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“Great moments are born from great opportunity.”
That’s what coach Herb Brooks said to the 1980 United States ice hockey team in the locker room, as he prepared them to take the ice and, eventually, defeat a Soviet team that had long been an unbeatable powerhouse.
We’ve had lots of great moments at ASUG over the past couple of years. I like to think back to Annual Conference 2011, when I introduced a new overall strategy to the community. I can see today that it is working. Several internal ASUG benchmarks demonstrate how we’re providing more value to members. For example, the number of webcasts increased nearly 45 percent from 2011 to 2012, and year over year attendance jumped by a whopping 79 percent. The number of face-to-face meetings among community members and our chapters increased nearly 10 percent, and attendance grew more than 20 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Those increases in attendance tell me that we are the place to be—more and more people are joining our community, and we’ve grown: We have a total of 140,000 ASUG members in the community today.
We’ve continued to grow our Executive Exchange, our forum for C-levels to come together and discuss their challenges, in terms of members and influence. The C-levels participating have gained unparalled and unfiltered insight into how to thrive with SAP’s new strategies, how to deal with common challenges presented by mergers and acquisitions, and more. We’re continuing to address critical SAP areas, such as innovation and operational excellence, with our flagship programs: Infinite ROI and Integrated Enterprise. We also continue to enhance our new programs—such as the professional development training provided by Leadership 2.0.
SAP is listening to us. We see it in our involvement in the Customer Connection and Customer Engagement Initiatives, both of which have enabled our members to gain improvements in the software they can use today, as well as to influence future product direction.
The unmatched dedication and enthusiasm possessed by our volunteers, members and partners is on display in everything you do. We know that our core ASUG events and offerings could not happen without that spirit of the greater ASUG community.
It is therefore fitting that 2012 drew to a close with the launch of the new ASUG.com on December 10. Finally, you have a website that is worthy of the work you do. Improvements abound: our search functionality actually allows you to find what you’re searching for, and 20 years of your content is finally catalogued in a way that is accessible; navigation is much easier and more user-friendly; and sharing content and connecting with the members who created that content is also easier.
If you haven’t been there, I would encourage you to go there today: Use the “Walk Me Thru” tool on the website to help you get a sense of the layout and new functionality. (Our team has also created lots of other documentation to help you navigate the changes, which can be found here: New asug.com Resource Library.)
Our cumulative ASUG efforts were rewarded with recognition in 2012—a Stevie Award and three American Business Awards are evidence of our success in driving a strong and lean organization that is value-driven and customer-oriented.
I don’t expect that you’ll slow down in 2013, and don’t expect us at headquarters to, either. From the ASUG staff you can expect an even greater level of dedication and support than you received in 2012. You can expect that we’ll be introducing new services and programs to enrich ASUG events and deliver more value to members and partners:
- exciting announcements coming in May at our Annual Conference event
- new features for ASUG.com rolled out during the year
- new enhancements and design for ASUGNews.com
- more mobile solutions to enhance event participation and satisfaction
- more content on HANA, analytics and cloud to make our members innovative and help them stay ahead of the game
I’m so excited for us to meet in Atlanta at the Volunteer Meeting at the end of this month, where you’ll hear more about what’s in store for 2013.
I see the coming year as an opportunity to take ASUG to a place few would have believed possible only a few years ago. The opportunities will be great—and so too will the moments.