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Software donation gives students a competitive edge

The announcement of a $165,000 in-kind gift of software was the culmination of an afternoon forum hosted by the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science on Sept. 12.

Infor Global Solutions and Synergy Resources, providers of enterprise resources planning (ERP) software solutions and services, will make VISUAL Enterprise, an ERP software solution, available to engineering and management students and faculty.

The gift includes the VISUAL software from Infor, and implementation and training services from Synergy Resources.

Students in the Watson School and the School of Management will learn how to use this technology to manage the integrated supply chain for a company, ranging from manufacturing and purchasing, to warehousing and distribution.

“VISUAL allows Binghamton University students to gain valuable hands-on experience using leading software,” President Lois B. DeFleur said. “The advances that our University can make by bringing together our bright students with inspired faculty and corporate frien

Binghamton University alumnus Gene Caiola, right, of Synergy Resources, shares a laugh with President Lois B. DeFleur and Dean Seshu Desu after Caiola announced that Infor Global Solutions and Synergy Resources gave a software and services gift to the Uni
ds such as Infor Global Solutions and Synergy Resources strongly enhance the value of the student experience at Binghamton University.”

VISUAL has helped large and small manufacturers improve productivity and profitability by providing real-time data on business operations. More than 4,000 manufacturers around the world use this ERP tool.

“It is important for young engineering and management students in this country to gain a working knowledge of ERP systems,” said Gene Caiola ’80 of Synergy Resources, who leveraged his relationship with Infor to make the software available to the University. “With the knowledge they gain by working with VISUAL, these students will have a competitive edge in the job market and be able to make an immediate positive impact on manufacturing in this country.”

Under the guidance of faculty in the Watson School, the software is also expected to create collaborations between the University and local business and industry.

“The connection between the classroom and

Jean Burns, left, of Universal Instruments, listens as Surinder Kahai, an associate professor in the School of Management, leads a discussion.
industry is the backbone of the Watson School,” Dean Seshu Desu said. “We believe in being an active driver in the economic development of the region.”

News of the software gift and its potential was made public at a forum for local business and industry leaders. The event, “Catalyst for Innovation 2007,” grouped participants according to area of interest, in order to help identify specific challenges that affect local firms’ competitiveness.

The forum also highlighted opportunities for potential technology solutions that can be developed through continued partnerships with the University and members of the Southern Tier Opportunity Coalition (STOC), a private-sector and academic initiative to help improve economic growth in Greater Binghamton.

Several themes emerged during the roundtable talks, Desu said. Issues include brain drain, challenges in attracting and retaining good people and developing and honing the local workforce’s competencies. “Today, we are a stimulus to change,” he said.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08