This past fall the ASUG executive committee, along with SAP AG executive
management, development leaders, and services and support management,
participated in the Third Annual Walldorf Exchange at SAP AG Headquarters
in Walldorf, Germany. While ASUG and SAP regularly meet to keep the lines
of communication open and to discuss current needs and future plans, the
Information Exchange provides our groups with a chance to reevaluate our
shared strategic vision and make any necessary improvements.
Most important, the shared vision of the
Information Exchange represents a business partnership. A strong working
relationship with SAP ensures opportunities for ASUG and its members,
as well as for SAP. So after identifying our members' needs based on the
results of a recent survey, we at ASUG communicated these needs directly
to SAP. The result is that ASUG, with SAP's assistance, made plans to
develop these results into educational offerings, such as the ASUG R/3
Enterprise webcast. In addition, both groups have been working diligently
to revamp the existing Influence Model - the direct means of providing
SAP with product enhancements - within ASUG.
ASUG's mission and the educational offerings
we provide are designed to complement SAP's "customer-centric"
business philosophy. While the previous Influence Model outlined this
philosophy, the new model redefines the partnership. While the previous
model focused primarily on the DRQ process, the new Influence Model is
built on three pillars - strategic direction, product change, and continuous
improvement - and reflects how our organizations play off each other.
- Strategic Direction focuses on the long-range product development
plan used to gain advantages in the areas of technology and business
- Product Change concentrates on existing products and their
improvement phases, as summarized by business justification and focus
- Continuous Improvement centers on the idea of fine-tuning
existing products using the current DRQ process.
At the Information Exchange, ASUG initiatives
and strategies, such as delivering the R/3 Enterprise message to customers
through ASUG educational programs, received enthusiastic response from
the highest levels at SAP, including Dr. Claus Heinrich, SAP Executive
Board member and the SAP AG executive sponsor of ASUG. Both SAP America,
Inc. and SAP AG jointly support ASUG as the collective voice of North
American SAP customers. In this role, ASUG provides timely, strategic
input into SAP product offerings and direction, and serves as a united
voice to help foster more accessibility to SAP resources.
Although a well-defined partnership relies
on a strong foundation, participation is critical. Whether you're watching
a webcast, learning from the experiences of other SAP users in situations
similar to your own, or discussing product ideas and developments, you're
helping to build a solid partnership.
ASUG and SAP have new influential opportunities
on the horizon, so look to www.asug.com
for further details. Your role is important to ASUG and SAP - we look
forward to hearing from you.