Dr. Mario Günter
Q: 2009 was a trying year for many companies. What were some of DSAG’s most well-received initiatives?
A: First, our members have commended our new organizational structure, which enables us to be more productive and do a better job influencing SAP. DSAG now has five SAP-related departments — Service and Support, Technology, Midsize Business, Processes and Applications (SAP Business Suite), and Industry Solutions — and a dedicated board member leads each branch. With this new structure, DSAG’s level of interaction with SAP solution management is already five times greater than it was a year ago, when specific departments weren’t defined. In total, there are now nine board members: a chairman, a treasurer, the five special department heads, one representative for Austria, and one for Switzerland.
Another major development was the CIO advisory council, created to ensure that we’re properly addressing the strategic concerns of DSAG’s CIOs — a unique community with unique concerns. The council consists of seven IT decision makers who represent the broader CIO community’s interests. They work in alignment with the DSAG board to help strengthen the relationship between DSAG and SAP, especially on the management level, as well as heighten DSAG’s influence on SAP.
We were also very pleased with the 2009 DSAG Annual Congress, held in Bremen, Germany. The event, which centered on important topics like reducing complexity, integrating business processes, and getting more value out of existing SAP investments, attracted approximately 3,050 attendees and 110 exhibitors.
Additional highlights influenced by DSAG include the new starter package for SAP BusinessObjects solutions, stronger networking opportunities with SAP’s Industry Value Networks and other customer groups, and our new customer engagement initiative, in which members are able to influence SAP software specifications in a timely and collaborative fashion.
Q: What can we expect from DSAG in 2010?
A: As always, we want to focus on cultivating our relationship with SAP. In 2010, DSAG plans to enhance its SAP influence channels, especially in strategic areas — around the SAP ERP and SAP Business Suite roadmap, the development of SAP industry solutions, and the protection of investment around SAP BusinessObjects solutions, for example.
DSAG members can also expect to see us: continuing to work on a support model that suits their needs; advocating for reduced software complexity; improving networking with SAP software development; heightening management-level contact with DSAG subsidiaries in Austria and Switzerland; and collaborating more strongly with leading German industry associations and the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN).
Ultimately, the internal changes we made at DSAG in 2009 will enable even greater productivity and influence in 2010 as DSAG continues to work constructively with SAP across all levels.