Latin America’s SAP Users’ Association (AUSIA) celebrated the first part of their Annual Meeting on June 10. It was an internal strategic meeting of the User Groups where the work plan 2020/2021 was reviewed and they discussed localization and licensing issues. The second part will be held from July 6 to 10, and will cover a wider scope, thanks to the interaction with SAP, ASUG and SUGEN representatives.


The meeting was held online and conducted by the President of AUSIA Jorge Eduardo Montoya López. It was attended by members of seven associations: ASUG Colombia (represented by Marcela Martínez, Pedro José Restrepo and María Victoria Bustamante), ASUG Argentina (Mónica Melito), ASUG Chile (Laura Grimau), ASUG Peru (Philip Meerovici), ASUG Venezuela (Emilio Arteaga) and ASUG Ecuador (Patricio Arias). Representatives from Bolivia (Gabriela Luna) and Uruguay (Andrés Salomone) were also present. AUSAPE was represented by Roberto Calvo, Joan Torres and Aida Bautista.


The meeting started with an assessment of AUSIA’s performance in 2019 by Jorge Eduardo Montoya. He highlighted the results in terms of influence with regard to localization, licensing and membership; the relationship with SAP, SUGEN and ASUG Americas; and the knowledge transferred thanks to the meetings with SAP representatives and the participation in ASUG Americas.


Localization: current situation and future actions


Afterwards, Pedro José Restrepo presented the Localization chapter. With regard to the current challenges to be addressed, he mentioned the relationship and governance between user groups and SAP, the current localization supported by SAP, the legal changes and the new requirements of user groups. Restrepo pointed out the work in the field of localization carried out in collaboration with GUGO and local SAP representatives. AUSIA has demanded greater participation of user groups in the development of localization, ensuring communication with SAP and presenting the groups with the location roadmap. The foregoing is aimed at improving the quality of the deliverables (development, updates, translations, guidelines, links, etc.).


Moreover, he announced that two surveys would be carried out: the first one, to gauge the situation and progress in the countries with localization once again, and the second one, to detect the needs in non-localized countries. Then, a meeting with SAP Globalization Services would be held to monitor progress. 


Finally, Retrepo raised the needs of the action plan in three areas: improving the localization scope and quality, and the opportunity for their publication. The attendees also discussed the usefulness of adopting the Localization Day, which is currently celebrated in Colombia, in other countries.  


Licensing: the importance of clarity and visibility


Philip Meerovici was in charge of presenting the Licensing chapter. He explained that the five members of the Licensing Study Group, including Joan Torres, vice president and international representative of AUSAPE, are working to understand and disseminate the definitions, criteria and scope of the licensing and membership scheme. They are also focusing on making the scheme and its criteria fair and easy to understand and manage for the parties. Their purpose is to rise the visibility in this regard and make the applicable rules clearer for clients. Their topics of interest include on-premise licensing, by subscription and indirectly, licensing conversion to S/4 HANA and license auditing.


Meerovici presented the results of the survey carried out among 106 companies on the knowledge of these topics of interest, the preparation of companies when negotiating licenses with SAP and the status of the migration to S/4 HANA. Every ASUG association taking part was informed of the said results, as well as SAP, which has carried out seminars in this regard.


Regarding the actions to be taken, he explained that an executive meeting with SAP had been scheduled to analyze the outcomes of the survey. Likewise, he talked about the possibility of carrying out a new licensing survey, developing a licensing event at AUSIA level, studying new tools provided by SAP for every company to monitor their license, and developing, together with SAP, a website or ebook including the main links to licensing contents to share them with all associations.


Work plan, conclusions and commitments


The part of the session regarding AUSIA’s work plan 2020/2021 focused on the main projects and initiatives under development in terms of localization, licensing, membership and auditing. Every association expressed their views to  reinforce those initiatives.


ASUG Chile indicated they required SAP’s support and direct communication for Localization groups, as well as sharing experiences with Xforce. ASUG Argentine proposed to continue moving forward in licensing and localization services, reviewing the issue that some countries do not have their own localization, such as Bolivia and Paraguay, and restore the Innovation group. AUSAPE positively valued AUSIA’s present course. ASUG Peru recommended dedicating a separate chapter to the deployment of S/4 HANA and delving into new SAP tools.


As for ASUG Ecuador, they defended more emphasis should be placed on the licensing issue to understand the scope in each country and monitor companies more closely, as a result of the economic blow caused by Covid-19. As for ASUG Venezuela, they pointed out the system should be adapted to the business needs and safety in remote access. Uruguay’s representative proposed to continue improving the client’s knowledge of licensing, and Bolivia’s representative defended the interests of the countries which do not have their own localization, and proposed to carry out a post-pandemic analysis.


In conclusion, there was consensus that AUSIA should continue working in licensing and localization, strengthening the link with SUGEN. As additional commitments, they stressed out three of them. Firstly, carrying out a benchmarking within the associations, supporting each other and sharing practices. Secondly, sharing experiences and knowledge towards the adoption of new S/4 solutions. And thirdly, facing the difficult economic situation resulting from Covid-19 and SAP’s answer to companies as a result.


In order to achieve the first two, they decided to create two new work fronts. Patricio Arias was proposed to lead the new line of action in Benchmarking, while Laura Grimau was proposed to lead the S/4 group. The meeting concluded by inviting AUSIA members to attend the meeting in July, with the presence of other companies of the environment.