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Overview of the SAP University Alliance Program at Penn State Presented at the 3rd Annual Curriculum Congress at Chicag PowerPoint Presentation
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Overview of the SAP University Alliance Program at Penn State Presented at the 3rd Annual Curriculum Congress at Chicago March 22, 2000 A. “Ravi” Ravindran Professor & Head Marcus Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering. Penn State and SAP University Alliance Program.

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Overview of the

SAP University Alliance Program


Penn State

Presented at the 3rd Annual

Curriculum Congress at Chicago

March 22, 2000

A. “Ravi” Ravindran

Professor & Head

Marcus Department of Industrial

& Manufacturing Engineering

penn state and sap university alliance program
Penn State and SAP University Alliance Program
  • Agreement where SAP provides Penn State students the opportunity to experience ERP concepts by using free SAP software in the classroom
  • What it is Not!
    • Training program for SAP software

Benefits of Alliance Program

  • Provides state-of-the-art enterprise software to students--result is graduates better prepared for employment in industry and service organizations
  • Exposure to software will create competitive hiring advantage for Penn State graduates
  • Strengthen Penn State’s research in Enterprise Integration

Multi-disciplinary and Multi-campus Implementation

  • Three colleges
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Information Science & Technology
  • Three campuses
    • University Park
    • Erie
    • Great Valley
  • Six Academic Departments

Academic Departments Involved in the SAP Alliance

  • Industrial Engineering (UP)
  • Business Logistics (UP)
  • Management Science & Information Systems (UP)
  • MIS (Erie)
  • Engineering (GV)
  • Information Science & Technology (UP)
  • Initial hardware for pilot program gifted by Unisys Corporation
  • Configured to originally support approximately 250 concurrent users
  • Is scaleable for future course development within the Penn State system
  • SAP R/3 v.4.0 gifted by SAP America University Alliance Program
  • It is loaded on Unisys servers located at University Park

(will support all current and future partner locations)

  • Managing Responsibility (Hardware and Software)
    • Mike Errigo, SAP Manager
how did we get here
How Did We Get Here?
  • First contact was group from SAP University Alliance Program approached BLOG department (spring 1997)
    • PSU Smeal College did not pursue due to high initial costs and maintenance costs
  • New Leadership at SAP in Alliance Program 1998-new cost structure-(mktg. approach)
    • Corporate and Foundation Relations reestablished contact with SAP (fall 1997)

(reason - interest of numerous CFR corporate clients)


Timeline on Alliance History

Fall Semester 1999

First courses integrating SAP offered! (Went Live).

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for gifted hardware from Unisys and gifted software from SAP (VIP visits).

Software installed and running for faculty evaluation.

Hardware installed in Shields Building.

Agreement signed with Unisys to gift SAP support hardware to Penn State. Student course development begins.

Signed SAP University Alliance Letter of Commitment. Initial talks with Unisys about SAP program.

Steering Committee conducted research on benefits of SAP integration into curriculum. Decision made to pursue.

Dan Pantaleo (SAP University Alliance) presents to faculty from Engineering and Business.

Krumrine reinitiates contact with SAP.

First contact from SAP to Blog department.

Apr 16, 1999

Apr 1, 1999

Mar 15, 1999

Spring 1999

Fall 1998

Summer 1998

Spring 1998

Fall 1997

Spring 1997


SAP/R3 Business Plan


  • Use SAP R/3 to teach fundamental concepts related to the engineering and management of supply chains and the use and management of enterprise information systems.
  • Multi-disciplinary set of courses that spans engineering, business, management information systems, and information technology programs.
  • Multi-disciplinary graduate program at the Master’s level in Manufacturing Enterprise Integration/Supply Chain Management (MEI/SCM).

SAP/R3 Business Plan

  • The SAP R/3 System will be used as a platform for teaching fundamental business concepts, rather than as a vehicle that duplicates internal training activities at SAP America.
  • The curriculum will be well coordinated across programs, colleges, and campuses to eliminate unnecessary redundancies and offer students in different colleges the opportunity to pursue a multi-disciplinary concentration in manufacturing enterprise integration/supply chain management.
  • The curriculum will be developed incrementally, with “champions” from the different colleges, campuses, and departments across the Penn State system leading the way and sharing knowledge as the project unfolds.

SAP/R3 Business Plan

Phased Implementation

Phase I: January 1999 - June 2000

(Spring ‘99, Fall ‘99, and Spring 2000 Semesters)

Phase one consisted of two steps:

  • The first encompassed the installation of hardware and software and the training of selected instructors, which was completed during the Spring 1999 and Fall 1999 semesters.
  • The second step is the introduction of SAP R/3 in three courses at University Park, one course at Behrend, and one course at Great Valley during the 1999-2000 academic year.

SAP/R3 Business Plan

Phase I Courses

  • IE 450 Manufacturing Systems Engineering (University Park)
  • BLOG 425W Management of Logistics Supply Chains (University Park)
  • MIS 497 Enterprise-wide Information Systems Development (University Park)
  • MIS 497 Enterprise Information Systems (Erie)
  • SYSEN 597 Advanced Manufacturing Technology (Great Valley)

SAP/R3 Business Plan

Phase II: January 2000 - June 2001

(Spring 2000, Fall 2000, and Spring 2001 Semesters)

  • A review of our initial SAP experience.
  • The program “champions” sharing that experience with the instructors that will offer additional courses.
  • The introduction of additional courses and development of one or two new interdisciplinary courses in MEI/SCM using SAP R/3 elements in the Spring 2000 semester with the full implementation of courses in the 2000-2001 academic year.

SAP/R3 Business Plan

  • Additionally, we will explore the development of an interdisciplinary graduate minor at the Master’s level in Business and Engineering that would offer students a specialization in manufacturing enterprise integration/supply chain management (MEI/SCM).
  • As currently contemplated, the graduate minor program would encompass a coordinated set of courses from industrial engineering, business logistics, operations management, and management information systems.
  • Further, the use of MEI/SCM as an optional track in our new School of Information Science and Technology will be explored during Phase II.

SAP/R3 Business Plan

Project Management

  • The SAP R/3 implementation project at Penn State is managed by a steering committee comprised of key faculty and staff involved in the proposal development and curriculum implementation.
  • Acting as the Executive Committee, the Steering Committee is responsible for coordinating all academic and administrative matters related to the implementation of SAP R/3 at Penn State.

SAP/R3 Business Plan

Steering Committee

  • A. “Ravi” Ravindran (Chair), Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Vittal Prabhu, Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Gene Tyworth, Department of Business Logistics
  • Terry Harrison, Management Science and Information Systems
  • John Magenau, The School of Business
  • David Russell, Department of Engineering
  • John Krumrine, Corporate Relations
  • Mike Errigo, Office of Administrative Systems
  • Tanna Pugh, Industrial Research Office
  • Steve Sawyer, Information Sciences and Technology

SAP/R3 Business Plan

Faculty Advisory Committee

  • A special interest group (SIG) on Enterprise Integration involving interested faculty from Penn State Campuses has been formed.
  • This group will act as the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Steering Committee.
  • Currently 30 faculty from 3 campuses have joined the SIG.

SAP/R3 Business Plan

Industry Advisory Board

  • An Industry Advisory Board (IAB) involving Penn State alumni and friends from key industries has been formed to advise the Enterprise Integration Group.
  • The IAB’s role is to provide valuable input to the faculty during the pilot phase, as well as the curriculum development phase.

Industry Advisory Board

CIO’s and VPs from the following companies are represented:

  • IBM, Lockheed Martin, Sentry Technology, TRW, Owens Corning, Microsoft, Hershey Foods, Lucent, GE Transportation, Shell, Deloitte & Touche, Unisys, SAP, Kodak and General Motors;
  • Mix of ERP users, ERP vendors, and ERP consultants.
current program status
Current Program Status
  • Pilot Program (Phase I)
    • began fall semester 1999
    • two courses were taught fall semester

(Business Logistics and IE at University Park)

    • additional courses taught spring semester

(MSIS at UP, IE and Bus. Mgmt. at UP, MIS and Acct. at Behrend College)

    • Hardware and Software have been installed
    • 600 students and 23 clients
    • SAP student special interest group established (300 students; 60 dues paying)
  • Four UNISYS QR/2V 400Mhz Xeon Servers
    • Test Server, Production App Server, Production DB Server, Internet Web Server
    • Two Linked Rackmount Units
    • 100 GB RAID Storage - App and Test
  • Hot Staging Services
    • Hardware Staging and Installation
    • Performance Tuning
sap training bank
SAP Training Bank
  • Almost 300 Training Days Available

(75 have been used so far)

  • Average of 7 to 10 Days Needed per Faculty Member
    • Many will require only 7 days
    • Some may require up to 21 days

ERP Research

  • Center for Manufacturing Enterprise Integration (IE)
  • Center for Business Logistics (BLOG)
  • Electronic Business Research Center (Bus. & IST)
  • Other Company Interest

SAP/R3 Business Plan

The Future

  • Development of ERP courses at the graduate level
  • Develop Industry supported ERP Research program
  • Establish ERP competency center at Penn State to support research and industry (potentially)

Key Success Factors

  • A commitment by the institution’s leadership to support the R/3 program through a server, network connections, and dedicated staff (SAP Partners Group).
  • Developing key working (Learning) relationships among the various academic units.
  • Faculty members willing to spend the considerable amount of time it takes to gain a working knowledge of this product, then transfer that knowledge to students.

How do you reach me?

  • “Ravi” Ravindran
  • Phone: 814-865-7601
  • E-mail: