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Author's profile photo Mark Richardson

[Recap] ASUG Ontario Chapter Meeting (Feb.12th, 2013) at Maple Leaf Foods


On Tuesday, February 12th, the ASUG Ontario Chapter held an amazing meeting of the SAP User Community in the Greater Toroto Area.

We were hosted by Maple Leaf Foods Inc., at their state-of-the-art ThinkFOOD Forum in Mississauga, Ontario.

Over 130 participants (from Technical/Business Staff to CIOs) were registered for the all-day event from 80 different companies in the Public and Private sector. We even had participants travel to the Greater-Toronto-Area (GTA) event from Montreal, Ottawa, London (ON), and Ohio to take part in a full-day of ASUG learning and networking.


The breakfast networking session was standing-room only as Gilles Smith, Director of Learning and Development (IS) – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (and ASUG Ontario Chapter Chair) welcomed the participants to the ThinkFOOD Forum and provided a road-map of the days events..


The morning keynote was an insightful in-depth presentation of the “Maple Leaf Foods SAP Journey” presented by Jeff Hutchinson (Chief Information Officer) and Andreas Liris (VP – Information Solutions). The size and speed of the International SAP deployment that they discussed was an impressive display of a comprehensive Business and Technology solution which has transformed the way that Maple Leaf employees operate around the globe.

NOTE : The PDF slides will be available to ASUG Members from the ASUG webiste in a few days –


Then the whole Information Solutions team from Maple Leaf Foods was on the “hot-seat” for an extended Question and Answer session from members of the ASUG Ontario community. Human Resources, HANA, Analytics, Training and User Enablement we all topics of much discussion and debate. The Q and A was so popular that it could have probably gone on for the rest of the day.

After a recap of ASUG Ontario / HQ activities from the local Leadership Team, and some Leadership 2.0 Soccer skills – Chapter attendees enjoyed a wonderful lunch of tasty Maple Leaf Food products, and planned their break-out activities for the afternoon sessions.


SAP Business Objects BI4 and HANA sessions were the most popular and were held in the Main Auditorium, with the help of SAP Corporate representitives from the Toronto office and the Newtown Square HQ. Lots of great questions and feedback – including specific “Real World” advice from the technical leadership at Maple Leaf Foods who have implemented both of those tool-sets.HR_Breakout.jpg

The round-tables on SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), SAP Success Factors / Human Resources, SAP Super-User Enablement and SAP Solution Manager broke-out into some of the over-flow meeting rooms at the ThinkFOOD Forum. It was a great way for attendees to focus on the “Real World” use of SAP tools, and share common experiences, challenges and best-practices on those topics.


We wrapped-up the day with a recap of upcoming ASUG Ontario activities (Next meeting in early-June 2013 / Golf Tournament – Sept. 12th), and a raffle for some SAP Press ( ) book vouchers drawn from attendees who completed their Feeedback Surveys.


It was an amazing ASUG Ontario event, with enthusiastic feedback from all of the participants…and it was only possible because of the HUGE commitment of Jeff Hutchinson, Gilles Smith – and the whole Information Solutions team from Maple Leaf Foods. Thank you for your support of the ASUG Ontario community!

Stay tuned to our ASUG Ontario twitter stream for updates on future events –

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      Nice recap, Mark.  Great job with the pictures and kudos to the ASUG Ontario chapter.


      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Hi Mark,

      It's great to see such a crowd - in Canada, in February! 
      ASUG local events continue to be a big draw and it looks like your Chapter put on a great event.

      Which, by the way, is FREE to ASUG members, right??


      Author's profile photo Mark Richardson
      Mark Richardson
      Blog Post Author

      Susan -

      Yes, once your Company is an ASUG Member then anyone with an e-mail account from that Company's domain can get an ASUG account - and register on-line for our LIVE events in Toronto.

      Membership details can be found on-line :




      Author's profile photo Pedro Cardoso
      Pedro Cardoso

      It was a very engaging, relevant and well thought out event which far exceeded my expectations as a first-time ASUG meeting attendee.  I have been to a myriad of other (non ASUG) "user group events" and I must say, this was a model of efficiency and execution.

      With the caliber of speakers and attendees, coupled with the superb facilities, feel that we could have easily had a 2 day event with all the rich dialog and variety of use cases different companies were bringing up.

      Kudos to the team!