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Think Global, Act Global

by Otto Schell | SAPinsider

July 1, 2008

Otto Schell, head of DSAG’s globalization working group, brings readers up to speed on how — through face-to-face meetings and the annual SAP Globalization Day, for instance — the group is helping member companies expand their global reach and maintain effective communication and influence with SAP.

In a world that's progressively flatter every day, DSAG recognized early on its members' need to make educated business and IT decisions concerning globalization. We founded the DSAG globalization working group in 2005 as a think tank for member companies that were expanding their global reach and needed critical information to do so.

We've consolidated the most pressing globalization topics into three working streams (see sidebar). For each stream, we partner with the SAP Globalization Services team, sharing ideas about the content that will best serve our members' needs.

The working group's reach has grown substantially in its three years; membership is now up to nearly 300 companies with over 500 individual participants. We've focused on navigating the global SAP ecosystem with the goal of distributing valuable information to members and promoting influence with SAP.

Global Information Sharing and Influence

Through face-to-face meetings, Web conferences, Globalization Day, and the annual SAP Globalization Symposium,1 we're constantly receiving feedback from members and relaying it to the right people, be it SAP or other user groups and communities, such as the International Customer Competence Center (ICCC). Our involvement with the global steering committee (also established in 2005, with ASUG and SAP) has facilitated critical junctures in sharing the pain points and successes of users worldwide.

For example, steering committee members from around the world participate in a call every two months to discuss timely globalization topics — we're always synchronizing information between global user groups and SAP. Lately, we've been discussing country versions; customers are eager to know how they work and how to invest wisely. Maintaining steady conversation with SAP helps boost members' assurance that SAP is attuned to its customers' needs.

This also helps us shape session content for events like the Symposium. It's a gratifying result: Our members can ask a question and then see it answered in an upcoming seminar or lecture.

Trust Generates Enhanced Member Value

One of the group's most gratifying successes has been the growing level of trust among members. Participants at first were rightfully nervous about sharing information like "I've invested X dollars to make a localization in country Y" — but we're now seeing our members open up and communicate.

With this in mind, we encourage members to contact us! We're not only a hub of information, but a liaison for members to voice their needs to SAP. Call us a reality consultant; we'll help you with your global projects, from beginning to end, preparation to execution. To learn more, please visit

The DSAG globalization working group serves as a think tank for open discussion about the global reach of member companies and their technology.

1 This year's SAP Globalization Symposium will be held October 21-22, 2008, in Salzburg, Austria. Please visit for more information. [back]

Otto Schell
Head of Globalization Working Group and Global Steering
Committee Representative



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