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Bringing the Collective Voice of Customers to SAP

by Joshua Blair | SAPinsider

January 1, 2013

The ASUG Influence program leverages the collective voice of SAP users to help shape the future of SAP solutions and services. In this article, you’ll learn more about this program, how it works, and its plans for the future.
 

The Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) Influence program presents the collective voice of SAP users to help shape the future of SAP solutions and services. SAPinsider recently sat down with ASUG’s Senior Vice President, Joshua Blair, to learn more about how the program provides ASUG members with a powerful and effective voice within SAP.

Q: What are ASUG’s avenues of influence and how has the program evolved? 

A: ASUG’s avenues of influence capture the power of over 130,000 members to help drive innovation. To enable the most effective information sharing, we’re moving from an event-centric model to a more year-round collaboration model, which focuses on three objectives: define, develop, and improve the way customers influence SAP solutions (see Figure 1).

The most important changes I’ve seen are a result of SAP’s internal shift to more agile development processes. SAP wants more frequent feedback on topics so it can react quickly to customer demands. As a result, SAP created the Customer Engagement Initiative (CEI) and the Customer Connection (CC) programs. Both programs give participants more insight into how their feedback gets used and ensure that SAP solutions align to current needs and priorities.

ASUG’s Influence program allows customers to have a voice in defining future concepts, developing the next products from SAP, and improving today’s solutions.
Figure 1 ASUG’s Influence program allows customers to have a voice in defining future concepts, developing the next products from SAP, and improving today’s solutions.

Q: Are the CEI and CC projects replacing the ASUG Influence program? 

A: Absolutely not. ASUG and SAP have come a long way in the past few years, developing a partnership that capitalizes on the value that the user community brings to bear in the SAP ecosystem, while maintaining a healthy respect for what the customer really wants.

If you’d like to participate in the Influence program, contact ASUG at Influence@asug.com.

Q: What’s on the horizon? 

A: ASUG’s Influence program is a core pillar of value for our members, and, as SAP continues to introduce more projects, we’ll need customers to evaluate the solutions. We can then take a holistic push/pull approach in working with SAP to ensure the collective voice of the customer is represented at every phase of the innovation life cycle.

Through avenues like the CEI and CC programs, coupled with the voice of 130,000 members online and at face-to-face events, we expect to see a significant increase in both influence opportunities and participants. 

Joshua Blair
Senior Vice President
ASUG

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