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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.

Why the SAP Training Results from Michael Management’s Survey Bother Me

The results of Michael Management’s 2013 SAP Training Survey got under my skin. Though there was a silver lining or two, I was hoping that individuals (and companies) were further along. Too many ERP projects are still struggling or failing, and there is good data to support the importance of training investment to project outcome.  Yet the “training gap” remains. In this year’s survey, a whopping 46% of SAP professionals surveyed indicated they did not have enough training to do their jobs. Though the survey sample size of 1,172 is not enough to reach definitive conclusions, it is enough to raise serious eyebrows.

Before I dig in further, here’s a few links you’ll want to have handy.

You can obtain a copy of the 2013 survey here (free with sign up).

After the survey, Thomas Michael of Michael Management facilitated a webinar to discuss these provocative results. I was on the webinar, along with Cushing Anderson of IDC (both of us wrote forewords to the 2013 survey). You can view or download the webinar in two formats:

wmv webinar replay (Windows) or .mov webinar replay (Mac).

I think you’ll enjoy the replay, which includes lively debate on the relevance of SAP certification to hiring.

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Working with the SAP Business ByDesign SDK - SAP Video Podcast

One of the areas of most confusion (and interest) involving Business ByDesign is the SDK. Up until this point, the ByDesign SDK has been restricted to a limited number of partners. So when I had a chance to talk to one of those partners, I made the Skype video taping happen. Based out of Bangalore, Vijayan Venkataraman of ERP Logic is an expert in the ByDesign SDK who has more experience in the product than most people in the world. (He got his first exposure while helping to develop the SDK with SAP Labs). During our twenty minute talk, I ask Vijayan about the use cases for the ByD SDK, how difficult it is to train, the skills needed, and what features he’s looking to see in future releases. Note: soon we should have an edited and produced version of this video on JD-OD.com. The audio is also posted on my JonERP.com iTunes feed, or you can download the audio ByD SDK discussion.

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What’s on the SAP Skills Agenda for SAP TechEd 2009?

As I write this, I’m gearing up for SAP TechEd 2009 Phoenix. I’ll be in Phoenix the whole week, meeting with SAP Mentors, putting on SAP skills workshops, hanging out in the SAP Community Clubhouse, and going to every session I can work in. I expect SAP skills to be a hot topic at TechEd. There will be plenty of talk on the evolving SAP Business Objects roadmap and how it intersects with SAP skills needed, the impact of BPM/BPX skills trends for technical and functional SAP professionals, and the challenge of finding a sustainable SAP career path in an era of downward rate pressure and global sourcing. I expect to us to start hearing about "virtual staffing" models as well - using the cloud, so to speak, to supplement on site staff via teams of "vitual consultants." There should be some good discussion/debate on the value of SAP certification as well, and the latest on SAP’s three tiered certification program. I’m giving three SAP skills workshops at SAP TechEd Phoenix. Following is a blog entry I posted on SAP SCN with some detail on these sessions, as well as how to find me in Phoenix and follow my live JonERP Tweetstream. I hope to see you there.

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What Value Does the CIO of Roche Place on SAP Certification? (Podcast Excerpt)

I have been part of many debates on the value of SAP certification over the years. I expect these debates to intensify this year, as SAP places increasing value on certifications while at the same time dealing with some unresolved and important questions on whether (and how) certification can truly address the skills needed for project excellence.

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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 »

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 »

Can You Avoid the Billing Layers and Go Directly to an SAP Customer?

One of the most frustrating things about being an SAP consultant is having to go through "layers" to get to an end client project, and each layer takes a healthy piece of your margin. This leads SAP consultants to ask the question a reader asked me recently: "how can I get a better rate and reduce the amount of layers between me and the SAP customer?" Read the rest of this entry »

What Do You Think of SAP Project Management as a Consulting Niche?

I wanted to say, "not much," but that’s not very helpful. In truth, it depends. So let’s look at the different approaches to SAP project management. I’ll tell you which ones I think highly of and which I think are questionable. Read the rest of this entry »

Is it Possible to Do Remote Consulting Work in BW?

The question of remote consulting in SAP is a popular one, and not just for BW folks. I can understand why: I’d much prefer doing SAP with my dog curled up on my bunny slippers. Unfortunately, the interest in remote consulting has never been greeted with enthusiasm by SAP customers. Sometimes this doesn’t make much sense. Read the rest of this entry »

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