Americas' SAP Users' Group,
charges member companies annual dues
of US$1,500.1 Any US- or Canadian-based
SAP customer, be it a small, mid-tier,
or Fortune 500 company, can join. Once
an organization becomes a member, any
of employees can take advantage of ASUG
What tangible benefits
do member companies derive from ASUG?
In May of this year, Rod
Masney becomes president of this organization.
In this article, he answers this question
and offers recommendations to better
leverage ASUG assets at both a corporate
and personal level.
Q What benefits do ASUG member companies
derive? Are they quantifiable?
ASUG arms its members with a number of helpful
resources, each centered around enabling members
to educate one another through the exchange of
best practices and case studies, facilitating
networking either in person or online, and creating
opportunity to influence the future of SAP and
its products and services. Through ASUG, there
is unlimited intellectual capital, including
valuable content on www.asug.com,
such as white papers and presentations from both
virtual and face-to-face events. There are discussion
forums, where you can post a question and get
answers back from your peers. (This site is often
the first place I go when trying to find information
about specific topics or a problem that I'm
trying to solve. An unlimited number of employees
can register for a password to the site.) There
is also an annual conference, local Chapter meetings,
vertical or hot-topic focused events, and live,
Are the benefits you derive from these resources quantifiable?
It's difficult to come up with a precise ROI
calculation. But ask any active ASUG member, and they
can tell you, anecdotally, how their involvement in
ASUG saved them money, time, or resources. For example,
at my previous job, I tapped into the ASUG community
to learn about SAP upgrades and craft our company's
upgrade strategy. We were then able to execute our
upgrades entirely on our own. During my tenure at that
company, we upgraded three different times, at high
speed, and without the need for outside consultants.
That's real dollar
savings, particularly for a relatively small-sized
company like the one I worked for.
How customers work through ASUG to influence SAP product
development is another valuable benefit. It's
a way for any member company to become visible to SAP,
articulate requirements, and steer SAP product development
to meet these needs out of the box. It's a win-win
scenario. SAP emerges from the exchange with products
that are wholly aligned with the market. Customers
get the functionality they need without the cost and
long-term consequences of customization. Granted, there
is a lag between the time customers articulate their
needs and the release of new features, but in the interim,
you can tap into the collective wisdom of your peers
in your ASUG network for workarounds.
in it for the individual? Are there tangible, personal
From a professional perspective, all of us want to
succeed at delivering high-quality results at the lowest
possible cost. Networking with your peers helps you
do this. You can draw valuable insights from a large
pool of talent. It has certainly helped me be more
successful in the projects I've worked on and
driven my growth as an SAP professional. At www.asug.com,
you'll find a "Member Network" tool,
which helps you find and network with other members
with like interests. You will also find communities
that focus on specific, technical topics.
Q Do you have advice for members to glean more value
from the ASUG community?
Although ASUG inherently offers its member constituency
a community that inspires education, networking, and
the opportunity to influence SAP, how each company
chooses to draw value is entirely up to that organization
and its needs. It's clear to me that the value
member companies and individuals derive from ASUG varies.
Those that are the most active extract the most value.
It's that simple.
Membership, By Size and Geographic Location
membership contains companies of all sizes,
located across the United States and Canada.
More than a third of the companies and organizations
that join are under $200 million in revenue, while
slightly less than a third are in the $200 million
to $2.5 billion revenue range (see Figure
ASUG offers tremendous opportunity for mid-market
and smaller companies to become highly visible
to SAP in a very meaningful way, and to help
steer product direction — either
at the tactical level through an Influence Council
or at a strategic level through an Executive Exchange.
Geographically speaking, the membership is
in keeping with the spread of industry across
North America. A majority of member companies
come from the US Northeast, with the US Midwest
close behind. The US West and Southeast represent
the next tier of regions, with Eastern and
Western Canada making up the remainder (see
The geographic diversity of the membership
is also one of the key benefits of the organization.
Across North America there are 38 ASUG Chapters,
which typically meet several times a year.
These meetings usually feature one or two keynote
speakers, as well as breakout sessions on focused
topics. Membership in a Chapter is included
with your national ASUG membership fee.
ASUG not only offers the opportunity to network
geographically, but also by area of interest.
There are 70 special interest group communities
within ASUG. Many
are built around different applications of
SAP, such as
a financials group and a human resources
group. Other groups focus on components,
such as a portals group
and a business warehouse group. There are
also topic-based groups that focus on areas
such as project management, documentation,
and change management.
Installation Members by
Installation Members by Region
1 Organizations with new SAP implementations
get their first year's membership free.