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SAP University Alliances is very happy to have sponsored the 2013 UK International Conference on Information Systems (UKAIS) which took place 19-20 March 2013 at Worcester College, Oxford University. The UKAIS is the leading annual conference based in the UK for Information Systems, Management and Information Technology academics and professionals.

http://www.ukais.org.uk/conference/conference2013/

In total there 153 Professors, 10 UKAIS Board members and 35 PhD students attending the event which had a principle focus for 2013 on Social Information Systems. Themes included Power, Politics and Governance in the Public Sector, IS and the New Public Management, The role of Outsourcing and Partnerships, Cloud Services and Social Organizations, Social Information Analytics and Business Intelligence and IS in Higher Education among others.

I thoroughly enjoyed being one of the keynote speakers and not just because of the beautiful surroundings of Worcester College or because the event was being held in the one of the world’s very definition of elite universities. But because as ever the Professors involved were keen to engage with ‘practitioner’s and were very interested in the rapid evolution of SAP in recent years with the development of Hana, the deep dive into mobility and analytics and the focus on the engagement with younger people and students.

My topic was on the use of social media and particularly massively communal media such as SCN with its’ 3 million members as well as portion of it , the SAP University Alliances Community www.uac.sap.com. Our aim in the University Alliances program is to reach 1 million students in 2013 and this requires an integrated approach across multiple media with the level and type of interaction depending on the appropriateness of the medium. Is the principle audience that of students or their professors for example? Are we targeting technical, business or all students, are we interested in offering them careers or are we interested in their app ideas? These are crucial questions as not all social media are the same and some can be inappropriate for the type of audience and feedback you are trying to generate.

Much of the research however seems to be on the what and how of social media rather than the who or why…many of the discussions seen by myself and the two colleagues from SAP Education I invited along  (one flying in from Norway) took this approach – looking at knowledge constructs and implementation issues rather than exploring the current usage. Perhaps this is because of the difficulty in gaining access the heart of such large, complex and competitively sensitive systems.

It was a very interesting discussion and the Professors were of course every keen to network with SAP. By all means anyone interested in doing so – feel free to reach out to me.

All the best

Martin

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