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June 20, 2008

Farmingdale State Partners with Infor and Synergy Resources

Students To Learn Integrated Operations Management Tool

Dr. W. Hubert Keen , President of Farmingdale State College, is pleased to announce that two academic departments within the School of Business have entered into a partnership with area industry.During the fall 2008 semester students enrolled in business and in computer systems classes will have a unique opportunity to learn how to use an important new system for integrated operations management - also known as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

Synergy Resources, a leading provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions and services, and Infor, one of the largest global providers of business software, recently announced a gift of software and services to the College.

The gift, which has a commercial value of close to $200,000, includes Infor ERP VISUAL, software from Infor and implementation and training services from Synergy Resources. Through this gift, students will learn how to apply technology to manage a company's integrated supply chain from manufacturing and purchasing to warehousing and distribution.

"Farmingdale students will have a competitive advantage when they graduate and are seeking employment since they will know how to use an ERP application that is much in demand by industry," said Dr. Keen.

Dr. Lorraine Greenwald , Dean of the School of Business , agreed. "As a college of applied science and technology, this is exactly what is needed for our business and computer systems students to gain real world, hands on experience in the classroom. Already, a new lab has been created to implement this dramatic change in the coursework."

The jobs are waiting. "Our customers, who operate small and midsize manufacturing companies, tell us that they struggle to find qualified people who are experienced in supply chain management technology," explains Gene Caiola of Synergy Resources. "We recognize the growing need for management students to gain a working knowledge of ERP systems and we see this as an opportunity to give back to the community. The program will help to fill the demand for these skills in local manufacturing companies."

Gene Caiola is an alumnus of the State University of New York (SUNY) system and sees Synergy Resources as a logical partner for the program. "As a community business leader, I value my relationship with Farmingdale State College. At Synergy Resources, our goal is to help manufacturers stay competitive in the global economy by giving them the tools to run more efficiently and ultimately improve their profitability. What we bring to the table, along with Infor, is leading edge technology and best business practices. Giving students the opportunity to learn VISUAL in the classroom will give those students a competitive edge in the job market. In turn, the Farmingdale program will help to strengthen the manufacturing and supply chain skills base in the local area."

"Research shows that an educated and technically savvy work force enables manufacturers to be more competitive and meet the demands of their customers," said Kevin Piotrowski, director of industry and product marketing for Infor. " Infor is pleased to be part of this initiative that can contribute to substantial dividends for the manufacturing industry in the Long Island area now and in the future."

The partnership is unique because it is hands-on and is collaborative. It was developed by Farmingdale State Alumnus Dennis Goldensohn , of Arkwin Industries in Westbury, who serves as Director of Marketing for the APICS New York City-Long Island Chapter, and Farmingdale State Professor Jill O'Sullivan , who is a member of that APICS Board. Both agreed that Farmingdale State and APICS could work together to benefit both Farmingdale students and area industries that use integrated operations and supply chain management.

Goldensohn saw the need "to educate managers who understand that manufacturing is not dead, but it is changing" and noted that "one of the missions of APICS is to collaborate with colleges to ensure that they teach the best practices needed by the marketplace. Students who master the theory and practical application will be better positioned for the world of work and can bring exceptional value to companies."

Support from APICS NYC-LI Chapter provides a means through which to communicate with the manufacturing industry throughout the region. The APICS NYC-LI Chapter has partnered with Farmingdale State since February1995. According to Goldensohn, "Collaborations are necessary to ensure the success of graduates and to ensure that companies on Long Island will be able to compete in a highly competitive global marketplace in the future."

Farmingdale professors in the business management and computer systems departments will pilot courses this summer with official implementation in the fall 2008. "Learning how to use this innovative software will enable our students to better position themselves for success. With Synergy and Infor we are bridging the gap between the business world and academia in an effort to increase our students' opportunities for the future, " said Dr. Greenwald.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are designed to integrate an organization's data and procedures into a unified system. This integration is achieved through using multiple components of computer software and hardware. A unified database is essential to most ERP systems. Farmingdale professors expect that incorporating ERP software into classes will permit high level, critical thinking and learning of advanced information management systems.