I work for an SAP Business One Re Seller and have been actively promoting The SAP UK & Ireland User Group to my customers and it is part of our sales pitch to differentiate SAP from other providers. Recently though I have started to hear back some very encouraging reports from those that have joined The User Group and wanted to write this post to share some of the experiences.
SAP Business One is Sold, Implemented and Supported solely by the network of SAP Partners so the end user has no reason to have direct contact with SAP. Whilst most Partners are competent and knowledgeable about the product, most will charge the end user for any extra training or questions on how to do something. It has often been said that “You don’t know what you don’t know” and a lot of customers felt that they were using SAP Business One for a fraction of what it could actually do.
The SAP UK & Ireland User Group is an independent body who are close to but not affiliated with SAP. Their aim is to help users of SAP to share experiences with each other, provide a platform for members to influence SAP and be a channel for SAP to communicate to the users. They also provide a number of Special Interest Groups (SIG), the SAP Business One division have about 4 SIGs each year where users meet up, network, listen to presentations from SAP personnel and fellow SAP users and get some really good ideas for how to improve the way they work.
Preview of 2012 UKISUG Conference
Recently I have been very impressed with some of the Crystal Report work one of my SAP Business One customers has been getting involved with. This has been as a result of a recent SIG where one of the topics was Crystal Reports. Some of the attendees have swapped contact details and are now sharing information on “Best Practice” and helping each other with their own experiences.
One of the complaints from SME businesses are that they feel isolated when it comes to their software. It is functional but not much more and they lack any input for exciting or innovative ideas. With SAP and The User Group all of a sudden your business can now interact with other similar organisations and share ideas.
In summary, the SAP User Group provides a forum for SAP users to get together, learn from each other, and attend some valuable training and product information days. Basically it makes users feel part of a group rather than an isolated business. There are SAP User Groups the world over (just Google your country and SAP User Group) and get involved!