Fort Hays State puts business and IT skills into practice with SAP

April 22nd, 2013

Hays, Kan. -- Fort Hays State University has joined the SAP® University Alliances program, a global endeavor that provides university faculty members with the tools and resources necessary to teach students how technology can enable integrated business processes and strategic thinking, and gives students the skills to add immediate value to the marketplace.

Students who participate in the program gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software and grow skills relevant to their careers and chosen fields.

"This alliance will enhance many of the excellent programs offered through the College of Business and Entrepreneurship," said Shane Schartz, instructor of management information systems. "A critical part of our mission in the Department of Informatics is to provide hands-on learning opportunities to all of our majors and non-majors, both on-campus and in the Virtual College. This alliance will provide future graduates with even more employment opportunities after their academic career." Schartz said FHSU faculty would travel SAP training this summer, and he said the software would be available to FHSU students in several COBE courses beginning in the fall 2013 semester.

"This is an excellent opportunity for our students to work with the tools used every day throughout a variety of industries," said Stephen Schleicher, Chair of the Department of Informatics. "In order for our students to fully excel, they need to understand that integration of data throughout a corporation is vital for decision making, and the SAP University Alliances program gives students access to the tools and data to see how that works in practice." Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship, agreed. He said: "It is important for our students to have hands-on experience with tools that are an integral part of global business. In addition, we are supporting employers looking for workers skilled in using SAP software. The SAP University Alliances program allows us to prepare the next generation of knowledge workers to be productive with SAP software solutions and intelligently apply information technology in a business context."

The SAP University Alliances program is a global initiative with more than 1,000 member campuses in more than 60 countries. Through the program, professors and students are given access to the same software used by SAP customers and partners, including SAP® Business Suite applications such as the enterprise resource planning application SAP® ERP. This comprehensive business software suite supports business and information technology programs, helping students put classroom theory into practice through demonstrations, exercises and problem-solving, case studies, and academic projects.

SAP donates licenses for its software at no cost to member universities and technical institutes for use in disciplines such as management, operations research, accounting, finance, marketing, and information technology and computer science.

SAP University Alliances provides valuable services tailored to the needs at FHSU, including:

  • The SAP University Alliances community -- The program features an advanced, interactive Web portal designed for the academic population worldwide that connects faculty, students, SAP customers and partners, and SAP internal experts.
  • Hosting services -- FHSU gains access to SAP Business Suite software via hosting from an SAP-licensed, non-profit University Competence Center, which means there is no need to invest in a costly data center infrastructure to participate in the program.
  • Curriculum support -- SAP sponsors new curriculum efforts in the academic community in order to build a collection of ready-to-use, faculty-developed course materials that can be shared among member campuses.