Image of Elavarasan Annamalai

January 9, 2024, by aczht

Unlocking the SAP Universe: Dropping into UKISUG Connect 2023

In our last blog post, we captured the stories of a group of students from the Nottingham University Business School who experienced the extent of Systems Applications and Products in (Data Processing) (SAP), the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes during the UKISUG Connect event in November 2023. We’ll be looking at the experiences of more students attending this vast event, where the world of SAP was not just explored but fully embraced.

What is SAP?

SAP 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. Offering various SAP certification paths, the Business School aligns the most relevant ones with the functional nature of degree courses. SAP is an internationally recognised professional qualification which gives 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.

Why Connect matters

As SAP plays such a pivotal role in the career development of students, attending the event was a transformative experience that reshaped their perspectives and ambitions. It wasn’t just about networking; it was an opportunity for students to look at future careers and had a significant impact. The diverse stories are impressive and a testament to the impact that attending UKISUG Connect 2023 had on their SAP journey:

Elavarasan Annamalai, MBA

Image of Elavarasan AnnamalaiMy journey with SAP has been exciting and rewarding, starting with an opportunity to take on an interesting business case for my final dissertation in MBA. I had no experience in any of the SAP solutions, nevertheless, I wanted to dive head-first into this project as it had a perfect blend of data analysis and visualisation, gaming, game strategy, and an indirect profitability case. I only had two months to learn the SAP Analytics solution which proved enough. The project outcome was a great success, motivating me to learn more SAP solutions and leading me to prepare for certification in SAP Analytics Cloud.

I was invited to attend the SAP User Group Connect as a student ambassador by Professors of Practice at the University of Nottingham, Andy Callaghan and Steve Lofthouse. I knew it was an amazing opportunity to meet with interesting people, who are innovating businesses through the lens of SAP technology.

It turned out to be a fabulous networking opportunity as I met with some very interesting business owners and executives who excel in their space leveraging the power of SAP including EY, Amazon, Accenture, HP, Birchman, NTT Data, Delaware, to name a few, were exhibiting their potential offerings incorporating SAP. It was insightful to interact with them and learn from them about the current market scenarios and the prospects of where the industry is headed. The most highlighting part of it was to listen to a mix of perspectives from the industry leaders, all in one place.

We set up an exclusive stand at the event to exhibit the offerings of the University of Nottingham which collaborates with SAP to enhance the industry opportunities for its students through its Digital and Excellence Centre. Bespoke courses are offered to candidates to help them become industry-read, which motivated me to study for an MBA at the University of Nottingham. Free certification vouchers for SAP courses are one of the invaluable perks we get as a part of this offering which would be a considerable investment otherwise. SAP UK brings fantastic opportunities for students in several ways including company-based projects, certifications, invitations to incredible events which diversify each year.

Reflecting on the insights I gathered from the event, I feel truly inspired to know how SAP is elevating today’s business streams with its robust and innovative technological solutions. I look forward to implementing my learning and skills in my future career.

Vipra Agrawal

It was great to attend the SAP User Group Connect conference with engaging discussions from industry leaders like Microsoft Azure, Accenture, Decision Inc., Capgemini, The Birchman Group, EY which broadened my insights into the world of SAP.

The evening event, SUGFest, had a ballroom, casino, comedy acts, and incredible music which made the experience even more memorable.

I felt very motivated and inspired to attend talks by Alisha Gokani (SAP Solution Advisory Academy Associate) and Vivien Boche (SAP Senior Director). It was great to be given the opportunity by Dr Andy Callaghan and Nick Proverbs at the Nottingham University Business School. I can’t wait to apply the learning from this event in my SAP journey and continue connecting with this amazing community!

Shannonjit Bahia and Leah Richards

The event draws professionals from diverse industries to explore the latest innovations and trends. Over two busy days, attendees immerse themselves in a world of technological advancement and collaborative learning which is impactful.

The first day was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the products of SAP and started with captivating keynote speakers who shared invaluable insights into the future of SAP technologies. From advancements to industry-specific applications, the sessions painted a vivid picture of the evolving landscape. We were spoilt for choice with several workshops and presentations, each offering a unique perspective on the latest developments. We were immersed in the workshops where we learned about new emerging trends, such as AI integration and sustainable solutions using S/4HANA.

The festivities of Connect seamlessly transitioned into a glamorous evening affair called SUGFEST —the Black-Tie Ball. The ballroom exuded an air of sophistication, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening. It was a fantastic opportunity to have rare casual conversations with the highest-level professionals.

Day two was interesting for both of usread our two different perspectives of the day:  


For me the standout moment of the day for me was speaking to EY. I had secured a placement at EY in the early months of the year after an exciting spring week, so I needed to speak to the EY employees to get an insight into what my placement would be like. After speaking to Fyza, who has worked at EY since her placement year, I felt a lot more confident in approaching the company on my first day. I was given a lot of tips and tricks to survive the year. It was excellent to get the contact details of both Fyza and Kate as they both work at the London office and offered to take me to dinner when I start!


The highlight of my day was the quick but effective presentation from Vincent Dunlop (Co-founder, Director and SAP Recruitment specialist at bluewaveSELECT). The statistics and just the excitement of working with SAP solidified the fact that shortly, I would like to work with them. Vincent was excellent at making both Shannon and I laugh. After the presentation, we saw Vincent at the SAP stand and we talked through the advantages that SAP has on your future career prospects. He gave me a lot more confidence to encourage myself to start my SAP S4/HANA certification before I finish university.

Find out more about SAP at the Nottingham University Business School

 Find out more about SAP certifications for students in Nottingham University Business School and how it can boost employability prospects.

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