ASUG Conference – Useful or not?
I want to reflect a little on ASUG here if I may… For this year’s conference I handed in 5 solid abstracts (at least that was my opinion) covering some new technologies in the Supply Chain area that we wanted to share with the user community. I just received my 5th letter back from ASUG. 4 outright rejections and 1 alternate selection (so read – rejection). I was OK with that, although I know there were sessions I proposed that users that I work with wanted to see…
1 day after receiving these rejections I got an email from ASUG the day after the last one offering a guaranteed speaking slot for Associate Members which most implementation partners are, all we had to do was contact the account rep. i.e. We have to now pay to speak at ASUG.
I thought that this sounded a little weird so I contacted some folks at SAP to get their thoughts on the matter. The response was similar. In the Supply Chain space I heard that a department had several abstracts submitted across 4 or 5 resources and all were rejected but 1. And this was SAP…
Reading between the lines I guess ASUG only wants users speaking and all partners (including SAP) to pay to have their say. I understand the need for a money generating business model but I’m not sure this is going to lead to anything good (once again, in my opinion).
In general (and certainly there are exceptions) users of SAP have experience based on the 1 project they implemented covering the 1 set of circumstances / issues they encountered. This is useful information but is it more or less relevant than getting that same update from a system integrator that implemented the same scenario 10 times over for several clients and encountering many more issues? In my experience, I have also found a reluctance, from the clients side, to actually stand up and talk about their experience. Public speaking is still a challenge to some folks and although it’s often a common trait for consultants in order for them to perform their job, clients don’t have that same need.
These are just me thoughts but if on the one hand you are making participation at ASUG more difficult for the folks that have useful information and are willing to share it, vs. on the other hand, forcing users to step up and speak publicly on the piece that they worked on then are the attendees getting the best available product? IMO the answer is no. ASUG should be focused on delivering good, relevant content to users of SAP so that they can see all the ways it can be used out there. In many cases that message can be more adequately delivered by the implementer and not the client itself. Once again, I’m not taking anything away from those clients who have delivered many successful talks at ASUG, it’s just that we are only realizing half the potential by shutting out the partners.
ASUG may continue to play a role for clients in the future but it may well just be used as a “project thank you” where you send your team to go hook up with those vendors that are attending SAPPHIRE to experience the ASUG party!!!!
I don’t believe I am alone in this thinking, as I know many folks, including SAP folks, that would rather support SAP Insider conferences because they seem to take more ownership around providing a quality product, from whomever can deliver that message, to their attendees. It just so happens that this week SAP Insider is in Vegas so I’ll see you there and in May we’ll see you in Nice, France. Unfortunately you won’t be seeing me at ASUG – Although I make a big assumption that you wouldn’t mind seeing me 😆
I would like to get your thoughts around this topic… Is ASUG going the right way or not and if not then what can they do to better the product they are delivering. Trying to keep it constructive here.