University Alliances

8 Posts authored by: Richard Blumberg

SAP TechEd 2012 Online

Watch broadcasts and session replays from the SAP TechEd 2012 conferences. View SAP executive keynotes, lectures, and interviews on today’s hottest technology topics, including SAP HANA, databases, and cloud. Learn from the experts about the latest developments in SAP technologies, focused on SAP NetWeaver, analytics, and mobile platforms. Look for the Demo Jam competition and other highlights.


Conference Replays:

SAP TechEd Las Vegas: October 15-18 (watch replays)
SAP TechEd Madrid: November 12-15 (watch replays)
SAP TechEd Bangalore: November 27-30 (watch replays)

Source: SAP Events Newsroom

YouTube Video: How Students Get Educated about SAP HANA



ann.JPGMADRID — SAP today announced that the SAP University Alliances program will reach the next generation of influencers through plans to empower 1 million students in 2013 with knowledge of the SAP HANA platform. The company also welcomed to the program the 800th member in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd, being held November 13-16 as a co-located event in Madrid. 


In 2013, the SAP University Alliances program plans to influence the next generation and reach 1 million students with knowledge of SAP HANA. As a first step, students took part in SAP InnoJam, the pre-conference event held November 10 and 11, prior to SAP TechEd Madrid. Kick-off and introduction of further initiatives took place onsite with 100 professors and academics representing the SAP University Alliances program community in EMEA. The PhotoTribe mobile app was showcased, along with plans for more apps to come.


SAP University Alliances is further addressing young people through the innovative learning platform of the SAP HANA Academy site. Additionally, SAP Startup Forum events for students are planned throughout the coming year in Berlin, Finland, Johannesburg, London, Moscow, Paris and Tel Aviv. And through SAP Community Network, the largest community for students around SAP HANA is also available. The “SAP Students Council” will serve as a worldwide council of students to offer the ability to mutually influence. Student members will benefit from diverse communities for matchmaking, for example, student to research, student to businesses and peer group matchmaking.


Following a signing ceremony at SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd Madrid, the University of Applied Management Studies in Mannheim joined SAP University Alliances as the 800th member university in EMEA. The innovative, newly founded university focuses its education on internationalization and globalization of companies.


SAP University Alliances was founded in Germany in 1988. Today, more than 1,300 universities throughout the world participate in the program. Each year, more than 250,000 students enroll in educational courses from SAP. For more information on the program, visit the SAP University Alliances community on SAP Community Network.


For announcements, blog posts, videos and other coverage during SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd Madrid, visit the Events Newsroom. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @SAP_UA.


Ann Rosenberg, SAP University Alliances, +45 29233340,



Read the article on SAP Events Newsroom.

Fireside.jpg “In the end, it’s the customer and the customer alone that determines if we have a job.”

“You need to constantly be innovating for the future, while you’re executing for the present
…the best leaders understand that!”

“You all can make a difference, the young generation coming out of the universities and coming into the workforce. You see things we don’t see, your ideas are unique, you understand where the world is going, you understand social. You get all that, and I think that’s such an unbelievable opportunity to help the economy, create innovation, create jobs, and push things forward.”

---Quotes from Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP AG (from the Business Innovation blog)



Learning from Top Leaders


The "View from the Top" Fireside Chat with Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and Drexel University's President John Fry on November 1 was an amazing opportunity to learn from two top leaders who have a lot in common with each other. Both are visionaries who provide transformational leadership to large organizations and most importantly they both value helping the community.

The topics included themes such as jobs, trends, and leadership which are of interest to students, alumni, professors, and professionals both in the audience and around the globe far beyond the "375" who attended in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Sacramento, California (USA) (via a live video feed) along with 30-40 who were turned away due to the auditorium's capacity!


A Students Reflection - Now and Years Later


Everyone who attended benefited including:

  • Students who are looking for their job upon graduation
  • Alumni who are successful and want to take their career to the next level
  • Professors and lecturers who teach SAP-related courses and/or want to position their students for a competitive marketplace
  • Recent graduates who have their first job and want to navigate to achieve success within their organization and with customers
  • Employees and professionals who want to learn about the recipes for success!

Crowd.pngThe bottom-line is that in my case, I can remember... a time when I was a student (back in the day!)... when I was (& still am) hungry to receive wisdom,  knowledge and lessons learned from top executives, leaders, and experts. Often it can be hard to come by. The opportunity to learn from these leaders was an amazing opportunity!



So What are the Takeaways?


All of us are on a journey! From our early school days to now we are all the product of our decisions. Learning from top leaders can provide us insights on how to be successful. We can learn... What worked for them? How can we apply it to our own situations? What big or small idea can help us to save time and accelerate our careers and ultimately win!?


The topics shared included:

  • Jobs - Competing to jumpstart your career
  • Trends - Identifying global opportunities in the marketplace including China and beyond
  • Leadership - Sharing lessons learned and best practices


But there's an even a greater reason why this event was memorable and worth watching on the video... and that's the stories...Bill.jpg


Bill McDermott provided masterful insights by telling us everyday stories that he experienced from his first business owning a deli (and a few video games!) at age 17 to his first job upon graduation at Xerox and how he conducted his business as a Xerox "Marketing Representative" on the streets of New York City selling door-to-door. While he did share insights on SAP including the value of the SAP University Alliances Program which were phenominal, a lot of his discussion was down-to-earth vignettes which we can all relate to in our everyday work, lives, and plans for the future.


John.pngPresident John Fry did a wonderful job of providing his insights including a very strategic Innovation Neighborhood planned as the gateway from 30th Street (a top East Coast transportation hub in the United States) to Drexel's campus in West Philadelphia (& University City)... and making sure that the flow of the Fireside Chat provided the maximum value for the audience.





The knowledge shared will help and inspire students, alumni, professors/lecturers, and professionals from around the globe who are the "current" and "future" business and IT leaders!


The opportunity to have a front row seat, to hear the video, and review the recap on the Business Innovation site will provide inspiration to all who take the time to learn more!


In my case, having watched this event live from the front row; I can truly say that listening to the video the second time around is even more inspirational: I'm looking forward to sharing it with my team as well as hearing it a few more times!


Quick Links
  • Video - "Fireside Chat: Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and President John Fry"
  • Blog - “Stay Hungry, Stay Humble” Words of Wisdom from SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott" by Lindsey Nelson

Posted by Tanya Duncan Jul 22, 2011

Preparing for your first SAP interview can be stressful with few online resources that provide SAP relevant advice. I was unprepared for my first SAP interview because I wasn’t sure what to expect in the way of SAP questions. Looking back now, I'd like to think I know a thing or two about interviews. My last interview was less than six months ago for my current position as a SAP Consultant with Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services firm. I've previously interviewed with a number of companies throughout the past few years for full-time positions, internships, and I led and participated in mock interviews. I would actually enjoy a position as a career mentor or counselor. Editing resumes, prepping for interviews, and choosing classes is exciting to me while overwhelming to others.

If you want my secret to a successful interview, it's this: play a game with the interviewers. Sounds tough right? First you enter the interview nervous, sweaty, overwhelmed with memorizing facts about the company, and now you can't just simply answer the questions? The most valuable advice I've been given about interviewing is make the interviewers want you. I think most people view interviews as a question and answer session where the interviewee has little control. Instead, think of it as a time to highlight your achievements and skills while making them relevant to the position. This mindset will change your approach from responding to questions to taking control of what the interviewers learn about you.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

Enter the room with confidence. Have confidence in your experience, appearance, and ability to make conversation. Gain confidence by reviewing the company's financial statements and website. Use keywords from the job description in your interview to demonstrate you have the skills they're looking for. Ask insightful questions about the past, present, or future of the company to show you’re interested. Shake hands firmly with all interviewers, state your name and ask for their name. Notice I say interviewers; you will likely be interviewed by several SAP managers and a Human Resources employee.

Sell your education. Interviewers in the Midwest are well aware of the value of Grand Valley’s Management Information Systems program. However, when I interviewed for my current position in San Diego, I had to give context to the program at Grand Valley to have that same impact. I started by mentioning that GVSU is a SAP Alliance University, which means I had hands-on SAP experience. Share the value of your relevant courses and how you excelled in a particular project or assignment. Make your degree more than a line on your resume. Remember to set yourself apart from other graduates from your school.

Tackle SAP interview questions. Be prepared to discuss your previous project experience in coursework or internships in detail. I have never been asked technical SAP questions about a specific module like you hear about engineering interviews. Interviewers are trying to weed out the interviewees that have real SAP experience and those that talk up their skills. The trick here is to prove that you know what you're talking about. Be honest about your SAP experience! Here are a few SAP questions I’ve been asked:

What SAP modules do you have experience in? – Mention the modules you’ve used in projects and those that you interface with. Be honest about your level of experience with each module. Give examples of tasks you’ve completed in these modules. For example: I am experienced in FICO. In my previous role, I executed product costing, created cost centers and cost elements, etc.

What modules would you like to learn more about? – This is a great opportunity to express what you hope to learn in this position. Answer the question as if you were in the role you’re interviewing for. In my previous role I had the opportunity to interface with the production planning and plant maintenance teams. I would enjoy learning more about these modules to increase my breadth of SAP knowledge.

What methodologies have you used? - If you've used the ASAP or another methodology describe how this project used and benefited from the method.

What has been the biggest headache for you in your previous deployments? – This is an easy opportunity to lose it so be careful that you don’t bad mouth specific people or teams. This is how I have answered that question: My biggest headache has been data because the amount of work involved in extracting, loading, and transforming data can be easily underestimated. In answering that way I’m not bad mouthing previous coworkers and I acknowledge that I understand the impact of data in projects. That’s an easy way to show what you’ve learned from your experience.

Demonstrate your experience. In addition to SAP specific questions, be prepared to answer questions that aim to understand your behaviors. The best way to answer behavioral interview questions is the STAR technique: Situation or Task, Action, and Response. Start by describing a situation or task that relates to the question. Then briefly describe the action you took to resolve or succeed in the situation. Conclude with the result. Look over your resume and reflect on your coursework to think of several examples you can pull from in an interview.  You don’t want to stare dumfounded at the interviewers because you can’t think of a good example on the spot.

For example: Tell me about a time that you overcame conflict in a group setting. ‘In a course last semester, my team members decided that it would be easier to plagiarize our 15 page final paper than write an original (SITUATION/TASK). I thought about why my team had given up on even attempting the assignment and decided I could alleviate some of the stress by suggesting we break apart the work (ACTION). The team worked well once the paper was broken apart, and it came together cohesively. Our professor nominated our paper to be published in a management journal but the class voted for another group to have that honor (RESULT).’ I like this example because the word ‘plagiarize’ has some shock value! This is actually a true story.

Avoid talking numbers. Don't mention anything about how/when/what amount/on what terms you will be compensated. If the interviewer asks how much you currently make or what you expect to make, politely state that you are sure you can come to an agreement on salary when you discuss an offer. If the interviewers are not HR people, they likely won't mention salary. Recruiters can be sneaky and aggressive in order to get you to say your current salary. Remember once the number is on the table, they might try to low ball you or dismiss you as a possible candidate if you make more than what they’re prepared to pay.

End on a strong note. Thank the interviewer for their time and ask for the next steps in the process. Will there be another set of interviews? When should you expect to hear from them? If the interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask at least one to show you are very interested in the position. Once you leave, write down the questions you were asked and reflect on your answers. Save this list to prepare for future interviews!

Best of luck to you in your first (or second, or third) SAP interview!  Please share your advice and experience with readers!

Posted by Paul Hawking in paul.hawking3 on Feb 22, 2012 10:51:02 PM

A meeting was conducted at TechEd Las Vegas between SAP Mentors and academics involved in the SAP University Alliance Program (UAP).  The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the SAP Mentor initiative to universities and discuss how universities could take advantage of the SAP Mentor’s expertise to enhance their curriculum.  Many academics in the meeting were not aware of the SAP Mentor initiative and the value Mentors can provide.  The following short video provides further details about the SAP Mentors.

A further conference call was organized to investigate how to move forward.  One suggestion was to provide examples of how SAP Mentors have assisted universities.  The purpose of this blog is to describe some of the interactions between SAP Mentors and universities.

Student Business Intelligence Club

This initiative was established by SAP Mentors Mico Yuk and Tammy Powlas in conjunction with Kirby Leong from SAP and was sponsored by SAP.  The Business Intelligence Club involved graduate and undergraduate students from University of Texas-Dallas and University of British Columbia.

The Student BI Club was a combination of company stories and SAP Mentor webcasts.  It included:

  • ASUG Volunteer Brian Durning, formerly of Pepsi and now with DELL spoke about Crystal Reporting on top of Universes. 
  • SAP Mentor/ASUG Volunteer Derek Loranca spoke about VLDB (very large databases) with Universes.
  • Tammy Powlas spoke about BusinessObjects Analysis.
  • SAP Mentor, Ingo Hilgefort provided student webcasts on BusinessObjects Explorer, Crystal, Web Intelligence, Analysis OLAP and Office and Dashboards. 


Other than the knowledge passed onto students, the Student BI Club allowed academics to access resources which they could use in their curriculum.  For example Nitin Kale, from University of Southern California, expressed interest in Analysis Office.  He used slides from Ingo and Tammy on Analysis Office which included content and exercises.  He was then able to develop detailed real-world classroom exercises using Analysis Office.  “I was able to test these exercises and I was amazed at how in depth and detailed they were”.  Nitin said his experience was so successful that he was asked to share his story at the 2011 SAP University Alliance Student Curriculum Congress.  

This example illustrates not just the willingness of SAP Mentors to develop material and conduct sessions but also the contacts in companies they have who can present to students.

The following blogs provide further details about the Student BI Club.

ERP Applications

Once SAP Mentor, Tony de Thomasis discovered that students were learning about different aspects of SAP at university he wanted to get involved.  He discussed with me the opportunity to develop and teach a subject.  I indicated that one of the short comings of our course was related to the periodic administrative tasks required in an SAP environment.  So Tony said “leave to me”.

He developed a curriculum and the supporting resources to cover the following topics:

  • Stopping and starting a system;
  • Analysis of system logs, database logs and short dumps;
  • Database administration;
  • User administration;
  • Work process types and their allocation;
  • Updates;
    • Batch Jobs;
    • Printing;
    • Setting of system variants;
    • Monitoring of CPU and memory use.

He also indicated that it was essential for students to understand the SAP ecosystems and the supporting social media. I dropped into the class throughout the semester and was amazed by the buzz of enthusiasm of the students.  Other than covering the above topics Tony had large number of visiting speakers from industry including three SAP Mentors.  Tony was aware one the world’s leading CRM analysts, Ray Wang, was visiting Melbourne for a keynote address.  He tweeted him with an invite to attend the class if he was available. Ray dropped in to speak to the students.


As an added incentive Tony offered to take the three best students to client sites for two weeks so that they could get a better understanding of consulting.

Tony encouraged the students to create blogs on SDN to document their experiences so other universities may develop similar initiatives. 

The links to these blogs are:

This subject involved a significant commitment from Tony but he said the experience provided enormous satisfaction for him. He is getting ready to teach the subject again in 2012.


The two previous examples involved a significant commitment from the SAP Mentors involved. However the next example illustrates a less intensive way to interact with the SAP Mentors.


Australian University Dashboard Competition

This competition was developed and conducted by Susan Foster, Monash University and myself and was first conducted in 2010 with the support of SAP.  The  most difficult aspect of the competition was the development of a meaningful scenario with supporting data. In 2011 we reached out to SAP Mentor, Ingo Hilgefort to assist in the development of the case study.  We also reached out to Ingo, Tammy Powlas and Tony de Thomasis to be part of the judging panel.  They all readily agreed and through their participation the competition was significantly improved from 2010.


The examples above are only a snapshot of some of the different ways SAP Mentors have assisted universities.  There are many more examples from around the world.  My experience has been that SAP Mentors are willing to assist universities from a number of perspectives.  This could range from advice to presentations to assisting in initiatives.  The level of participation is dependent on the university’s requirements and the location of the SAP Mentors who best able to assist.


Maybe a good starting point is fro university academics to comment below this blog as per their requirements.  Also SAP Mentor, Karin Tillotson from Valero will be in attendance at the upcoming SAP University Curriculum Congress.  She would be more than willing discuss with academics  what opportunities exist.

Good Luck

Posted by Paul Hawking in paul.hawking3 on Feb 21, 2012 7:25:08 PM


Governments around the world are realising the impact of the SAP skills shortage is having  on businesses and in turn the overall economy.  The Australian Government is giving priority to immigrants with SAP skills and the Malaysian Government is sponsoring universities to join the SAP University Alliance Program (UAP) in an attempt to address this shortage.   At the same time governments are supporting the establishment of SAP research laboratories in their countries (recently China and Singapore) to take advantage of future opportunities.


The Singapore Government has sponsored an innovative programme to directly address the skill shortage in their country.  They are sponsoring students to undertake SAP related education and then providing the opportunity for students to apply their SAP knowledge through a paid internship.  The majority of the costs associated with the education and internship are being paid for by the government.


There are three different programs that will be offered based on different industry needs.  Each program consists of 6 subjects which are offered by Victoria University in conjunction with their Singapore partner, Lithan Hall.  The first program will focus on ERP systems and will include subjects related to ERP Systems, Business Process Engineering, ERP Systems implementation, Sales and Distribution, Materials Management, and Human Resources.  Each subject contains 36 hours of content and includes a significant “hands on” component.  Following the completion of the 6 subjects, students will then be employed in a 6 month paid internship on a SAP project.


This is a unique opportunity for Singaporean students and an opportunity for the Singapore Government to get SAP skills in the market place quickly.  For some of the students it is an opportunity to retrain for a new career direction.  Similar programs are being developed which focus on Supply Chain Management and Business Intelligence using SAP solutions.  In total there are more than 260 students who will participate in these programs.  

This is not the first time such a program has been conducted.  In 2010, the government sponsored 60 students to participate in the ERP focused program.  The success of this program has seen an expansion of the initiative in 2012.


As governments better understand the impact of the SAP skills shortage is having on their economies we will see a range or initiatives developed to address these shortages.

Posted by Tanya Duncan                    Jul 15, 2011

If I've learned one thing in the past year, it's that strong mentors are a huge component of being successful as a new SAP professional. Throughout college, I sought out professors and counselors to support my academic growth and help me down my chosen career path. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor, project coach, and development program leader behind me during my first post-graduate position as a SAP professional.

My assigned mentor was a leader in the organization with great insight and advice on developing my SAP skills through project work. As a SAP track lead, he encouraged me to approach situations in different ways and develop my leadership skills. I sought his advice in planning blueprinting sessions and he included me in plant visits to gain more business exposure. He often gave me insight in new opportunities and was a great advocate for me.

My project coach on the other hand was a FICO Guru (known to many as the Sensei!). She has a very deep knowledge of the business, is an expert in FICO, and understands the integration between finance and other modules like SD, MM/PP, & PM to name a few. My coach saw the value in sharing her experiences and expertise. She used the opportunity to teach me as a way to develop her coaching skills. I'd like to think we both benefited from the relationship. I provided her with a new perspective and challenged her to seek answers for my questions and curiosities. One of the qualities of a great coach is learning to let step back the trainee take the reins. My coach sat out on several opportunities and let me lead in workshops, conference calls, and speak during presentations.

Rounding out my support team was my development program leader. Her role was very important as she oversaw my success in the development program and worked with my manager to deliver performance reviews. She provided advice on reaching my career goals, balancing work and personal life, and was a great sounding board.


Advice on mentor relationships for new SAP graduates:

Types of mentors. You will likely be assigned a mentor or on-boarding coach when you start in a new organization. Get to know this person and spend a few months building a relationship with them. If they're not the right fit or you're not getting what you need, seek out additional mentors. You want someone that is focused on developing you in the HR sense with career coaching and developing your interpersonal skills. This person should be a well-respected leader that is approachable and available. It's just as important to find a mentor with deep technical expertise in your module. Gain this person's trust by showing them you can learn quickly. Once you've established a good rapport, seek opportunities to partner with them on leading workshops, building training materials, etc. I also suggest meeting with other leaders and continuing to find new mentors as your goals change. You should meet less frequently with other leaders in your organization and continue to expand your network. As a new employee, build your internal network and gain respect from leaders. They can advocate for you and help you reach your career goals.

Mentorships should not be a one way street. Give back to your mentors by learning about their role and understanding how you can help them. For example, if your mentor is a leader in another module of SAP, take your relationship as an opportunity to integrate with their team or sit in on their workshops. Building cross-functional relationships will strengthen the project team as a whole and make collaboration during blueprinting and support much more successful.

Find the right cadence for meeting with your mentor. After my first few weeks, meeting once a month with my development program leader and mentor was sufficient time to discuss my progress and goals. In the meantime, I suggest sending questions, concerns, and status updates every other week. This keeps you on their radar and demonstrates that you value the relationship.

Maintain these relationships even during turnover. I kept in touch with one of mentors when she left the company and continued to seek her professional advice. When I left the company, I gave my coworkers my contact information and asked for recommendations on LinkedIn.

Footnote: Upon graduating from the development program, I left the industry and joined Deloitte as a SAP consultant. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be mentored and coached by these individuals. I have great respect for them and truly appreciated their advice. I hope those reading are able to build positive relationships with mentors in their career as well!

Return To:UA Home >>


The New University Alliances Community on SCN

The University Alliances (UA) Community is proud to be a part of the SAP Community Network (SCN) migration to the new Jive SBS 5.0 platform.

This community provides you global and regional access to important academic information, collaboration, and participation in an easy-to-use environment.

Highlights include:

  • Leveraging Current Resources – Only certain components will migrate to Jive. We will still continue to leverage SCN features such as the federated search from across multiple SAP online properties, single sign-on, Knowledge Management System (KM) for the article library, e-learning and videos.
  • Private Access to the Curricula Library - For our professors and lecturers who access the UA private members-only curricula library it will continue to be hosted in the current platform with no changes. Later in the year we will migrate this content over to the new SAP Community Network and bring it to a single platform experience. 
  • Your Feedback - We continue to listen to your feedback. We have conducted a community survey and held interviews, receiving valuable insights from many of you. We continue to be open to your suggestions as we move forward in 2012 and beyond.

When you visit the UA Community for the first time, we encourage you to listen to our brief recorded tour of the site which can be found on the left side of the site. It will highlight many of the new features, navigation, FAQs, and how you can participate by way of blogs, forums, and content contributions.

We look forward to experiencing the new University Alliances Community on the SAP Community Network with you. If you have any questions or comments, contact us at

Best regards,
The UA Community Team


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