A less-known route for building your SAP career

Dmitry Kaglik

January 27, 2013

SAP

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There are 3 areas of knowledge the good SAP consultant should have:

  • Business domain knowledge;
  • Consulting skills;
  • Technical SAP knowledge.

Gaining any one of them helps you to kick-start your SAP career. There are currently too many people on the market who only obtained, or think they have obtained, the technical knowledge. They pretend to be “SAP certified freshers”. Because of this, I would not recommend anyone starting his career development exclusively from SAP trainings or SAP courses. That’s a pure waste of your time and money. I have recently found an excellent article which describes the steps of becoming a SAP consultant through gaining business domain knowledge. Please read it, it is definitely worth spending 5 minutes of your life. Let’s imagine now you have checked your personal qualities against the list of qualities an SAP consultant should have. Today I want to tell you about yet another, although less known, way to become an SAP consultant. It is through gaining some consulting experience. Obviously, SAP is not the only piece of software in the world. There are many more applications that require implementation, help to the end-user, trainings delivery, post-implementation support, and so on. All these steps are parts of a consulting life, consulting experience, consulting skills. Generally speaking, it is not only the software implementation of SAP that requires consulting skills. There is also business consulting and tax consulting involved, and even to a certain degree consulting regarding audit and sales experience. So, why not start getting your consulting skills polished before getting onto SAP?

There are many ways you can get your consulting skills. Just few of them are below:

  • Join a small local software company that recruits “fresh meat” for their software implementation.
  • Join “Big 4” or smaller local companies that offer audit, tax, and business consultancy. By the way, the fact that you have already worked in the Big 4, or big local-market companies, will increase the value of your head!
  • And last, get to the team of shop-floor consultants in your local electronics, clothes or anything-similar retailer! By the way, you will obtain some business domain (sales!) knowledge too. However, this may be the less favourable flavour of consulting skills, so this may be the riskiest way.

What you get through this?

  • You communication skills.
  • Your problem-solving skills.
  • Your confidence in face of a difficult customer.
  • Your acting skills.
  • Your articulation and ability to explain your thoughts in a clear manner.

All these, and many more, are mandatory skills if you want to become a top-grade SAP consultant. Once you have all of these skills in your CV, you can start looking for positions in SAP consultancies by offering them your extensive consultancy experience in exchange for SAP knowledge. Or, maybe… Your new position, your new role and your new career perspectives will outshine the options on the SAP consulting market! Sounds interesting? Then, start acting!

PS. Do you want an example of people who succeeded this way? I have at least one: myself. I became an SAP consultant exactly via this route! Before joining the SAP world, I was consulting on implementations of a less known and less sophisticated local-market accounting system.

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8 Comments

  • Mohamed Ghareeb Mohamed on February 3, 2013

    it’s great to join to
    SAP Expert

  • nishant chauhan on February 18, 2013

    thanks for these valuable suggestions. I need some more help
    I am a project management professional working in telecommunication field Most of my experience is in ON-SITE , i wanted to do SAP. Please help me to choose appropriate module . As per my research PORTFOLIO & PROJECT MANAGEMENT suits my expereince.

    • Dmitry Kaglik on February 18, 2013

      Nishant,
      you can become an SAP project manager. It is not necessary to know any module in this case. However, some technical knowledge would be beneficial.
      If you dealt with project management, then you can try yourself in PS or IM parts of SAP, I think.

    • Ioannis Hourdakis on February 24, 2013

      Dear Nishant,
      Even though you can theoretically do project management without knowledge of a specific module, I would strongly advise against it. Get to know one module that is closer to your business knowledge so far. You have no chance of becoming a project manager without several years experience in SAP, and, to my humble opinion, you can only make good use of these years by working as an application consultant. In this manner you will understand how SAP works and what it takes to do the “consultant” things. How else could you expect to manage a whole project and a team of consultants? 🙂
      Also remember: as in every other trade, there are professionals and claim-to-be-professionals. Which of the two do you want to be?
      Yannis

  • Saroaj Tripaathi on March 8, 2013

    Very good explanation. A helpful material for the aspiring consultants and the recruiters.

  • Mahesh M Dhamecha on November 15, 2013

    The advice given in this subject is very good, i have all three capability, have a very good business knowledge, technical knowledge and problem solving skill also with me but still i am waiting to enter a SAP consultant.

    • Dmitry Kaglik on November 15, 2013

      I hope you will get your job soon. And I hope this will be sooner than for the people who don’t have the skills like yours. 🙂

      Good luck and all the best!

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