Summary of actions, outcome of the 4th Regional Roundtable Meeting with SAP

Posted by Eva-Maria Fahrer on 05/02/2020 16:10

Here is a short summary of actions, which will benefit our SBN members, from the 4th Regional Roundtable Meeting with SAP in Den Bosch, Netherlands, on January, 28th, 2020. Meetings are restricted to a few hours and the agenda is always a result of the joint input from the Northern Europe User Groups and our hosts, Brian Duffy, SAP’s President EMEA North and Angela Massey, SAP Head of the Customer Office.

Brian Duffy and the French and Luxembourg UserGroup representativesThe UK and Ireland UG, VNSG, Angela Massey and French UG

For me, the key purpose of these meetings is the chance to influence combined with the information updates.  You will find the key points and actions from this meeting in a summary at the end of this article.

We share the User Group and member challenges and SAP listens. This structured, two-way form of communication works well and provides a direct communication channel to the responsible SAP leadership.

For this meeting, the SBN focus was primarily on two topics:

1) Growth of our User Group/all User Groups
The topic is a follow up from the last meeting. SBN had growth in 2019 in the number of members and event participants partly from the improved collaboration with SAP Norway/Nordic/Global which the previous roundtable meetings have helped to establish. SBN will continue to focus on growth in 2020. At the same time, I'm convinced it is of great value for our members and our potential members, that we manage to create awareness of the importance of new technology and the free tools available from SAP. 

2) Lack of experience - finding experienced resources is a challenge
The total SAP landscape has become more complicated especially with the introduction of new software products during the last few years into the SAP portfolio and SAP’s focus on moving to the cloud. In addition, most customers have non-SAP products that they want to integrate into the landscape. On this topic, SBNs president Kolbjørn Havnes described the challenges Hydro had and have, in finding suitable resources/experts who understand the latest versions of the new landscape, the processes and implications of choices, which Hydro have to make during the transformation journey. 

Brian replied by sharing actions taken by SAP, and actions to be taken, to solve “the lack of experience" challenge. Brian said, the position and importance SAP systems have in the customer landscape makes the SAP journey special compared to software from other vendors. However, he clarified that SAP knows about the challenges customer have and will continue to support their customers through services and tools.

A new organisational change was shared by Brian, which is important for customers with large landscapes. Adaire Fox-Martin, SAP’s Executive Level Head of Global Customer Operations has accepted responsibility for the acquisitions (SuccessFactors, FieldGlass, Ariba etc). All acquired solutions, except for Concur and Qualtrics, have been moved to her Board area in SAP. In addition, all development of Success Factors, FieldGlass, Ariba etc has at the same time moved to Thomas Saueressig, SAP’s Chief Information Officer. 

My Executive summary, dated end November, shows this is in line with the target described as “OneSAP”.  Brian explained it has been important for SAP to ensure the DNA of the acquisitions remains and becomes a part of the SAP DNA. SAP is now at a point where  SuccessFactors, FieldGlass, Ariba etc have become integrated into the SAP organisation to ensure that the software, process and knowledge becomes integrated into the OneSAP. 

SBN will follow the result of and look forward to the positive influence of the organisational change where SuccessFactors, FieldGlass, Ariba etc have been moved to be under the same management.

Concur and Qualtrics will remain independent and report to Jennifer Morgan, Co-Chief Executive Officer (Co-CEO). To speed up the customer adoption of Qualtrics SAP will support the establishment of  User Groups in EMEA for the Qualtrics teams,  as Qualtrics does not currently have User Groups in this region.

Lead, Ignite and Thrive represent the “top 3” SAP strategies for 2020 and will be heard many times the upcoming year. The wording applies specifically to customers on the digital transformation journey to S/4 including all cloud deployments. 

To help achieve this many actions have been taken and Brian mentioned a few examples:
•    Cooperation with Microsoft and the Azure platform. It will be made possible to move from one Hyper Scaler provider to an other. 
•    Continued investment in local data centres to support the public sector and other customers demanding a local presence for their data. 
•    Diversity is in focus and the internal learning culture is to be strengthened. A nice, inclusive video was shown where “YouBelong” was the leading message. 
•    To ensure cloud products are not only bought, but also implemented by the customer, the internal reward program has been changed to include the implementation/support teams. 
•    The Customer First program has been changed in the area of Customer Engagement Executives (CEE). This role is now connected to the cloud products so a customer can have many CEEs. If this is the case, the CEEs will be exchanged for a Customer Success Executive (CSE). The CEE and CSE roles have only KPIs related to customer success not revenue.  The Account Manager role is not changed.

A new SAP gamified learning product is included in the toolset for digital transformation. SBN registered our interest for this game learning product. I hope you will see something fun coming out of this during the spring or at least during this year. The new learning product is related to the move to S/4 HANA and Saj Kumar, Head of S/4HANA MOVE - EMEA north shared the latest in respect of MOVE and the tools that are now available. In the MOVE toolbox, you will find Model Company, SAP Pathfinder and so on, which SAP have developed to make the journey to S/4HANA easier.

As of December, 31st 2019, S/4 HANA has 13.800 customers and 7000 of them are in production. Uwe Grigoleit, Senior Vice President with global responsibility for the GoToMarket of SAP S/4HANA presented these figures. The biggest customer database is now 49TB and there are 200,000 users in the largest installation. 

Uwe described license transformation as part of the move to S/4 HANA and there is an option to convert the existing contract and get a new, clean start as well as moving product by product or replacing obsolete products with new ones in several exchange programs. Uwe promised to put together a follow up webinar for User Group members.

All S/4HANA customers can have a SAP S/4HANA Regional Implementation Group (RIG) support team person assigned to them. Saj Kumar shared this information and he told us that these RIG teams contain people who have been guiding customers on their journey to SAP S/4HANA since November 2015 and have helped the first new SAP customers with their greenfield implementations. These teams are helping existing customers to convert their systems to SAP S/4HANA. The RIG teams will be highlighted in later articles.

The Experience Centre in the SAP Netherlands Office in Den Bosch (Hertogenbosch) is new and we received a guided tour. There is a fantastic black room where all the walls are screens. In this room it is possible to get a for you tailored story shown on the walls which makes the value of a S/4HANA project in your company visible. Pictures from the room in the top of this article and below you find the Experience centre welcome speach.


SBN had a meeting with the an EMEA manager responsible for SAP Learning Hub as a separate meeting organised by the Belgium User Group. During this meeting we learned a disturbing fact: 

All North Europe customers except the Norwegian have access to a very rebated price on SAP Learning Hub through their User Group. SBN has been under the impression Norway was too small and in our country we would not be able to reach the minimum licenses required. In discussions with the Finnish User Group, we understood that they have exceeded the same target by 33% even though Finland has the same population as Norway. SAP Learning Hub is a collection of all SAP learning products, all online courses as well as Face2Face courses, standardised presentation material and is the training material for certifications etc. SAP Customers can in other countries, purchase 10-30 SAP Learning Hub licenses for less than half the market price. To achieve this rebate, the SAP customer has to be a member of the User Group as this authorises the User Group to act as an authorised reseller of the product. 

Customers in all other Northern Europe countries have had this opportunity for many years. Why Norway as the only country in EMEA North to be excluded is upsetting and has to be changed at once!


•    SAP has a focus on ensuring available experience for End-To-End processes as part of OneSAP and SBN will follow this development
•    S/4HANA customers have the right to have a RIG support person assigned
•    A new CSE role has been developed, measured on a Customer Success KPI. This is for customers who have purchased many cloud products from SAP.
•    Tools to support the transformation to S/4HANA are in focus and have been improved. 
•    SBN will get access to a new gamified learning product
•    There is a large rebate on the SAP Learning Hub product not yet available in Norway but hopefully soon will be!

•    SBN will be observant of the experience level in the area of OneSAP in Norwegian projects to ensure it increases.
•    SBN will start a Qualtrics team with support from SAP.
•    SBN will offer its members an additional license webinar organised by Uwe Grigoleit.
•    SAP will give SBN access to a new gamified learning product 
•    SBN will offer its members a new gamified and fun meeting-form if the product is as good as described.
•    SBN will demand the rebated rates for SAP Learning Hub for it’s members

Eva-Maria FahrerArticle by me Eva-Maria Fahrer.
English language corrections made by Martin Brownsword.

Do you have comments or experiences?
Please get in touch with me.
Contact information em(at)  +47 922 52 539. 
Hilsen Eva-Maria Fahrer, CEO SBN-Adfahrer


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Tags: it, hana, projects, sap, sbn