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.
Before I get to the videos, I want to say that Basis is one of the most neglected areas in terms of SAP career content. Even on SDN, there are way more conversations and forums on development than Basis. This is too bad, as the Basis/NetWeaver Admin role is a vital one to most projects. There is a great story here about what has happened inside Australia Post after Tony has shared his Prezi - I hope to collaborate with him soon on telling that story. Hopefully more companies will realize that empowering employees with an imaginative and clear SAP career path is not a luxurious project for another economic time, but a key to morale and team building now.
So, on to commentary track number one:
In this first video, which addresses SAP skills acquisition for the Basis administrator, my commentary covers the impact of the economy on SAP career planning, and why pro-active moves will define those who find success in this Darwinian career environment versus those who don’t. I also comment on the skills acquisition options laid out in part one, including NetWeaver CE and BPM, one that I bring up.
In part two of Tony’s Prezi, which continues on the topic of SAP skills acquisition, I touch on trends that matter to Basis professionals, including Compliance/GRC, sustainability, and virtualization. The second half of this commentary moves into consulting and so-called "soft skills." I make the case for why all SAP professionals need consulting skills, and why being the techno-functional "glue" between project teams can ensure your value as an on-site SAP professional and make you less prone to skills commoditization and outsourcing.
Part three of the commentary series touches on social network involvement, and cutting through the hype to find the right path or outlet. I talk about why posting blogs is especially valuable due to the "feedback loop" that results, and make the point about the affordability of many options for self-education - so there are no excuses. I also include a comment on the merits of SAP certification. I wasn’t sure I had reached the last slide as part three of the commentary ends.
Interestingly enough, my final part four commentary might be my favorite - even though I was at the end of the slide show when I taped it. Strong line on here about why just resting on our laurels isn’t going to cut it in this economy - "stronger measures" are required. Part four gave me a chance to share my views on the content as a whole, and why it’s so important to find an SAP career path that combines skills marketability with a passionate, or even soulful, angle. I talk about why the answers to your SAP career dilemmas lie not with an expert like me, but what’s inside yourself. We have to move beyond the "day job" mentality.
I also touch on the pros and cons of different cultural environments, and how we have to be realistic that some companies are more progressive about social networking and online SAP community work than others. That’s a reality, and we do ourselves a disservice by not acknowledging that each company has a different political environment that we must negotiate.
I hope that the Basis/NetWeaver focus of these videos did not deter "non-Basis" SAP professionals from watching it, as I think Tony’s slides have some good content for everyone.
On the other hand, if you are a Basis or NetWeaver administrator, and you want more content along these lines, my previous blog post on "How Do You Shift from Basis Administrator to NetWeaver Engineer" may also be of interest. In closing, I’d like to thank Tony again for the inspiration his work has provided.