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The Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik is a business information systems conference in the German speaking countries. It is targeted to researcher and IT practitioner who are interested in current trends and research topics. Around 600 students, lecturers, professors attend the bi-annual conference with a broad variety of discussion forums, workshops, panel discussions and poster sessions. This year’s MKWI conference was held in the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum, the world’s biggest computer museum located right next to the University of Paderborn. The conference was jointly organized by the chair of Decision Support & Operations Research (Prof. Dr. Leena Suhl) and the chair for Information Management & E-Finance (Prof. Dr. Dennis Kundisch) from the University of Paderborn. 

SAP functioned as one of the main sponsors and was prominently represented throughout the week. This included the keynote speech, two workshops and presence with a booth in the exhibition area.

The conference was kicked off by several welcome speeches as well as a keynote speech by Prof. Alan Hevner on “Expanding the Impacts of Design Science Research”. This was followed by the keynote speech from Nils Herzberg, Senior Vice president Industry Solutions at SAP, to position Industry 4.0 to the academic world. During his keynote speech Nils Herzberg outlined how important information systems are not only for the information technology sector but also for the manufacturing industry and everyday life. With the use of smart devices a new wave of digitalization, awareness and automation is triggered that re-invents the internet of things. Thus, the presentation resembled a call for action in the academic community for more relevant research in this area.

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The keynote speeches were followed by 32 research tracks, nearly 200 lectures and 21 poster presentations. This included tracks on E-Health, E-Learning, Enterprise Modeling and Enterprise IS as well as Business Intelligence.

SAP University Alliances and the University Competence Centers were present with a booth throughout the whole conference to inform the attendees about latest curriculum projects and possibilities to collaborate on joint co-innovation projects.

The SAP Innovation Center was also onsite and informed about current innovation projects at the Innovation Center as well as some projects from the Future SOC Lab. The following two applications were demoed onsite:

  • SAP Point-Of-Sale Explorer: The Point-Of-Sale-Explorer supports product category managers of large retail companies in getting an overview of their products’ performance at great detail and at any given point in time.  This solution will significantly improve planning and support in negotiations with suppliers and wholesalers.
  • SAP Player Performance: The SAP Player Performance supports the training process of soccer teams. It uses a collection of geodata using sensors worn by players and attached to the ball. It is able to calculate performance attributes such as sprints or percentage of ball possession in real time.

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Furthermore, two workshops were held to inform about career paths at SAP. The SAP Innovation Center team presented the job opportunities at the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam as well as the innovation projects at the Future SOC Lab in one of the workshop. The second workshop focused on the SAP CareerStarters program – a dedicated consulting trainee program for graduates.

Together with Lynx Consulting Group SAP University Alliances organized a daily raffle to generate more traffic to the exhibition area and get engaged with the attendees.

Overall, the conference was really successful with a lot of interesting research topics, great discussions and newly gained contacts for the UA program. The Heinz-Nixdorf Museum was a great place to host such a conference as the attendees had the opportunity to visit the world’s biggest computer museum and learn about the history of the world of symbols and arithmetic’s as well as the invention of the computer.

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The next MKWI conference will take place March 9 – 11, 2016 in Ilmenau. Next year, the WI (Internationale Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik) will be held in Osnabrück, March 4 – 6.

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