The SAP Australian User Group (SAUG) has created a chief information officer council with an initial steering committee from the retail and energy sectors to provide a collective voice for IT chiefs in communicating with the German software giant.
"The SAUG CIO Council is an initiative to deepen knowledge sharing and network opportunities for CIOs," said Grahame Reynolds, SAUG chairperson in a statement issued today by SAP's public relations agency.
"It will serve as a forum for driving direct feedback to SAP on issues of key importance to the SAP customer base," he added.
The CIO Council is open for membership to all vice president, director or C-level executives at SAUG member companies, but will initially be guided by a steering committee of volunteer CIOs, composed of the following members:
Owen Coppage, CIO and group general manager, Customer Operations, AGL
David Bough, CIO, National Foods
Dennis Lewis, CIO, 7-Eleven Stores
Sharron Kennedy, CIO, Energy Australia
Olaf Pietschner, CIO, Origin Energy
Additionally, John Dousset, SAUG committee member and principal application architect at Australia Post, will serve as the SAUG liaison.
The statement said SAP would support the CIO Council and "will be actively involved at an executive level", although the statement did not clarify exactly what that would mean for the software giant.
The council will hold its first meeting on 17 March 2010 in Brisbane, with speakers to present including SunLife Financial Group CIO Mark Edward Ross and Fujitsu group executive director of sales and business development Mike Foster.
"We're hoping to get 25 SAUG member CIOs to our first event in March," said Reynolds. "This is a great opportunity for SAP customers to be heard on a global scale, as SAUG is now more involved with SUGEN (SAP User Group Executive Network) than ever before."
Two additional meetings will be held in 2010, in August in Sydney and in October in Melbourne. SAUG members will not have to pay an additional fee for CIO Council membership.