ASUG is one of the largest groups of SAP users in the world, but it’s more than just one mass collective of SAP customers. Core to ASUG’s mission are its communities, which are smaller subsets of members that are broken up into two categories: chapters and special interest groups (SIGs).
Chapters are regionally focused groups; members meet face to face at regular intervals during the year to share knowledge and network with each other. Aside from a handful of yearly events, SIGs tend to exist more in the virtual world with industry- and product-centric webcasts.
As it exists now, much of the content produced by these chapters and SIGs lives in silos, but this year ASUG is planning to change that.
Community Advocates Roadshow
Chapters have largely been self-sustaining in the content they produce, thanks to the dedication of ASUG’s volunteer ranks. But now we want to augment that content with the help of our community advocates, who are industry experts and thought leaders within ASUG.1
The community advocates will be hitting the road in 2016, getting out to the chapters to deliver face-to-face content on some of the most important and forward-thinking topics in the SAP ecosystem. Those topics include HR and SAP SuccessFactors solutions, Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation, and SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA).
As members look to the future and consider their SAP investment, ASUG can provide support with in-house expertise and community advocates who are ready to engage in communities and with member companies.
Spreading the Wealth
For the most part, ASUG communities focus on the same SAP topics. Some chapters and SIGs, however, have better luck curating relevant and provocative speakers and webcasts on those key topics, while others have a more difficult time finding the same level of content. Because some communities interact in person only once a year at the annual conference or the ASUG volunteer meeting, getting chapters and SIGs together to discuss what’s working well and share content ideas isn’t always easy.
That’s why ASUG is creating an online repository for all the presentations and webcasts that will be grouped in categories, such as technologies and types of presenters, whether from SAP, a partner company, or a customer. The content will be rated by the membership, and ASUG staff will be able to offer suggestions to chapters on what might best fit their own agendas. For example, if the Southern California chapter is looking for a session on SAP Fiori, ASUG staff could connect them to the Pacific Northwest chapter that has the perfect speaker. Having a single repository will allow recommendations to flow between communities and render information silos a thing of the past.
This year marks the start of a more cohesive user group network across chapters and SIGs. Moving forward, ASUG will be bridging the gap between these communities through the guidance of community advocates and the use of a consolidated well of resources to break down silos and accomplish its ultimate goal: to help members get the most out of their SAP investments.
1 To learn more about the community advocates, see Geoff Scott’s article “The Path to Continuous Improvement” in the October-December 2015 issue of SAPinsider (SAPinsiderOnline.com). [back]