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For nearly the past 10 years, I’ve volunteered to present and facilitate presentations at the Americas SAP Users Group (ASUG) Annual Conference.  For the past 5 years, the conference has been held simultaneous with SAP Sapphire (or has it been longer)?  If you’ve presented before, or submitted an abstract to try to present, you may remember the process when something like this:

 

  1. Enter your personal information into a web-based forum (company, title, etc.)
  2. Pick a category for your abstract, say, “Product Lifecycle Management”
  3. Type in your abstract (50 words, more or less)
  4. Enter top three take-aways
  5. Many other details, such as expertise level, etc.
  6. Wait

This year, the process is being done in 2 parts.  From now until November 24th, there is a survey open to capture items (1) and (2) above.  For those in the United States, that deadline is the day before Thanksgiving, and you know you’ll get early dismissal, in fact, you probably won’t go in the office all week, so pretend the deadline is the Friday before (November 19, 2010).

 

The goal is for us to organize the conference tracks and space by what is useful and interesting, plus what people are willing to speak about.  The survey will take just a few minutes, but please, think about this, and be serious.  

 

How is the survey organized?  There are 3 pages – the first contains your personal information (but not the full biography we’ll eventually publish if your topic is selected).  The second are what I’d probably call ‘hot topics”, and the third pertains only to co-speakers.

 

If you’re familiar with the ASUG communities organization, you’ll notice that the second page topics are organized, and presented alphabetically, by community.  So, Apparel and Footwear are at the top, and Wholesale is at the end.  If you are unfamiliar with our community structure, or can’t find your subject area when you get there, either browse to ASUG.COM, or post a comment to this blog and we’ll get you started.

 

Within each community are one or more topic areas.  We put these together over the last few weeks,  with the intent on capturing what SAP customers want to hear about.  Since we’re only human, and you might have an idea we don’t seem to have a place for, what should you do?  First, there isn’t a write-in space, but you might simply check off the closest topic you can find.  For example, you want to present about Mobile Inventory Management, but only find Mobile under BI (Business Intelligence), BITI (Business Integration Technology and Infrastructure), and maybe Customer Management, but not in Supply Chain Management where you might expect (I’d pick BITI).  We can sort this out once we have more details.  Second, ask for help if your topic doesn’t seem to have a home.  Email speakers@asug.com, or drop a comment below.

 

What’s next?  The schedule says the full abstract submission opens on December 1st.  You’ll have about 2 weeks to put the rest of your ideas [steps (3) through (5) at the top] into the system.  Then, proceed to step (6).

 

Questions?  No? So get cracking.

 

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5 Comments

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  1. Gretchen Lindquist
    Jim,
    I’m glad you posted this information; I hope it encourages more submissions. But I am not sure what the new process is really about or what it is supposed to prove. I submitted my “intent”, but I do not recall it asking me how many abstracts I intend to submit. In addition, without any indication of the topic, the program committee won’t have any clues as to how many of their “intendeds” plan to submit the same topic, or any particular “hot” topic. So if a particular track- say, Mobile Technologies – gets 25 notices of intent – you could eventually see 5 distinct abstract topics or 250, or almost none because they were mostly submitted in the wrong category, or none of the topics you really wanted. Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Gretchen

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  2. Susan Keohan
    I really encourage people to sign up via this survey – remember, it’s not your actual presentation (yet) but it helps us in the planning and allocation of sessions.

    Naturally, I expect a huge turnout of workflow sessions, probably categorized in the Integration, Middleware, and BPM category.

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