VŠE and IBM establish New Competence Centre: Students´ Opportunity in Smarter Commerce

17 Jun

The University of Economics, Prague and IBM Czech Republic are going to establish a new competence centre. The cooperation has been officially confirmed by a memorandum signed last week by Vladek Šlezingr, CEO IBM Czech Republic, and Luboš Marek, the dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics.

The first Smarter Commerce centre in the Czech Republic will allow students to take part in real business and research projects in the course of their studies and gain valuable experience. The cooperative project is designed as a sophisticated form of cooperation of an academic institution and a commercial organization that supports the creation of communities of excellence, growth of a competitive workforce, development of the society through innovative use of technology, long-term sustainability and financial independence.

The concept of Smarter Commerce is based on implementation of tools that serve for customer analysis, prediction of customer’s behaviour, and solutions that enable processing of ever-growing amount of data and facilitate their interpretation. The new competence centre will focus on three thematic areas of smarter commerce.

The first area focuses on systems quality management and their critical area identification – focusing on a comprehensive approach to functionality and performance testing and system automation. The second area is dedicated to business intelligence and analytical tools – data needs to be transformed into information and information must be contextualized to gain insights, all the while data volumes continue to grow exponentially. And finally, the third area concentrates on collaborative tools for a more efficient communication and information exchange among clients, partners and employees – boosting productivity, stimulating innovation and decreasing costs.

For many years, tertiary education has been lacking adequate interconnection with the professional world – a drawback affecting eventually the graduates  who often struggle to find the employment due to their lack of professional experience. The new competence centre at VŠE aims to support the interconnection of academic world with private sector and scientific research. VŠE was inspired by similar smarter commerce competence centres operating successfully in other countries. One of these centres was established at Plekhanov Russian Economic University in Moscow at which both students and professors research business intelligence. One of the existing IBM competence centres in the Czech Republic has been already operating at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague. It focuses on process management. In the forthcoming years, IBM is planning to establish competence centres at other Czech universities. Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degree students will have an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience thanks to the interconnectedness of schools across the Czech Republic and abroad.