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Author's profile photo Clemens Link

More than a Quarter of a Million Course Enrollments on openSAP in Less than 1 Year

In January 2013, I was given the opportunity to start and lead the openSAP project – with the support of Hendrik Achenbach and Katarzyna Zakrzewska, and in close collaboration with the Hasso-Plattner-Institute, Potsdam. Based on the success of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the academic world, SAP wanted to deliver knowledge quickly about our latest innovations to anyone interested in learning about SAP and openSAP is the result. Courses are open to anyone, anywhere, at any time and free of charge.

To develop and deliver a high quality course experience to our learners, many additional colleagues with a variety of expertise joined the project team to support our mission. Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA began in May 2013 and exceeded all of our expectations (see openSAP Blog for more details) with overwhelming feedback from our learners which motivated us to build on this success. One year on from our official launch on April 29, 2013, we have reached over 250,000 course enrollments. Needless to say I’m extremely proud that I was part of this great achievement.

I’d like to share some key facts that define the first year of openSAP.

  • We delivered six courses in 2013, three more than originally planned. (Including one repeat).
  • Over 110,000 unique learners
  • More than 250,000 enrollments into our courses in less than 12 months is a remarkable achievement.
  • Well over 1 million videos
  • On average there are more than 600 helpful posts in the discussion forum per week/course. There are also many private groups created to enable learners to discuss topics with others based in their location, company, role etc.
  • In addition to the openSAP discussion forums, openSAP learners and presenters actively discuss course content on SAP Community Network (SCN), Twitter and other social media networks. (Example: SAP HANA Cloud Platform)
  • In our development courses, learners have the opportunity to practice on a system landscape. To date, 30,000 development systems in the cloud have been accessed by openSAP learners.
  • On average, ~50% of registered participants are active in our courses, i.e. completing assignments and posting in forums.
  • Astoundingly our learners come from more than 175 different countries across the world.
  • On average 25-30% of openSAP participants successfully complete their chosen courses which is 5 times higher than in academia. In academic MOOCs, the average completion rate is just 4-8%.
  • Enrollment often doubles during a course so we count the number of enrolments half way through a course for statistical purposes.
  • In addition, many learners enroll and join courses outside the scheduled run and we can see they continue to watch videos and complete self-tests during the self-study phase. However participants still choose to join a scheduled run of the course to benefit from the MOOC format.
  • Our target group are mainly professionals but also students. Based on our statistics and completion rates, our participants fit perfectly into our target group. The average age of an openSAP learner is 23-45 years old.
  • We received the “Innovation in Learning Bronze Award 2014” from the Learning and Performance Institute, London.
  • We also use openSAP for SAP internal knowledge transfer and have gained a lot of experience in the successful delivery of Corporate MOOCs.
  • In February 2014, the openSAP project was transformed into an organization unit named openSAP University, led by Michaela Laemmler.
  • So far in 2014, we have added 4 additional courses to our portfolio and we are proud that Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, created and delivered a course on the Introduction to SAP HANA with us. The course received outstanding feedback from participants.



  • We released our first openSAP iPad app, allowing iOS users to download and view content offline. (This functionality is a standard feature on Android devices).
  • We became a thought leader in the Enterprise world by establishing openSAP Enterprise MOOCs as a new learning format adapting academic MOOCs from the world of Higher Education.

Enrollments 2014-04-28.PNG

This chart displays the unique learners, learners from SAP and the number of learners per course along our timeline from April 29, 2013 until today. As you can see from the chart, 18% of our unique learners are SAP Employees which means 82% are not from inside SAP. New learners continue to join openSAP per course, demonstrating our diverse topics and wide-reach to new learners. SAP HANA is our most popular topic overall, reflecting the widespread interest on SAP’s innovative platform and database.

If you’ve recently completed an openSAP course and would like to learn more about SAP, visit the SAP Training and Certification Shop. Search for “openSAP” and you will find related courses from SAP Education where you may also earn an SAP Certification.

When we started this project last year, I was excited to develop and work on this new Enterprise MOOC format. Without a similar offering to compare our expectations to, we didn’t know what results to expect but I didn’t predict that we could ever achieve the remarkable success that we have reached in less than twelve months. openSAP has become a well-established MOOC provider in the learning world and leads the way for new Enterprise MOOC providers to learn from  openSAP’s experience to date. I’ve enjoyed every step of the journey so far with the amazing openSAP Team and I’m truly honored to be part of this innovative learning offering at SAP. I’d like to thank all of the openSAP Team, content experts and contributors who have helped to make openSAP such a success.  I look forward to continuing to build on the success of the first twelve months and look forward to seeing you again on a future course. I hope you enjoyed this review and thanks to Claire from openSAP Communications for her support on the creation of this blog.

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