Students, businesses to benefit from UW-Eau Claire alliance with software leader SAPApril 30, 2012
A ceremony recognizing the UW-Eau Claire/SAP UAP partnership will be held at 11 a.m. May 4 in Schofield Auditorium. The public is invited to the event to learn more about SAP and what this alliance means to students, faculty and staff, and the business community.
To RSVP for the event, contact Faith Bogstad, UW-Eau Claire College of Business, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UW-Eau Claire is the newest member of the SAP University Alliances program (SAP UAP), a global community of more than 1,000 universities in 60 countries using SAP tools and resources. According to the SAP website, three-quarters of Forbes 500 companies and 80 percent of the companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index run SAP software.
"It is important for students to have hands-on experience with software and application tools that are an integral part of global business," said Diane Hoadley, dean of the College of Business. "By joining the SAP University Alliances program, our students are developing skills relevant to their careers and chosen fields."
UW-Eau Claire joins UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Platteville and the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Wisconsin and Metropolitan State University and the University of St Thomas in Minnesota as the only universities in those states to make SAP content available to their students.
Through its SAP University Alliances Program, SAP donates licenses for its software at no cost to member universities for use by faculty and students in management, operations research, accounting, finance, marketing, information systems and computer science. SAP UAP also provides university faculty with access to instructional workshops and conferences, course materials and other instructional aids.
UW-Eau Claire will introduce SAP software and materials in five undergraduate business courses, said Dr. Tony Keys, associate professor of information systems and the faculty lead for SAP curriculum integration. SAP content will be embedded in required and elective courses offered by accounting, information systems and operations management faculty.
"By adopting SAP as a platform in multiple classes, our students will gain a holistic view of how technology can be used to optimize key business processes," Keys said. "This knowledge is highly valued by employers using SAP or other similar enterprise resource-planning tools."
Michael Schulze, a 1984 UW-Eau Claire marketing graduate who now is senior vice president and general manager for SAP North America Retail, said he sees firsthand the growing demand for college graduates with SAP skills and knowledge.
"Businesses are looking for people who understand business processes, not just how technology works," Schulze said. "UW-Eau Claire's new business curriculum, which incorporates industry-leading technology from SAP, will not only give students an edge when competing for jobs upon graduation, but will also give employers well trained new hires who understand end-to-end business processes."
UW-Eau Claire graduates with experience in the SAP platform will possess a skill set that can be used to grow existing or draw new businesses to the region, said Brian Doudna, executive director of the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp.
"Critical talent is vital to a growing economy, especially in the IT field," Doudna said. "As our local economy continues to grow, the demand for employees with more sophisticated IT skills like SAP also grows. The new business curriculum at UW-Eau Claire will help the region meet its demand for employees with this skill set."
Companies that use SAP software include 3M, Cargill, Ecolab, Harley-Davidson, IBM, Leinenkugel's, Nestle, Target and Thomson-Reuters — all organizations that currently recruit UW-Eau Claire students, said Dr. Thomas Hilton, information systems department chair. UW-Eau Claire business students will have additional internship and employment opportunities with these employers once they learn students have had exposure to SAP, and companies that use SAP but do not currently recruit at UW-Eau Claire also will come to campus looking for prospective employees, Hilton said.
"Global demand for employees with knowledge of information systems increases every year," Hilton said. "Through the SAP University Alliances program, we are preparing the next generation of business leaders to be productive with SAP software and to use this technology strategically in a business context."
For more information about the UW-Eau Claire SAP program, contact Dr. Thomas Hilton, information systems department chair, at 715- 836-3416 or email@example.com.