University Alliances (UA) spotlights professor, and recently appointed SAP Mentor, Simha Magal from Grand Valley State University. The goal of this series is to exchange insights with UA professors from around the world and share their experiences with the University Alliances program (UAP) and Community (UAC).
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a professor in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. The university has a campus in Allendale, Michigan and in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have been here since 2000. Prior to that, I was at another institution for nearly 15 years.
My wife is also a professor at Grand Valley, in the School of Communications. We have two daughters. One daughter will be a junior at U. of Michigan next year and the older one is completing a Master’s degree at Tufts University and has just accepted a job. She will be applying to medical schools later this summer, to start in Fall 2013.
In my personal life, I came to the US in 1980 from India. I am a pilot and enjoy flying. Although the last year has been too busy to get much flying in. I also love to cook and find it very relaxing!
Share a bit about your SAP and University Alliances (UA) history.
We joined the UA program in 2000. I took on the role of the Director of the Seidman ERP program in 2004. The program serves about 2,000 students each year.
The UA program has helped us deliver educational programs that give us a huge competitive advantage. These programs prepare graduates for lucrative careers in numerous fields.
I have personally been very active in the UA community. I conduct workshops at various UA events (i.e. academic conferences, summer workshops), have assisted in developing curriculum and regularly advise universities on developing academic programs that take advantage of what UA offers.
I visit the UAC and SCN regularly and am a moderator on SCN. I have started a wiki to provide support to users of the GBI curriculum – it is hard to find in the new SCN design, but we are working on correcting that. The wiki has solutions to common problems faced by students.
With your co-development of Global Bike Inc., many publications within top MIS journals, and two co-written text books (“Integrated Business Processes (IBP) with ERP Systems” and “Essentials of Business Processes and Information Systems”) under your belt, what's next?
Rest….. but that is unlikely
I’ll be filling my time by writing additional chapters (available online) for the IBP book, preparing a professional version of the IBP book for use by companies in their internal training programs, developing GBI-based curriculum for a configuration course and developing GBI-based curriculum for a BI/analytics course.
You recently became the UA-sponsored SAP Mentor. Tell us about what this means to you? What topics or themes will you share with the SAP Community Network and the University Alliances Community?
I feel extremely honored to be an SAP Mentor. My interactions with them at SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando 2012 were fascinating. They represent a broad swath of the SAP ecosystem; they are brilliant, have a lot of energy, and are fearless (no task is too hard). It will be difficult to keep up with them (especially since I am probably one of the oldest Mentors, if not the oldest!).
I think the UA program is under-appreciated by the SAP ecosystem. In spite of the numerous efforts by UA and ASUG, most people I meet (including at the recent SAPPHIRE NOW conference) have not heard of the UA program. One of the goals for me as a Mentor is to spread the word about the UA program.
I also think that the Mentors have a lot to contribute to universities in the UA program. Another goal is to work with my fellow Mentor from academia, Paul Hawking, to increase the interactions between Mentors and faculty and students.