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Looking into our Future Employees: Day 1 SAP Student Curriculum Congress

I am attending the 14th annual SAP Curriculum Congress 2011 as a SAP Mentor.  This is the annual get-together for Universities to exchange ideas about the teaching of SAP in the classroom.  Below is a summary of my notes from the first day.

Engaging in a University Alliance ProgramValley City State University

Sue Pfeiffer, Valley City State University, in North Dakota, spoke about how to engage/grow the SAP curriculum.  She said they started in 2007. Some faculty are resistant but they have been able to make one class required – an overview of ERP and business process management.  She said they have been so successful that companies come to them for graduates.   She said last year the Computer Science professor taught an ABAP course.  The best way to engage faculty is to offer stipends – that is the biggest motivator

TERP10 (Integration of Business Processes) is a 2 week course, 8 hours a day and on the last day you take the exam.  If you pass, you are a certified associate in SAP.  She also attends local ASUG meetings to help with possible student internships.

Engaging the America’s SAP User Group – Georgia Southern University

Tom Case of Georgia Southern then spoke about working with his local ASUG Chapters (Georgia, and even North Carolina/South Carolina).  He said the students will be the “best ambassadors” for your program.  The SAP University Alliance has a lot of information; he especially encourages his students to use the SAP Career Center.  He showed one student to search SAP entry-level jobs and 293 openings returned!

He suggested each school develop their own brand, online, Facebook and brochures.  He suggested that faculty pitch their programs to accounting and logistics majors.  Their brand is SAP@GSU

He said they make it a point to attend every Georgia Chapter Meeting of ASUG, taking 30-40 students since 2009.  They have their own special badges.

Recent employers include Coca Cola, Newell Rubbermaid, Home Depot and BMW.

They have a SAP@GSU steering committee and he showed some astonishing numbers – in 2008, they had 13 students become SAP-certified and in 2010 that grew to 71 students becoming certified – a tremendous increase of over 400%!

If a university becomes a member of the SAP University Alliance, they also become ASUG members, free of charge.  Tom said ASUG is a win-win situation for the student.

Business ByDesign

Business ByDesign is a strategic direction from SAP for small and medium enterprises.  There have been several demonstrations of this and even a hands-on workshop today.

Question & Answer:

Q.: Will it replace BusinessOne?
A: No – BusinessOne will still sell

Mentor Presentation

Mark Finnern and I discussed what the Mentors are, and asked how we can help connect universities to local experts.  We received feedback about the Student BI Club webinars we have been doing; they like hearing real-life stories from customers. 

Also read more about the SAP Mentors and the Student BI Club in our most recent SAP Mentors Quarterly magazine, published this week.


Today I am looking forward to the hands-on workshops.

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  • Hi Tammy

    I have found that industry stories help provide relevance to what is being taught and helps put concepts into perspective.  Hopefully academics reaching out to ASUG will help them find good industry stories.  I am eagerly waiting to see the outcome of the call for videos via SCN for BI success stories.  I expect these will be a good classroom resource.

    Thansk for the ongoing support.

    • Paul,
      That was definitely the message I heard tonight and over the past few days – schools want to hear more real-life stories and I heard positive feedback from our Student BI club webinars.

      Thank you for your support and feedback. 


  • Interesting topic.

    I know my company constantly struggles to find qualified SAP team members.   “Qualified” is the key.  It’s not the easiest thing to bring in someone fresh out of college when we are knee deep in projects.  We have little to no time to help bring them up to speed.  And we all know classroom studies don’t always translate well into the business world.

    Our intern program helps – but we don’t even have time for that this year.  Expectations are high for a new employee.

    I think things like the university alliance program will help our future employees hit the ground running.  A “Win-Win”.  (Old term)


    • Michelle – great points, all of them.  Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      What a great time to learn about SAP, business processes, and business in general – right in the University.