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Note that Jon blogs and videocasts on a variety of SAP and enterprise web sites. The easiest way to track all his content is through his JonERP Feedburner feed, which you can subscribe to via RSS or email. There is also additional video content to subscribe to on JD-OD.com. Jon also posts audio versions of much of his content on his JonERP iTunes Feed. To pose questions to Jon directly find him on Twitter.

What are the Skills Migration Paths for SAP Professionals?

Recently I was corresponding with the illustrious Michael Doane as he put his finishing touches on his upcoming SAP Green Book, which looks to be another Michael Doane classic. In an email, Michael asked me about what SAP users should be doing to cultivate in-house teams. I’ve been writing about talent management a lot lately, including a recent blog post for PAC on how to attract and retain SAP talent. In the email to Michael, I also touched on the skills migration paths for SAP professionals. Some of it will probably wind up in the Green Book, but in the meantime, I wanted to take those comments and share them with JonERP readers in an enhanced form.

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What is the Biggest Mistake SAP Job Seekers Make? (#2)

To say the SAP job market is competitive right now would be an understatement, so it’s time to revisit the subject I posted on late last year: mistakes SAP job seekers make and how to avoid them. The first mistake? “Chasing dollars, not skills.” The latest mistake? Trying to make more than one SAP job change at a time. To understand how this works, I’ll draw on emails I receive from frustrated SAP job seekers who are trying to improve their strategy.

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How is eSOA Impacting the SAP Skill Set?

One common theme on the JonERP.com web site is how to transition your SAP skills in the NetWeaver and eSOA era. A big challenge here is figuring out the timing of the skills changes that are in the works. Change your skill set too soon, and you are ahead of the curve with few projects to choose from. Wait too long to make your skills transition, and you have fallen behind. From the back of the pack, it’s hard to catch up. So what’s an SAP consultant to do? Read the rest of this entry »

What Does SAP Say About the Future of ABAP?

One of the hottest topics at SAP TechEd 2007 was the changing nature of the SAP developer skill set. It’s easy to see why people care so much about this topic: SAP customers don’t want to find themselves with a development team that lacks the skills to implement the latest SAP functionality, and SAP programmers are facing enough challenges without having to worry that their skills will no longer be needed on project sites. So what’s the latest on the future of ABAP? Read the rest of this entry »

Is it True That ABAP and SAP Configuration Jobs are Going Away?

In a nutshell, yes, I believe it is — though there’s no need to hit the panic button. This should be a gradual evolution. However, it’s one we need to pay attention to. A helpful way of looking at it is this: in the SAP eSOA era, IT and Business are converging — therefore SAP technical and functional skill sets are converging. Read the rest of this entry »

How Do You Move from SAP Developer to Functional Consultant?

This reader’s question is one of the most common emails I receive about the SAP consulting market. It’s understandable that it would be — functional consultants make higher rates, are less vulnerable to outsourcing, and historically, are seen as more "mission critical" by the project team. However, I think some of those dynamics are starting to change. This is yet another reason why you should always look before you leap when it comes to moving around inside of SAP. Read the rest of this entry »

What is the Risk that XI Development Projects Will be Outsourced?

I’ve been hearing from a number of ABAP programmers about the potential of XI programming. I guess we should start by updating terminology and calling XI by its new name PI (which stands for Process Integration). Of course, the question any developer wants to know is: can my position be outsourced? The answer is good news and bad news. Read the rest of this entry »

How Do You Get Back Into SAP After Being Out Of The Field?

This is a great question - especially when we consider how many folks left SAP for greener pastures in that 2000-2002 period when it seemed like SAP was down for the count and best-of-breed players like Siebel and Ariba would rule the day. But times have changed, and SAP now offers both the best rates and the best long-term career growth. So, how do you get back? Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Next for a Techno-Functional Person Torn Between ABAP and CRM?

I recently heard from a reader who was torn between a desire to pursue ABAP or CRM, or remain as a techno-functional consultant. This person had some CRM/SD configuration experience and some technical exposure but he felt like he wasn’t especially strong in either area. So what should he do? Read the rest of this entry »

Should an ABAP Programmer Move into SD or BW?

This question was posed to me by an ABAP programmer who has four years of experience and some functional knowledge in finance, heading towards a CPA degree. Like many ABAP programmers, he is fighting the urge to run for the hills and trying to make a good strategic decision. One thing I like about this guy: he’s not just bailing on ABAP. He wants to combine the best of all of his skills. Read the rest of this entry »

If You Had SAP CRM Skills, Would You Add SD or ABAP Next?

This is an interesting question. There’s a lot of ground to cover even within CRM itself, and a lot of folks wouldn’t be concerned with moving beyond a CRM focus. But if someone asked me this question, that means other people are wondering about it too. Read the rest of this entry »

What Do You Think About xMII as an SAP Consulting Focus?

This question was posed to me by a senior ABAP programmer with some Java skills. xMII is one of SAP?’s most popular new xApps. Billed as "the world’s first manufacturing intelligence portal," this "SAP xApp for Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence?" has a host of nifty functions, including the web-enabling of a company’s manufacturing and information systems to provide a standard interface for all users. The question of the day is: what does xMII look like as a consulting focus?

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Which SAP Skill is More in Demand, BW/BI or ABAP?

This is not even a close question at this point. BW/BI is much more in demand than ABAP. In this comparision, BW/BI is the DVD player, and ABAP is the VHS video tape.
That may not be totally fair, I guess, because SAP is including full support for ABAP in the NetWeaver 2004s technology platform. Essentially SAP has figured out how to "wrap" ABAP in web-based integration protocols, and that has extended ABAP’s lifespan dramatically while keeping ABAP more in the spotlight than it would have been.

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