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Customer Snapshot: Overview

Largest university in the Netherlands with >70,000 Students >300 Academic programs

The University of Amsterdam wanted to enhance student interactions by going where students of today are comfortable—mobile technology. With slow transaction and report-generation speeds, they faced an expensive infrastructure upgrade in order become a mobile-friendly university

University of Amsterdam

Customer Website

Line of Business
Asset Management, Human Resources

SAP Solutions
SAP Business Suite, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP ERP, SAP HANA

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Number of Employees

Higher Education & Research

But IT found it could increase performance simply with SAP HANA, by leveraging the in-memory database for fast reporting and analysis.

Customer Snapshot: History

Giant Steps of Growth for Over 400 Years

The predecessor of the University of Amsterdam, the Athenaeum Illustre, was founded in Amsterdam in 1632 to educate students in Trade and Philosophy. Lessons were generally given at the professors' homes, as the establishment was not yet a proper university. The Athenaeum remained a small institution until the nineteenth century, with no more than 250 students and eight teachers. The situation changed in 1877 when the Athenaeum Illustre became the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and was permitted to confer the highest educational degrees.

Years of rapid growth lay ahead. There were 900 students at the University of Amsterdam by 1900. This figure had risen to 2,500 by 1935, and to 7,500 by 1960. More fields of study and research were introduced and new university departments established.

Currently, there are more than 70,000 students at the University of Amsterdam and 10,000 faculty and staff. The University has seven faculties spanning the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, economics and business, law, the natural sciences, medicine and dentistry.

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

A Strong Focus on Research

As the largest university in the Netherlands—with 70,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff—the University of Amsterdam offers approximately 300 different degree programs. The university features a particularly strong focus in applied science research and works closely with the city of Amsterdam and the region to help find career opportunities for students.

Cutting Edge University.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Focusing the Scope on Students

The University is always seeking new technology alternatives to improve student success. UvA was looking for a way to accelerate reporting performance to allow the school to spend less time on behind-the-scenes reporting and more time focusing on student success.

The Challenge

Facing Massive and Costly Infrastructure Changes

As the University’s physical IT infrastructure began to age and end users experienced system bottlenecks, the internal IT team realized the time had arrived to deploy new technologies. The obvious answer seemed to lie in upgrading the network hardware components, which undoubtedly would prove costly.

Enter SAP


After conferring with SAP, the university’s long-time ERP and data warehouse partner, the University of Amsterdam discovered an alternative that would not only improve system performance, but also set the stage to capitalize on future technology opportunities.

SAP recommended deploying SAP HANA, the in-memory database that allows ERP and data warehouse systems to process data more quickly. In addition to resolving the system performance issues, the University realized the value of the technology given that SAP focuses its future database product roadmap on the SAP HANA platform.

A New Platform.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience


Creating True Insight to Student Success Factors

Since migrating SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP ERP over to the SAP HANA platform, end users now generate reports four times faster than previously possible. System transactions in SAP ERP that used to require 30 seconds now complete in as little as five seconds.

Surpassing Expectations.

Better Business

Analytical Power to Make Positive Changes

SAP HANA has improved the University’s analytical capabilities. The increased computing power within the platform means that additional data can be loaded into SAP NetWeaver BW, not only from the SAP ERP suite, but also from several other data sources—student information, learning management and the blackboard notes system.

Examples of Success.

Better Business: Benefits

Easier Roadmaps for Student Degree Programs

Within the first phase of the SAP HANA deployment, the University utilized the platform to enable back-office applications used by the finance department and administrative support personnel to operate more reliably as well as generate transactions and reports more quickly. Specific applications from the SAP ERP suite and SAP NetWeaver BW improved transaction performance, including materials management, process integration and human resource management along with financial accounting and controlling.

Combining all the data into reports creates insight into the success factors of graduating students. The university is now better equipped with the data they need to help students increase their chances of success as they work their way through the University’s degree programs.

Better Business: Run Simple

Mobility to Attract Today’s International Students

Currently, in addition to facilitating student-faculty communications, the future adoption of mobile technology will also serve as a key recruitment tool. Mobility will play a critical role as the University strives to attract more students—not only from the Netherlands, but also from around the world.

Journey Ahead

The Future of Faculty-Student Interactions

Looking ahead, the University of Amsterdam plans to employ SAP HANA to assist the faculty in evaluating students and providing feedback to help students improve their grades. A key component to this objective involves integrating SAP HANA with SAP mobile technologies to allow students and faculty to interact more easily through smartphones and tablets.

Ensuring Student Success.

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