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The Pennsylvania ASUG chapter event is big. Sure, it is one of many chapters that hold specific American SAP User Group (ASUG) events, but, let me tell you, first hand, PA_Chapter is big and popular among its constituents.

When I joined ASUG as point of contact from SAP in 2013 for Customer Management Communities Special Interest Group, SIG  it gave me an opportunity to engage closely with SAP customers and partners alike. ASUG east chapters covered many topics; however, Customer SIG topics were at a low profile, and I was unable to find anything on it–period.  So, my thought was to bring the Customer content to the east ASUG.

With that in mind, I set out to include the Customers Management SIG (Special Interest Group) and invite CEC customers and partners. It started as an idea but at the ASUG planning meeting in discussion with the Special Interest Group leadership team, this idea turned into an action plan. The plans rapidly turned into a tangible program with support from the PA chapter. Even faster, rooms were reserved, invites were sent out and Agenda was in place.

Jumping into the New SAP CRM

The Customer, Engagement and Commerce   CEC  portfolio that were brought to the PA ASUG event included: 1. Complete portfolio of Customer Engagement and Commerce including cloud for Customer, Hybris and on-premise, 2. Customer stories – Day and Zimmermann and Veeco Instruments and 3. Rapid Deployment Portfolio.

SAP CEC leadership supported the event full steam. Keith Hontz, (GVP, Strategic Accounts, Customer Engagement & Commerce) was executive sponsor along with Scott Druckenmiller (Head of North America Outbound Product Management, Customer Engagement and Commerce) and myself. Scott Druckenmiller presented the solution portfolio and product road map. The PA ASUG members, who are also SAP customers, were glued to the presentation and amazed to see the latest CRM functionality. The phrase heard during and after the session was “It is not your old SAP.”  SAP solutions have taken a big leap.

There were three Partners who supported the Customer track: Sandeep Arora(COO) and Kirith Chaterjee (VP) from Knack Systems, Kevin Kelly (MP) Jason Roberts and Neal Shact (CEO) CommuniTech Services.

Customer stories for Cloud for Customer (C4C)

Day and Zimmermann

  Day and Zimmermann shared their experience of the Cloud for Customer implementation (8-10 weeks). My conversation started with Day and Zimmermann back in April, when I was very enthusiastically sharing the focus of SAP Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) to be on integration in 2014 to support the hybrid deployments with RDS for Cloud for Customer integration with ECC and/or CRM and RDS for Hybris integration with ECC or CRM.   Bernard Greene from Day and Zimmermann let me finish and he very patiently said, “That is great Seema, but you know we are cutting the cord and moving to SAP’s Cloud for Customer (C4C) from on-premise, so no hybrid implementation for us”.  I was speechless (which happens sometimes) and asked him to share his experience in how they reached this decision, and specifically, details about the feedback from users.  Fast forward to September. The final story was shared by Jeff Lincow and Mark Frumento in the ASUG event in Newtown Square, PA, last week: CRM in the Cloud Their success story paves the way for customers looking to empower their sales team with an efficient Sales solution while simplifying their sales process.   IMG_1299.JPG

Veeco Instruments

Another customer story that resonated very well is Veeco’s journey to SAP Cloud for Customer shared by Jake Izikson (Senior Director).

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Veeco implemented their Cloud for Customer solution with Knack Systems. The Knack Systems’ implementation went live smoothly and in record time.  Their story is amazing. They were in the middle of their SAP CRM on-premise implementation and then they saw the SAP Cloud for Customer solution. They stopped the CRM on-premise implementation and switched to C4C solution.  When asked why they did not select C4C in the beginning, guess what Jake said?  “They were not aware that SAP has a cloud solution!”   This is not the first time Iheard a CRM customer say that, even though cloud trends and news is in the IT and business press on a regular basis There’s just too much news and IT is in the midst of a major change in many directions—Internet of Things, mobility, user experiences, and the cloud.  It is clear that the task at hand is to share SAP’s strategic direction; SAP is a cloud company, powered by SAP HANA with our customers, prospects and partners.

This event turned out to be a true demonstration of what makes a successful community event. Customers, partners and SAP colleagues came together to openly discuss solutions and tactics to solve business problems that they all face in today’s evolving world of Customer Engagement.

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