Score: 9/10
Type: Conference

Overview:

This fourth iteration of the Mastering SAP PM conference is the Eventful Group’s best one yet. The focus is on maintenance management and specifically the application of SAP PM. Topics spanned between ISO 55000, fleet management, linear asset management, configuration management, e-learning/training, and life cycle costing. Numerous international speakers presented at the conference (USA, Canada, Germany and Australia) and many of the speakers were directors of their companies or executive members.

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Author(s):

Multiple (see full review)

Reviewer(s):

Kirstein, Carl

The Good:

  • The only SAP PM conference in RSA (that I know of)
  • Addresses common or hot issues in South African industries
  • Networking opportunities
  • Speaker’s corner
  • The Bad:

    • Cannot attend all the presentations you might want to due to the streams
    • some presentations need more time than its tiny 30 min slot
    • two days might be too few for professionals needing enough CPD points
    • The Use:

      • Anyone involved with the development of SAP at their organizations will find this conference very useful.
      • Networking, i.e. finding someone who had the same issue as you with maintenance and resolved it
      • I have been involved with the conference as a speaker and a referee for the presentations, therefore my experience is likely different to the majority that attended.

        What I appreciate about the conference is how the hot topics are selected: its is very democratic. The eventful group get numerous managers from numerous industries together for a “round table” to discuss and vote upon the most pressing issues. These round tables are held at Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg and the results are consolidated to determine the highest priority issues that South Africa is facing. From there presenters and presentations are nominated and selected. The result is that most of the attendees find the topics relevant.

        The topics try to cover as much of the pressing issues as possible, while giving the attendees a heads-up of what SAP is busy with. The presentations were generally short (30 min in total), but the speakers were obliged to sit in a speaker’s corner at the next break to discuss their topics with anyone who were too shy or too late to ask at the end of the presentation. Many prolonged and animated discussions occurred at the speaker’s corner. The presentations were sometimes in parallel with panel discussions that lasted 90 minutes.

        There is also an exhibition venue where SAP Partners demo their solutions and services for the attendees to become acquainted with. I liked the flier that shows a matrix that lists which service/solution the Partners provide. These services are listed as

        • Work Management Planning, Scheduling and Shutdowns
        • Mobility and Linear Asset Management
        • Reporting and BI
        • Integration of PM with other SAP Modules and Interfaces
        • Enterprise Asset Management Strategy
        • Master Data and Data Integrity
        • Other (specified)

        The conference had numerous speakers, a couple of internationals, and some who are executives or directors of their companies. These speakers were

        • Dr Achim Krüger – VP, Operational Excellence Solutions, SAP AG (Germany)
        • Brighton Musarurwa – Senior SAP Functional Systems Expert (EAM), Netcare Ltd
        • Carl Kirstein – Principal Engineer, Mobile Equipment & Technology, Exxaro Resources
        • Chris Plüddemann – Principal PM Analyst, EAM, City of Cape Town
        • Christer Idhammar – Founder and executive VP, IDCON Inc (USA)
        • David Grier – Chef, Author and Extreme Adventurer
        • Dean Fitt – Solution Manager EAM – Industry Solutions, SAP AG (Germany)
        • Deveshan Naicker – Account Executive, Meridium Inc
        • Erich Taljaard – Collaborit iChip
        • Estelle Seymore – Senior Maintenance Coordinator, Netcare Ltd
        • Gerald Etsebeth – System Developer, SAP PM, Namakwa Sands, Tronox
        • Grahame Fogel – Director Gaussian Engineering, Gaussian Pty Ltd
        • Marius Matthee – Senior Consultant, SAP PM, ArcelorMittal SA
        • Jannie Potgieter – Director, Collaborit Enterprise Asset Management Strategies
        • Jeffrey Smith – EAM Business Process Analyst, Fairfax Water (USA)
        • John Dwyer – Principal Consultant Energy and Utilities, Vesta Partners (Australia)
        • Joseph Grobler – Global Operations Director, Reveal (USA)
        • Koos Vosloo – Business Process Principal EAM, SAP SA
        • Norm Poynter – Managing Director, NLAS Possibilities Inc. (Canada)
        • Peter Lupton-Smith – Logistics Stream Lead, ERP Solution, City of Cape Town
        • Ralf Küther – Principal Specialist, SAP PM, ArcelorMittal SA
        • Sindie Dittberner – SAP PM Analyst, City of Cape Town
        • Steve van Wyk – Head SAP Business Analytics SADAC, SAP SA
        • Sureka Haricharan – Specialist Asset Management Support, Richards Bay Minerals (pty) Ltd
        • Theunis Mundell – WCM Instructor, ArcelorMittal Saldanha Works
        • Wesley Dean – Senior Asset Care Systems Engineer, MillerCoors (USA)

        The conference is highly recommended for managers and personnel with SAP PM at their organizations. This conference has become THE meeting place for the PM community of South Africa, and the value of the entire experience is high enough to warrant growth in the attending numbers.