Last week I was lucky enough to attend my first ever UK & Ireland SAP User Group at the ICC in Birmingham. I've always wanted to attend and I was even more excited for Lawrence Harvey to be an exhibitor this year. 

Two topics dominated the event, the Internet of Things and SAP licensing.

When arriving at the first key note session on Monday I had already heard a number of attendees saying they hoped that licensing concerns would be addressed. As this article highlights, UKISUG shared figures showing 73% of customers surveyed thought that the SAP licensing service was complicated. That's a big chunk of customers who thought one of the most basic parts of the service was incoherent.

From my side, this was the talking point of the weekend. Newly appointed SAP UK Managing Director Mike Slater claimed that SAP were working as hard as possible to be a "customer-centric" business, arguing that the sales team should put the customer's needs first and then SAP's success would follow as a result. Having come onto the stage after the crowd heard about the complexities of licensing in the SAP community, the comment went down with a lot of raised eyebrows.

The next big talking point was SAP Leonardo; this was aimed at how the Internet of Things could help change the way businesses operate and sell their services. Whilst a large number of customers showed interest in the IoT journey, a worrying figure for SAP was that only 2% of UK&Ireland customers planned to use SAP's AI toolbox. The feedback I received at our stand was that customers were at two ends of the spectrum: they had already started their IoT journey, or so far away that it was 5-10 years in the future.

This looks like it could be an on-going talking point for SAP: how can you keep up with the complex race for IoT dominance with customers who aren't satisfied with the licenses you'd hope to sell them?

More to come on my UKISUG adventure soon.