4 February 2015

SAP chief tells students in Dubai to position themselves for the Networked Economy

Source: SAP. UAE employers must embrace the potential of the Millennial generation to transform their businesses, SAP CEO Bill McDermott told students at the American University in Dubai.

UAE employers must embrace the potential of the Millennial generation to transform their businesses, SAP Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott said on a visit to the Emirates.

Millennials, aged 18-35, will make up 75% percent of the total global workforce by 2025, according to SAP. As the first generation born into the mobile device era, Millennials have enormous potential to transform companies and markets, and make a huge positive impact on business and society at large, McDermott told students at the American University in Dubai (AUD).

With the UAE building its knowledge-based economy in line with its Vision 2021, training the next-generation workforce has assumed a greater significance. In the UAE, 54% of executives said that Millennials entering the workforce is a top trend impacting the workforce strategy, according to the Workforce 2020 report by Oxford Economics and SAP. However only 28% of executives give special attention to their wants and needs, although Millennials bring highly-valued skills in cloud, mobile analytics, and social media to the table.

“It’s easy to forget that the Millennial generation was the first ever born into the mobile device,” said McDermott. "The up and coming workforce expects the same experience in their professional lives during the week that they enjoy as consumers during the weekend.”

McDermott urged AUD students to benefit from opportunities available to them, and develop skill sets to lead in the new era of the Networked Economy.

“When I think about this generation in the UAE, they’re fearless and ready to support innovation in every form,” said Bill McDermott. “I believe the time is now to push them into big challenges and empower them. This is why SAP has amazing partnerships with universities across the UAE and beyond. When they’re ready to lead, we want them to thrive with our platform and our applications.”

Dr Alaa Ashmawy, Dean of the School of Engineering, American University in Dubai, said: “In an increasingly competitive global job market, hands-on experience and critical thinking in the areas of science and engineering are sought-after skills. We have the great privilege of partnering with SAP to bring tools and innovation to our students and expose them to real life scenarios through global knowledge exchange and taking the educational experience to the next level.”

Hosting more than 20 regional programmes, SAP’s Training and Development Institute aims to increase qualified hires, promote gender diversity, and spearhead the localisation and Arabic translation of SAP business apps.

SAP’s 92 University Alliance partners across the region have trained more than 10,000 students and 570 professors on SAP solutions. Students in the Middle East can also gain hands-on experience with the Young Professional Program, the Dual Study Program, and the Academies for Pre-Sales and Sales.