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SAP HANA @ University Alliances Initiative

MichaelN.jpgThe SAP HANA @ Universities Alliances initiative is in development as part of the UA program; it was an important topic at the recent EMEA Academic Conference. Below I’ve shared an update about the program based on a few frequently asked questions.

What is the SAP HANA @ Universities program?  How can it help professors, lecturers, and students?

In-Memory Computing and specifically SAP HANA are transforming the way we perform analytics. In addition to speed, SAP HANA represents instant access to accurate answers of business questions that previously required lengthy programming efforts. The SAP University Alliances (UA) team wants professors, lecturers and students to be exposed to the benefits of SAP HANA.

The first SAP HANA curriculum for use in UA classrooms is being developed within our global SAP HANA @ UA initiative. The course contains knowledge about more than one SAP product. We cover the end-to-end scenario from the data source, via data replication into the SAP HANA database, through modeling and the graphical representation of the data in analytics dashboards.

When do you expect to go-live with the SAP HANA curricula and software? What are some of the activities happening now and in the future?

The curriculum development phase is nearly complete as the pilot course materials (i.e. lecture, exercises and a case study) are being finalized. We have a globally distributed group of professors and lecturers (“lighthouse faculties”) who will teach the curriculum in the first 2 quarters of 2013.

As a result, we have planned “Train-the-Trainer Workshops,” starting in EMEA, in conjunction with the SAP Academic Conference in Dresden, Germany. The feedback we collect will be analyzed and used to adjust the materials to their highest quality and confirm they are aligned with academic standards.

Following these workshops we will expose it in a pilot set of classrooms with our lighthouse faculties. After the pilot teaching period, the UA team will start a Ramp-Up phase, bringing more and more universities, lecturers and students in touch with SAP HANA. More details will be shared throughout the process.

How does SAP HANA @ Universities benefit students in their careers and working within the SAP Ecosystem?

This initiative will provide both hands on experience using SAP HANA and classroom materials which embed the end-to-end scenario from data source to a decision maker’s dashboard. Gaining this knowledge will provide a graduate profile that is highly attractive for prospective employers including: customers, partners and, last but not least, SAP.

Are there any materials or resources available now?

To get some first impressions, I always recommend the self-study materials available at Experience SAP HANA (

On this site you can explore the capabilities of SAP HANA and visit the “Solutions” area to “test drive and demo” the software including SAP Business Objects Explorer which showcases the use of tremendous amounts of data through a visualization and interactive experience.

The demos are done in a very nice quiz style where you can gain points for quick data analysis. So, you may want to start a kind of tournament for your team (or classroom) to see who’s doing the best.

Furthermore, books that introduce SAP HANA are available such asSAP HANA Essentialsby Jeff Word (Free download – Code 0FED1038) andSAP HANA: An Introductionby Dr. Bjarne Berg and Penny Silvia.

In addition, the Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI) offers free online courses starting in September for all who are interested. The first online course, “In-Memory Data Management,” starts on Monday, September 3, 2012, and is taught by Hasso Plattner, HPI founder and chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board. Registration is now available.

The SAP HANA @ Universities site has many quick links and additional background including a free 30 day trial.

A follow-up blog has been posted to share a status update and what’s next: SAP HANA @ University Alliances Initiative – What’s Next?

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