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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.

Video Blog: What’s Going on with SAP Skills and SAP Certification at TechEd and Beyond?

SAP TechEd season is upon us, and I’ll be heading to Las Vegas for the week. I’ll be attending Innovation Weekend, and if you want to meet up at TechEd, you can find my TechEd “Who’s Coming” JonERP profile and ping me there. For readers of this blog, there are opportunities to learn more about SAP skills and certification at TechEd as usual. Four of the “Certification Five” will be in Las Vegas and two of the five in Berlin. Here’s a few details on some of the live sessions, as well as a couple of videos for those who can’t attend.

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Video Blog: The Ultimate SAP Pricing Guide - Interview on SAP Pricing Skills

This month, JonERP.com released a new book, The Ultimate SAP Pricing Guide. The author of this book, SAP pricing consultant Matthias Liebich, is a twenty year SAP pricing consultant. Over the years, Matthias has become a good friend and valued colleague. But up until two weeks ago, he and I had never met. With the first copies of his book proudly in hand, I paid a visit to Matthias at his home office in Atlanta, Georgia. During the visit, we shot three short videos on SAP pricing skills I am going to share with you in this blog post, along with a few notes from the interviews.

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What is the SAP Career Path for Basis Administrators - NetWeaver Engineers? New Videos

It’s been an exciting time for SAP career content at JonERP.com. This week, I announced my SAP Career Outlook 2010 series I wrote for the Career Center at SAP Community Network. These two white papers are probably the most important thing I have written about SAP careers this in a decade, so I encourage you to check them out (they are up on SCN also).

One of the problems with writing SAP career content is that "one size does not fit all." Each SAP career path needs to be fleshed out. Sometimes the best way to do that is through a collaboration with another expert. Enter SAP Mentor Tony de Thomasis of the Australia Post. Tony saw my two part video series on "SAP Career Planning" I had posted on SCN - videos that capture some of the themes of the white paper series. Tony then took those videos a step further with a fabulous Prezi on the career path for Basis-NetWeaver pros. I then raised the stakes of collaboration again, by taping four commentary tracks through Tony’s Prezi slides. You can see these in this blog post.

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SAP Certification and SAP Training - 2009 Video Highlight

In 2009, I filmed a few more videos than usual. Mostly I was tricked into it by SAP Community Network members who asked me to contribute profiles and other community videos. I’m nothing special with video production, but I did find that my YouTube SAP video channel got more hits that I would have expected. So now, I’m posting a few highlights on this blog. One is this video on SAP training and certification. I haven’t blogged much on breaking into SAP this year, partially because I have already written about this subject in detail, and partially because there are specialists in this area who are serving this market well, such as JonERP advertiser SAPCookbook.com. I shot this video as a warmup, but it’s gotten about 500 views with no promotion, and as I looked at it again, I realized it did have some focused advice I have boiled down over the years.

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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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Should You Green Your SAP Skills?

One of the bigger surprises at Sapphire 2009 was the emphasis on sustainability. I expected some discussion on this topic – I did not expect it to be a centerpiece of Leo’s keynote or a major emphasis of SAP’s new “Clear Enterprise” campaign. This led me to Tweet at the conference: “Should SAP consultants ‘green’ their SAP skills?” I had a couple interesting responses; in this blog entry I’ll riff a bit on what this might mean.

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How Should an SAP Consultant Take Advantage of LinkedIn?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about marketing yourself as an SAP consultant lately. That’s not a surprise given that jobs are hard to come by, for reasons I get into in my recent podcast with SAP Mentor Vijay Vijayasankar on the impact of offshoring on SAP consulting. I’m getting enough questions on the topic of self-marketing that I’m actually about to do a webcast that addresses these themes with MBO partners and ERP-Consulting.com. There’s an understandable confusion about which social media web sites can actually help with a SAP job search. Add to that the overhype that has come into play with Facebook and Twitter in particular, and you wind up with too many web sites, too little time.

  One good starting point is to separate out active job hunting from the long term pursuit of “building a great consulting network.” For the immediate gratification of finding a position next week, the job boards are still a big factor. When you think about LinkedIn, sending frantic emails to your contacts every week that you’re looking for a new position is going to backfire. So what tactics do work on LinkedIn? And what kind of payoff are we going after?

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What Was Your View of the Latest SAP Certification Debate?

I recently took part in a major discussion on the SAP community network pertaining to SAP certification. The discussion was inspired by a post from ZDNet blogger, Enterprise Irregular, and SAP Mentor Dennis Howlett entitled “Should You Be Certified?” In his blog post, Dennis riffed on a major theme that SAP has stated for the year: to emphasize the importance of certified consultants as a means of improving overall consultant quality. Dennis put the certification discussion in the context of project success and failure, asking: if certification can improve the quality of consultants, then perhaps certification can have an impact on the success of SAP projects? My own comments to Dennis’ post were extensive, and I’d like to share them here with my JonERP.com readers. They also received an interesting response from Sue Martin of SAP, who has been a guest of mine on an SAP certification podcast, and who is directly involved in where SAP certification is headed next.

Post update: Anyone interested in this topic should check out the Enterprise Geeks’ latest podcast, which features special guest Dennis Howlett and has an SAP certification theme. You can read my take in the Geeks’ comment section.

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Should you be an SAP Generalist or an SAP Specialist?

This is one of the most important questions for SAP professionals to ponder. We can take it further: the decision over generalization-versus-specialization affects virtually all professions. Often, we hear blanket statements such as: “generalize during tough economies; specialize during growth periods.” I find such broad recommendations limiting. In this blog entry, I’m going to answer this question in terms of hands-on SAP professionals, and limit that focus further by focusing on independent SAP consultants – though I’m sure much of this would apply to the full-time employee working in SAP as well.

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What is the Key to Marketing Yourself as an SAP Consultant?

Too often, SAP consultants focus only on skills. Yes, you need the skills, but learning how to get visibility for your skills is essential. That involves mastering all the aspects of job hunting, interviewing, and most importantly, self-marketing. If you’re an independent consultant, or aspire to be an independent SAP consultant, then marketing is essential. Marketing is also crucial if you are looking to eventually build your own consulting practice. Let me go over some key aspects to successful SAP marketing as well as some good and bad news about marketing over the web. Recently, I did a webcast on "Best Practices in Building Your SAP Consulting Business" that covered many of these points as well. Read the rest of this entry »

How is the SAP Functional Skill Set Changing?

As we enter the "SAP eSOA era," one thing is certain: the SAP functional skill set is changing. What we don’t know is how soon these changes are going to happen. We also don’t know for certain is what the "functional consultant of the future" will look like. One thing, however, is clear: consultants are going to need to bring more to the table that just configuration skills. Increasingly, companies want consultants who can add a deeper value to their implementation beyond the customization of SAP tables. Read the rest of this entry »

What are the Best Practices for SAP Consulting Success?

Over the years, I have published some big interviews on SAP consulting that have disappeared from the Internet. One of the benefits of being a JonERP.com reader is being able to get access to these exclusive interviews again. One of my favorites, my 2002-2004 interview and correspondence with NetWeaver Portals expert Pat McCarthy, has now been reposted. In addition to a great view of the emerging Enterprise Portals market, there is some timeless advice on keeping on top of your skill set in this interview. In this blog entry, we’ll review some of the most important consulting advice from this piece. Read the rest of this entry »

How do you Jump Start an SAP Consulting Job Search?

This question was sent to me by an individual who has been searching unsuccessfully for SAP consulting roles for close to a year’s time. This is a frustrating situation, and it doesn’t just happen to those who have no SAP experience. I heard from someone else in this situation recently who actually had a number of years of experience in SAP Financials working in an "end-user" capacity, and they were also having trouble finding a consulting gig. So what do you do about it? Read the rest of this entry »

How Will SAP’s BO Acquisition Impact SAP BI Consulting?

Almost as soon as SAP’s acquisition of Business Objects (BO) was announced, the emails started pouring in. All kinds of SAP consultants, including those who were seriously involved in BW/BI or those who were looking to get involved, were concerned: how would this acquisition affect their career path? To be honest, I never truly understood these concerns. 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 »

What Will the SAP Consulting Market Look Like Five Years from Now?

The question of what the SAP market will look like five years from now is a really important one. Even though we are making project choices one at a time, those choices need to be informed by a broader career strategy. A big part of that strategy is having a good handle on where SAP is headed. You don’t want to be working in one direction when SAP is ultimately going in another. Of course, there is a catch - there is always a catch. Read the rest of this entry »

What are the Keys to Hiring a Good SAP Consultant?

We’re going to flip the SAP career blog around a bit today, and ask what hiring managers are looking for in an SAP professional. Admittedly, this is a broad question, and in fact, the skills required vary greatly depending on functional-versus-technical and many other considerations. But let’s take a step back and ask ourselves how hiring managers evaluate SAP consultants. Read the rest of this entry »

With 8 Years of SAP HR, Can You Succeed as an HR Consultant?

This question was posed to me by someone who had implemented SAP HR for his company for eight years, but had never worked as a consultant. He had already formed his own company on the side. Here’s what I said: with eight years of experience in SAP HR, you have a good chance of succeeding as an HR consultant. I don’t know from your background how deep your HR configuration skills are, and I don’t know what versions of SAP you have worked in. The version numbers you have experience in are really starting to matter. Read the rest of this entry »

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