Software giant SAP to work with UA MIS researchers
Eller College of Management MIS department tapped by SAP to collaborate on first of a kind venture
TUCSON, Ariz. – DECEMBER 21, 2006 – When a company chooses to go beyond its walls for new ideas, it makes sense to select researchers from a top-tier university. When SAP Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of SAP AG, selected the Eller College of Management’s Management Information Systems (MIS) department, it created an alliance for leading-edge research.
The Eller College of Management’s top-five ranked MIS department and SAP recently reached an agreement to collaborate on a research project that aims to revolutionize supply-chain efficiency. This is the first time that SAP, the world’s largest business software company, has tapped a university in Arizona to engage in such a research-development partnership.
For the next twelve months, Eller College researchers will be working to develop a method to uniquely identify objects using radio frequency identification (RFID)/universally unique identifier (UUID) technology. This project is led by MIS professor Sudha Ram. She and a team of Ph.D. and Master’s degree student researchers will work to develop what has been termed by Paul Hofmann, director of external relations/SAP Research Americas, a “DNA for objects.” The purpose of the unique identification system is to trace what happens to objects in a supply chain. When the technology is fully developed, any manufactured object will be able to communicate its history, status, and whereabouts back to the manufacturer, consequently enabling events such as recalls to be more precise. This effort is part of SAP’s leadership in RFID technology solutions that enable adaptive business networks and help global companies improve their supply chains to be best-run businesses.
"The Eller College MIS program has been a pioneer in the issues related to data management for over two decades,” said Mohan Tanniru, MIS department head. Dr. Sudha Ram is an expert at exploring the different ways in which data from dissimilar sources can be mapped across time and space to improve business processes within an organization. It is natural that she has been chosen to champion the research. She is uniquely qualified to lead this complex project.”
When asked why SAP chose to go outside the company and collaborate with the Eller College of Management’s MIS Department, Hofmann said his company wants to gain insight from academia about new technologies. “If we are going to partner with academia, we better partner with whom we believe to be among the best,” he commented. “SAP is leading an industry transformation, helping customers achieve new levels of flexibility in order to adapt and innovate to new business models through our enterprise SOA [Service Oriented Architecture] strategy, and enabled by the SAP NetWeaver platform. Academia is well equipped to help us to realize this vision.”
SAP and the research team at Eller College of Management have agreed to a timeline of one year to collaborate on the research. If the research is successful the timeline may then be extended. Throughout the process the Eller College of Management researchers will be regularly communicating their progress and results with SAP.
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software*. Today, more than 36,200 customers in more than 120 countries run SAP® applications—from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small and midsize enterprises to suite offerings for global organizations. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver® platform to drive innovation and enable business change, SAP software helps enterprises of all sizes around the world improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 25 industries, including high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector. With subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol “SAP.” (Additional information at http://www.sap.com)
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, product life-cycle management and supplier relationship management.
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #12 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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