The network in the background
The SAP Competence Centre in Magdeburg links science and industry
“We are one of Magdeburg’s greatest secrets”, says Stefan Weidner. Because hardly anyone knows: the world’s largest SAP University Competence Centre (SAP UCC) is located at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. It operates SAP systems for about 500 institutions ranging from vocational school to elite university and from research institute to industrial partners.
Commercial Manager Stefan Weidner helped to develop the UCC. It was opened in 2001 by the founding partners SAP, Hewlett-Packard (HP), T-Systems and Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. The services not only include the technical operation. The UCC also creates learning material, offers training courses and provides support. That is to say, end users in Europe, Africa and the Arab-speaking region can turn to the team comprised of more than 20 people in Magdeburg in case of questions and problems.
For the German SAP SE it is part of social commitment that it provides educational institutions with their own software. But since the programmes are highly complex and “the training period is not comparable with that from Excel”, as Weidner puts it, the respective lecturers readily fall back on the know-how of competence centres.
“We are responsible for one fourth of the customers in the SAP educational network.” The Magdeburg UCC indirectly reaches approximately a quarter of a million students in more than 50 countries, calculates Stefan Weidner. They use the same software as major corporate groups and are trained in practice-relevant technologies. On the other hand, the UCC works together with companies on innovations. It contributes to the fact that industry and science are better interconnected.
Together with HP, for instance, intelligent operating concepts were developed and a separate cloud data processing centre was converted to a water cooling system. This reference installation shows HP’s industrial customers how energy costs can be lowered by up to 40 percent. The cooperation with founding partner T-Systems also runs on an equal footing. Among other things, the UCC organises advanced training courses for the company. The IT competence at the university played an important role in the selection of the nearby town Biere as the site for a new data processing centre.
Since 2014 the Magdeburg Specialists have also acquired the status of a “big data innovation centre”. Project inquiries come on a regular basis from the most varying fields, such as the optimal maintenance of offshore wind turbines via Industry 4.0 scenarios as well as efficient analysis of climatic data.
- SAP SE is the world market leader for business software with headquarters in Walldorf in Baden-Württemberg. It has more than 269,000 customers worldwide.
- Global research, training and co-innovation are promoted with the latest technology via a total of six SAP competence centres.
- Two of these centres are located in the SAP University Alliances network in Germany. The SAP UCC in Magdeburg is the largest with more than 500 customers.