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Communities and Education Take Front and Center at ASUG: New Department Launches Communities Council, AGENT Series, and More

by Tracy Barrett-Franken | SAPinsider

April 1, 2010

ASUG’s new Communities and Knowledge Management department is fully devoted to supporting ASUG communities. The team’s Vice President, Tracy Barrett-Franken, delves into what they’ve already accomplished — including a Communities Council and educational series — as well as what’s in store.

Tracy Barrett-Franken
Vice President
Communities and Knowledge Management

Q: How did the new ASUG Communities and Knowledge Management team come about?

A: Inspired by members and supported by the ASUG Board and CEO, the Communities and Knowledge Management team was formed as part of a broader framework for operational improvements. For the first time, we have a team focused solely on communities and education. Our primary objectives are to stay in step with member needs and ensure that we are driving long-term improvements in the education and networking opportunities we offer.

Q: What has the team achieved so far?

A: In November of 2009, we launched the ASUG Communities Council, a volunteer-led group that represents our members in leading and driving improvement initiatives within the ASUG communities. The scope of the council includes analyzing community life cycles and growth and ensuring alignment with SAP roadmaps to guide further community development. And while our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will be the council’s initial focus, we will extend these same improvements to our broader chapter network. I expect that the council will play a key role in our efforts to make ASUG SIGs and chapter communities as productive as possible.

We have also created a new approach to member advocacy with our AGENT Series, which blends webcasts, influence opportunities, and online collaboration to help clarify issues and provide better decision support. This past February, we launched the first installment of the AGENT Series, a collection of webcasts focused on SAP’s tiered support model, to not only improve our members’ understanding of the maintenance solution options presented by SAP, but also to empower customers to get the information they need to make the support decision that’s right for them.

The Communities and Knowledge Management team will focus on increasing member engagement, revitalizing the ASUG volunteer program, and expanding ASUG's educational offerings.

Q: What are your goals for the rest of 2010?

A: We will focus on sustainable improvements that deliver value to ASUG SIGs, chapters, and the membership as a whole. One of our main goals is to enhance our content management and delivery mechanisms. Whether that requires us to offer on-demand or virtual programming or to simply make it easier for members to harvest shared content on throughout the year, we strive to provide members with timely, actionable education to support them in their decision-making processes. 

We are also looking into new ways to facilitate member networking based on topic or regional preferences. And we’re investing in our benchmarking and best practices program to increase members’ awareness of the services we offer and to demonstrate how member organizations can evolve into best-of-breed companies. Our focus here will be on improving the analytics associated with benchmarking data and expanding our partnerships within the ecosystem. 

These are just a few examples of how ASUG constantly strives to deliver a more valuable member experience. We encourage SAP customers to suggest topics for our Communities and Knowledge Management team by emailing

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