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Charging for user groups?

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substring
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 7:10 am 
Post subject: Re: Charging for user groups?

Mark Frederick wrote:
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the confernce call last week, so I am just getting caught up on this thread. My own opinion is that if they start charging for the User Groups, we will, as amny people have already made mention has to go independant. I can tell you first hand in the year and a half that I have been chairing the Denver group, that BOBJ has been anything but helpful banghead.gif. They have provided the registration, and that is it. They have not even been able to provide a speaker, except on one occassion mad.gif.

This is going to make it hard to keep the groups going, which is too bad.

Mark
If you are a UG Chair, you should have received an email from Melissa Berg-Baker with the links to the recording of the conference call. Listen to the recording first and draw you conclusion.

The recording is more than an hour. But you can scroll the dial to about 30 minutes into the conference to listen to a UG Chair asking about the cost and their answers.

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Dave Rathbun
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 7:16 am 
Post subject: Re: Charging for user groups?

I just had lunch with the head of the ASUG organization (who was here at SAPPHIRE), and it seems that there are some clarifications that will be made soon. I raised the concerns from this topic and he listened and provided his input. I don't want to put words into his mouth so I won't share anything specific at this time. However, at some point we should be getting an update / clarification on the whole cost issue direct from ASUG.

Steve (the gentleman we had lunch with) seems to be very interested in helping the user groups in a variety of different ways. Some things that we talked about included getting one voice for all user groups to leverage our numbers, and using that voice to speak in a way that Business Objects will listen. Having a national independent coordinator (as they do with ASUG) should help with that. We talked about having a national "registry" for speakers so that user groups can find out who is available as a potential speaker. We talked about how to integrate the user groups with the conference (Insight) planning and execution process. We talked about how to take the ASUG calendar (which is automatically synced with the SAP events calendar on a weekly basis) and get it replicated here on BOB so our users get more exposure to and awareness of the national events.

It was a good lunch and I walked away with a much better feeling about the future of the user groups.

So my advice / feedback at this time is to wait and see. The "cost" issue seems to have received the most attention, and it's a very small part of the ideas that were discussed at lunch.

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substring
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 8:53 am 
Post subject: Re: Charging for user groups?

Good job Dave! thumbsup.gif thumbsup.gif You have made great progress in Berlin. icon_biggrin.gif

It appears that they are willing to work with us and that is all good. icon_biggrin.gif

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csievert
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 3:09 pm 
Post subject: Re: Charging for user groups?

I just got off the phone with Melissa (Hi Melissa! seeya.gif ) and must admit to some mixed emotions especially after the past year of getting the UG support to be where it should be.

Now it feels like we are starting that cycle again but then again it seems that they are wanting to do what is right for the BOBJ user community.

Change though is going to happen and we can either be on the 'outside' being independent or be on the 'inside' and try to make an impact to shape things (to the extent there are no forgone conclusions).

As far as BONYMAUG is concerned I don't see how we could afford to be independent since the costs of having our meetings in NYC is so high even with our non-BOBJ sponsorship $$. Though I'm not seeing how people would be ponying up $500 to come to meetings either.

I like alot of what I heard from Melissa, esp the Influence program and what sounds like Application Maturity Benchmarking (at least it sounds interesting). I'm not sure what value webinars have or a website can offer that our meetings and BOB already offer.

Dave - I'm glad to hear you came away from the meeting with Steve with a positive feel.

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LANFIELD
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 2:48 pm 
Post subject: Re: Charging for user groups?

i remember being a Crystal Decisions customer and going thru the same thing when BOBj took over. you never know but you hope for the best. there were some improvements and some dropoffs. some prices went up and some tools got retired. i exepect some of the same here but i am predicting we will all survive and lets hope they dont royally mess this one up.

Dan

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