Recently a forum member emailed me to ask whether the forum is sanctioned by Readsoft. This was a great question so I will share my thoughts about how I perceive the group's relationship with Readsoft and my own relationship with Readsoft.
The forum is not sanctioned or sponsored by Readsoft. While it is welcomed by my employer Incitec Pivot Ltd, they have not directly sponsored it either. The forum has been set up with my own funds (it was relatively inexpensive) and I will continue to support it from my own funds as the forum grows.
I believe it is important to maintain independence and impartiality as this will encourage better communication amongst the forum group members.
So what is motivating me? I have added my Google Scholar research profile and links to some papers (just click on my profile name to view) to my forum profile. Long before we implemented Readsoft in 2012, I have had a research interest in the benefits of ERP systems and how to drive value from those systems. Currently I am managing a project at Incitec Pivot/Dyno Nobel to help our 2600+ SAP end-users to use the system more efficiently and effectively. It is something I enjoy doing as I have come from a teaching background and I love helping people to learn.
I have spoken to several companies in my role as Chair of the Melbourne Readsoft User Group and I have heard from many that they perceive they are not receiving the best value from their Readsoft implementation. My response was to create a user community where we can share solutions to system problems and help each other to gain better value from our Readsoft investment; a cost effective alternative to investing in consulting fees when the 'screws on IT spending have been tightened'. Let's face it, knowledge is power, yet that power resides with the group, not with any particular individual.
I have no intention of competing with Readsoft, becoming a Readsoft consultant or enjoying Readsoft funded trips and dinners. I am an SAP person through and through. To date, Readsoft have purchased me a cup of coffee and a paper diary as a way of thank you for hosting the last user group meeting. Well its a lot of work to set up these meetings and a diary is a fair exchange! If Readsoft offered anything of any significant value, I would politely decline as I don't believe it would convey the right message to the Readsoft User Group and forum members to which I am committed.
I strongly believe that there are benefits for all of us, including Readsoft, in engaging in active, polite and mature discussion. This doesn't mean the forum may be used as a marketing and propaganda tool by Readsoft. The forum will help Readsoft to understand the various issues we face and how we resolved them. The forum will help Readsoft to have greater knowledge across a range of ERP systems and have a greater appreciation of how their software solution is just one tiny speck in our burgeoning ERP landscapes.
Please don't take this post as a closed discussion topic. I really think it's important that others share their views about how they want the forum to work for them and how that can benefit all of us, including Readsoft.
Will love to hear from you!