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Announcing Introduction to SAP ERP with Global Bike Inc. 2.0

The University Alliances program consists of 1000 institutions and 4500 professors and lecturers offering courses worldwide to college and university students.  The content of these courses is unique to University Alliances and fully academic in nature.  We do not repackage training materials for student consumption.

In order for our curriculum to be fully relevant for higher education accreditation purposes, the course materials we adopt into the program are developed by member professors and lecturers along with SAP experts with the goal to support professional and academic outcomes for university students.  The UA Library in our Community displays descriptions of all of this content publicly.  The actual detailed content, which requires license and use of SAP software to function, is available to members in the UA Reserve Desk.

This semester, we released one of the most important courses in our history – Introduction to SAP ERP with Global Bike Inc. 2.0.  The development team of Dr. Simha Magal, Professor at Grand Valley State University, Stefan Weidner, Lecturer and Director of the SAP University Competence Center at the University of Magdeburg, and Dr. Jeffrey Word, Vice President of Strategy for SAP, spent countless voluntary hours over a period of 1.5 years to deliver this core course to the Community.

The course covers all the key functional areas of ERP with lecture notes, exercises, case studies, etc. – providing a strategically holistic view of enterprise software for university business and IT programs.  More than this, the fictional company Global Bike Inc. now has a complete story attached to it – making it fully relevant and realistic for a very high learning effect and motivation level for students.

In order to accomplish this, the team not only developed a course, they also took the Global Bike Inc. 1.0 client dataset, and significantly expanded, extended, and internationalized it into a major new 2.0 release. 

  • Many dozens of students under Simha’s leadership at Grand Valley State University were employed in student jobs to contribute to completely revamping, enlarging, and testing the client as well as the course.  Publisher, John Wiley & Sons, contributed funding for these studentss through its association with Simha and Jeff as textbook authours. 
  • As a key SAP strategy insider, Jeff ensured the vision for GBI 2.0 and its content was fully relevant to the strategic future of SAP ERP, and he used key internal connections for critical communications and insights.
  • Stefan and his team at the UCC Magdeburg also contributed to the dataset and course materials while also providing leadership to ensure hosting efficacy and efficiency across all UA hosting centers.

Throughout this process, the global SAP University Alliances Leadership Team including Heather Czech Matthews, Heino Schrader, and Crispian Tan, contributed to the vision, specification, review, follow-up, and communication necessary for this project’s success.  Heather especially kept track of the development team details and ensured the content got into the hands of pilot universities this past semester.

Now, the client has been updated to a 2.1 release based on the feedback from the pilot professors.  The course materials are fully available for every member in the ERP Introduction section of the UA Library and Reserve Desk of the University Alliances Community.

The best way to thank all of these key contributors, is for every UA program member to adopt this course and the GBI client into their acadmic programs.  Future releases of the vast majority of our Universitly Alliances SAP Business Suite and Business Objects content will be based on the GBI client and supported by the GBI story.  We are all grateful to the development team that Introduction to SAP ERP with Global Bike Inc. 2.0 paves the way for this objective so well.

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      Author's profile photo Richard Blumberg
      Richard Blumberg
      Congratulations on GBI 2.0! I was happy to see background in the UA Course Catalog ( is great for members of the University Alliances (UA) Program and a good reason for perspective UA members to learn more from their regional contacts -
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Lots of hard work by the team, especially Simha and Stefan's interns!  Here's a link to the "history" of GBI as a company.  Should also come in handy for students to understand how things work in GBI before they jump into the exercises.