That is the beauty of SAP software

I was a just a fish out of pond when I graduated from college with little knowledge about ERP software. I was thrown into this ocean of Enterprise Software from SAP. I started off as a ABAP Developer with a SAP Partner company, working on various SAP ERP modules for different vendors, learning different software, applications, services and systems.

And then I was fortunate enough to work for my dream company, SAP itself, where I had an opportunity to develop various products. Customer satisfaction was our primary goal. I was intrigued to learn about how the product could be tweaked according to different customer requirements.

Now I was understanding what enterprise software is all about, gradually also learning about different SAP products like customer relationship management, supply chain management, supplier relationship management, business warehousing etc, which I could relate to the real life scenarios, and that’s the beauty of SAP software. It is simple, understandable and could be tweaked to your business needs.

I had seen both the worlds, the service industry and the product development, I thought why not get into consulting now? I know what customers could ask for, and I know how the SAP software could be tweaked, and I knew what interests me having come across so many SAP products.

I figured Logistics was my area of expertise. And that is how I became a SAP Logistics Consultant. It is a whole different industry altogether, where you are constantly learning and keeping yourself updated with what is in and what is out in the industry. And it’s been a good journey so far with lot of learning. I am amazed to see how each and every industry functions differently, and how we have different products for different industry: oil and gas, logistics, manufacturing, etc. And SAP caters to all of this.

I still feel like a fish in the pond and having understood that the learning or growth never stops. And the day it stops, there is another consultant or product out there to replace you.

So my advice to all the aspiring SAP consultants out there, know what you expertise are, if you are from sales industry you could pick SAP SD or if you are from finance you could pick SAP FICO. There are tons of SAP products out there: SAP MM (materials management), SAP PP (production planning), SAP PS (project systems), SCM, SRM, CRM, EWM and what not. See what interests you, learn it, master it, and jobs will come your way.

This article by Jacqueline Dsouza took part in the joint contest, which SAP Expert ran together with Zinio.

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  • Jagan Gunja on September 28, 2013

    That is the beauty of SAP software
    I agree very much with the author Jacqueline Dsouza. She has put together the thoughts simply and well.

    Here is my bit to the extent of my minimal knowledge. I say minimal, because SAP is vast and beyond one person’s scope of understanding, let alone expertise. “Expertise vs. Being a Jack of All Trades” is another topic, not related to this one.

    Customizing for a client’s requirement can be made in different ways:
    • using configuration tables/views, user exits,
    • ABAP code (see below), custom transactions and programs
    • in SAP HCM with Features, Schemas, Schema functions, Personnel Calculation Rules (PCR’s), PCR operations; each of these as well as tables, infotypes, ABAP functions can be custom made.
    (Note: I am only a HCM consultant, hence my limited knowledge).

    Standard ways of customizing application code is by using the concepts of Business Add-In(BAdI), Business Application Programming Interface(BAPI), ABAP Enhancement). This ensures that when a support pack or OSS note is applied which affects a program/function code, the custom code is still effective. You may still need to verify that the custom code is consistent with the changes made through the relevant OSS note.
    However, you can always find installations where customizing is beyond standard. This is a sure way to result in inaccurate processing. It has been also seen that relevant persons ignore such warnings.

    Note, customizing needs to be consistent with a client’s goals and constraints. Where required a cost-benefit analysis may be used. For example, for a requirement once a year for a couple of users, you may not spend thousands of dollars to implement, let alone the maintenance cost.

    SAP program compilation can be dynamic or static for each of its components. Yet its execution can be fast. The SAP experts can tune the processing well to cater to both OLTP and OLAP. One can debug the execution and analyze problems where you can see the code and the values obtained during execution. Authorization problems can be traced for a user and a transaction by SAP Security experts.
    SAP HANA is an in-memory database software system, shipped in December 2010. It combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in-memory. The platform provides libraries for predictive, planning, text processing, spatial, and business analytics.
    SAP’s range of modules and capabilities is so vast. Additions have been made for Health, Banking, etc.
    In the recent times, to name a few, SAP has acquired Ariba (for b-to-b), BO (for business intelligence), Hybris (for e-commerce), SuccessFactors (for employee performance management), Sybase (for database management), Syclo (for mobile platform). All these have enabled for SAP’s excellence in different business areas/functions.
    One can go on and on with this topic, depending on his/her own knowledge and the audience!

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