SAP customers hear from us all the time. But what they really find most valuable is having the opportunity to talk to one another.
As a former customer I participated in SAP Customer Round Table events regularly before joining SAP. I couldn’t wait to hear what others were doing in the user adoption space. While there were always SAP experts on hand to get the conversation started, what I was most excited about was talking to others in similar roles to mine. I wanted to hear how they were tackling getting the most out of their SAP solutions. Some of the people I met as a customer I’m still friends with today.
Recently I attended SAP-hosted Customer Round Tables starting in the SAP Atlanta office and then going on to the SAP Houston office.
This year’s events were every bit as engaging as the ones I attended as a customer.
The focus of the round tables was around SAP Enable Now, and we couldn’t wait to hear how customers were using it not only to build training content, but to create programs around adoption of SAP solutions while leveraging the advanced in-application help.
At the beginning of each session, Jesse Bernal asked the question: What are you looking to take away from today? Jesse is a Senior Solution Advisor for SAP, and like me, a former customer. Within minutes the pens started flying and sticky notes held high so the SAP team could take them to the whiteboard.
Questions ranged from simple tips to leverage SAP Enable Now while building a training program, to how-to questions about creating simulations. By far the most common question, the one most customers there had in mind, was, “Can you provide lessons learned from a user adoption standpoint when it comes to moving to SAP S/4HANA?” Not only could the SAP experts in the room give them examples, other customers who have already implemented SAP S/4HANA were quick to provide tips ranging from “start your organizational change management program early” to “leverage your super users to deliver training.”
Next, SAP Enable Now Expert Dirk Manuel led a discussion on customer success stories. Dirk has extensive experience in working with customers implementing SAP and has literally written books on SAP Enable Now.
Finishing out the afternoon, SAP Partner and Adoption Expert, Tammie Pinkston, shared her passion for working with customers to define change and help ensure the greatest return on their SAP investment.
When we plan a customer round table event, the most important thing for us to remember as SAP is that it’s not about us. This is a time where we become the bridge between customer challenges and customer solutions and letting them share their journeys. We start the day helping to set the tone. We answer questions, we provide insight into what we see, and then we listen and let customers talk.
What else did we hear? Well, for starters, customers said:
They like the format. They didn’t feel like they were being presented to, but rather, they felt they were part of the discussion.
Knowing a bit about what the future holds for SAP Enable Now was exciting, and they couldn’t wait to take the news back to their end-user training programs.
They loved the networking opportunity, and in fact, it was a customer who suggested that a sign-up sheet go around so those who wanted to share an email address to stay in touch with the group could.
This morning the first post I saw on LinkedIn was a comment on a story Jesse Bernal posted earlier this week about the Round Tables. The comment was from a customer, and read, “This was an awesome event for the SAP Enable Now Community! Great discussion and information! I highly recommend attending a round-table. Thank you, Jesse Bernal, Dirk Manuel, Tammie Pinkston, and SAP for the invaluable opportunity!”
I couldn’t have said it better, so I’ll let the comment speak for itself. What I will say is that we’ll be rolling out more of these events to other regions over the coming months. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to participate.
About Claudia. I lead a team of Training and Adoption Demand Generation professionals. In my SAP journey, I was a consultant who implemented SAP from and Organizational Change Management perspective, an SAP customer who built adoption and sustainment programs, and an SAP Adoption Expert who talked to customers about how to get the most of their SAP solutions. If you have comments or questions, please leave a message below.