Last week I had the pleasure of hosting the 19th annual meeting of the SAP Higher Education and Research User Group (HERUG).
Cambridge Assessment has been a member of this group for several years; having benefited from meetings in Switzerland (2013) and Uruguay (2014) it was only right that we should take our turn to host the event, which meant welcoming some 150 representatives from 40 universities around the world to Cambridge and organising three days of presentations, seminars and of course lots of meals and social events (known as “opportunities for networking” in the event business!).
In the end, the formal programme included 47 different presentations and was a great opportunity to share experiences about implementing SAP technology in the Higher Education sector. Key themes of this year’s conference included Cloud Computing, Mobility and “In-Memory Computing”, a topic to which the Cambridge Assessment team made a significant contribution with an update on our innovative approach to using a new technology known as Hana to support the calculation of the huge volumes of marks we must process every year.
Delegates at the conference were among the first to hear the exciting news that our proof of concept for deploying Hana in the context of results determination has been recognised with a nomination for a prestigious industry award, the SAP Hana Innovation Award – more on that in a future blog!
Among the events we organised to allow participants to build or renew their personal and professional networks were a tour of Cambridge, a drinks reception in the Fitzwilliam Museum and a dinner in the rather different setting of the Duxford Air Museum.
These and other occasions gave delegates an opportunity to learn about Cambridge, the history of some of the colleges and what has made the University of Cambridge famous and successful over the past eight hundred years. “Dining under the wings of Concorde” was agreed to be a highlight of the social programme and one that set the bar high for the organisers of next year’s conference, to be held at Duke University in North Carolina. My thanks to everyone who helped make HERUG 2015 a success!
Group Infrastructure Services Director, Cambridge Assessment