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For both faculty and students the higher education experience is increasingly transitioning to digital formats and online channels.  Having a strong online experience will become more than just a differentiating factor on how a university or college ranks amongst peers; it will mean survival for many schools challenged by changing cost models, student demographics, and increasing student expectations.  Further, University operations and human resources models are transitioning to centralized department support structures and shared resource centers to maximize purchasing economies of scale and contract work forces.  Yet, student expectations for educational return on investment (and a path to employment) only increases.

For this reason – the speakers at SAPPHIRE NOW are compelling.

It’s a who’s who roster of experts – Johns Hopkins, MIT, Penn State, Duke, University of Cincinnati, Weill Cornell, Boston University, and more.

Here are just a few topics that have me excited for SAPPHIRE NOW:

1) Understand how leading schools are transitioning HANA applications form back-office support to mission-centric research

2) See how SAP and Jenzabar are partnering to broaden HE offerings across all university and College populations

3) Learn how UC automated hiring od applicants

4) Gain insight into how MIT successfully migrated to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud in just 6 months

5) Watch the higher education and research demo on digital transformation to adapt to changing constituent needs

In addition to the above session, which are specific to the higher Education industry, the Executive keynotes promise to inspire.  From SAP we’ll hear from Bill McDermott, Rob Enslin, Bend Lukert, Steve Singh and, of course, Hasso Plattner.  From ASUG both Geoff Scott and Vice Chairperson Keith Sturgill are keynoting.  yet it’s the guest keynote speakers which are often just, if not more, memorable.  This year Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, will discuss igniting a computer revolution to change the world.  And Welby Altidor, Executive Creative Director of Creations for Cirque du Soleil will talk about “creative courage.”

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