Microsoft, SAP and Sun Microsystems to Headline SSPA Best Practices 2008 Conference: Companies to Address ''Essential Elements of Support'' That Help Streamline Operations and Deliver a Great Customer Support Experience

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The Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA) today announced that senior executives from Microsoft, SAP and Sun Microsystems will deliver keynote presentations at the organization's Best Practices conference, to be held in Santa Clara, California May 4-6, 2008.

    The theme of the conference is "Essential Elements of Support." The three keynote presentations will show how these global technology companies developed and implemented ideas and processes that streamlined and optimized support operations. These best practices are applicable to any company seeking to improve the way it delivers service and support.

-- Denise Rundle, Microsoft's general manager of global consumer support, will use real-life examples to show how the world's largest software company supports hundreds of consumer products and millions of customers - while meeting financial and profit objectives at the same time.

-- Andreas Graesser, SAP America's vice president for active global support, will explain how to optimize service & support by standardizing operations and building skills in technical core competencies, such as root-cause analysis, change management, business process integration, and technical upgrade management.

-- Mary Cay Kosten, Sun Microsystems' senior vice president of global customer services, will talk about Sun's year-long journey to win both the J.D. Power and Associates Certified Technology Service and Support award for outstanding customer service experience, and the certification of Excellence in Service Operations from SSPA - and how these certifications helped Sun identify areas of opportunity and played an important role in improving the way they support their customers.

Also giving keynote presentations at the conference are:

-- Eric Chester, founder and president of Generation Why, will discuss working effectively with 16- to 24-year-old "Gen Y" employees and customers.

-- John Ragsdale, SSPA's vice president of research, will take a close look at technology spending trends for 2008 among SSPA member companies, and what application areas are seeing the highest levels of interest and adoption.

-- Stephen Smith, executive director of SSPA, will deliver a "state of the union" message on the current status of the service and support industry.

SSPA is the largest and most influential association for technology service and support professionals and creators of Value-Added Support(SM). The 2008 Best Practices Conference will feature more than 70 sessions, providing unique peer-to-peer learning opportunities in nine tracks covering Web 2.0, knowledge management, talent management, SMB, consumer support, benchmarking and metrics, support operations, management excellence, and innovative support technology.

The SSPA's prestigious 2008 STAR Awards for Best Practices, recognizing technology companies who display exceptional leadership, innovation and commitment in developing and implementing Best Practices, will also be presented at the conference.

Information and online registration can be found at http://www.thesspa.com/santaclara.

About the SSPA

As the industry's foremost professionals association, the Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA) is a key resource for the information and best practices needed to make better business decisions. It brings together the best minds from across the industry spectrum - from established companies with successful track records to the pioneering newcomers with out-of-the-box ideas. The SSPA also partners with thought leaders such as J.D. Power and Associates and the Wharton School to create programs that benefit the industry. The SSPA is a member of a global network of associations that includes the Technology Professional Services Association (TPSA) and the Association for Services Management International (AFSMI). For more information, visit http://www.thesspa.com.

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