Business students gain competitive edge with SAP | News from CoB | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Business students gain competitive edge with SAP

August 16, 2011

Southern Illinois University has joined the SAP® University Alliances program, a global endeavor that provides university faculty members with the tools and resources necessary to teach students how technology can enable integrated business processes and strategic thinking, and gives students the skills to add immediate value to the marketplace. Students who participate in the program gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software and grow skills relevant to their careers and chosen fields.

The College of Business faculty strongly supports this alliance with SAP because every student is looking for a way to stand out in the job market. Implementing this software into the College of Business curriculum will improve the program as a whole and benefit each individual student who participates in the classes that feature the SAP software and training.

“It is important for our students to have hands-on experience with tools that are an integral part of global business,” said Chuck Litecky, Professor of MIS. “In addition, we are supporting employers looking for workers skilled in using SAP software. The SAP University Alliances program allows us to prepare the next generation of knowledge workers to be productive with SAP software solutions and intelligently apply information technology in a business context.

The first students who will be able to participate in this program are those in Litecky’s Management 345 class. After the staff and students get acquainted with the software, it will begin branching out to include more classes in the College of Business. There are still a few spaces available for Management 345 this fall.

The SAP University Alliances program is a global initiative with more than 1,000 member campuses in more than 60 countries. Through the program, professors and students are given access to the same software used by SAP customers and partners, including SAP® Business Suite applications such as the enterprise resource planning (ERP) application SAP® ERP. This comprehensive business software suite supports business and information technology programs, helping students put classroom theory into practice through demonstrations, exercises and problem-solving, case studies, and academic projects. SAP donates licenses for its software at no cost to member universities and technical institutes for use in disciplines such as management, operations research, accounting, finance, marketing, information technology and computer science.

SAP University Alliances provides valuable services tailored to the needs of SIUC, including:

  • The SAP University Alliances community – The program features an advanced, interactive Web portal designed for the academic population worldwide that connects faculty, students, SAP customers and partners, and SAP internal experts.
  • Hosting services – SIUC gains access to SAP Business Suite software via hosting from an SAP-licensed, non-profit University Competence Center (UCC) location at Chico State University, which means there is no need to invest in a costly data center infrastructure to participate in the program.
  • Curriculum support – SAP sponsors new curriculum efforts in the academic community in order to build a collection of ready-to-use, faculty-developed course materials that can be shared among member campuses.
  • Professional development and networking – SIU professors can take advantage of free SAP-sponsored curriculum workshops offered during semester breaks and annual academic conferences for members.

SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software, offering enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI) and related applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. Global demand for certified SAP professionals increases every year, and SAP is dedicated to helping universities enable students to hit the ground running at companies using SAP software.

The SIU College of Business enrolls approximately 1,600 undergraduates and 250 graduate students. It is renowned for its student-centered learning environment, which is driven by an innovative spirit and enhanced by world class research. The College is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, putting SIU in the top 10 percent of business schools nationwide, and is ranked among top 100 public business colleges nationwide, by U.S. News & World Report. It boasts more than 20,000 College of Business alumni who excel as executives at companies worldwide.