Foreword & Board exchanges with Christian Klein.

by Gianmaria Perancin, Chairman SUGEN CLT, Chairman Utilisateurs SAP Francophones (USF)




A SUGEN F2F is always an incredible appointment in our lives as of
User Group representatives, especially when we can exchange directly with SAP Top Executives.

Even if, unfortunately, once again, our November meeting has been a virtual one,
we were able to discuss with SAP in a constructive
and transparent dialogue.


During this meeting, we have exchanged our visions with Christian Klein, Thomas Saueressig and Jürgen Müller, and other SAP executives. This means that our networrk is recognized as a worldwide network able to bring to SAP the voice of the communities we represent, of all the SAP customers and partners that give strength and life to our communities in the country we cover.

In other words, together we are key in giving SAP the elements to improve their solutions and services.

Here, I would like to focus on our exchange with Christian Klein, with whom we really enjoy a valuable and open relationship.
This time, Christian has exchanged with us about the evolution of the market and how SAP tends to adapt to it. As you can expect, “RISE with SAP” is one of the topics we discussed about, and Christian recalled how this offer brings practically everything out of the box: from the functionalities covering a lot of industry domains, to the hosting through the major hyperscalers in the world or also SAP facilities.


“RISE” is key forsustaining the business processes of the future.
Christian has also confirmed how SAP is pushing partners to really embrace this offer, and he sees that many of them are already part of the business technology platform that goes with “RISE”.


SAP aims, therefore, to really take customers by the hand and support their way to digital transformation.
Christian recalled then the changes he had made to the Managing Board of SAP, commenting the entry of Scott Russell, Julia White and Sabine Bendiek: the common message behind these appointments is, for Christian, the strong aim to focus on customers success and adoption of SAP solutions, by connecting more and more to customers, so to understand their expectations and bridge the relationship to the Development area led by Jürgen Müller.
Finally, we had a session with Christian about how our communities see the Support Services, so to give him feedbacks from the members we represent. You will find the content we share in our Jam spaces.
Christian has expressed his satisfaction for getting our insights and discuss how SAP should and can ultimately support our members in their move to the cloud. Obviously, this includes also new actions to secure future resources and competencies for supporting all the projects, but also to improve the delivery of support services.

We have also asked Christian to have some content about SAP investment priorities and the strategic guidelines of the solution portfolio. A future exchange with Sebastian Steinhäuser, SAP’s Chief Strategy Officer, will be organized soon.

Last but not least, I would like to mention that during this meeting, our network has expanded: two new User Groups from the APJ region has entered our network. Let’s give a warm welcome the SSUG from Singapore, and kauSAP from the Philippines. We look forward to our future common exchanges and discussions with these two communities.

Gianmaria Perancin

SAP Product Day, November 16
by Philip Adams, Board Member & Ireland SIG Chair, UK & Ireland user group (UKISUG)


Presented by:
  • Thomas Saueressig – Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE for SAP Product Engineering, SAP
  • Sven Denecken – SVP & COO S/4HANA and Head of Product Success, SAP
  • Elvira Wallis – Head of SAP Globalization Services, SAP
Thomas Saueressig
Thomas provided insights into the sustainability focus within SAP and that SAP intends to deliver on the promises. He outlined, that sustainability does not only include environmental aspects, but also social and those related to diversity and inclusion. For example, there is a plan in SAP to have all 27,000 company cars run on full electric by 2025.
Business strategy needs to be sustainable rather than just having a sustainability strategy.
Thomas also spoke about the circular economy solution and plans to make demos available and acknowledged that SAP can do a better job at sharing customer references. An end-to-end demo on sustainability has been shared afterwards.
SAP Business Network, including Ariba, Logistics Business Network and Asset Intelligence Network, have a focus on more connectivity and integration to other networks, to improve processes such as working capital management. These network aspects can be bundled into the RISE offering and new innovations in the core. A unified trading partner portal, delivering new collaboration scenarios and enabling greater responsiveness, is now available as part of SAP Business Network.
In relation to Signavio, this is very much a business process transformation suite that can:
  • Provide a benchmark for process mining
  • Quantify the value
  • Extend processes to be automated
  • Deepen integration to Solution Manager
However, SAP recognise the need to increase partner ecosystems for Signavio and the challenges with resource differences between partner models.
On PLM, this is very much part of the digital supply chain portfolio and SAP have strategically partnered with Siemens to ensure a strong PLM strategy for data models, service management, end to end design & manufacture and the digital manufacturing cloud.
Sven Denecken
Sven opened by saying that enterprises are facing challenges leading to a seismic shift in strategy. This demands agility, requires differential processes, collaborative partnerships, and a focus on sustainability.
Therefore, there is a need to think of the offering as a ‘’service’’ not just a product.
RISE with SAP is about developing a trusted relationship with the customer. No offering was excluded, but IaaS will be commoditised overtime such as running different infrastructure by geography. Standardisation is key when considering the SAP S/4HANA integration with specific products such as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and the public cloud offering is at the top of the standardisation agenda.
Sven went on to present the numerous innovations in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Finance, Supply chain, Asset & Service management, PLM etc. SAP have the associated customer case studies and methodologies such as SAP Activate as well as many other resources to help customers on the journey. For example, the Model Company brings a standardisation for multinational companies that have an enterprise management layer and provides the support and golden rules to help the customers realise their goals.
In closing Sven explained that SuccessFactors will co-exist with HR in SAP S/4HANA. He acknowledged that differentiation at the outset caused confusion and SAP needed to address the co-existence.
There was a discussion about the barriers that still exist preventing moves to the cloud, but all agree progress is being made, be it slow in specific areas.
Elvira Wallis
Elvira presented in the work being done around localisations, a topic of concern within SUGEN for some time. Elvira opened by explaining that evolving regulations require constant attention, but the SAP localisation portfolio now consists of:
  • Finance
  • Spend management
  • Document & reporting
  • Compliance
  • Sustainability and more..

Localisation empowers customers to succeed locally and globally and growth in volume of local versions has grown exponentially over the years. In the first half of 2021, 651 ‘’localisations’’ were released. S/4 public cloud has 43 local versions, 5 more will be added in 2022 (e.g. Colombia) and 11 are planned for 2023 (including Argentina).E-invoicing regulations globally have expanded rapidly from 4 in 2011 and will now include, social media integration for job applications, employees, travellers, tax accountants.

SAP is focusing on ecosystems to complement SAP localisation solutions for scale and adoption, for example, by encouraging partners to design and build extensions, create multipliers, and capture insights. The strategy also covers standardisations, integrations, cross product lines with both line of business and specific scenario approaches.

Finally, Elvira outlined the priorities ahead that include

  • Regulatory / legal changes
  • The trade off balance between market forces and customer demand
  • BTP as an asset on which to build localisations
SAP does measure penetration and use of localisations and encouraged to use the change notification services.

Philip Adams.

Strategy Session Day, November 17

by Amanda Gibbs, General Manager, African SAP user group (AFSUG)

SUGEN welcomed 2 new User Groups in 2021!



Gianmaria and Yasmin welcomed the SUGEN members to the SUGEN Virtual Strategy Session Day 2. SUGEN members thanked Yasmin and the team for the Galtoni Game Board, a game to play with an outcome just as unpredictable as the Covid Pandemic 😊


Philippines (KaUSAP) – Annie T Alipao
Singapore (SSUG) – Zhang Yan and Sridhar Penubolu

The newly introduced teams presented their vision and insights into their knowledge and information sharing. SUGEN welcomes the two new User Groups, and the GUGO team will connect them with SUGEN.


A survey was conducted through to gain a perspective from the individual SUGEN members to determine members satisfaction with SAP Support services with feedback shared by members regarding improvement potential.

CLT nominations and announcements
A great welcome and congratulations to the newly elected SUGEN CLT Committee members!

Gerardo Dall’Orso

Tracey Greig

Philip Adams

Thank YOU!
Laura Rubini announced the new CLT nominees and expressed her gratitude for their willingness to serve the community.
A huge thanks to Laura for the excellent way she handled the entire nomination and selection process!
We applaud you, Laura!

CLT presented the CLT – User Group Alignment Results

As SUGEN F2F meetings are not possible on-site due to the pandemic, the CLT – User Group Alignments have been introduced. These alignments were defined as a new channel of communication between the CLT and the User Groups, to foster informal exchange and discussions. As a result of the ongoing hybrid events, the lack of face-to-face meetings, events, and the uncertainty of the current global situation, all User Groups face similar challenges.

Philip presented the top 5 topics raised by User Groups during the alignments, which included UG-specific topics, Rise with SAP, SAP S/4HANA, Licensing & Audit, and Localization.

Gianmaria gave feedback on the expectations from the user group communities on collaboration, improved communication through SUGEN, target groups and members.

Joan presented the next steps and action plans regarding knowledge sharing and collaboration improvements on SAP strategic topics.
Amanda Gibbs

SAP Global User Groups Oganization Update – 2021 and What’s Next
by Yasmin Awad, SVP, SAP Global User Groups Organization
During her session on November 17th, Yasmin Awad provided an overview of how the SAP GUGO and User Groups coped with current challenges we are all facing nowadays and initiated the discussion about strategic priorities for 2022.




The session started with the outline of the challenging path that all User Groups had to embark on since the beginning of the pandemic. Ultimately, User Groups had to radically rethink their business and create new ways of operating.
The main ways of how User Groups reinvented their activities included:
  • Enhanced quality of virtual events due to more experience in planning, organizing, conducting events, e.g. hiring professional radio personalities to moderate virtual events
  • Establishment of new formats, including launching a podcast, utilizing the TedEx format for conferences and speed networking
  • Higher flexibility in the virtual set-up allowed User Groups to get speakers from other regions and increase attendance at virtual SIG meetings
  • Slow return to on-site format: although some major User Groups still conducted their conferences in the virtual space, other UGs managed to return to on-site formats
Afterwards, Yasmin pointed out that SUGEN successfully managed to keep the spirit alive and collaborate during these times. Some examples of such collaboration included the series of Design Thinking workshops (User Group growth, virtual networking, and hybrid events) and informal alignments between SUGEN core Leadership Team (cLT) and User Groups.
GUGO has adjusted their activities by offering more interactive virtual formats, including, for example, COVID-specific offerings for User Groups as well as special mindfulness series. The team engaged in voluntary team activities and maintained even closer connection with international colleagues through virtual coffee corner sessions.
Finally, Yasmin initiated the discussion around priorities and collaboration among SUGEN members. With regards to membership growth, members clearly indicated that attracting Lines of Businesses (LoBs) and young talents comes as a priority. In terms of revenue growth, sponsoring, membership fees from new members, and on-site events were rated as the top sources of financial income.
During the open discussion that followed, SUGEN members demonstrated great energy and active participation, suggesting additional focus topics and growth areas. As a final remark, Yasmin collected feedback on how GUGO can further support User Groups to improve their operations. Main suggestions included the aspects around knowledge sharing and facilitating membership growth.
Yasmin Awad

SUGEN Best Practices, November 18: Member Acquisition Initiatives
by Craig Dale, CEO, UK & Ireland user group (UKISUG)

In November we looked at how User Groups attract new members and whether any groups had found specific strategies that have worked well, or perhaps did not work. We discussed the challenges we face in growing our communities and planned campaigns, which we hope will bring in new members in the future.

AFSUG opened the discussion with Project Spring, an initiative centred on the appointment of SAP expert veterans, on a short-term contractual basis, to market and sell AFSUG Memberships to SAP net new customers. The success will be tested as to the value to both those appointed and the User Group, with lessons learned reviewed regularly.

This is a unique idea to bring in SAP Industry experts who are well networked in the SAP ecosystem with an attractive incentive for them to hopefully ensure AFSUG acquire new customer members quicker.

Other User Groups, including SAPSA, ASUGMEX,, SAUG and UKISUG shared strategies they have utilised to varying levels of success, including:

  • Word of mouth referrals
  • Annual conferences
  • Email targeting
  • Social Media, including targeted paid campaigns
    • LinkedIn
      • This was cited as the most important social media platform for targeting and attracting members by a few User Groups, who had a positive experience
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
  • Leveraging partners to target their customers was highlighted as being a useful route to growing member numbers
  • Utilising SAP contacts and sales executives to target their customers was quoted as being a very important route to new members and varying levels of success were highlighted by different groups
  • Being present and even exhibiting at SAP and partner events in a face-to-face environment was highlighted as having a positive impact
    • Lack of face-to-face events in 2020/21 was highlighted as having a major negative impact on User Group membership
  • Using a lead generation platform was discussed as having a positive impact in the long term, but was not a short term strategy.
The importance of having a compelling value proposition and convincing reasons to join were stressed throughout the discussion, along with careful targeting with the relevant messaging.
Craig Dale

Executive Exchange, December 9
by Tracey Greig, Managing Director,

Presented by:
  • Juergen Mueller – Chief Technology Officer and Executive Board Member, SAP
  • Michael Ameling – Senior Vice President, Head of Intelligent Enterprise and Cross Architecture, Technology & Innovation, SAP
  • Matthias Allgaier – Vice President, Head of Product Management Intelligent Enterprise, Technology & Innovation, SAP
The final session for the SUGEN F2F Meeting took place, the User Groups met virtually, for a strategic exchange with SAP executives Juergen Mueller and Michael Ameling.
In Juergen’s session, he presented the latest updates and further enhancements, including the improved UX for customers in the SAP API Business Hub.
He outlined the steps in the Intelligent Enterprise and focused on the SAP Business Technology Platform with the many powerful capabilities and how to realize its value that has now API embedded into the applications:
Business Leading Processes:
  • Lead to cash – meaning how to cover the entire business processes, initial contact, service delivery, driving revenue, experience optimisation.
  • Design to operate – How to encompass the entire lifecycle ranging from design to planning, manufacturing, delivery and finally operations. Ensuring a resilient and sustainable Supply Chain.
  • Source to pay – optimize, simplify, and effectively manage all spend processes and categories to drive business outcomes, using an intelligent Network.
  • Recruit to retire – understand, manage, and optimize all aspects of workforce (employees and external workers) in line with business objectives and with clear financial impact.
Some key points that were raised by the User Group’s have been: how does a company showcase full integration, how SAP pushes customers to upgrade versions for better outcomes, private versus public clouds, which brought up an important point, SAP should provide a map of where data is stored but also the different layers, as per regulations that it needs to be easily understood by customers. SAP have promised to investigate this in more detail as a future action and will revert.
SAP Integration Strategy Update, presented by Michael Ameling and Matthias Allgaier.
Integration Highlights, outlined in the Integration Strategy Paper, are – BTP Strategy and Design, SAP BTP, UX – Single Sign-on is now a reality. With an overview of the Outlook and Roadmap since 2018, and currently SAP have over 1600 architects and engineering teams that are committed to working on this continuously.
Organisations must rethink their integration, as all need different integration – starting with preparing your foundation within your system landscape, to latest versions of SAP Business Applications is important in order to benefit from innovations.

Guidance is in place for Enterprise Architects (Integration Architecture Guide for Cloud and Hybrid Landscapes, SAP’s Hybrid Integration Platform for the Intelligent Enterprise), ensuring tasks are seen for what they are as the vital workflow, and the focus is on Business Outcomes, Integration and Technology. Pushing all to use what is available.

Overall, two sessions that were most valuable to the User Groups sharing and showcasing the new improved updates for Intelligent Enterprises and the BTP landscapes.

Tracey Greig