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SAP America and Bentley College Announce New Approach to Business Education

April 14, 1999

 

Waltham, Mass.- SAP America and Bentley College have teamed up to create a new approach to business education. Through its University Alliance program, SAP America, the U.S. subsidiary of SAP AG, the market leader in enterprise integration software, has donated more than $1 million worth of software, training and support to Bentley College, the largest business school in New England. And Bentley has taken that collaboration to a new level by creating -- from the ground up -- an entirely new MBA program that uses SAP<sup>TM</sup> R/3® Release 4.0 as an integral teaching tool. Bentley's new two-year, full-time program, the Information Age MBA, welcomes its first class in September 1999.

Moreover, Bentley is leveraging the R/3 solution widely in its other graduate and undergraduate business programs. Several graduate level courses are already using R/3, the world's leading enterprise solution, as the college moves forward quickly, anticipating the profound effect of the Internet and computer use in every field of business practice.

"No other college or university is infusing SAP R/3 into its core business curriculum more deeply than we're doing at Bentley," said Jay Cooprider, Trustee Professor of Computer Information Systems. "Bentley College is integrating information technology (IT) throughout its undergraduate and graduate curricula. We have tossed out traditional models and are embracing what corporate America already knows: that IT is changing every business function from management and manufacturing to marketing, sales, service and product delivery. Similarly, the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is transforming business operations worldwide, and we are leveraging its software to give our students a clear window into how business is actually being done in today's information age organizations."

"SAP is pleased to have Bentley College as a member of the University Alliance program," said Daniel Pantaleo, Director, Higher Learning Initiatives. "Bentley's reputation for innovation and leadership in business education is a welcome addition to the other creative programs represented by the programs of our 62 other member schools."

At Bentley College, IT is already at the heart of such integrated degree programs as Accounting Information Systems and Information Age Marketing. There are new courses and specialized facilities, such as a real-time financial Trading Room, one of only a handful in the country; and an Accounting Center for Electronic Learning and Business Management (ACELAB). Construction is underway on the $20 million Smith Academic Technology Center, opening September 2000, and Bentley has committed to investing more than $2 million annually in technology infrastructure and $500,000 annually to develop its innovative curriculum blending IT and business education. A new, key component of this technology infusion will be the creation of an Enterprise Transformation Laboratory Environment featuring SAP R/3, release 4.0.

Bentley will use the SAP software in newly designed master of science programs, including Global Financial Analysis, Information Age Marketing, and Human Factors in Information Design, as well as the new Information Age MBA, immersing students in the integration of business functions and processes. Undergraduate business students, too, will develop an understanding of the new operations and service delivery model.

"SAP is at the very core of our Information Age MBA, so the use of R/3 is planned from the initial design of the program rather than being retrofitted into a pre-existing curriculum," said Cooprider. "We know of no other business school teaching MBAs in this way. It forces faculty and students to really come to grips with the integration of IT and business. Enterprise software is a critical part of the way business is done today. It is a concrete method of dealing with everything from the purchase of raw materials and supplies to interfacing with customers. We are using SAP R/3 everywhere it is applicable, including courses on electronic commerce, accounting, and management consulting teams, among others. For example, Bentley students will learn not just about human resources functions but also how modern ERP is central to knowledge and skills management including skills training, database management, and interaction with employees."

Thirteen corporate advisors provided considerable input into development of Bentley's Information Age MBA, including representatives from Andersen Consulting, Arnold Communications, Cabletron, Compaq, Federal Express, Fidelity Investments, GE Capital Services, Hewlett-Packard, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance, KPMG Peat Marwick, SAP America, and State Street Bank and Trust.

The SAP America University Alliance program, launched in April, 1997, brings SAP R/3 into the classroom by donating R/3 software to colleges and universities. SAP also provides installation and technical support, assistance in curriculum development, R/3 user training and instructional materials for faculty and staff.

SAP, R/3 and all SAP product and service names herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG. Other product and company names herein may be registered trademarks of their respective owners.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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