Collaboration between IT vendors and academic institutions is not new, but for Hewlett-Packard Asia and INSEAD business school, both parties are taking their collaborative efforts to a higher level.
When asked about its significance, Dipak Jain, dean of INSEAD business school, said: "We're in the business of attracting and shaping human talent that would be attracted to businesses and other corporations. Why do businesses hire MBA [graduates]? That's because they're looking at how MBAs can help them in their transformation journey. I'm very much interested in what are the cutting edge business concepts that are going to lead business transformation."
In that sense, HP has been a helpful partner, as the collaboration allows INSEAD business school to understand the latest trends that impact the business world. In addition, providing students immersive experiences in the real business environments will enable them to be in touch with what is relevant. "As a world-class institution, INSEAD not just focuses on the academic side of training but also on the bigger picture. That's the partnership we're looking for," Jain added.
Working with IT vendors to help enrich its students is synergy that INSEAD is constantly looking out for. Already, it also partnered with other vendors and organisations- Jain named Microsoft as an example - to stay relevant.
Aman Dokania, VP and GM for Blades, Virtualisation and Cloud Solutions at HP, said that the collaboration with INSEAD is timely. "Asia is a dynamic region; there are many trends emerging, whether we're talking about changing workforce, younger population, more corporatisation, or the growing middle class in countries like India and China. Technology advancement like what we've seen in the mobility space compared to how it got started in other mature economies, is evidence that emerging economies can be innovative as well," he added.
"The adoption of cloud virtualisation is also quite high in Asia compared to North America or Europe. Business models are changing - traditional telcos are realising new revenue streams like cloud services. Microfinancing is another example in countries like Bangladesh, India and China. All of this means that companies are going through business transformation. For that, they need certain business drivers that help speed innovation. And that's where I think where Prof Jain brings a lot of his experience in terms of consulting with, dealing with industrial companies and how we then leverage technology to drive that business growth and transformation," he said.
"I really believe [HP and INSEAD] are in the same business," Jain added. "We educate people and HP is educating people on how a particular process can expedite their efforts. There's a combination of what I call relevance. The biggest problem sometimes I see of business schools is the danger of being irrelevant. Are we teaching concepts which are irrelevant?"
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