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I travel quite a bit and when I have to fly United Airlines. I always enjoy reading United's Hemisphere Magazine and the article each month focused on " Three Perfect Days" in a different city each month. The premise of this monthly article is that if you have only three days to spend in a city, what are the must do things that you see, where should you eat and and where you should stay.

It's with this in mind that the focus of this blog is " Three Perfect Days for SAP Utility Customers " at the SAP for Utilities 2015 event in Huntington Beach California. This great event is now in its 8th year.  I will try to share with you as a "SAP for Utilities " event veteran attendee why you should go to this event and how to make the most of it.

This event is where the SAP Utility North American Community gathers once a year to connect with each other, learn from each other and discuss common issues and opportunities focused on driving more value from their SAP investments today and tomorrow.

The intent of this post is to help share with SAP Utility customers information about this great event that I have attended every year for the past seven years. I am very passionate about our North American Utility community. I have participated both as an attendee and as a  speaker and will definitely be attending this year in what is one of my favorite conference locations and hotels Hyatt Huntington Beach. It's an amazing venue.

This is definitely " the event "  for SAP Utility Customers to attend not just from North American but from anywhere else in the world.

It was back in 2006 that ASUG and its Utility Community first approached SAP about the need for a focused SAP Utility Event in North America. We worked with head of SAP's Utility group back then Klaus Heimann to lay the foundation for this event. We brought in the Eventful Group to produce and run this event. This has been a great collaboration over the years between all three parties ASUG, SAP and the Eventful Group. It's been a collaboration that has created one of the very best conferences that I have attended - the content, the people, the overall conference experience is first rate.

Here is one of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford and for me it really represents our SAP Utility North American Community and what we have achieved since our first event back in 2008. We continue to come together every year, focused as an industry to work together to make our businesses successful and really learn from each other.

This event has been held at locations all across North America and each and every year attendance has grown. Each conference has had its own unique theme over the years.

This years theme is all about " Achieving the Ultimate State of Readiness ".

Our location for the 8th SAP for Utilities North American Event is beautiful Huntington Beach California from Sept 13 to 16, 2015

Hyatt Huntington Beach will be the place where we will come together as a group to help each other tackle our Utility challenges, see new possibilities and to learn how to squeeze more value form our SAP investments.

From my experience as both this event has evolved and as our SAP Utility Community has evolved, I see these as four key outcomes for attendees of this event year over year.

There is a quote that I can relate to for our event  " All of Us are Smarter than One of Us " . We have the who's who of the SAP Utilities ecosystem at this event to help each other. All coming together in Huntington Beach California for three perfect days for Utility customers.

In addition to the session rooms at the conference hotel, the main hub for networking is on the exhibit floor. This is the place to go to network with your peers and get answers to your burning questions from the experts onsite. It's where most of the connections happen and lasting friendships start.

Stepping back for a minute, how does this event come together and how do we get such great content every year. Here is how. In preparation for this event The Eventful Group conducts an in-depth survey with numerous utility industry ecosystem stakeholders. From analysts and media pundits, to SAP visionaries and respected solution providers, thought-leaders from multiple areas to ASUG Utility SIG volunteers, all are invited to share their insights. The Eventful Group also did a multi-city tour in February 2015, meeting face-to-face with numerous customers to discuss their biggest challenges, concerns and pain points. This resulted in a research report which contains the year 2015 Hot Topics list in detail coupled with the voice of actual SAP utility customers and users, resulting in 2015 SAP for Utilities North American Conference Program.  It's a lot of work but based in attendee feedback from the attendee evaluations its worth it.

Our SAP for Utilities Conference gets more impressive every year. This program was put together with the assistance of a Utility Advisory Committee that was made up of SAP Utility Customers and ASUG Utility Community Leaders.

We will be talking about a lot of different topics over three days as you can see from this word cloud that was pulled together based on the titles of sessions at the event. There is no shortage of learning session and opportunities for discussions around these topics.

One of the highlights every year is the great group of keynotes that we pull together and this year is no exception. These keynotes are not to be missed !

As a special bonus for this years event all of the Wednesday half day workshops are free to all registered attendees. These indepth half day sessions cover a wide range of topics. I am very excited to be leading the workshop " SAP Technology Platform Demystified: Making it Happen With Strategy & Architecture " along with some great SAP Platform and Utility experts. Another workshop that I think you will find very interesting is " IoT in Utilities: Driving Value from IT & Convergence", one of my focus areas at ASUG is IoT, if I was not leading another session this one would also at be top of my list to attend.

For the past few years we have had meetups with Utility Enterprise Architect's at SAP for Utilities, these have been small informal sessions. We will plan on doing the same again this year. If you an Enterprise Architect,  more information will be made available prior to the event about these opportunities to connect with your peers.

We will have 39 sponsors and exhibitors onsite this year. I tell many customers to think of this,  not just as a chance to get all the leading SAP Utility Partners in one place at one time to meet with them, but its also an opportunity for free consulting onsite. Its your chance to talk to these experts and our speakers to get your questions answered.

Here are some of tips from one of the veterans of this event. Henry Bailey who heads up Utilities for SAP Globally has been to every one of our SAP for Utility events since this beginning. These are some of his words of wisdom to help you get the most value from the event. He has his top SAP Utility experts onsite to help you and to listen to you. Don't miss the opportunity to talk to his people onsite and at the SAP booth.

These five tips summarize my own personal perspective about maximizing value from the event, my key tip is to be present in the moment at the event. Don't get distracted by your mobile device all the time doing emails or texting. Allow you self to be present to soak up all the knowledge you can and get great ideas to improve your ROI from SAP software.

My last tip is from a blog post by Seth Godin, I am a big Seth Godin fan and highly recommend subscribing to his blogs. I like this phrase from his blog " Drafting works because, right in front of you is proof you can go  faster ".  This also applies to SAP for Utilities 2015 , we have the proof at the event as your will see with our great content and experts at the event, that you can go faster and you can find the right people to follow to take your business to new levels.

We are very excited about this event that is fast approaching and the collaboration that has happened and the hard work that has gone into pulling event this together with ASUG, SAP and Eventful Group.

I want to leave you with one thought from a Deloitte article that I read on the subject of Talent Management that applies to this event

" No matter how many smart people you have within your organization. there are far more smart people outside your organization "

We have brought a lot of smart people for you in one place for  " Three Perfect Days for SAP Utilities Customers "  at SAP for Utilities 2015 in September.  I hope to see you in Huntington Beach.

If you have any questions about this event feel free to post a comment on this blog or send me an email

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