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Enterprise SOA Roadmap in Higher Ed – Maastricht University

Business Challenge

In a 3 months engagement, SAP Business Consulting together with SAP Netherlands and highly qualified customer team supported in setting up a strategic enterprise SOA Roadmap for Maastricht University, one of the highest ranked universities in the Netherlands and Europe. 

While the general decision to upgrade to ERP 6.0 including the implementation of the public sector specific enhancement package for Student Life Cycle Management has already been made, main objective of the engagement has been to identify new business opportunities supporting the UM strategy based on ERP 6.0 and enterprise SOA. The second objective was to support the customer in its’ current business-IT-alignment challenges. Following a careful planning, Maastricht University has re-organized towards a centralized IT-governance begin of 2007.  Current issues have been to align IT-strategy and IT-project portfolio with the universities business strategy in an integrated information plan.

Approach – How SAP helped

The engagement was conducted following the Enterprise SOA Roadmap service developed and promoted by SAP Business Consulting EMEA. In a series of workshops with the customer’s enterprise architects, enterprise SOA maturity has been assessed and business as well as IT strategy has been analyzed.  

Business opportunities have been identified by mapping the enterprise SOA capabilities towards the objectives of a Balanced Scorecard, which was already defined. Thus, the resulting benefit map clearly adresses the business by showing which future, possible improvements from enterprise SOA will have the highest business impact.   

Based on this strategic mapping, a roadmap showing which SAP components are needed to achieve the identified business opportunites was developed.

Main results

The project delivered a series of results. First of all, the prototypical enterprise SOA Roadmap results with identified opportunities and an upgrade plan to realize this opportunities. Furthermore, the enterprise SOA methodology will be evaluated for further usage within the Maastricht University – to support Business-IT-Alignment and IT-Portfolio Management in the ongoing information planning tasks. 

  • New business opportunities supporting the Maastricht University strategy can be realized based on ERP 6.0 and enterprise SOA: Research Management, Contact Information, Identity Management.  
  • To realize the Research Management (end-to-end process, from grant application, to contract management and research execution), a phased approach was promoted:  
    • Step 1: Usage of ERP 6.0 functions for contract management
    • Step 2: Usage of NetWeaver components to support online collaboration, leverage reporting capabilities and integrate third-party Document Management System.
    • Step 3: Design of a composite application based on xRPM functionality and already existing Enterprise Services for Accounting and Budget Processing
  • A high-level Roadmap – showing technical and organizational pre-requisites – allows to step-by-step adapt to enterprise SOA. 
  • The eSOA Roadmap methodology can be re-used for customer’s Business-IT-Alignment. 


  • Ralf Ott, Principal Business Consulting, SAP Business Consulting EMEA Public Services
  • Rini van de Ven, NetWeaver Solution Architect, SAP Nederland B.V.  

Project Reference 

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  • hi,
    as soon as higher education came into the scene…
    i thought of SAP SOA related courses being offered…

    but it turned out to be research and implementation in the “higher education” scenario.

    i am interested in learning about universities that offer courses that help one align one’s professional path with ERP/SOA/SAP products.

    can you give me some lead in this regard.

    -amol gupta

    • Hi Amol,

      I would expect SOA and enterprise SOA related topics in bachelor and master curricula in computer sciences. Maybe also in specialized curricula for business administration and graduate programmes for professionals.

      Relevant key words you might check out at your local universities might be: “information management”, “business-IT-alignment”, “enterprise architecture”, “electronic business integration” and of course “service oriented architecture”.

      Furthermore, of course SAP Education is overing courses on enterprise SOA which you might also attend as partner.

      Hope this helps!

      Hope this helps.