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Author's profile photo Anna Wypior

‘We are all a little bit generation Alpha’ – Cooperation with Educational Institutions to Foster the Next Generation of SAP Users –

In September, 200+ academic leaders from across the DACH region gathered in Magdeburg, Germany at the SAP Academic Usergroup Meeting 2019 for sharing experience, best practices and knowledge in the context of teaching SAP. Over 70%* of the event participants are longtime members since 2015 and up to 1995. At the event SAP and SAP Next-Gen content and sessions inspired the German speaking academic community also with brand-new topic like the experience enterprise.

Already for more than 25 years SAP cooperates with academia in teaching SAP solutions in partnership with University Competence Center (UCC). By providing the required infrastructure, platform, and application services the UCCs act as an Educational Service Provider (ESP) within the SAP University Alliances,SAP Next-Gen and the SAP Young Thinkers programs. By hosting SAP systems customized with sample data and use cases for teaching ½ Million students per year are touched with SAP technology within the SAP University Alliances full membership offering. Lighthouse campuses – so-called SAP Next-Gen Chapters – inspire by sharing best practices within the community of 3.700+ educational institutions. Furthermore, through SAP Next-Gen projects solving real life challenges of SAP customers students apply methodologies like Design Thinking and prototyping technologies as SAP Build.


We all are a little bit generation Alpha’ – Focus on Innovation and latest technology


80%** of faculty is highly motivated to teach latest technology to their students – the potential next generation of SAP users and decision makers. Great momentum for SAP’s keynote in Magdeburg ‘From the Intelligent Enterprise to the Experience Enterprise’ by Glenn González, Chief Technology Officer SAP Germany that was highly apricated sharing SAP’s own transformation journey and the key formulas of the experience economy:

simplicity => emotion => acceptance

emotion => expectations

Generation Z – heads-down generation – uses smartphone as closest companion in all life activities: from morning wakeup call, planning & booking transfer to work, shopping, evaluating services and products, payments, networking via social media, chatting, streaming music and meditation guides, tracking sport activities, payments, sleep analysis. Core aspects for Generation Z users are: simplicity, humanity, sharing experiences and things, recommendation and trust. The next generation α (Alpha) – iPad generation – goes even further via direct voice interaction with devices, things, rooms. Glenn shared a private A-ha-moment as his 3-year-old son said, “Play my favorite good night song” and got it.

You and I, everyone is a little bit generation Z and α as we all are adapting our habits and way of life due to digital disruption. ‘We all are a little bit generation Alpha.’ was the most used quote during the whole week event.

What does this mean for business? The journey of the economy (e.g. music industry) goes from commodity economy (e.g. music concert), products economy (e.g. Walkman, discman, iPod) over service economy (e.g. music streaming) towards experience economy (e.g. life concert as event within virtual games). The dilemma for business decision makers is based on challenges like: flexible and in near real time access to facts, stability and agility, fast adoption of new technologies, revolution of experience economy. 80% of CEO’s believe they deliver a superior experience, but only 8% of their customers agree. SAP is addressing this gap, by combining operational data together with experience data and accelerating its solutions portfolio for intelligent enterprise with Qualtrics towards the experience enterprise:

X + O

1.8 Billion experience touchpoints run on Qualtrics + 77% of the world’s transactions run on SAP

Experience Management will also focus at the next academic event ‘SAP Next-Gen Academy for Experience Management‘ that will be held at SAP’s Headquarters Walldorf, Experience Center later this year on November 27 and 28.


Announcing 6 new lighthouse campuses – SAP Next-Gen Chapters


SAP Next-Gen Chapters are lighthouse universities which support educational institutions in a country or region to build up the local SAP Next-Gen innovation with purpose network and enable customers to work with the mindset of young people at universities for disruptive design concepts and prototype solutions to accelerate becoming best-run, intelligent enterprises. Chapters collaborate with our UCCs, Academic Competence Center (ACC), SAP Academic Boards and SAP Next-Gen Labs/Hubs to drive academic innovation and build community. The following new SAP Next-Gen Chapters in their focus topic area have been announced in Magdeburg:

  • Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences: SAP S/4 HANA
  • Heilbronn University of Applied Science: Digital Design Thinking & Digital Business Model Innovation
  • Heidelberg University of Education: SAP Young Thinkers
  • Zentrum für Schulqualität und Lehrerbildung (ZSL): Curriculum Development
  • University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt: Project Management & Entrepreneurship
  • University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt: Logistics

An overview of all 22 SAP Next-Gen Chapters in the DACH region can be found on the now launched DACH Website. Newest SAP Next-Gen chapter is the German User Group DSAG -announced at the DSAG Annual Congress 2019 on September 17. Otto Schell underlined the transformation of educational systems and the urgent need to collaborate and define required future skill sets.

IoT Showcases at the SAP Academic Usergroup Meeting 2019, Magdeburg


SAP Next-Gen Projects for Students and curricula for Professors


Approx. 250.000 students per academic semester learn SAP technology in the classroom using the hosting offering of the University Competence Center within the SAP University Alliances full membership offer including:

  • curricula created by academia for academy, access via SAP Learning Hub
  • latest SAP software solutions for academic teaching
  • events where faculty can expand SAP knowledge, build relationships with other educators, and connect with SAP experts and industry partners.

Also in the academic community the SAP S/4HANA Momentum is high and SAP customer success stories were well received. For professors the new curriculum ‘Introduction to SAP S/4HANA Using Global Bike 3.3’ is available in English and German language and can be accessed via SAP Learning Hub, academic edition. Currently the offering by the UCC is to test SAP S/4HANA for teaching one month for free.

Latest curricula and system updates of the UCC include:

  • new business models in the Global Bike Model Companyg. sharing economy, simulation of votings and social media channels via Twinsta, a model of Twitter and Instagram towards experience management
  • wide range of Industry 4.0 curricula and solutions for teaching based on UCCs cooperation with multiple manufacturers e.g. FESTO AG & Co. KG, ETS Didactic GmbH, Fischertechnik GmbH

The SAP Next-Gen team offers a new curriculum on Design Thinking and Science Fiction Thinking to the academic community.

In the last years the SAP Next-Gen project semesters model has been successfully established around the world and connects companies with students and graduates who have specific digital transformation knowledge and skills, showcase startups with corporations seeking to seed disruptive innovation, and enable students to work on SAP Next-Gen projects with industry partners including SAP customers and supporting the UN Global Goals.

SAP Next-Gen projects provide much value to students, professors as they offer a win-win-win for faculty, students and business. Through SAP Next-Gen Projects with real life challenges by SAP customers students learn hands on methodologies like Design Thinking and prototyping tools like SAP Build or cloud technologies like SAP Cloud platform. ‘Dr. Michael Nuernberg, VP, SAP Next-Gen DACH Director

Faculty is already invited for the next DACH conference that will be held in Munich in September 2020! Stay tuned!


*based on the onsite survey at the event with 52 received feedbacks

**based on the onsite survey at the event with 112 received feedbacks


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