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Digital Business Processes and Enterprise Systems

  • Teacher(s):   C.Legner  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 6 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2021-2022, 2.0h. course + 2.0h exercices (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences
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Effective business strategies increasingly center on the intelligent use of digital technologies. Today, the so-called SMACIT technologies (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things) lead to a profound transformation of enterprises in the way they work, organize and create value.

This course introduces students to the digitalization of enterprises and the future of work, based on an integrated case study and hands-on sessions.

Students will learn how digital firms leverage digital technologies to implement their business strategies and processes and thereby accelerate market readiness and responsiveness, enhance interactions with customers and suppliers, decentralize their operations and increase efficiencies across a variety of business functions.

In the hands-on sessions, students will work with a state-of-the-art enterprise system and get to know a broad range of functional capabilities (marketing, sales, customer service, purchasing, finance, HR). They will also explore emerging technologies and how they can be leveraged to redesign and improve business processes and achieve higher business performance. In 2021, this part will include a deep-dive into advanced analytics/machine learning, process mining, robotics process automation and chatbots.

At the end of the course, students will be able to

  1. explain the fundamental principles and concepts supporting the digital enterprise,
  2. design supply-side, demand-side and support processes – and their integration within the firm as well as with customers and suppliers,
  3. gain an understanding the main components of current enterprise IT landscapes and the capabilities of enterprise systems, such as enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), supply chain management systems (SCM), customer relationship management systems (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) systems,
  4. assess how emerging technologies – such as advanced analytics/machine learning, cognititive computing, or robotics – transform an enterprise's way of working and shape the future of work.


This course will be structured as follows:

  1. Part I: The digital enterprise and the future of work
    Technology evolution and impact on business strategies and processes
    Organizational design: functions vs. processes
    Enterprise IT landscape: current enterprise systems and their characteristics
    Future of work: what changes with advanced analytics/machine learning, cognitive computing, robotics, and more?
  2. Part II: Supply-side business processes (procure-to-pay)
    Strategic sourcing
    Operational procurement
    Supplier and procurement analysis
  3. Part III: Demand-side processes for products (market-to-order, order-to-cash)
    Customer account management, marketing and sales
    Customer order fulfilment for products
  4. Part IV: Demand-side processes for services (quote-to-cash)
    Service Customer order fulfilment for products
    Customer project management
    Customer project execution
  5. Part V: Financial processes
    Payment management
    Financial analysis, balance sheet, and income statement
  6. Part VI: Wrap-up

With exception of the first lecture (September 27, 2021), which will be an introductory session, the lectures will be organized in two parts:

  • 12:30-14:00: Classroom session
    - Introduction to the relevant management concepts and digital process
    - Debriefing and discussion of last week's case study.
  • 14:00-16:00: Lab session
    - Hands-on session on the integrated case study ALMIKA, using SAP Business ByDesign, a cloud-based ERP system that integrates analytics and mobile applications.

The course will be given in English, but support for case studies is also available in French.

Optional: OpenSAP courses
This course includes lab sessions with SAP Business ByDesign. Students have the possibility to deepen their knowledge with additional online courses at OpenSAP and earn a record of achievement/certificate issued by SAP. Details will be announced during the semester.


Class material (slides, case studies, and relevant readings) will be posted on the Moodle class website. The following publications provide an introduction to the topic:

  • vom Brocke, J., Maaß, W., Buxmann, P. et al. (2018): Future Work and Enterprise Systems. Business Information Syst Eng 60, 357–366, 2018.
  • Brynjolfsson, E., McAfee, A. (2017): The Business of Artificial Intelligence - What it can — and cannot — do for your organization, Harvard Business Review, 2017.
  • Laudon K., Laudon J. (2020): Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, 16th Edition, Pearson, 2020.
  • Magal, S. R., Word, J. (2011): Integrated Business Processes with ERP Systems, Wiley, 2011.
  • SAP Business ByDesign video training


As prerequisite, students should have acquired a basic understanding of information systems, by following the 2nd year Bachelor course "Information Systems" or "Business Intelligence & Analytics".

All students must be present during the first session (September 27, 2021) and register on the participants list so that we can prepare the SAP system for all students. We may be forced to limit the number of students in this course and will confirm registrations during the second week of the semester.

Please note that this course is a prerequisite for UNIL's Master programs in Information Systems. We therefore will give priority to students who intend to enroll in the Master in IS (MSc IS) or the Master in Legal Issues, Crime and Security of Information Technologies (MLaw DCS).


First attempt

Oral 20min. minutes
Not allowed
Not allowed

The evaluation consists of two parts:

  • Integrated case study with individual and group assignments (50%; multi-submissions in the deadlines announced by the lecturer),
  • Oral exam (50%, online) covering the entire course content including group assignments.

Please note that the assignments require students to actively participate in each lab session and work on case studies from one week to the next.

Question and answer language for both "assignments" and "oral exam" is English.


Oral 20min. minutes
Not allowed

In case of reexamination, students will keep the grades obtained in their individual and group assignments.

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