Issue 2, 2014
Impressive turnout with customer participants from around the world
This year’s conference of Software AG’s International User Groups took place in Dresden, Germany May 19-23. With its baroque-style architecture, numerous world-renowned museums and art collections, Dresden is one of the cultural, educational, political and economic centers of Germany and Europe. The close proximity of the conference venue to the Elbe River and the monuments of Dresden’s old town provided the participants with the perfect opportunity to relax after days filled with presentations, discussions and peer interaction.
The turnout this year was quite impressive. As always, most of the attendees were long-term Software AG customers and active members of user groups from all around the globe. Among the customer participants were Banco do Brasil, Coca-Cola Enterprises, American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Assoc., Verizon, Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Johnson & Johnson, ConocoPhillips and Commerzbank, to name but a few. All in all, we had 340 participants from 160 companies and 28 countries.
Whenever possible, we integrate local user groups into the international user groups. This time, the German user groups decided not to hold separate spring meetings but joined the international conference instead. As a result, we had a very strong German delegation in Dresden.
We kept to the proven conference format of holding dedicated product brand sessions relevant to all Software AG customers. Participants learned about the enhanced ease of use of Adabas-Natural, found out about new innovations in the webMethods suite and heard the latest on process improvement trends and their impact on day-to-day business during the ARIS session. And, for the first time this year, we held a session for the Alfabet User Group.
All sessions offered a well-balanced mix of discussions, workshops and presentations from customers and Software AG. From the Software AG experts, participants received updates on the road map, overviews on new technical features and tips and tricks. Customers shared their experiences with our products and solutions. These use cases provided insights on how particular business challenges can be solved with Software AG technology and were met with high interest from the entire audience.
General Session on May 21
A product demo by a Dresden university attracted a lot of attention. They created a demo based on the webMethods Integration Server that lets you see, touch, feel and taste an automated process that is otherwise intangible.
We again offered working groups for the ARIS and webMethods sessions with a focus on different topics. They were co-moderated by a customer and a Software AG expert. Panel discussions, led by a customer, were held during the Adabas-Natural tracks. Pain points relevant to all attendees were discussed and solutions offered. The interactive aspect of the conference was very well received and generated a lot of positive feedback.
The conference was flanked by a number of small, separate customer meetings, which were organized on the spot in order to connect customers with particular peers or to convey specific product knowledge.
Throughout the conference, we not only provided a platform for information exchange but also created a personal atmosphere, where participants felt comfortable to communicate openly and candidly with their peers as well as with the Software AG experts. The two evening events were an added opportunity to network but also inspired the participants to connect on a more personal level and share some laughs and fun.
In their feedback, the customers gave us high marks on all aspects of the conference. From content to evening events, the participants left Dresden with the feeling that their requirements and expectations were fully met.
To multiply our success with the International User Groups, we decided to adopt that model for North America. We held the first TechEd User Group Conference from April 28 to May 1 in Chicago. The format of the International User Groups proved successful here as well. The attendees gave us a lot of positive feedback and have already voiced their intent to attend the 2015 Chicago User Conference.
Cruise on the Elbe River May 22