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Last week over 200 professors representing over 150 universities gathered with SAP University Alliances and industry partners at an amazing SAP Academic Conference Americas in Tempe, Arizona.  This community of educators, thought leaders and SAP executives explored the latest innovations from SAP and discussed how they can help students experience the “new SAP”.  Elements of the agenda included:

  • Opening address by Ann Rosenberg, Vice President, Head of Global University Alliances
  • SAP keynote speakers Brian Reaves, SVP,, UX & Design, P&I; and Joe King, Chancellor of SAP HANA Academy
  • Keynote speakers from our partners: Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel, CEO of HPI; Geoff Scott, CEO of ASUG; and Ted Rozier of Festo Didactic;


We would also like to thank our executive sponsors in the Bay area,Tanja Rueckert, Quentin Clark, Sam Yen and Scott Leathermann for their support in shaping a dialogue on SAP innovations and new ways of engaging with academia.

The SAP Academic Conference Americas annually brings together academics from the SAP University Alliances community to hear SAP’s strategic direction and learn opportunities to leverage the latest SAP solutions and SAP University Alliances offerings to enhance student academic and career outcomes. This year’s event featured S/4HANA, openHPI & openSAP, UXaaS, HANA Cloud Platform, collaboration with ASUG, and Industry 4.0. Faculty also heard how SAP is launching a new initiative to greatly expand engagement and support of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

The conference opened with a keynote on S/4HANA, including the launch of the S/4HANA Simulation Game (sFIN), and the launch of a new openSAP course “Running Successful Business Simulation Games with ERPsim.”  Faculty also heard keynotes on HANA Cloud Platform; Industry 4.0 including the launch of a new global curriculum together with Festo Didactic; and a new collaboration among SAP, ASUG, and the SAP University Alliances Competence Centers to support Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

Faculty attendees had the opportunity to meet experts including hearing about SAP’s thought leadership on the Future of Work, and learning about SAP’s Higher Education and Research solutions.  Break out and networking sessions provided many opportunities to discuss new curriculum, project and joint innovation opportunities across academia and the SAP Ecosystem all with the theme of building great leaders for the future of work.

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We also appreciated the outstanding collaboration of Paul Kurchina, Industry 4.0 Community Leader for ASUG; the generous sponsorship provided by Brian Rizman of PwC; the support of the SAP University Alliances North America Academic Board led by Bipin Prabhakar of Indiana University; and the leadership of the Directors of the SAP University Competence Centers, Ross Hightower at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Tom Wilder at California State University, Chico.

A special thanks to the SAP University Alliances team in North America, Colleen Raftery, John Baxter, Heather Czech Matthews, Don Ginocchio and Ben Christensen, as well as Gina Fierro of the SAP Events team who together did an outstanding job planning and executing the event. We also thank Ward Bullard of the d. Studio, Products & Innovation team, Julie Blaufuss of the HANA Cloud Platform team, Lindsey Nelson of the SAP Thought Leadership team, and Tom Lewellen of SAP Higher Education & Research for sharing their insights with faculty at the conference.