February 15, 2012 // By: Christoph Zeidler
Chairman Alan Bowling and Chief Executive Officer Craig Dale of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group spoke with SAP about user needs and next steps.
SAP.info: What is the primary mission of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group?
Alan Bowling: Collaboration – that’s what the user group is all about. It’s about bringing knowledge together and facilitating useful exchanges. We’re also starting to act as the official mouthpiece of the regional member organizations, which number around 620 following the merger with the SAP BusinessObjects User Group UK, or BOUG.
Can you tell us about the merger of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group and the Business Objects User Group UK?
Alan Bowling: The merger got the nod from the BusinessObjects User Group UK last October, but there were legal issues to work out in what was essentially the merger of two companies. We spent the last few months handling those issues, and as of January 1, 2012, it’s official.
The Business Objects User Group will operate as a standalone group within the UK & Ireland SAP User Group – a user group within a user group, if you will. The BOUG will continue to provide a community and services to members using Business Objects and run the special interest groups, whether or not they use other SAP products.
Craig Dale: It’s an exciting time. Coming together benefits both sides of the table. For the UKISUG, the merger brings in a lot of Business Objects expertise. Members can network with Business Objects users, affording them a deeper understanding of the Business Objects toolset and how it can benefit their business.
On the BOUG side, the merger will provide administrative support, enabling members to enhance their knowledge and understanding, and give them a say in product development for the first time through working with SUGEN (SAP User Group Executive Network), which has access to the product development side of Business Objects as well as the mainstream SAP products.