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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: 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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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 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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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 Biggest Mistake that SAP Job Seekers Make?

I have written about the fundamentals of a good SAP career strategy, but I continue to get career questions that raise these same points. So I decided to launch a series in my SAP Career Blog that talks about the main job search mistakes that SAP professionals make. Most of these mistakes apply equally to experienced SAP pros as well as those who are new to the field, though there are some distinctions between these  two groups we’ll get into as well.

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Is There Really a Shortage of SAP Skills?

Every time I get back from Sapphire or TechEd, one story remains a constant: What are we going to do about the so-called SAP skills shortage? Or, if we want to push SAP on this a little bit, we could say, "What is SAP doing about the skills shortage?"; I have a problem with this line of thinking. Not because the skills demand isn’t real - it obviously is. But a simplistic view of the "skills shortage" doesn’t serve anyone in the SAP ecosystem very 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 is The One Tool Every SAP Consultant Should Master?

This is one of the hardest questions you could possibly ask me, because SAP is so vast that there is never one tool that will suit every SAP consultant. The best approach is to assess your current skill set, figure out where SAP is headed with its new eSOA architecture, and make sure you bridge that "skills gap" before you get left behind. But having said that, you asked the question and I’m going to try to give you a good answer. 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 »

What Are the SAP Skills You Want to Have Going Forward?

Recently, I published a piece on "SAP Skills You Want to Have" for SearchSAP.com. The complete version of that article is now available exclusively on JonERP.com. This article has generated some interesting feedback. It’s important to note that the focus of this piece is NOT "what’s hot" in SAP. That’s a slightly different question and I’ll do a separate piece on that. The focus of "SAP Skills You Want to Have" is a bit more forward-thinking. 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 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 »

Why do SAP Hiring Managers Overlook Deep SAP Experience?

I received this excellent question from a senior SAP consultant who had been passed over for some projects in favor of junior-level SAP resources. This was a frustrating experience for someone who has "paid their dues" in the market and wants to feel like this was time well spent.

The timing of this question was good because we just posted the transcript of the "State of the SAP Market" podcast interview with Brian Trout. In the second section of that interview Brian and I get into a good back-and-forth on this topic. 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’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 »

Is Plant Maintenance (PM) Consulting a Marketable SAP Skill?

SAP Plant Maintenance continues to surprise me with its staying power. Back in the 90s, consultants used to avoid PM like it was Cobol. But the PM consultants who ignored all that and stuck with it over the years have done pretty well for themselves, and we see more PM demand now than ever. Read the rest of this entry »

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