Master Lecture & Seminar Business Collaboration

First session: 17.10.2017, 14:00h

This course is a module consisting of a lecture and a corresponding seminar.

Module ID: 04WI2020

Recommended Prerequisites

Module Business Software (04WI2019)


Assessment and Grading

Lecture Course (Vorlesung, 2 SWS): 3 credit points
Seminar (2 SWS): 3 credit points 
Total (4 SWS): 6 credit points

The grade for the complete module is a 50:50 composite of the Lecture Course (Vorlesung) examination grade and the Seminar grade. Both parts must be completed successfully in order to pass the module.

Note: Admission to the written examination is subject to the successful completion of the seminar. Information about the pass grade will be given in the first class of the semester.

Examination (Lecture course)

Written examination: 20.02.2018, 14:00-16:00h (90 minutes), room tbd
Written retry examination: 17.04.2018, 08:00-10:00h (90 minutes), room tbd (DATE ETC. MAY CHANGE!)

Attention: The retry exam will take place at the start of the next semester (you need to be still enrolled in your study programme). The next regular exam takes place at the end of the next course (and then possibly with new lecture material).

You may bring a HANDWRITTEN page (A4, double sided) to use in the exam (originals, no photocopies). The sheet has to be marked with your name and will be submitted with the exam. A paper dictionary is also allowed.

Learning Objectives

On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand and explain relevant areas of Business Collaboration
  • Describe and apply the concepts, theories, methods and models taught in the course
  • Follow a methodical approach to the evaluation of solutions for Business Collaboration
  • Critically discuss the pros and cons of collaboration solutions
  • Effectively manage the implementation of collaboration solutions

Course Description

This course focuses on the integration of business software. In modern organizations. There are few business units that can work without the support of information systems. Consequently, every employee will have contact with an ERP system (e.g. SAP or Microsoft Dynamics NAV) at their workplace.

The course Business Collaboration aims to enable graduates to analyse integration scenarios of ERP systems that have to be connected with other information systems across company boundaries. In the course we discuss solutions for given integration problems in a global supply chain. The course content provides means and directions for future IT professionals (e.g. CIOs) to make decisions about technical architectures, operational scenarios and the organization of integration projects.

Case Study Method

Participants adopt the role of an IT professional to solve concrete case scenarios of real-world organizations. The scenarios are presented in case studies. During the sessions the participants will discuss different courses of action to solve the given problem scenario. Subsequently, the solution will be introduced and explained. By that, the participants learn to analyse a given integration scenario, to identify potential problems and to develop possible solutions.

The lecture will mainly be held in the form of a dialogue. It is necessary to read the case study material before the session to be able to participate in the discussion.

Content of the lectures

  • Business software and its interorganizational use
  • Different types of business collaboration
  • Business documents: different types of standards
  • Interorganizational process integration in manufacturing organizations
  • Interorganizational enterprise resource planning in retail organizations
  • Electronic document exchange between companies (without intermediaries)
  • Intermediaries, service providers
  • Coordination of several business partners via electronic platforms
  • Evaluation of business collaboration solutions
  • Economical assessment of data exchange: cost and benefits
  • Case studies

Seminar Description

The seminar is organized as a scientific conference. Students are required to (1) do research about their given topic, (2) write down their findings in a seminar paper, (3) give feedback to other teams' work and (4) present their results in front of the scientific community (fellow students). In the course of the semester each team of students will

  • produce an outline of the seminar paper which is discussed with the lecturer(s)
  • write the first (complete) version of the seminar paper
  • write reviews of some randomly assigned seminar papers of fellow students
  • complete the final version of the seminar paper
  • present the findings in front of the fellow students and the lecturer(s)
  • upload the referenced literature (if electronically available) in UniConnect to give access to fellow students

The specific dates for each deliverable will be announced during the introductory session.

Seminar Sessions, Enrolment and Attendance

The first session of the seminar will take place during the first lecture slot.

Dates for the presentations as well as the exact times of the sessions are tbd due to the unknown number of participating students. We will inform you as soon as all seminar papers are assigned. Presentations will be held as a block course. Presentations will probably be held as a block course on an extra day that is tbd.

For planning purposes, please register for the seminar course in KLIPS. Binding registration and team formation will be done using the Teams! tool (link to come). Futher information will be available during the first session.

Attendance is compulsory for the presentations and other parts of the seminar as specified during the first course sessions.

Information about the seminar will mainly be shared through UniConnect (see "Literature and Material" below).

Available Seminar Topics

General remark: Most of the following topics would benefit from an interview with a key informant (e.g. a specialist working in the portrayed company or industry) and cannot be written based on literature only. Important aspects that could be covered in the seminar paper are: specificity of the chosen industry or solution, technology description, future prospect, process-orientation.

Note: A concrete example of a document exchange (including the description of the exchanged document, the data transfer and the mapping process) in the chosen scenario will help the audience understand the solution/provider/industry.

The topics for the seminar papers will be assigned at the beginning of the course.

    Available topics are:

    • Future Concepts for Supply Chain Management (SCM) with the Internet of Things (IoT)
    • Exchange infrastructure for Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) in the light of the Internet of Things (IoT)
    • E-Catalogues and catalogue standards
    • Exchange of electronic invoices and the role of financial intermediaries
    • Standardisation organisations and their role in international integration: the case of GS1
    • Integration software and services provided by intermediaries: Seeburger
    • Integration software and services provided by intermediaries: OpenText
    • A topic of your choice

    Literature and Material

    All lecture and seminar documents (if electronically available) will be uploaded and made accessible on UniConnect in the course of the semester. Access is only given to students who are enrolled in the course. If you do not have an account on UniConnect yet, please register on the platform.

    Slides from the first session are available here to distribute the initial information without accessing UniConnect:

    Please note: The course language will be English.