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In an effort to expose our students to the latest in terms of business technologies, as of this semester Lauder Business School has established a new teaching cooperation with PwC Austria and TU Wien. Prof. Dr. Alexander Redlein, professor and distinguished researcher at TU Wien and ME310 international teaching team at Stanford University, and Mag. (FH) Birgit Engel, Director at PwC Austria, co-teach the Enterprise Resource Planning – SAP course in the International Management and Leadership program at LBS.

TU Wien generously provides the software, the theoretical background of the value chain, and the ample professional materials and support through their SAP Academic Competence Center (ACC).

PwC Austria brings to the table, besides the expertise in the fields of technology consulting and SAP supply chain management, the possibility for LBS students to get a peek into the PwC trainee program.

SAP, or Systems Applications and Products in data processing, is the most popular enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. SAP operates by creating a centralized data system for organisations across industries allowing employees to access and share freely common data, and departments to easily communicate with each other. Because SAP contains hundreds of fully integrated modules that cover nearly every aspect of business management, it is used by businesses to improve performance. Given the system´s pervasive use, SAP-skills have become an indispensable asset in building a successful career.

Prof. Dr. Redlein and his team from the ACC – SAP Academic Competence Center at TU Wien provide the solution for the skills shortage in the area of SAP, and IT in general. For over 20 years, the ACC have been supporting Austrian secondary schools and universities with academic training and research with SAP in areas like Financial Accounting, Controlling, Sales and Distribution, Materials management, Sales and Distribution and Mantenance. In addition, Prof. Dr. Redlein and his team were responsible for the productive SAP system at TU Wien. No easy task, considering the fact that the institution has more than 5500 employees and a turnover of over 200 million Euros. The adventure came with an added bonus, it provided the team with insight into the customer´s perspective.

With over 15 years of experience in SAP supply chain management, both as a consultant and as a team lead, Ms. Engel knows first-hand the advantages an SAP knowledge offers to prospective candidates. “From an employer´s point of view, I would say that knowing S/4HANA processes is definitely a huge advantage for applicants and even a major requirement for certain positions,” affirms Ms. Engel.

The SAP course in the IML program extensively covers master data, as well as two modules in very high demand on the job market: sales distribution (SD) and material management (MM). Students get to work with SAP S/4HANA system, the world market leader in the field, and learn how to customise the system and apply and execute processes like material management, procurement, sales, and distribution.

Our students, as future job applicants, see the value in the course as twofold – it increases their chances of getting hired, and it provides a strong, general basis for understanding business processes, regardless of whether a company uses SAP. “First of all, it gives a comparative advantage over other applicants, since SAP is the most popular ERP system in modern business,” says Eleonora Oganesian, second year IML student and SAP enthusiastic learner. “Even if the company does not use it, seeing the previous experience with SAP serves as a benefit for us students – future applicants. On the bright side, in case the company uses SAP in their daily business, it is extremely advantageous to know the way around the system, so we and the company are in a win-win situation. From the applicant´s point of view, it is easier to learn the company´s flow; from the employer’s side, it takes less time and effort to teach the processes. Therefore, I am glad to learn SAP during my Master´s degree and enhance the list of my hard skills.”

The cooperation will extend into the winter term as Prof. Dr. Redlein and a team of PwC Austria´s professionals will co-teach the Process Management and SAP course in the Strategic Finance & Business Analytics program. The course will focus primarily on master data, and will additionally cover the financial accounting (FI) and controlling (CO) SAP modules.

We hope it will prove to be just as successful. “I really enjoyed teaching at LBS – the combination of an international spirit and a gorgeous historical building is unique,” declared Ms. Engel.  “It was amazing to see the students grow from SAP beginners to business process experts.”

The collaboration between LBS and PwC Austria is not new. In the Internet of Things (IoT) Future Trail course, Prof. (FH) Ing. Mag. Robert Kotal CFP® EFA® uses PwC´s Game of Threats, a cyber-threat simulation game, to help students better understand the steps they can take to protect companies from cyber-attacks.

As part of the same course curriculum, LBS also partnered with the TU Wien Space Team and K-Sat Stuttgart. Through Prof. (FH) Kotal, LBS takes part of an innovative Space Project involving a high-altitude weather balloon flight that aims to catapult marketing into the future.

Our latest cooperation strengthens further our commitment to offer an educational experience that prepares students to be serious players in their chosen field.

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