Count ASUG amongst those who pledge to do better in the New Year.
New CEO Bridgette Chambers said the organization is making improvements to its communities and special interest groups that will “get us back to the core of what’s made our brand strong,” including efforts in education, networking and influence. Chambers promised more details in January, when they will reveal the initiative to their members.
“[We] took a look at the value ASUG members were getting in the past and decided it needed to improve,” Chambers said.
ASUG provides services for its members in three main areas – education, networking and influence. In this dismal economy, it’s difficult to underestimate the importance of networking and education. Many ASUG members I’ve spoken with say it’s the best part of the organization.
But it’s good to hear Chambers say there will also be a renewed focus on influence. Chambers said ASUG’s influence efforts will include focusing on the integration of NetWeaver into the SAP Business Objects stack.
There’s line of thought out there that ASUG hasn’t been as good of an advocate for its members as some of the European users groups, particularly when it came to the SAP Enterprise Support affair. European user groups challenged SAP, while ASUG initially responded by holding a series of webcasts for its customers about the new support offering.
But the SAP Enterprise Support affair revealed just how influential user groups can be. And it seems to have drawn a renewed focus at SAP which will encourage closer work with its customers.
With SAP’s new focus on agile development, there are new opportunities for more customer involvement in software development. SAP has lofty goals in 2010 of using the cloud, in-memory technology and mobile platforms to develop more software. Through ASUG, customers can help make sure SAP’s delivering on the product roadmaps it promised.