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Former Member

It’s been exactly one year since Dr. Simha R. Magal, Professor of Management (MIS) with Grand Valley State University and SAP Mentor, sat down with Devendra Malladi, COO of SAP Education APJ for an SAP TechEd Live interview at SAP TechEd Bangalore 2012 to discuss the trend towards flexible learning options and what SAP Education’s strategy and offerings are in this space. Picking up the thread of that conversation in 2013 was an easy task for Dev and Simha, each of whom can rightly be classified as veterans of both education and SAP. You can see a replay of the 13-minute interview here on the SAP TechEd Online platform, but to augment your viewing experience, here are some key highlights from their discussion. 

Simha got right down to business, asking Dev what was new around SAP Workforce Performance Builder, a learning software solution from SAP Education which is being used as a knowledge-capture tool on site for session content at all SAP TechEds in 2013. Dev noted that “SAP Workforce Performance Builder on HANA Enterprise Cloud has already happened”, and that SAP Education is tapped into SAP’s core themes of Mobility, Cloud, and Big Data.

A perfect example of what SAP Education is doing in the cloud space is its SAP Learning Hub offering. Dev likened using SAP Learning Hub to the experience one gets at a library. “I’ve always liked unlimited access to a library, and I don't want people telling me what I can or can't read.” SAP Learning Hub was designed with that ease of access in mind, though originally targeting large customers and partners. Dev mentioned that in January 2014, SAP Learning Hub will become available to individual users.

“We started looking at consumption models of training and felt that this was one of the biggest areas where we could get a lot of benefit.  We’re also moving platforms [to SuccessFactors Learning and SAP Jam], bringing a lot of mobile, social…everything that SAP is, is available now through SAP Learning Hub”, he said. “It enhances when you can learn, what you can learn: e-reference, not just e-learning. Everything that is available as a classroom course, those textbooks are available in an e-format. All our e-learning titles are available there, as are all of our online knowledge products (OKPs), which are available with the learning maps.” He added that if any “freshers” out there are undertaking one of SAP Education’s academy programs or e-academies and they want to use some of the content within SAP Learning Hub, it will prove to be invaluable to them. “And for individuals who are already at a mid- to expert-level, for them to up-skill themselves on their own time, there is a tremendous amount of benefits with SAP Learning Hub”.

Bringing the discussion to the topic mobility, Simha brought up the SAP Learn Now app, a mobile learning offering from SAP Education. Circling back to a point made by Vishal in his keynote, Dev explained that mobile is no longer a prerogative but a necessity. “Users are asking us for training on the go, and SAP Learn Now is a step in that direction”, noting that several of SAP Education’s popular courses are already available via the SAP Learn Now app.

Working with Universities

Though he was wearing his SAP Mentor jersey, Simha had no problem putting his “professor hat” on to ask Dev about how SAP Education works with universities: “There’s SAP Education, there are universities, and then there’s SAP University Alliances program -- all involved in training and education in some way. How are these groups working together?” Dev replied that SAP Education’s APJ team has been actively involved in the SAP University Alliance program, and with the universities as well, citing the example of the SAP Student Academy program which is run jointly by SAP University Alliances and SAP Education. “We continuously work together, because we want to make it easier for the student and more accessible for the faculty to be able to get SAP to the students”, said Dev.

Dev then turned the tables on Prof. Magal, asking for his perspectives on SAP Student Academy and how he thinks it will enhance the professor’s current program with SAP University Alliances. “I think it will add a lot of value to universities”, said Simha. “We use SAP software to be able to teach in a way and at a depth that wouldn't be possible without the software, and that’s the reason we use it in academia.” He added: “It’s not so much training as it is providing students with a conceptual knowledge and understanding of how organizations work. Being able to access more of the material from SAP Education will allow us to increase our offerings, and that can only be a win-win: the students win because they get experience with great technology, they get knowledge at a level that’s not possible with other technologies, and they get hired.”

It’s a Record-Breaker!

It wouldn't be a proper SAP TechEd Bangalore without another marathon certification session, but this year the numbers are through the roof: a record-breaking 735 SAP TechEd attendees have signed up to take their certification in various SAP solutions on site - - all in just one day. “That is the largest number of certifications that have ever been done on a single day in the world”, said Dev, adding that the SAP TechEd Bangalore event is a key factor in helping to improve that number each year. Good luck to all test-takers, and congratulations in advance on all newly certified SAP professionals!

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