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Author's profile photo Don Ginocchio

SAP Leads Design Thinking Challenge for Indiana MSIS Students

On Friday September 19th, I was the guest instructor for Indiana University’s MSIS program responsible for leading the Design Thinking experience for graduate students. Dr. Bipin Prabhakar invited SAP to teach the principles of Design Thinking this month and guide the students through the SAP version of this methodology. The MSIS cohort is comprised of 128 graduate students segmented into two sections and a total of 31 teams.

Students were provided an overview of Design Thinking and had a chance to hear from the Indiana University Athletics department regarding the design challenge for this project. The initial challenge is stated as follows: How might we provide Indiana University sports fans with an interactive conversational app (or voice) interface to all IU historical sports statistics? Students had an opportunity to reframe this challenge, then we focused on building empathy for our target users by developing an interview guide and preparing to create Personas and Points-of-View for next week. Students experienced a quick exercise on the Design Thinking process and were provided access to SAP’s Build which will serve as the overall methodology for the course. The goal is to build a prototype app and a short video idea pitch for the client IU Athletics.

To assist the students in understanding and applying conversational user interface solutions, several pre-reads were provided, and I gave them a short overview of two SAP components. SAP CoPilot is the Digital Assistant and Bot Integration Hub for the Enterprise. It enables natural language interaction with enterprise systems and integrates enterprise bots. SAP Conversational AI is the collaborative platform to build, train, deploy, and monitor intelligent bots. It enables custom dialogs with machine learning-based natural language understanding.

The mission of the Kelley School of Business is to transform the lives of students, organizations and society through management education and research. The aim is to produce: a) students who are citizens of the world who have a positive impact on their organizations and on the communities in which they live, and b) research that advances both theory and practice. The school emphasizes a collaborative approach that encourages the creation of value-added partnerships among faculty, students, alumni, other universities and academic units at IU, and with private-sector and not-for-profit organizations.

The MS in Information Systems Program builds a business-minded IT professional—a competitive advantage in any job market. Students develop a valuable skillset that combines technical, business and managerial expertise. Many of the core courses in the curriculum include SAP content and therefore prepare students to:

  • Demonstrate command of the technical aspects of information systems
  • Explain how managerial and organizational issues affect the use of information systems
  • Integrate information systems and information technology with other business topics to analyze and recommend solutions to business problems
  • Understand risk management, compliance, and ethical issues in the use of information systems
  • Utilize effective teamwork and communication skills

Dr. Prabhakar will complete the course leadership on the next two Fridays. The second session will focus on designing a human centered solution for the design challenge and the final session will delve into validation, testing and pitching the solution. The final assignment will be a six-minute pitch video that demonstrates a prototype and highlights the features of each solution. Students will use design process resources embedded in the BUILD tool throughout the experience.

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