Webcast Replay: ERP Jobs & Networking 2.0 with Jon Reed of JonERP

jonerp_full_logo.PNG"How to Leverage Web 2.0 and Social Networks for Success in ERP Consulting" - Featuring Jon Reed of JonERP.com
Webcast Replay (Recorded April 29, 2009)

I'm pleased to share this webcast replay that I appeared on in conjunction with our hosts ERP-Consulting.com and MBO Partners

You can now view the full video replay of the webinar. (starts 30 seconds in)

You can also download audio and/or the presentation slides:

ERP Jobs and Networking Audio File (right click to download, mp3 file, 14 megs)
ERP Jobs and Networking PowerPoint (right click to download, PPT file, 2 megs)

This webcast was inspired by the understanding that the ERP consulting market has never been more competitive. Today's economy has raised the stakes, creating fewer ERP job openings. At the same time, the skills needed to implement ERP are evolving. The edge in today's market will go to the consultants that have the right skills acquisition strategy AND the right network. But how you build that network is also changing. Social media creates new opportunities for networking but brings with it new challenges in terms of where to invest your time and how to make sense of the many different web sites that you can utilize, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to newcomers like FriendFeed. (Jon has also done blog entries, complete with screencast videos, on how to get the most out of Twitter or getting a return on your time on LinkedIn if you're an SAP professional.

In this interactive webcast, we took a look at both the skills and networking aspects of ERP consulting success, with an emphasis on the networking side. The webcast audience is intended for all ERP consultants, but I included some SAP specific examples as well. If you have any questions we didn't address in the webcast please let me know.

Content update: at the end of the webcast, we got an excellent question about YouTube and one other question not covered in the webcast.

Hey folks -

Thanks for joining us on the ERP Jobs and Networking 2.0 Webcast. I'd like to thank our hosts MBO Partners and Paul Cielinski of ERP-Consulting.com.

There were two questions I received late - one as the webcast was ending and one afterward that are important enough to share with you.

The first was: "What do you think of YouTube?"

We definitely should have noted YouTube on our list of additional social networking sites to consider. However, I will say that I haven't seen much hiring of ERP consultants taking place off YouTube - yet. There are several aspects of video to consider: production, community, and search. By production, I mean that some consultants have had good success creating videos that share aspects of their skills (such as an interview or conference presentation). Once this type of video is shot, it can be hosted by many different sites and then posted to blogs and other social networks to enhance your profile. YouTube is not the only game in town for video.

However, in terms of community, YouTube has more critical mass so you are more likely to get other ERP-minded folks subscribing to your video channel and searching for (and finding) your clips. I see YouTube as flawed from a networking/community standpoint because its comment-based interactivity is rudimentary and prone to glitches, but it's something to keep an eye on. The most important part of YouTube is that it is owned by Google, and that means that YouTube videos have a way of cropping up as search listings on "regular" Google searches and I think we can expect more of this. So, I like YouTube as the best place to host your videos if you are inclined to shoot them, and possibly leverage search visibility. It probably won't get you a job right away, but a popular YouTube channel can definitely raise your industry profile. (feel free to check out YouTube SAP skills video channel).

The second question I received was more of a comment: "I still think clients should look at the 'jack of all trades' consultants. It's hard to concentrate and be a specialist at one thing. But I'll try."

This is a very important comment because it gives me a chance to point out that there is a difference between how you brand yourself and the totality of your skills. For branding purposes, it's important to have one or two ERP specialties you can become known for. You want to become a recognized expert or industry contributor in a couple of these areas. However, when you are applying and interviewing for jobs, it's entirely possible that a more diverse set of skills can come into play. You might end up emphasizing some other skills on your resume that fit in more with that particular job you are interviewing.

Having a broader set of skills can pay off sometimes, giving you access to more openings; specialization is more of a branding tactic than an absolute skills rule. I do think that because ERP functionality is so vast, you can't possibly do it all - at some point you need to narrow and brand that focus. The other thing to remember is that roles also dictate skills. Full time employees can be more generalized, but to succeed as an expert independent consultant it's more important to have a narrower ERP focus and a more specialized skill set. In short, you are looking to be that all star or hard-to-find "missing piece" to fill a key gap on the project that the internal team (and, in some cases, the systems integration staff) can't fill.

Good luck and thanks for the great questions!

best regards,

Jon Reed, JonERP.com

Initial Webcast Promo:

Here's some more information on the webcast: "ERP-Consulting.com and MBO Partners are excited to sponsor an interview with Jon Reed.

Jon Reed has been publishing SAP career and market analysis for more than a decade. He is the author of the popular SAP Consultant Handbook, is the President of JonERP.com and serves as an advisor to the Fortune 500.

This event will cover how to leverage Web 2.0 networking techniques to find your next job. Jon and the sponsors will also briefly discuss matching your skill set with market demands and your job search process."