Ruby Wax, SAP and the user group

She savaged OJ Simpson and Imelda Marcos, now she's working with SAP's customers

What does Ruby Wax know about ERP and SAP?

Whatever she knows now, she will know a whole lot more this autumn after providing a star turn and acting as facilitator at the UK and Ireland SAP User Group Conference.

Most of us either know Ruby Wax as a wicked comedienne or remember her devastating interviews with Imelda Marcos and OJ Simpson, to name just a few of her victims.

Alan Bowling, chairman of the SAP UK and Ireland User Group, won't say whether he is going to unleash Ms. Wax on the ERP giant's executives who always attend the traditionally packed annual conference.

Perhaps that was in the user group's mind when the comedienne was booked, but the significant changes at SAP in recent months mean the execs are unlikely to feel the full force of her tongue.

The ERP giant's decision to do a U-turn on the enterprise support price increases it was asking of its customers, together with wholesale boardroom changes at the company, have fundamentally altered SAP's relationship with its users.

For the past 18 months the UK and Ireland User Group has provided a mouthpiece and campaigning vehicle for disgruntled SAP customers, and this year's conference provides a crucial forum to discuss the changes and how the company and its customers can go forward together.

Alan Bowling said, "This year's conference is very much focused on helping organisations put a sparkle back into their business, after what has been a difficult 18 months for many people.

"We are very much concentrating on quality rather than quantity this year with a more focused programme. However, at the same time we have extended the event by and extra half day."

The user group has frozen prices at last year's level and is offering an early-bird discount for people who sign up before 30 June, of £285 for User Group members and from £400 for non-members for the three day event."

While the user group has traditionally appealed to IT professionals in large organisations, this year's conference will reflect SAP's drive into the SME market. "SAP is now not just for large businesses. It is being used by an increasing number of small businesses, so in recognition of this, all of our BusinessOne members will be entitled to a free day pass with their membership this year," said Bowling.

SAP UK & Ireland User Group Annual Conference 21-23 November 2010, >Manchester, Early Bird rate now available here .

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