This chapter introduces the ERP systems, their complexity, and especially their integration in higher education as a significant challenge for many institutions. Information society paradigm, globalization, and the rapidly changing environment affect the contents and organization of higher education. In the always-conservative academic world, the organizational structure is very hierarchical and the knowledge transfer is fragmented. The real-world requirements are just the opposite; there is a vast demand for students and professionals having the ability of integration, cooperation, and knowledge absorption. During the last years, European Countries went through an intensive development and changing phase in which the experiences of transition and coping with the information society requirements mixed up. A way to develop training programs in the higher education on an integrated ERP platform from regional perspective is also illustrated in the chapter.
The Evolution Of Erp Systems
An enterprise’s success is related to the speed with which it can respond to changes in its business environment and create value for its chosen market space. Today it is almost impossible to run a competitive business without a computerized information system. The rapidly increasing use of the web has changed the manner in which business is done in almost all organizations. Computer-based information systems in conjunction with web applications are enhancing competitiveness and creating strategic advantage to organizations.
Providing a computerized solution to a business problem may require integrating a lot of information systems. ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) systems are one of the most popular enterprise applications, and present a new model of enterprisewide computing. (Figure 1) They allow enterprises to replace their legacy systems with a single, integrated system, in which it is possible to plan and manage the use of the resources of an entire enterprise. We can say that ERP is a structured approach to optimizing an enterprise’s internal value chain (Norris et al., 2000). What ERP really does is organize, codify, and standardize an enterprise’s business processes and data. The software transforms transactional data into useful information and collates the data so that it can be analyzed. In this way, all of the collected transactional data becomes information that enterprises can use to support business decision-making (Norris et al., 2000). The main benefits are the increased efficiency, the improved quality, productivity, and profitability and they require major changes to organizational, cultural, and business processes.
ERP evolution (Turban et al., 2002)
Key Terms in this Chapter
Internet Demonstration and Evaluation System (IDES): Represents a model company in the SAP system. It consists of an international group with subsidiaries in several countries. IDES contains application data for various business scenarios. The business processes in the IDES system are designed to reflect real-life business requirements, and have access to many realistic characteristics. The focal point of IDES is not the functionality itself, but the business processes and their integration.
Knowledge Integration: Means the networking of knowledge from different fields/departments (management, business economics, corporate finance, information management …), processes, human resources, their tasks and the information and communication technology used.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): The information pipeline system within a company, which allows the company to move internal information efficiently so that it may be used for decision support inside the company and communicated via e-business technology to business partners throughout the supply chain. It is an enterprise-wide set of forecasting, planning, and scheduling tool, which inks customers and suppliers into a complete supply chain, employs proven processes for decision-making, and coordinates sales, marketing, operations, logistics, purchasing, finance, product development, and human resources.
University Alliance: It is an alliance program for enabling curriculum innovations at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels often under a certain subject, such as Information Systems (IS).
Excellence Center: An open platform for co-operation of universities, colleges which agreed in joint development of curricula, joint development and exchange of teaching material, also in joint teaching activities.