Q: What do you see as ASUG’s three biggest accomplishments in the last 20 years?
A: The first is the sustained growth of what is now the world’s largest independent community of SAP professionals; this growth has given our members a very strong voice within SAP. Second, we have used our influence to spur innumerable enhancements to SAP solutions that benefit not only our own user community, but also the global user community. And finally, we have brought the concept of customer-driven SAP education to new heights; this remains a hallmark of our organization.
Q: How has the organization evolved?
A: When you consider how we’ve taken the vision of our founders and developed it into an organization of 85,000 members, I would say that we have evolved rapidly and dramatically. Early on, ours was very much a grassroots organization, and we retain that spirit today in the way we seek continuous input from our members. On the other hand, we have developed a sophisticated organizational structure that includes a board of directors and a professional management team. Furthermore, while we began as a small advocacy group that sought SAP’s attention, we are now a strong voice for our members and a provider of nationwide educational programs.
Q: How do you plan to commemorate ASUG’s 20th anniversary?
A: Our anniversary theme — “It’s All About You” — recognizes the members who continue to build ASUG through their knowledge and insights. With that in mind, we’ll be delivering new initiatives that give value back to our members.
Q: A significant milestone for ASUG was the Global BusinessObjects Network (GBN) merger. What have you learned from that?
A: The biggest lesson was that diversity gives our organization strength. SAP BusinessObjects users have the same essential need as traditional ERP customers: to get the most out of their technology investments. By expanding our community footprint and diversifying our member base, we have delivered additional value to our existing members. The members we’ve gained from the GBN merger have brought in new energy and ideas. At the same time, they have shown that most organizations are striving to meet similar business challenges, especially with regard to business intelligence. In return, we have helped them participate in a community where they get answers, as well as learn what questions they need to ask.
Q: What does ASUG’s future look like?
A: I see us continuing to provide the infrastructure that helps meet our members’ business needs. So we’ll keep influencing SAP’s technology strategy, and we’ll continue to ensure that members have the education, benchmarking tools, and influence channels needed to stay on top of new technology trends. We plan to stay responsive to members’ needs and the ways in which SAP evolves. I think our next 20 years will be even more exciting than the last.
“Our anniversary theme is ‘It’s All About You.’ After all, our members are the ones we are celebrating. Join the ASUG community for another 20 years (and more) of growth, influence, and education. Visit asug.com for more information.”