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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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Welcome to another episode of the SAP Education NewsCast. Today, the hosts Christoph Haffner and myself talk with Karina Edmonds, VP and Global Lead for Academies and University Alliances at SAP, about the topic “Relationships matter – Connecting academia with business.


Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching & Academies

Academies used to rely on in-class experience before the pandemic started.
Now it is necessary to re-imagine the format to accommodate a virtual delivery. Academies haven’t stopped, but instead have gone to either a local delivery or working during off times to accommodate time zones. There is still a high engagement, even though it takes place virtually now.


University alliances at SAP – some Background information

Attracting great talent is increasingly important in today’s competitive environment.  Thus, university alliances are a hot topic these days. At the moment, there is a strong internal cooperation with HR to understand talent demand at first.

Karina’s team aims to reduce the price for certifications for students and also holds a lot of conferences, attends other conferences, and introduces executive sponsors for SAP’s key university partnerships.


Mission at SAP for university engagement

  • SAPs Vision is that we are recognized as the leader in end-to-end enterprise solutions with the best sales and engineering talent in the world.

  • Mission: Amplify SAP’s brand to engage and develop top talent and future leaders who are lifelong learners and enthusiastic about helping the world run better

  • The ultimate goal: Students all over the world know SAP as THE innovative technology leader enabling the intelligent enterprise from an end-to-end perspective and are enthusiastic to use SAP technology and work with and for SAP


What can Universities learn from SAP and SAP from Universities?

Universities can learn a lot about topics such as the training of students, how to do basic research, Entrepreneurship and Development.

SAP on the other hand can learn about topics such as Applied Research, Innovation or Philanthropic CSR.

In summing up it can be said that it should be a win-win for both. SAP can systematically engage with leading experts in academia to bring forward new ideas, influence the next generation of our products, and future-proof our business.

Tips for other companies for improving the cooperation with academia

It is important to understand the limitations while appreciating the benefits.  Academia can offer companies a much faster ramp up and minimize capital investments.  It is necessary to be reasonable with IP request, for instance US universities cannot assign patents to companies, but they can structure the license agreement that effectively provides all the benefits of an assignment, such as the right to pursue infringement.


Vision of learning and tech in future

Learning in the future will undoubtedly look very different.  There is a lot more self-learning, but joint practice.  Where in the past people attended class to learn and then went off and did homework offline or practice on their own; they are now coming to class for project-based learning.   Within SAP, people now have the ONE Learning organization that will focus on upskilling their own workforce.   For Academies and University Alliances at SAP, the move to virtual classes presents an opportunity for people to work with professors to create and deliver engaging curriculum with project-based learning and SAP plans to bring their customers along.  SAP’s customers represent a rich set of problems and challenges that can benefit from a fresh set of eyes and conversely the students welcome an opportunity to work on real life challenges.  It’s a win-win for all sides.

Thank you for reading. As always: listen to the entire podcast to find out more.
Would be great if you can share the podcast on social media, or like it on Apple podcasts. And we are always thankful if you share your lessons learned from the talk like in the comments below.


Here are a few more interesting links:

Work Matters Podcast:
Emotional Badass:
Follow Karina on Twitter @Dr_karinae
Follow Karina on LinkedIn:

As well as a couple of interesting books:
‘Dare to Lead’ by Rene Brown
Ferose’s book ‘Gifted’
Educated: Tara Westover
White Fragility: Robin DiAngelo
Radical Candor: Kim Scott
Small Great Things: Jodi Picoult