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[The Call for Speakers is closed. Thank you for your participation – we have over 1,300 abstracts to review!] 

The 2008 ASUG Annual Conference will be in Orlando, Florida, May 4-7, 2008, colocated again with SAP’s Sapphire.  I’m going to talk about the ASUG event mainly, but also about Sapphire.  While you can attend both for one price, each event has a separate slate of speakers, with different submission processes.  ASUG abstract proposals are reviewed by volunteers from ASUG member companies, who are SAP expert users. Sapphire proposals are reviewed by SAP staff.

The Call for Speakers close[d] at the end of November. While this seems like a huge lead time, the dynamics of hosting an event with content picked by volunteers, written and presented by volunteers, even with professional event management staff help, requires many steps before you stand in front of your peers. If you are chosen to speak, you will earn complimentary conference registration, and so will your co-speakers, as long as they were named by the deadline of November 30, 2007.  We will assist the selected speakers with material presentation and speaking skills.

This month, we are soliciting abstracts for our hot topics, watching the incoming queues and evaluating quantity and quality by category (SIG, Hot Topic, customer/vendor/SAP speaker, beginner/intermediate, advanced, etc.)  In some SIGs, the ratio of proposals to slots can be as high as 10:1, while other categories scramble to fill their tracks.

Now through the end of December, we will identify major gaps, gaffes or glitches.  In January, we’ll meet to select topics, organize the tracks and document overlaps such as speakers with multiple sessions, topics that cross Technical, Process and Industry  SIG boundaries.  In February, announcements should go out; while waiting for speaker confirmation, we will continue reviewing gaps as people change jobs, topics become challenging due to projects, budgets, etc.  Then in March, we will be looking at uploaded draft presentations to make sure there are no weak spots such as off-topic messages, too short or too long, fuzzy graphics or wandering threads.  By April, the prep work is all done and we’re prepared to go live with presentations and schedules so that you’ll know what to expect in May.

Easy, right?  You have a few short weeks left to propose a short abstract  to ASUG, or  visit the Sapphire Call For Papers page and  submit a topic  to Sapphire!    

So, what’s in it for you?  Why spend time preparing a succinct abstract of a project you want to share with your peers, work for hours getting your slides, charts and graphs to tell a compelling story, and then sweat bullets hoping you’ll get a good audience who listen, ask challenging questions and leave you hungry for more?

Oh, I don’t know, maybe a free registration (sorry, “complimentary”) will help convince your management and finance people to let you travel to the biggest customer-run SAP conference in the world?  Maybe the chance to see a huge vendor floor of SAP partners, live hardware demos and vibrant community lounge in action?  Maybe a thousand hours of presentations?  Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little.

What if I’m not in the U.S.?  Can I still attend and can I present?  Possibly — ASUG is looking for presentations from its members on customer success stories.  If you are an SAP employee, you can submit an abstract.  If you are an employee of a company that is an  ASUG member (go here to check),  you are eligible.  If you have worked as a consultant or partner to an ASUG member, they can submit an abstract with you as a co-speaker.

Who am I going to turn to for help in preparing and presenting my topic?


Speakers from last year with SDN links


A few topics presented last year out of the 93 ASUG/BITI sessions, which was only a portion of the nearly 700 abstracts accepted.

Topic Speaker
“Yorktowne Cabinets: Introduction to the ALV Object Model” Rich Heilman
“Mobile Special Interest Group Roundtable” Jeff Duly / Dow Corning
“Valero Energy: Data Archiving in mySAP ERP 2005” Karin Tillotson
“Product Information Everywhere: Web Service-Enabled MDM at Whirlpool Corp.” Michael Jakeway
“TravelCenters of America – BSP Crash Course” Jon Ziegler


I’m managing the Mobile Technologies Track this year, as we’re short on volunteers for that subject matter, so drop me a line if you are interesting in presenting or helping.  

I’m going home.  Only highway ahead. I’m going Mobile.

(the WHO)

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1 Comment

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  1. Susan Keohan
    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for putting it all out there so well.   I am already very excited about some of the abstracts I’ve seen, and I know that there will be A LOT more to view ! 

    Frankly, even though I am an ASUG volunteer, I’ve always found speaking at an ASUG event rewarding, and not just at the time that you speak… I’ve had people come up to me years afterwards and recall something that I said, or thank me.  That’s just the gift that keeps on giving.  And the sense of continuity and community and the networking – well, it’s all just great.

    Keep getting the word out!


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