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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: SAP TechEd - Talking SAP Skills and Certification with SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann

At SAP TechEd Las Vegas, I was amongst a small group of bloggers that had a compelling conversation with SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann on the changing technology at SAP and the barriers to collaboration and "upskilling at scale" that must be overcome for SAP to realize its grander visions. A good portion of the conversation was sparked by bloggers Dennis Howlett and Sameer Pattel, with a focus on how SAP can integrate (or extend) more collaborative processes and unstructured information into its ERP core. The best part of the discussion was that it was a genuine discussion, with both sides taking notes. That’s SAP at its best. Nobody has all the answers.

To me, this conversation about technical evolution always circles back to skills development - without the right skills, how can you support a (gulp) "intelligent enterprise?". I asked Bussmann that question, and Howlett filmed Bussmann’s response and the follow up questions. The conversation pointed towards skills trends all SAP professionals should be paying attention to. Not to mention implications for certification that the Certification Five will certainly be tracking.

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Video Blog: Why is SAP TechEd Relevant to Business Users?

Before I did into this blog topic, I want to make sure that those who subscribe to this blog are aware of my other sources of content. I have a backlog of posts I intend to feature here, but if you want to track all my content, including my new podcasts and blogs on PAC and SCN, not just the posts here, make sure you’re tracking my feedburner "Master SAP Blog and Podcast Feed." All podcasts are on iTunes at the JonERP iTunes store.

With that out of the way, on to the topic at hand: Why SAP TechEd is relevant to business users. This is the time of year where I hear from business users that they aren’t interested in TechEd or aren’t trying to get approval. This attitude baffles me. SAP TechEd is not only highly relevant to business users, in my view it’s SAP’s best event of the year. Instead of using empty superlatives, I shot a video rant that goes into the specifics of my argument on TechEd’s business relevance. I am hopeful that this content will also help individuals build their business case for SAP TechEd attendance. I even donned a tie for the video so you know I went the extra mile on this one. And no, SAP didn’t ask me to shoot this video. In fact sometimes SAP itself plays down the business relevance of TechEd.

 

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NetWeaver BPM Skills - SAP Video Highlights 2009 - with SAP’s Ann Rosenberg

I’m posting a handful of my favorite videos from 2009 to close out the year. One highlight, without a doubt, was this shoot with Ann Rosenberg. To get to the bottom of the impact of BPM on SAP’s tools, skills, and consulting approaches, I managed to get the "Goddess of BPM," Ann Rosenberg herself, otherwise known as the Global Practice Owner for Business Process Management at SAP, to sit down for a live video shoot at SAP TechEd Phoenix. We shot the nine minute video on my flipcam and I thought the sound quality was very good, given that we were just outside the Community Clubhouse, where people were talking it up as usual. I consider BPM to be one of the most important skill areas inside of SAP, but it brings with it a great deal of hype as well. We got into those issues during this video.

 

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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 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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Why Don’t SAP Skills Matter at ASUG/Sapphire?

If you were to go by the keynotes and scheduled events, you would think there are no longer any issues with SAP skills development. Read beyond the headlines. Just like some of the most important news stories show up in the back pages, the same is true at SAP shows. Of all the things I was struck by at ASUG/Sapphire 2009, the one that made the biggest impression on me was the silence around SAP skills trends.

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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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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 »

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 »

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