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DSAG Turns 10! Members Prepare for Continued Growth and a Bolstered Relationship with SAP

by Dr. Mario Günter | SAPinsider

July 1, 2007

In its 10 years, DSAG has become the communication platform between German-speaking SAP customers and SAP. DSAG Managing Director Mario Günter recaps DSAG’s accomplishments in connecting its member companies and influencing SAP, and outlines the user group’s goals for the future.
 

As DSAG celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, we reflect on our members' accomplishments, our evolving relationship with SAP, and new ways our members can share valuable information — and influence SAP — in the years to come.

10 Years of Growth, Learning, and Results

DSAG's growth in the last decade (see sidebar) stems from the depth and breadth of our member services:

Networking and educational events — DSAG events, including the annual DSAG conference, DSAG technology and topic days, and committee and working group meetings, promote networking and knowledge sharing. And because of DSAG's growth in Austria and Switzerland and its contact with other user groups, members have the added opportunity to interact with international SAP users.

Influence activities — DSAG hosts activities to bring customers' voices directly to SAP. Members, for instance, can join product-influencing teams (PITs) that keep SAP updated on the market's needs for new products and capabilities. For example, since its founding, DSAG has successfully influenced SAP by:

  • Extending routine maintenance for SAP software releases: DSAG played an active role in extending SAP R/3 maintenance procedures, defining the 5-1-2 maintenance strategy, and lengthening the SAP ERP 6.0 maintenance cycle

  • Creating a framework for customer development requests: SAP accepts development requests from each DSAG group — 32 working groups and 136 focus groups — up to twice a year, and SAP responds to those requests within 12 weeks

A Look at DSAG's History — and Its Staggering Growth

Here are some of the landmark events that have made DSAG what it is today:

1994 A handful of German SAP customers form an SAP R/3 interest group
1997 The once informal group officially becomes the registered association DSAG, with over 180 member companies and a range of interests
2004 Through integration with the Austrian SAP User Group and growth into Switzerland, DSAG becomes the German-Speaking SAP User Group1
2007 With average growth of 32% each year, DSAG today involves more than 1,900 member companies and almost 22,000 individuals

A Close Connection with SAP

One of DSAG's biggest accomplishments is its strong relationship with SAP. DSAG has become a trusted SAP advisor: DSAG working groups are constantly in contact with SAP, DSAG's head office has a close relationship with the SAP support team, and DSAG board members communicate with the SAP executive board and senior management, enabling DSAG to give its members exclusive SAP information.

By teaming up with SAP — though DSAG is organizationally and financially independent — DSAG helps determine how users' business requirements can be reflected in new and enhanced SAP products. We see this partnership as vital to the success of both SAP and its customers.

DSAG is a communication platform for the collective voice of German-speaking SAP customers.

Goals for the Future

DSAG's future goals include enhancing connections among SAP, its customers, and its user groups worldwide. A productive start was a board meeting of international user groups, hosted by DSAG at SAPPHIRE 2007. We look forward to continued membership growth and involvement, rich educational and networking events, and successful influence activities with SAP. To learn more, visit www.dsag.de.



1 See "DSAG Directions: Austrian and German SAP Users Join Together" in the January-March 2005 issue of SAP Insider (www.SAPinsideronline.com).


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