Indiana State University Newsroom

Student uses research to examine software opportunities

May 6, 2015

There was no better time for Indiana State University senior Jacquelyn Gary to display her research for her professors and soon-to-be employer enVista than one week before graduation.

For the presentation on Microsoft Dynamics AX as a capable enterprise resource planning platform, Gary, an operations and supply chain management (OSCM) major from Indianapolis, relied on knowledge gained from a full-time internship last summer with enVista, a business consulting company in Indianapolis.

She will begin as a full-time consultant with the company after graduating Saturday with a bachelor's degree in operations and supply chain management.

Gary began product research at the end of last year, after accepting enVista's job offer in October. While enVista uses Dynamics AX, the operations and supply chain management program at the Scott College of Business prepares students with the basics of SAP, a worldwide leader in enterprise resource planning solutions.

Gary's presentation showcased similarities between the two providers in utilizing a simple "procure-to-pay cycle", as well as the pros and cons of both systems and the possibility of incorporating both into the curriculum.

"I never took an ERP course (at Indiana State), but this project helped me know what things look like and what the functions are," she said. "It was all brand new to me going into this project, and it will help me as I start as an AX consultant and work with a client that will go live with the Microsoft Dynamics AX soon after I start."

The presentation was also attended by Paul Schikora, chair of the department of marketing and operations, who is an SAP Certified Associate and teaches SAP courses in the operations and supply chain management curriculum. The presentation invoked long discussions and possible considerations in incorporating Dynamics into the curriculum.

"In our line of work there are a lot of different breeds of consultants and we're functional consultants," explained Sean Harmon, another attendee of the presentation, who is a senior manager at enVista and Gary's future supervisor at work. "We're responsible for training end-users and designing solutions if there are gaps. We're more of the face-to-face type of people."

While Gary used the project to fulfill her honors program requirement, it will also help her as she prepares to earn her industry certification in the software, said Kuntal Bhattacharyya, assistant professor of operations and supply chain management.

Because of her internship, Gary has had exposure to Microsoft Dynamics, which will be critical as she earns certifications in the software. To further assist her, Bhattacharyya suggested Gary take up this project.

"Instead of giving her work that would help me, I chose something for her that will help her excel in a future that she has chosen," he said.

enVista uses Microsoft Dynamics AX as its business management software and has approached the Scott College of Business about making Microsoft Dynamics a learning tool in its labs, where SAP business management software is currently used. enVista is willing to provide free training to the faculty in the event a decision to embrace Dynamics AX into the curriculum is made.

"Sean was instrumental in coming to my class and talking to students about possible carrier options in consulting. Is there an avenue for Microsoft AX to infiltrate into our curriculum?" Bhattacharyya said. "In the OSCM program, we teach a course in enterprise resource planning and use SAP, and it has helped us immensely in positioning our students in the market place. With additional knowledge on another popular, fast-developing platform, it can only make our students more competitive."

Contact: Kuntal Bhattacharyya, assistant professor of operations and supply chain management,

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or