Interview with Arne Egholm, Sauer-Danfoss ApS

Copyright © by Peter Illing

Continuing the series of interviews with attendees of the last CWG conference, we thought it would be very interesting to the CWG membership to see what a new attendee thinks about the CWG and its direction.

Today's interviewee is Arne Egholm of Sauer-Danfoss Aps in Nordborg, Denmark. He is an engineer specializing in: Proportional Spool Valves. As such he has a great deal of product knowledge, but is not an expert product modeller … yet … but watch out if he keeps coming back to the CWG!

Arne has this to say about his background:

"I was trained as a mechanical engineer and my colleague and I attended the CWG conference as product engineers, not as SAP programmers, or IT specialists. "We were hoping to learn about the possibilities for VC in SAP and about new features related to VC."

Is your role at Sauer-Danfoss more a business role (VC strategist and decision maker) or a technical and implementation role?
Mine is an engineering role. We are currently moving from R/2 to R/3. I am looking at the VC from an engineering perspective and trying to gather information about variant configuration.

What is your response to this first CWG you attended?
very positive - CWG is an interesting user group, where I'm sure that all SAP VC users will be able to learn a lot from each other, and good place to establish contacts for further discussions

What are some of the things you learned?
Variant Configuration in SAP is not easy, and is an area of SAP that is in development. It will be interesting to look for new possibilities within SAP during the coming years.

Did you find the format useful for you?
Yes, the format was useful, with good variation in the subjects discussed.

Did this conference in any way influence your (Sauer-Danfoss's) planning?

Yes and no:
Yes, we learned a lot. No, as we haven't yet really started using VC in SAP within my work area, therefore what I learned couldn't really influence any planning so far.
The lesson learned, however, is that most of the companies I spoke to have a group of 3-6 persons working with VC and that most of these people had more product knowledge than SAP knowledge when they started working with VC. This was useful information to bring home. Product knowledge is a must for success with VC.

What are your expectations for the future of the CWG?

Next time at CWG I will know a lot more about VC - as I will then have working experience with VC - so the level of my understanding will be much higher and then I may be part of the forum asking questions :-)

What do you see as the focus of the CWG?
I foresee a much higher focus on VC using the Web as User Interface. It would be nice to know what SAP are developing in this area.

Do you think the CWG will be able to speak to SAP for the membership and thus influence SAP's direction?

Yes - I hope so.

Do you expect that you and your company will be able to have your voice heard at the CWG?
Maybe not directly as an individual company, but if the content of "the voice" matches the interests of a large part of the CWG attendees , thenI think (or at least hope)that SAP would listen.

How much of the CWG's focus would you like to see on:
- VC?

high focus - especially multi-level variant configuration using complex models.

- IPC?
high focus - a must for future connections with our customers. The correct use would certainly shorten the distance to our customers.

- SAP Infrastructure?
medium focus - it would be good to know the future direction of SAP - to prepare early for any changes. CWG may not be the right forum to discuss SAP infrastructure in depth.

How is SAP configuration technology used at Sauer-Danfoss?
As Sauer-Danfoss is a large company, I was attending the user conference as a member of only one business segment, Proportional Spool Valves - called PVG valves. I was not representing any other area of Sauer-Danfoss.

thanks for your contribution, Arne.

Please send comments to Peter Illing, at