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Many universities have struggled to incorporate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems into their Information Systems (IS) curriculum. They are now faced with the issue of how best to incorporate e-business. They often treat the two technologies separately without realising the synergy between the two. We propose that IS curriculum can be extended using an ERP system to teach e-business concepts.

Many IS departments have spent much time and resources in modifying their curriculum to incorporate Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. These systems are seen as a tool to reinforce many IS concepts. To facilitate the inclusion of ERP systems into the curricula universities have formed strategic alliances with major ERP vendors. The ERP vendor benefits from these alliances by increasing the supply of skilled graduates that can support their product thereby enhancing its marketability and lowering the cost of implementation, while the university gains access to the software at a greatly reduced cost. Through these alliances universities have made a commitment to incorporate ERP systems into their curriculum and have expended an enormous amount of effort and resources to achieve this. For many of these universities it is important to investigate how they can leverage their current level of expertise in ERP systems curriculum to incorporate many of the ERP’s ebusiness functionality to support the teaching of ebusiness concepts. Many consider ERP systems as an essential component of any e-business strategy.

Before a university decides to build upon their existing ERP knowledge and resources to teach e-business concepts and skills in the IS curriculum, consideration should be given to a number of factors, including how ebusiness is covered in the IS curriculum at present; in what ways and to what extent should e-business issues be addressed; and what ERP resources should be extended to support the teaching of e-business concepts and skills.

This paper examines the potential use of ERP systems as a tool to teach e-business concepts. It discusses the different functionality available and it applicability to IS curriculum.