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New DSAG Working Group Confronts the Challenges of Global SAP Implementations

by Otto Schell | SAPinsider

April 1, 2006

by Otto Schell, GM Powertrain Europe SAPinsider - 2006 (Volume 7), April (Issue 2)

Otto Schell
Globalization Working Group

Facing international system rollouts and business processes that extend across multiple languages and time zones, many large and medium-sized enterprises are struggling to get a handle on all the IT implications of doing business globally.

To help our member companies address their global challenges, DSAG formed the Globalization working group in June 2005, with its formal introduction at our annual Congress in October 2005. This group, which already comprises around 100 member companies, opens up new opportunities for collaborating with peers and influencing SAP around the most pressing issues of running a global enterprise. The group also forges into new DSAG frontier by partnering with Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG) to address global enterprise needs with SAP.

The Globalization Group Agenda

The main objective of the Globalization working group is twofold: to educate customers about successfully implementing and running their global systems, and to bring to SAP ideas for enhancing global integration support in future releases.

The group plans to tap into the experience and road-tested knowledge of its member companies to create and distribute a landscape model that other DSAG member organizations can reference when rolling out their own global SAP systems.

Tackling the Biggest Issues

To determine how best to carry out the group's goals, DSAG polled member companies about their most difficult globalization concerns. Responses were consolidated into three categories, resulting in the formation of three subgroups:

  • Application Infrastructure is concerned with the setup of a flexible, open SAP solution architecture — both from an IT and a business perspective — and how global companies can integrate heterogeneous systems and legacy applications into this infrastructure

  • Support and Maintenance of Global IT Landscapes deals with the business and legal ramifications of maintaining IT systems across multiple time zones and in many languages

  • International Rollouts and Project Management focuses on sharing best practices for globally rolling out and upgrading SAP solutions, as well as developing change management and compliance strategies

A Global Partnership

DSAG is pleased to coordinate our influencing efforts with our American counterpart, ASUG. Together we are establishing joint agendas and educating one another about how to address the most crucial globalization topics. For example, we have already collaborated on a WebEx call with member companies to discuss and further explain SAP's support and services for Unicode. Additional joint topics include Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), support for local SAP language installations, and operational schedules across time zones.

Exchanging Experience Is Key

Globalization is a complex and challenging topic, but one that benefits from the sharing of information across companies and geographic boundaries. The Globalization working group fosters open discussion by uniting companies worldwide so they can ask questions, exchange knowledge, and receive advice from their peers. For more information, please visit

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