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Personal Insights

openSAP: 7 years of growing a learning community!

On this day seven years ago, May 27, 2013, I remember the mixed feelings and emotions as Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA, the very first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on openSAP, started. As we didn’t have any previous experience, we had no idea how SAP learners would like the format, how they would like the content presented, if they’d like developing on SAP HANA, or if the platform would handle such a large number of learners at the same time. But today, I’m glad to say that it was a very successful course and we’re close to having one million learners signed up to learn with openSAP!

I thought I’d take the time to share some insights as on top of my role as portfolio lead, I’m also the openSAP numbers guy.

To start, let’s look at this graph which shows the journey to almost one million learners. Here you can see there was a steady, linear growth. Since the start of openSAP in 2013, there was an average of 387 new learner registrations per day. In April and May 2020, we see exponential growth with an average of 853 new learners per day, double the usual amount! This is huge and can be attributed to a variety of factors – the global pandemic, more people working from home, reskilling for new jobs, our unlocked courses – but we expect that this won’t be the long term trend and things will go back to normal in the near future.


New registered openSAP learners per day

Next, let’s look at the spikes in new registrations. This chart is based per day and you can see the clear difference between high registrations and low registrations. There are 7 extraordinarily high days so let me take a moment to give you some background to each.

The first is 7 years ago today – the start of Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA. On this day, we saw 2,734 new learners join the platform and course to start on the path to becoming an SAP HANA Developer.

Next is the highest number of new learners in one day in the history of openSAP which was on March 10, 2014 and this is related to the course, An Introduction to SAP HANA. The course provided a high-level and easy to understand explanation of what SAP HANA is. Even today, the course attracts new enrollments with more than 900 in the last 90 days.

In the table below, you can see the courses and events that coincided with the spikes in new learners joining openSAP in chronological order. SAPPHIRE Now 2017 saw the preview of our machine translated subtitles by SAP Neural Machine Translation, which led to new learners joining us to see what it’s all about.

(1)  27/05/2013 2,734 Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA
(2)  10/03/2014 3,179 An Introduction to SAP HANA
(3)  24/09/2014 1,489 ABAP Development for SAP HANA
(4)  09/02/2016 1,528 Implementation of SAP S/4HANA
(5)  19/07/2017 1,564 SAPPHIRE Now – Machine Learning Translation
(6)  11/10/2017 1,366 Integration – The Key to the Intelligent Enterprise
and Modern Data Warehousing with SAP BW/4HANA
(7)  20/04/2020 1,755 Building Tomorrow’s ERP with SAP S/4HANA

Regional distribution of openSAP learners

Let’s look at the regional distribution of our learners. You can see that APJ leads the way with 39% of learners, followed by EMEA, MEE, North America, Latin America, and Greater China. This corresponds nicely to the spread of the world population and shows the equal distribution of openSAP learners globally.

We’re proud to say that 209 countries are learning with openSAP and you can see below the top 10 countries with the most learners. openSAP is truly a globally available platform and some of the countries with a small number of learners include Vatican City State, Dominica, Seychelles, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, and Palau.

Top 10 countries:

1 India
2 United States
3 Germany
4 Brazil
5 Canada
6 United Kingdom
7 South Africa
8 Australia
9 Mexico
10 Spain


openSAP age distribution

I’m really impressed to see that the age group of our learners starts at 16 and reaches 86 years old – that’s a span of 70 years! 25% of our learners are under 31 and 25% are older than 43, with the remaining 50% of learners in between. The median age of the global workforce is 39 and at openSAP, we see the median as 36 years; so similar to regional spread, we’re not too far from the global average, just a little younger 😊.


Final thoughts

I find it hard to believe that it’s been 7 years since we started openSAP with a small group of passionate colleagues and I’m overwhelmed to see that we’re just a few learners away from one million unique learners! In 2013, we had no idea how people would like our format or our courses. I’m glad to say that on average, learners joined over 4 courses each – of course some complete a lot more and some a little less. It tells me that learners like our courses and come back to learn more. It’s incredible to think that 16 people register new accounts on our platform each and every hour since we started.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to openSAP in any way over the last seven years. There are too many to mention as there’s really thousands of people, from instructors to platform team, video production, course management, and so many more, that I could thank and I’m sure to miss one. I’m looking forward to 2023 when we can take a look at ten years of openSAP and see how SAP and the world of learning continue to evolve.

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