SAP Asia Pacific Japan Partners Singapore Management University to Meet Growing Demands for skilled IT Professionals

SINGAPORESAP Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) today announced its partnership with the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University (SMU) to bring its well-established University Alliances Program to SMU students. The University Alliances Program is a global SAP endeavor to provide students with real learning access to SAP software. Courses that incorporate SAP help students in their quest for certification and could lead to eventual hiring by SAP, SAP partners and customers. This, in turn, addresses the industry skills shortage by providing a ready pool of graduates who are already trained with hands-on experience of the SAP software.

The partnership with SMU marks the continued success of SAP’s University Alliances Program in Singapore. Undergraduates at the School of Information Systems at SMU will now have access to the same training benefiting more than 150,000 students from 900 universities that have already participated in the SAP program across 36 countries in the U.S. and Europe. In Singapore, SMU now joins the other major seven institutes of higher learning in Singapore, namely: Nanyang Polytechnic, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, in utilizing SAP software in the academic environment.

Dean of the School of Information Systems at SMU, Practice Professor Steven Miller explained, “Through the University Alliances Program, our students will now have the ability to connect real-world business issues with information technology challenges. We believe that the knowledge gained from exposing the students to SAP Best Practices that have been learned from working with SAP’s most successful partners and customers in all major industries over the last 35 years will definitely benefit them in terms of employability.”

In addition to SMU coming onboard the University Alliances Program, the School of Information Systems has also partnered SAP in the area of next generation content development to provide enhanced and cutting-edge educational materials for a new undergraduate course, ‘Enterprise Business Solutions’, to be available in the coming academic year.

In another joint project co-funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE) called ‘Enterprise in the Classroom’, the School of Information Systems has also introduced new generation SAP technology to simulate how enterprises work and add value to the University Alliances Program. By providing new generation SAP technology to university curriculum, SMU and SAP are collaborating on a strategic initiative to expose undergraduates to more enterprise innovation systems and capabilities.

Krish Datta, President, SAP South East Asia, said, “SAP has a long history of supporting colleges and universities worldwide in developing the business and IT leaders of tomorrow. Talent development is a key priority for us, and SAP APJ remains committed to helping train future IT specialists and prepare them for the industry and market. Over 1,000 students in Singapore are expected to benefit from the program, amounting to almost S$7 million1 in contributions to the industry by SAP.”

According to research firm Gartner, it is estimated that some 60,000–80,000 ERP consultants will be needed worldwide by 2010. The Asia Pacific’s ERP services market is projected to grow at a rapid compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2005 through 2010 and this will continue to fuel the high demand for SAP professionals.

Under a joint collaboration with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), SAP launched the “Integrated SAP ERP2 Business Scenarios based on SAP Best Practices” (Best Practices ERP or “BPERP”) training and certification program for all the seven institutes of higher learning in Singapore. Launched in 2007, the BPERP course is a 10-day workshop that train and certify students to use SAP ERP software based on SAP Best Practices. Upon completion of the course and passing the BPERP certification exams, students will be awarded a SAP certification which is recognised globally.

In addition, students who successfully completed the course will be able to claim up to half of the S$400 certification fee under IDA’s Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Program (CITREP) program. To date, over 500 students have already taken and passed the BPERP certification exams, and over 1,200 students in Singapore have taken SAP-related modules as part of their school curriculum.

Recognised globally, the SAP certification is one of the first steps on the certification pathway for one to become a full-fledged SAP consultant. SAP partners like Accenture, HP, Deloitte, and Credit Suisse, Citibank and OCBC have found it useful to hire graduates who have completed their SAP training from this program, as it saves them a substantial amount of time for getting their prospective employees up to speed.

“Through our ongoing collaboration with educational institutions in Singapore and around the world, the SAP University Alliances Program seeks to add value to the academic learning experience. The recreation of complex business problems and the provision of leading edge SAP solutions deployed in the classroom will enable students to better connect with real-world business issues upon graduation. More importantly, the need for skilled IT professionals has increased dramatically over the year and we are confident that the Program can help to address the IT talent crunch by developing a pipeline of qualified professionals who are well versed in SAP systems,” added Datta.

To further support member academic institutions of the University Alliances Program, an advanced, interactive Web portal designed for the academic population worldwide was launched in January this year. The SAP® University Alliances community is a multifaceted online environment that delivers the latest academic resources for bringing real-life SAP knowledge and skills into university classrooms. In addition, the program now offers TERP10, another SAP course training and certification program for IHL students not only in Singapore but across the world. SAP University Alliances is also committed to offer more curricula such as our latest SAP Business Objects software subjects including Web Intelligence, Universe Design, Crystal Reports and Crystal Xcelsius as part of the overall Business Intelligence offering. Singapore will be the first country in APJ to offer these courses, and there are plans to launch the new module in the other universities across the region.

Through the University Alliances Program, SAP hopes to reach over 300 universities in Asia Pacific Japan in the next few years, and help establish a good talent pool from where suitable expertise and knowledge can be drawn from by the industry.

Notes to Editor:

Course Value and Industry Contribution

Students of this course conducted by SAP or its training partners are normally charged S$6,900 each. As SAP is making its software and training systems available for free for at least 1,000 students to be trained by the institutes of higher learning by 2010, this is equivalent to a S$7 million contribution to the industry by SAP.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

systems enable a company to streamline and automate its business processes and increase its operational efficiency by planning and managing its resources more effectively. This results in better visibility and decision making, improved customer relationships and partner collaboration across its supply chain.

About SAP

SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 82,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP.” For more information, visit www.sap.com.

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications.

About the SAP University Alliances Program
The SAP University Alliances Program provides universities with access to the latest technology and the opportunity to utilize SAP solutions in an academic environment. University faculty members are provided with the necessary teaching tools and resources to reinforce the students’ learning experience on how technology enables integrated business processes and strategic thinking. Students are equipped with fundamental knowledge and can advance further with the SAP certification opportunity to hone their SAP skills. The program is crucial in enabling a well-rounded SAP ecosystem. By supporting the development and enhancement of SAP skills among students through helping them to understand fundamental concepts, training and SAP certification courses, the Program builds a pipeline of SAP skills for customers, partners and SAP.

Since its launch in 1988, the membership of the University Alliances Program has been growing with over 900 universities in 36 countries, more than 2,200 faculty members, and 150,000 students. In the Asia Pacific & Japan region, the Program currently has universities participating in Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and other countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.sap.com/asia/uap.

About the School of Information Systems, Singapore Management University (SMU)
SMU’s School of Information Systems (SIS) is globally recognized for its educational and research initiatives that integrate deep Information Technology capabilities with business settings and management issues. SIS was launched in SMU in 2003 with a strategic partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, and this partnership continues to this day. SIS has over 900 students across it bachelors, masters and Ph.D programmes. In a few years, SIS has established itself as a recognized global leader in bachelor and master’s level educational degree programmes aligned with the needs of Technology & Operations professionals in the global banking industry.

The School’s Bachelor of Science (Information Systems Management) programme produces Business-IT Professionals with the capability to apply innovative information technology solutions in business settings. BSc (ISM) students and graduates work in every sector of the economy in a wide range of job roles ranging from Software and IT technology specialists, to hybrid Business-IT professionals, to consultants, and also as IT-savvy business and management professionals. At the master’s level, the School has pioneered a professional master’s degree specifically focused on grooming senior managers and consultants for Banking Technology & Operations professional roles. The Master of IT in Business (Financial Services), launched in 2007, has been co-designed with the banking industry. www.sis.smu.edu.sg.

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