What to expect from the UK and Ireland SAP User Group conference Connect 2018

© SAP
© SAP

This year's user group conference will focus on 'influence is key', with S/4HANA transition, licensing and cloud platforms set to be key themes

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More than 900 SAP professionals are due to attend the UK and Ireland SAP User Group's annual conference at the ICC Birmingham between 11-13 November this year. Here's what attendees can expect from UKISUG Connect 2018.

Keynote speeches will be delivered by the user group's chairman Paul Cooper, executive board member at SAP Adaire Fox-Martin and rounded off by Ant Middleton, best known as the chief instructor in Channel 4 show 'SAS: Who Dares Wins' to talk about leadership.

The theme for this year's event, which marks 30 years of the UK and Ireland user group, is 'influence is key', with an agenda that focuses on helping delegates get the most from the SAP estate.

SAP has heritage of giving customers the opportunity to influence software development through its Influence and Adopt programme, and the User Group plays an important role in giving customers a voice.

"There are workshops on Sunday for the influencing team at SAP, complete with best practice advice for influencing and getting the most out of those influencing programmes," Craig Dale, chief executive of the UK and Ireland SAP User Group told Computerworld UK.

"We have an 'optimising your SAP' stream this year and that looks at how to get more out of what you are currently using," he added.

There will also be streams focused on SAP's recently released transformation navigator "to help look to the future and see what their move to S/4 looks like and easing that transition," Dale said. Cloud migration will of course be a hot topic, with hands-on sessions to help map these transitions out built into the two-day programme. SAP's new CRM product - C/4HANA - isn't featured prominently on the programme however.

Naturally licensing will be a topic of conversation again this year after SAP launched a new ERP pricing model back in April, including Tata Steel information security manager Brian Froom chairing specific sessions on the topic.

Read next: Demystifying the new SAP ERP pricing model

S/4HANA will also have a dedicated stream, with at least five customers taking to the stage to discuss their experiences implementing the next-generation ERP system.

More than 100 breakout sessions will also be taking place, covering areas such as digital transformation, artificial intelligence and S/4 HANA, compliance, user experience, supply chain, payroll and Business Objects analytics and reporting.

Customers due to speak include Jaguar Land Rover, BP, Boots, BUPA, Pladis and Birmingham City Council.

UKISUG Connect is open to all SAP customers, with discounted rates for member organisations. For more information visit the event website or follow @SAPUserGroup or the hashtag #UKISUGConnect on Twitter.

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