Student Simran

December 20, 2023, by aczht

Students gain valuable insights into SAP at UKISUG Connect 2023

What is SAP?

SAP (Systems Applications and Products (in Data Processing)) is one of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes, developing solutions that facilitate effective data processing and information flow across organisations. Nottingham University Business School offers various SAP certification paths to students. The most relevant path aligned with the functional nature of our degree courses would be offered to students to enhance their studies. SAP is an internationally recognised professional qualification which can give students an advantage in a competitive job market.

UKISUG Connect 2023 

UKISUG Connect is the largest annual gathering of SAP professionals from across the UK and Ireland. With over 1000 SAP customers, experts, partners and professionals in attendance, it’s the key event for all SAP users, with informative keynotes, engaging breakout sessions, a range of workshops and an exhibition hall of over 70 SAP partners. 

A group of students from the Nottingham University Business School attended the event in Birmingham in November 2023, enabling them to explore the vast world of SAP, connect with industry professionals, and gain valuable insights into the field.

Find out how students benefitted from attending the conference and the impact the experience, and knowing more about SAP, had on their career goals and perspectives:

Fraser Street:

Fraser StreetThe day was amazing and opened my eyes to not only how big SAP is, but also how many industries you can work in whilst working with SAP. Speakers also highlighted how important an SAP Certification is in making you stand out from other young talent.

Attending enabled me to build my network and get my name out there which is what I had always struggled figuring out how to do. The day also gave me insights into placements and internships. I know other students who potentially found placements directly because of this event. 

I’d really recommend attending the event to other students to boost your CV.

Harry Garbutt:

student Harry Garbutt

Harry Garbutt

I went to the conference with a very open mind not knowing what to expect. I arrived and was excited straight away. There were endless stalls and events to attend with interesting activities and we started networking straight away, asking people about companies. Over the day we developed a strategy to introduce ourselves, what we were doing at the event and our knowledge levels of SAP. This allowed us to gain insight into their businesses and jobs without having to understand the technical side of SAP.

We attended a talk on Vendor Invoice Management with OpenText. I learnt a lot about how add-ons of SAP are used and created. Laing O’Rourke focussed on change management with a six-month project of SAP VIM for the company. It was really interesting to learn about how a professional SAP project was executed pinpointing some of the mistakes they made and how they learnt from them to achieve a successful outcome. It was also interesting to hear questions from people in businesses or CEOs with examples of their companies and the responses of the SAP professionals.

We carried on walking around the exhibition hall and talking to people at different stalls. There were some fun games such as a racing car simulator, a reaction time game and a buzz wire game. At the end of the event, I ended up winning the buzz wire game which meant I won a speaker!

I attended another talk, SAP skills and talent, addressing the skills gap, hosted by Lindsey Rowe who is the head of careers at SAP. It was really interesting to hear her talk about hiring and future talent in the industry from a business point of view.

The SUGFest ball in the evening was incredible and allowed us to network in a less formal environment than during the day. It was a black-tie event with entertainment such as a comedy club, casino and two different bands playing in different rooms. I spoke to lots of people I had met at the exhibition hall which allowed me to gain a better insight into what they do and get lots of advice.

Overall, I practiced and developed my networking skills which proved to be successful, learnt about SAP and the scale of the company and what they do in the world, and changed my viewpoint on my future career aspirations. After the event I applied to the SAP industry placement as I think it is something I would like to go into and found very interesting.

Mirza Faisal

student Mirza Faisal

Mirza Faisal

I was amazed by the scale of the conference. The stalls showcased companies reliant upon SAP for their business operations. The exhibits showcased not only the widespread utilisation of SAP but also introduced me to innovative extensions crafted by third-party developers, aimed at enhancing efficiencies within the SAP framework.

I had conversations with various companies, including Qualitest, Avalara and OpenText which were enlightening, providing unique insights into the multifaceted applications and integrations of SAP across industries.

The networking sessions further underscored the significance of SAP in the professional landscape. Conversations with industry experts highlighted the pivotal role SAP plays and the promising career opportunities it opens up. The SUGFest black-tie evening event was amazing and a well-rounded experience for all participants.

I find myself genuinely amazed by the depth and breadth of SAP’s influence. Huge thanks to Andrew Callaghan for opening the door to the vast world of SAP.

Simran Verma Singh:

Student Simran

Simran Verma Singh

Attending the SAP User Group Conference, UKISUG Connect 2023, was a transformative experience with insightful conversations and lasting impressions. From exploring the strategic use of SAP software for UK business growth to enjoying the energetic atmosphere of the SUGFest ball, the event significantly influenced my professional path.

The keynote by UKISUG Chair Paul Cooper addressed SAP’s recent suggestion favouring cloud-based S/4HANA users for the latest innovation. His insights revealed the confusion among on-premise enthusiasts. Survey results showed that 79% of S/4HANA adopters preferred on-premise or hosted deployments, highlighting a significant contrast with SAP’s suggestion.

A recurring theme of accelerating S/4HANA deployments resonated in sessions, with attendees expressing enthusiasm for standardised processes and future AI opportunities. This showcased the industry’s commitment to innovation and maximising SAP technologies’ transformative power.

Another impactful session addressed bridging the skill gap between fresh graduates and company recruits which featured inspiring young talents, particularly inspiring young women, sharing how they joined SAP and navigated their careers.

Networking opportunities were a highlight, including discussions with professionals like Gareth Ryan, James Blackmore, and Kate Waterton from EY. These conversations broadened perspectives and opened doors to potential opportunities with EY.

Discussions with industry leaders, such as Laura Redhead Birch-Man Consulting and Stuart Browne of Resulting Ltd, focused on bridging skill gaps and simplifying IT challenges. Conversations with Lindsey Rowe from SAP provided valuable insights into opportunities for both graduates and experienced professionals, showcasing growth potential within the company and the broader SAP partner talent initiative.

Engaging with Thibault Chanas from Oxya Consulting, Andrew Wilson, James Baldwin from Altier Consulting, and Guilherme Ludtke from Panaya unveiled diverse applications of SAP software in addressing niche industry pain points. These interactions not only enriched my understanding of the SAP landscape but also established a network of connections for potential valuable professional relationships.

Attending the conference made me excited about the possibilities ahead, armed with newfound insights and a network of industry leaders shaping the future of SAP and business innovation.

Summary of the event:

The students’ interactions and experiences at the conference not only broadened their understanding of SAP but also provided a platform for valuable networking and professional growth. The event served as a catalyst for redefining career aspirations and embracing the transformative power of SAP technologies.

Find out more about SAP certifications for students in Nottingham University Business School

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