Check Jon's latest diginomica blog!

Here's Jon's diginomica blog updates
Read Ultimate SAP User Guide kindle reviews Podcast Feedback

"I listen to all your SAP podcasts in my car, until my kids get mad at me and make me put on music for them instead. Keep up the good work!"

- Robert Max, 2007 Solution Manager Community of Interest, and Systems Management Special Interest Group Chair for the Americas' SAP Users Group - Visitor Feedback

"Jon, let me congratulate you on building a site which exclusively caters to SAP skills and careers and answers a lot of doubts young and senior SAP consultants have about what skills to have and get trained on."

More Site Feedback

"I have been reading your SAP newsletters for over a decade now... It's remarkable that you have now embraced the Web 2.0 delivery methods - Podcasts, Twitter etc - without sacrificing the in-depth nature of your analyses!" - Dave Sen, SAP Enterprise Architect - Reader Feedback

"I visit almost everyday to check out whether there is something new and what the future trends hold for SAP skills and careers."

More Site Feedback

"I was struggling with career direction a few years ago and you provided me with some extremely valuable advise. I've been very satisfied with my career direction which was influenced in large part by your coaching. Thanks again!" - Keith

New JonERP Feedback

"You have always been there with a prompt reply when it matters the most. You have really been a mentor in true sense."

- Hussain Sehorewala -

Get all of Jon's blogs, videocasts, and SAP content

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 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 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.

Let’s get the bad news over with first. In the modern enterprise, pretty much any development project can be evaluated for its outsourcing potential. Very few projects are immune from outsourcing. As a developer, making yourself "outsourcing-proof" is nearly impossible.

  But there’s good news too: there are a number of things you can do to keep your skill set as appealing to on-site project managers as possible. I have detailed some of these tactics before, such as in my article on SAP outsourcing on ERPgenie. I’ll cover them again in this blog from time to time.

One of the key tactics to make your programming skills "outsourcing proof" is to keep your skills on the cutting edge. For example, an ABAP programmer who is mostly doing old school legacy conversions is not nearly as marketable as an ABAP programmer who already has XI exposure and has worked with some of the NetWeaver development environments. So if you’re an "XI developer," as several of my readers are, you are better off in terms of marketability than programmers who don’t have that kind of exposure.

When you look at the future of certain skills within SAP, there are several key factors to consider:

- How advanced and functionally-rich is this technology? Are their non-SAP vendors offering a similar technology?

- How close to the core is this functionality? Do most SAP customers use it (example: SAP Financials) or it its use more limited (example: SAP Plant Maintenance)?

- How many customers have implemented this technology? How many plan to?

When we look at SAP XI/PI, it gets pretty good marks in all of these areas. Since PI is a core NetWeaver component, we can expect broad usage of PI within the SAP customer base. Now, there is a catch. PI is fundamentally a messaging and integration hub, and there are non-SAP products that serve some of the same functions. Certainly SAP customers will find XI appealing due to its ease of integration with other NetWeaver components, but there are other EAI-type systems in play on SAP customer sites. Some companies will hold off on PI for a pretty long time, opting to go with their current vendor-supported messaging environment instead.

In the long run, however, I believe most SAP customers will end up using PI. Now, the next question is: what are the different roles you can play that touch on PI? As it turns out, those roles are still evolving. But in terms of a PI developer, we are talking about someone who probably has both ABAP and Java skills, and who is familiar with NetWeaver development environments. Soon, this will mean exposure to the NetWeaver CE (Composition Environment), which will function as the umbrella for all of the NetWeaver programming tools.

Obviously, PI is all about application integration, so successful PI developers will be well-versed in the various options for integrating SAP and non-SAP systems. In particular, the ability to ensure that SAP information can be accessed via role-based portals and processed in real-time on the back end will be at the heart of any PI-related project work. Other technical terms that we see in many SAP XI and SAP PI job orders are: BADIs, BTEs, BSPs, and Visual Composer, as well as experience with open standards such as XML and SOAP. Essentially, the PI programmer of the future is an ABAP-Java "hybrid" who is comfortable functioning in a range of development environments, with an emphasis on integration and re-usability.

There’s more to say about the future of SAP programming and the impact of SAP outsourcing and SAP offshoring than we can cover in one blog entry. But we’ll return to these themes in the future.

WordPress database error: [Incorrect file format 'jos_wp_comments']
SELECT * FROM jos_wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '25' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date

No Comments

Add your own comment...

JonERP Feature Video

Browse Jon's YouTube SAP Videos
Read Ultimate SAP User Guide reviews

What is Jon Up to Now?

Track Jon in real-time on Twitter
See his latest diginomica blogs

Get Jon's SAP Blog + Videocast Feed (or Email Notifications)

Jon's "Get All My SAP Content" RSS Feed

or Subscribe to the Feed by Email

The Latest JonERP Feedback

"I have referenced your articles on for my internal Fujitsu colleagues on how the functional skill set is changing. It's not just theory, but real life change and the need for new SAP skills."

- Ranjan Baghel, Associate Director, Fujitsu America - Site Feedback

"I can't imagine any SAP professional who is serious about their career not utilizing the website. I know I used it frequently when I did SAP consulting. I use it even more now and I know my colleagues go there quite frequently to increase their knowledge of the SAP market, it is a source of great information."

- David Dawson, SAP Direct Hire Consultant, Acsys -

More Site Feedback

"Jon, you are definitely spot on with your analysis of the SAP market. I've been using your websites for over five years now. Instead of buying all the SAP books, I use your stuff to catch up with what's new in the ever-increasing SAP market." - Mark Reader Feedback

"I've kept up with your site for a long time and your articles via and elsewhere. I just realized a few months ago that you were also the author of the first SAP Consulting book that I read when I decided to take the leap from working at a Utility company to becoming an SAP Consultant. The SAP Consultant Handbook is a staple for any SAP consultant, new or experienced. I just wanted to thank you for the quality work."

- J. Michael Peace, Independent SAP Consultant -