Craig Dale, chief executive of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, has said that it is a shame that SAP has decided not to host its annual Sapphire Now event in Europe this year.
However, he softened the blow for UK customers by announcing SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe as a keynote speaker at the User Group conference in November.
SAP announced last week that instead of its Sapphire event in Madrid, it would have a 'renewed focus on dedicated customer-centric events' for its strategy in 2013. SAP is planning to expand its SAP Forum events in order to compensate for the loss of Sapphire.
It said that the local Forum events are "more relevant and easier to participate in for SAP customers, more geographically relevant for SAP partners and more supportive of individual SAP market units".
However, although keen to highlight the benefits of the User Group's annual event, Dale was still disappointed with the cancellation of the event.
"It's a shame that there won't be a SAPPHIRE NOW event in Madrid this year, as many users have relied on it in the past to hear the latest from senior management at SAP," he said.
"However, in recent years the cost of travelling and attending the event has become challenging for a lot of people and we've increasingly seen users looking to UK-based events from SAP and it partners to get information."
He added: "We are delighted to announce that SAP's co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe will be our keynote speaker at our annual User Group conference in Birmingham this November. It promises to be our biggest and best conference yet, providing users in the UK and Ireland with the opportunity to hear from SAP's experts and its partners on the latest innovations. While at the same time it gives them chance to network with their peers and speak to them regarding how they are using SAP technology."
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