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UA Spotlight Series: Professor Christine Legner

Christine Legner.JPGUniversity Alliances (UA) spotlights Professor Christine Legner from University of Lausanne who shares her background and new course activities.

The goal of this series is to exchange insights with UA professors from around the world and share their experiences. View UA Spotlight blog posts.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

In 2011, I joined the Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC) at University of Lausanne as professor of information systems. Our university is located directly at the border of the lake of Geneva in Switzerland. I have German origins, but have been moving back and forth between Switzerland and Germany for the past 15 years. In my prior positions, I was a professor at European Business School – near Frankfurt (Germany) – and a post-doctoral researcher at University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).

One of the reasons for moving to Lausanne is the proximity to the Swiss mountains. In winter, I love to go skiing. Some fantastic ski resorts, such as Verbier, are just one hour away from Lausanne. At the moment, my fiancé and I use most of our spare time for discovering the lake of Geneva region. We like outdoor activities, such as hiking, but also enjoy the vivid cultural life with all types of museums, concerts and many music festivals in summer. I am already looking forward to the Montreux Jazz Festival in July.

Share a bit about your SAP and UAC history.

My first contact with SAP was back in 1995 when I was involved in business process benchmarking projects with large SAP customers in Europe and the US as part of my doctoral studies. Thereafter, I got a job offer from SAP and worked in Walldorf for 3 years. When I returned to academia, I took over responsibility for a large industry-funded research project and continued working with SAP and SAP customers on business networking topics.

Contrary to my long history with SAP, University of Lausanne is a very young member of the SAP University Alliances program. One of the reasons for joining the SAP UA program was that I wanted to leverage SAP Business ByDesign in my new course “Business Processes and Information Systems”. Since my students are digital natives, I felt that they should not be bothered with the older generation of enterprise software, but work with cloud-based solutions and understand the business impact of recent technology innovations.

Another reason for joining the SAP UA program was that my colleagues approached me for setting up a capstone course for our Bachelor program. After discussions with HEC Montréal, we decided to use their ERPSim simulation game as basis for our “HEC Business Game” course. A few weeks ago, we ran the course for the first time, with enormous success. For us, it was fun to see the enthusiasm of our students sitting in front of their SAP screens when they were competing against their fellow students. Students learned a lot about business process integration and experienced the challenges of consistently implementing a given strategy in different functional departments. 

What do you like most about the University Alliances Community on the new Jive platform? How does this help improve your regular UAC activities?

I mostly consult the UAC for course material and other information related to Business ByDesign. The Business Integration Trainee curriculum (BIT) developed by University of Würzburg was extremely valuable for me. Thanks to the BIT material and exercises, I have been able to set-up a completely new course within just a few weeks.

Based on this experience, I consider the UA course library to be an extremely helpful resource for professors. Sharing teaching material between universities improves the teaching quality and allows me to set-up more interesting and interactive courses. I also use the UAC to access information about the latest technology trends related to cloud, mobile applications and SAP HANA. 

How can or do your students benefit from the UAC?

Students can find a lot of information and learn about career opportunities on the UAC portal. Many of our students are eager to learn more about why and how companies are using SAP, because they know SAP showcase customers, such as Nestlé or Philipp Morris, which have their headquarters in Lausanne and surroundings areas.

Students also benefit from the UAC in that it complements their SAP skills and helps them to understand the process for getting SAP certified. As already mentioned, we were part of the SAP Business ByDesign pilot program, and a group of students participated in the certification exam last week. Good luck to them!

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