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Value Generation: Enhancing Your SAP Investment

by Kurt Basler | SAPinsider

October 1, 2001

by Kurt Basler, President, Americas’ SAP Users’ Group SAPinsider - 2001 (Volume 2), October (Issue 4)

Leveraging the SAP investment is a critical step in any organization's SAP project plan. Yet because of continuous deadlines, maintenance, and upgrades, this step is sometimes overlooked. Although it is important to create effective benchmarks to measure the value obtained from an SAP solution, it can be both difficult and time intensive.

     The 2001 ASUG Annual Conference & Vendor Fair, the largest user-run SAP event of the year, held from May 20-23 in Miami, Florida, featured an event designed to cater to those organizations seeking to optimize the investment they've made in SAP: the Wednesday Value Generation Forum. This afternoon forum featured keynote speakers Dr. Claus Heinrich, Executive Board Member, SAP AG, and Sam Wee of the e-business solutions firm Surgency.

     To complement the forum, customer breakout sessions - including Program Management, Standardizing & Improving Business Processes, Best Practices/Lesson Learned from Post-Implementation Efforts and SAP Tools for Value Generation - focused on identifying ways to make the most of an SAP implementation by discussing strategy, best practices, and potential pitfalls to avoid.

     Although the breakout sessions focused on either SAP-related or business structure-related topics, one message rang loud and clear: the concept of value. The value discussed within the forum is the same value stressed in each of the Conference's offerings, from the Vendor Fair to the educational sessions to the keynote presentations.

     This year's Vendor Fair showcased more than 200 leading SAP vendors and the latest resources for enhancing SAP environments. The products and services exhibited featured steps toward upgrading, innovative solutions, and tools for add-on functionality. Thirty-three different educational tracks offered value in classroom setting, where solutions and strategies were discussed collectively and offered opportunities for networking and learning - opportunities that will continue throughout the year in ASUG's member programs.

     In their keynote presentation, Wolfgang Kemna, President and CEO of SAP America, Inc., and ASUG executive sponsor Michael Campbell, Senior Vice President of SAP America's Solution Management Organization, shared SAP's product and services strategy. Highlighting the value of another team environment was Gene Kranz, the leader of the flight directors who in 1970 brought the Apollo 13 space mission successfully back to earth. At the Conference's general session, Kranz described the inspiring story of his group's success. These presentations provided useful ideas and information that attendees could take with them as they returned to their own organizations.

     Techniques for measuring value - whether derived from the Annual Conference or from other aspects of your SAP investments - is yours for the taking. Look to ASUG throughout the year for ways to tap into this value and maximize it to the fullest.

If you were unable to attend the Annual Conference, a CD-ROM containing the keynote presentations and materials from the breakouts sessions is available for purchase at For further information, contact ASUG Headquarters by phone at 312-321-5142 or via e-mail at


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