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One of the many wonderful things about working for SAP is to witness, first-hand, our commitment to each of the 28 unique industry markets we serve. As a Solutions Engineer who works in our US Higher Education and Research market I really enjoy talking to customers and finding out how SAP enables them to become ‘Best Run Universities’. As much as I enjoy these conversations, I enjoy even more the fact that customers believe in our existing software and services enough to suggest areas where we could develop new ways to assist Universities in fulfilling their goals and objectives. As a result of such conversations with US customers SAP is proud to announce the development of a new software product related to what the Higher Education market refers to as Advancement.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education, a worldwide not-for-profit education association, defines advancement as: “A systematic, integrated method of managing relationships in order to increase an educational institution’s support from its key outside constituents, including alumni and friends. . .and philanthropic entities of all types.” A wide range of business processes fit underneath the umbrella of advancement but perhaps the most crucial are those related to fund-raising or development and SAP is pleased to announce we have signed a contract with Duke University, the 9th largest fundraising Higher Education institution in the United States in 2006, to develop SAP Advancement.

The project is underway with the specification document signed by both parties and the design phase of the software currently in process. The foundation for the new product is SAP’s CRM software, which serves as an excellent starting point for Advancement business processes. Extensive time has been invested by both parties and it’s the stated intent to make this software available to other SAP customers and prospects in the future.  As committed members of this market we are intested in understanding additional business practices in this area and would like to ask you, our BPX members, to respond to this blog by giving us examples of your business processes and priorities concerning Advancement. As we reach major milestones on this project we’ll post updates and seek to learn, on a world-wide basis, what your thoughts are on SAP undertaking this new effort.

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