COVID-19 continues to motivate ASUG to think of new ways of putting its members first. The health and safety of our members is critical, and as a result, many face-to-face events like chapter meetings have been temporarily postponed. That doesn’t mean networking will stop.

No matter what form a chapter meeting will take during this time, ASUG wants its members to know that your local chapter is still here to help you make important connections and find answers to your SAP questions.

Touching Base with the ASUG East Regional Chapters

The East encompasses six ASUG chapters from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains north along the Atlantic Coast. A mixture of big cities, big apples, and big industries flourish in this section of the U.S. An area founded on coal and transformed by steel is a “wicked” awesome environment for SAP technology to grow.

The East hosts 508 ASUG member organizations. A companywide membership allows every employee to join the local chapter for a day of networking and problem-solving. The ASUG New England and Mid-Atlantic chapters shared how they are handling these uncertain times. Here’s what they had to say.

1. With measures in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, how have you and your chapter members adapted in your own workplaces? What are you still doing as a group?

    ASUG Mid-Atlantic Chapter: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has deemed water essential, so I am still going to work at a water utility. Fortunately, at work, we have hand sanitizing stations everywhere. In terms of SAP systems and technologies, we are using SAP ECC on SAP HANA to help monitor our work during this time.

    2. What have you heard from your chapter members in terms of how they’re coping? What are they missing (professionally) during COVID-19?

    ASUG Mid-Atlantic Chapter: Use of Skype has gone way up. Some use of Microsoft Teams has increased, too. Atul Patankar, a frequent attendee at our chapter meetings, says, “Zoom has become the default go-to for personal video calls. Microsoft is encouraging the use of Teams over Skype but lacks some features of Zoom. I find a preference for audio-only instead of videos for regular work calls.”

    3. What are you looking forward to most once we can resume face-to-face chapter meetings?

      ASUG Mid-Atlantic Chapter: The camaraderie that comes with the chapter meetings is great. We have regulars who attend our chapter meetings and show up every time, including one who drives to northern Virginia all the way from Roanoke, Virginia—more than 220 miles!

      ASUG New England Chapter: Smiles, small talk, and learning are helping us cope. Being a member and volunteer of the ASUG New England Chapter has helped me grow my professional network and forge many strong relationships. I miss our community very much. I can’t wait to reconnect face-to-face to share personal news, to support a business recovery from COVID-19 in a meaningful way, and to once again learn from one other’s SAP journeys.

      4. Are you aware of SAP products/services that are helping your organization—or any of your members’ organizations—better manage processes during this time? How so?

        ASUG Mid-Atlantic Chapter: We are aware of the COVID-19 offerings by SAP Qualtrics, supply/demand matching, and supply chain planning as a service. 

        ASUG New England Chapter: While many of us in the SAP and ASUG network are lucky enough to be able to work from home, it does come with its challenges, one of which is the ability to check in with the members of our team. I’m grateful that Qualtrics has made its Remote Work Pulse solution available for free to all organizations. This survey allows leaders to understand what works, what does not, and to gather new ideas from their teams.

        Working from home requires discipline and balance as we work to integrate work into our home lives and vice versa. Here are three tips we’ve found helpful:

        • Make your bed and ditch the PJs: Making your bed and getting dressed not only means accomplishing something first thing the morning, but it also helps to stimulate the start of your workday. It will ultimately help boost your focus and productivity.
        • Plan your week ahead of time: Looking at your to-do list for next week and planning out what you’ll get done and when is a great way to stay on top of your work, ultimately making your week less stressful.
        • Plan social interaction into your days: While the “how” we socially interact may be different these days, it is no less important. Use technology for access to on-demand fitness programs, Zoom for morning coffee with a mentor, and the Houseparty app for virtual happy hours with friends.

        ASUG will always continue to bring members together through these unprecedented times. We encourage members to visit our events page to search for virtual opportunities to stay in touch with local members and meet some new faces. Also, be sure to update your asug.com profile and follow your local chapters to stay connected. Once you follow a chapter, you will receive alerts on your ASUG dashboard for upcoming events.

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