This article was originally authored by Don Ginocchio, SAP University Alliances Director – Notre Dame.



/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/bill_notredame1_604710.jpgSAP’s CEO Bill McDermott visited the University of Notre Dame on Friday November 21st to engage with students and review the progress of the SAP – Notre Dame Alliance Plan.  We had a terrific day and were able to highlight every aspect of the University Alliances pillars – LEARN, APPLY, SHARE, RECRUIT, EMPOWER and IMPACT.

Bill started the day by meeting with the five teams of Notre Dame MBA students that are competing in our SAP case competition this semester.  The focus of this small group discussion was to hear Bill’s perspective on SAP’s Cloud strategy and how it fits into our overall vision to help the world run better and improve the lives of people everywhere.  Students were able to ask questions about the challenges of repositioning SAP products and services for the Cloud and the opportunity to accelerate the process of innovation with our customers.

Notre Dame then hosted a session for about 100 students in the Coleman-Morse Center on campus which provided an intimate setting for Bill to share his personal journey and speak on life lessons in sales, motivation and leadership.  The session was moderated by Professor Christopher Stevens of the Mendoza College of Business and more than half the time was dedicated to interaction with students in the form of questions from the audience.  Many participants remained in the room following the session in order to have Bill personally autograph copies of his recent book “Winners Dream”.  Informal feedback from students indicates that they were inspired by Bill’s stories and experiences because they provide great guidance on challenges they may face in their professional careers.

Notre Dame’s President, Father John Jenkins and other executive leaders of the university met with Bill and I to discuss the progress of our joint SAP/ND Alliance plan.  We focused on the applicability of HANA and SAP’s analytics portfolio to Notre Dame’s research and innovation agenda and explored some options for the key projects we have already begun together.

I want to thank Courtney Robinson, Leah Gallagher and Sean McCloskey for their part in making the day a tremendous success for SAP and Notre Dame.  We look forward to Bill’s next visit when we can review our progress on all the University Alliances pillars again.

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