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SAP Academic Community Conference 2023 (D-A-CH): Celebrating 20 Years of Innovation & Collaboration 

A class reunion and an SAP executive: This is a good way to summarize this year's SAP Academic Community Conference DACH. The SAP Academic Community Conference DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) is an annual gathering that brings together educators from the DACH region to exchange ideas, seek inspiration, and explore the latest developments in the SAP ecosystem. This year, the conference took place in Munich and marked the 20th anniversary of the SAP University Competence Center Munich (UCC), a pivotal institution supporting academic institutions in integrating SAP solutions into their curricula. The SAP UCC Munich’s 20-year journey has been marked by excellence and dedication to fostering innovation and knowledge sharing in the SAP community. There are several UCCs spread all over the world. In Germany, there are two UCCs. Munich and the first UCCs established is based in the city of Magdeburg.  



SAP and Academia - A Strong Partnership: 

For nearly four decades, SAP has collaborated closely with the academic community, collectively impacting around 500,000 students across more than 2,800 universities worldwide. The acquisition of SAP skills can be achieved through various avenues. SAP assists educators through the SAP University Alliances program by providing teaching and learning materials. And Student Zone offers over 130 Learning Journeys, making SAP knowledge accessible to students at no cost. 

A hands-on and playful approach to understanding SAP is provided through ERPsim. Each year, approximately 30,000 students gain insights into solutions like SAP S/4HANA through ERPsim, laying the foundation for their careers. However, more importantly, this simulation grants students the ability to comprehend interconnections across an entire organization. In an era where the next generation faces unprecedented global challenges such as demographic shifts, pandemics, and climate change, the ability to grasp these complexities is invaluable. 

The conference revolved around several important themes, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Computing. These topics took center stage in numerous workshops and presentations, all while addressing their impact on educational practices. 

 

The Cloud and Artificial Intelligence: 

As more solutions migrate to the cloud and AI becomes increasingly essential, the innovation engine spins faster than ever before. The academic landscape must adapt to these changes. The methodology and fundamental understanding of business processes remain paramount, ensuring the continuity of effective teaching practices. One noteworthy discussion was the concept of the "Flipped Classroom," a pedagogical approach that empowers students with pre-learning resources and leverages class time for interactive activities. Additionally, it was emphasized that educators must be prepared to navigate the rapid transformation of software solutions due to more frequent updates. Apart from learning key concepts in computer science, soft skills become more important than ever. Adaptability, creativity, and emotional intelligence will be crucial to navigate this transformative landscape. 

 

Exciting Keynote Speakers 

The conference featured esteemed keynote speakers who shared their insights and expertise. Among them was Dr. Jürgen Müller, SAP's Chief Technology Officer, who offered invaluable perspectives on the latest trends and innovations in SAP technology. Additionally, we had the honor of hosting David Faller, VP Development & Managing Director of IBM Germany Research & Development, and Michael Wintergerst, IBM's Chief Technology Officer, who discussed the intersection of SAP and IBM technologies. 

Along with Dr. Jürgen Müller, other panelists included Prof. Dr. August-Wilhelm Scheer, Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar, Dr. Holger Wittges, and Dr.-Ing. Katharina Schäfer, who discussed the integration of cloud solutions in education and the skills needed by the next generation to succeed in today's world. 

The SAP Academic Community Conference DACH 2023 was a testament to the enduring partnership between SAP and academia. It provided a platform for educators to stay updated on the latest developments in the SAP ecosystem, enabling them to equip students with valuable skills and insights for the challenges of the 21st century. As technology continues to evolve, the collaboration between SAP and the academic community remains vital in shaping the future of education and preparing students for the ever-changing business landscape.