agreed to acquire them for a hefty $8bn cash. Qualtrics majors on survey software that enables its 9,000 enterprise users to measure areas such as customer sentiment and employee engagement.

It was good to see SAP UKI MD Jens Amail here – not just as a keynote speaker, but also spending the day talking with partners and customers at the event.

It’s always great to re-establish contacts and meet old friends, including CubeScape, Resulting IT, itelligence (with their Play your Cards Right game), Vistex & Centiq. We also had some good discussions with new contacts, such as Linke (a Spanish AWS partner just entering the UK market), Celonis (with their analysis and visualisation of business processes) and Keytree (here helping to understand the effect of head impacts for rugby players).

We were proud to unveil Empower, our framework for helping drive greater value for our clients through a streamlined way of accessing the huge amount of experience our team has gained over many years. We talked with many organisations about our various packaged services, and we’d say the ones most often discussed were probably our SAP Health Check, our S/4 Evaluation, and our Brexit Readiness Assessment. The concept behind Empower went down really well – as did our funky 3D printed logos!

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