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UK & Ireland SAP User Group conference to kick off this weekend

Computerworld UK spoke to the group’s chief executive Craig Dale about what members can expect

The UK & Ireland SAP User Group conference is set to kick off this Sunday in Manchester, where delegates can expect a range of briefings and workshops, over half of which will be delivered by SAP customers.

Computerworld UK spoke to UK & Ireland SAP User Group CEO, Craig Dale, about what members can expect from this year's event.

"The overall strapline of the event is 'no superpowers, just knowledge, networking and technology'. It is this that we have built the whole event around and overall I think we have more than 70 hours of knowledge built into the programme," he said.

"We have got workshops that we are running for the first time this year, and we have included those free of charge for delegates to add further value."

Workshops will be run by the likes of Constellation Research's principal analyst and CEO, Ray Wang, where he will be talking about licensing optimisation.

Dale said: "We have heard quite a bit about licensing from our members this year."

A recent SAP User Group survey found that some 95 percent of SAP users believe that the company's software licensing is 'overly complicated'. The survey questioned 336 SAP users across 150 SAP user organisations in the UK & Ireland.

"What we are trying to do is give back some value to the members, where other elements of the agenda include getting more value from SAP support. One of the things I come across time and time again is that there is a lot of free value add available out there from SAP that customers just don't know about," said Dale.

"One of those things is helping them to maximise their payments on maintenance - we have got SAP running a workshop with regards to that."

He added: "My view on the world and what I'm hearing from members is that despite what government spin doctors are telling us, it's still very tough out there. Everybody is looking to get the most value from their pound of spend, and I think that's the key thing that we want to deliver from this event."

Dale was also keen to point out that the event won't just be focusing on SAP's future technologies, but also how customers can extract the most value out of their current implementation.

"We will be looking at the new technology side as part of the theme - HANA, cloud, mobile etc. What's happening out there, how it can be leveraged. But you know, if you don't have the money at the moment to invest, the programme's also about extracting more value from your current investment in SAP," he said.


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