Since the beginning of 2013, the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems, headed by Prof. Dr Axel Winkelmann, has been running its own laboratory for business software with a focus on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for the targeted use of these systems in research and teaching, and has now expanded this to become Germany's largest ERP laboratory. Many ERP systems are not made available remotely by the manufacturers, so it is necessary to operate them independently on one's own servers in the University of Würzburg's enterprise compute centre.
The term Enterprise Resource Planning is understood to mean the planning and control of a company's resources. In addition to the classic company resources of land (properties / facilities), labour (personnel capacity) and capital (financial resources), the management of the resource "information" is of particular importance. An ERP system is a (frequently) modular, integrated, business management software for IT support of business processes. It contains all the necessary information for corporate planning and control. The company data is stored in the central database with low redundancy.
The ERP systems currently available in the ERP Lab include: Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Asseco APplus, Godesys ERP, abas ERP, Sage 100 ERP, IFS Applications 9, canias ERP, weclappOn, Unit4 Business World On!, odoo, TimeLine, OpenZ and AvERP.
Furthermore, access to the cloud-based solution SAP Business ByDesign, Odoo, Plenty Markes, to the PIM systems Akeneo, Pimcore and mediacockpit as well as to the CRM systems civiCRM and SuiteCRM is possible.
In practical courses, the Bachelor's and Master's students receive problem-oriented training in the ERP laboratory. For example, the systems are used in software practicals, project seminars, practice-oriented seminars and theses as well as in various lectures. One example is the course Business Software 2: Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, in which the students access various systems and deal with the solutions practically, including various business processes from a case study. In doing so, they gain comprehensive knowledge about the ERP market and the diversity of the software location in Germany, where there is not just one system for all purposes.
In addition, the chair's efforts to provide high-quality, practically relevant teaching in the field of ERP systems led to the first "Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance Premier Membership" status in 2015, which has been confirmed annually since then. This, the highest possible distinction, is awarded by the Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance (DynAA) to a small number of member institutions that have made a special contribution to engaging, versatile teaching of and with ERP systems. Thus, it is also possible for students to acquire Microsoft certificates within the framework of the chair's courses. In addition, the chair is a member of the ORACLE Academy and will soon also be using the software products of this provider.
Furthermore, the ERP laboratory supports various research projects, such as Komplex-e , at the chair and carries out targeted analyses within the various systems. This concerns, for example, the networking of the systems in order to simulate a cross-system data exchange, the investigation of the interfaces and the integration of the systems into the Internet of Things (IoT).