SAP Career Questions - The Guide to Getting Yours Answered

JonERP.com "Guide to Getting Your SAP Career Questions Answered"
Text from Trailfire.com

Jon Reed’s Introduction: Recently, I put together a guided tour to getting your SAP career questions answered. That tour has proven to be pretty popular, and you can take that tour here. However, I wanted to provide JonERP.com visitors with the full text of the entire tour below. I recommend you try the actual tour on Trailfire.com first, but if you want to refer back to any of the text, you can check each stop on the tour out here. This tour will give you some keys to how I analyze the SAP consulting market and learn about SAP skills trends.


JonERP.com Career Blog

This is my SAP Career Blog page on JonERP.com. It is a good first start to getting your SAP career questions answered. You get there by clicking on the "SAP Career Blog" tab on the top of any page on JonERP.com.

Note that under each entry you can see the number of comments. You can enter your career question or response right to the comment page by clicking on the blog entry itself or on the "comments" link.

I always prioritize answering the comments after each career blog entry over any other email comments or questions, so the best way to get a fast response is to post a comment to one of the career blog entries. Ideally right now, you should be logged out of the site to have the easiest time posting a comment.

Because of spam, all comments are moderated, but I will review and post yours quickly.


SAP Career Blog - Category Tags

Note also that you can search my entire site with the search button on the top right of each page. So, if you wanted to search on "eSOA" throughout the site, you could type that keyword into the search field and see the results that way also.


Best of Jon's Advice on the Web

On every page of the JonERP.com web site, there is an "SAP Career Center" menu bar on the left. Click on that and you'll see a submenu appear. One of the submenu pages is "Best of Jon on Web.

This is the page we are on currently. This is a good way to get a feel for the career resources I have contributed to other sites. That may be of use to you. The next couple of stops on the trail will take a look at these other sites.


SearchSAP.com "Ask The Expert" Page

This is just one of my pages on SearchSAP.com, but it's a good starting point if you want to see my previous answers to SAP career questions. The archive here is deep, there are probably four or five full length book's worth of SAP Career Questions answered in this archive.

You do have to scroll through the archive page by page, but it's a useful start for your reference. There are more pages in SearchSAP.com you may want to look at - I have linked to many of them in the previous trail marker on my "best of Jon on the web" page.


B2B Workforce - Ask the SAP Career Expert

This is a good page if you are looking to ask me an SAP career question. I answer a select batch each month for B2B Workforce. From this page, you can either ask a question or view the questions archive from the link right above the question form.


JonERP.com - News Feature Page

Back on my site now, this is a view of the lefthand "news" menu. Once you click on this, you see the most recent articles and podcasts appear on the page. You can also see the submenu items, such as Sapphire 2007 analysis and TechEd 2007 analysis, which lists my articles by category.

From these articles and podcasts, you'll get a great feel for where the SAP market is headed and how you might need to enhance your own skills to keep in line with where the market is going.


Google Advanced Search

What are we doing on the Google page? Well, if you really have a specific career question, chances are I might have answered it. What you want to do is search the "SearchSAP" site for the keyword you want. Here is how you will do that:

1. in the Domain Field (only return results from the site or domain) type in: searchsap.techtarget.com

2. Then, in the "all of the words" field at the top, type in "Jon Reed"

3. The, in the "exact phrase" field, type in the key phrase you are looking for.

If you want to seach on two separate words, such as BW and CRM, and see where they intersect, then try switching the two options around. In that case, type "Jon Reed" into the exact phrase field, and BW and CRM into the "All of the words" field.

The next trail stop will show you the nifty results you can get.


Google BW/CRM Advanced Search Results

This shows you the power of the Google Advanced search for finding my career answers on SearchSAP.com.

These results involved searching only the searchsap.techtarget.com domain, exact phrase "Jon Reed," and the two keywords BW and CRM in the top search field (this might be someone who is a CRM person looking to learn more about BW).

In this case, we got 197 results. That's a lot of SAP career info! I told you there was a ton here on this site. Of course, with so many results, we could experiment with other ways to limit the search, perhaps by adding the keyword "ABAP" also to the search field in addition to "BW" and "CRM."

In most cases, you will find some type of career answer to your question using this method.


SAP Business Community - Webcasts

This is the SAP.com Business Community Events listing. There is a fantastic amount of free content here, all kinds of webcasts from previous conferences in presentations, often in multiple formats.

You do have to register to get access to these events, but the registration is free. I get a lot of my best SAP market information from these resources. I know they will help you too. Remember that you can save any of the pages in this guide to your "favorites" memory easily, as well as the trail itself. I'll show you how to do that at the end of the trail.


SAP Library Glossary 

This is a comprehensive glossary of SAP terms...just about any term from the core ERP solution you did not know about is defined here somewhere.

SAP.info Glossary

This is a bit different type of SAP term glossary from SAP.info. Here, you type in the term you want to search for and you'll get a listing of results, some of them product components and some of them definitions you can click on.

Try typing the term "CRM." This will take you to a results field where you can review CRM components, and near the top, click on product definitions.

Please note: The next stop on the trail will probably prompt you for a security certificate, and to click "ok" or "cancel." If you click "ok" once (or twice if needed) you should land on the page.


Business Process Expert Community

This is the SAP Business Process Expert community, the second to last stop in our trail. The BPX community works right alongside the SAP Developer Network (SDN). Together, these two communities will help you to get all kinds of clarifications on SAP's applications and how the product is evolving in the NetWeaver and eSOA era.

To take advantage of many of these resources, you do need to register, but you can register for both communities at once, and the registration is free. To get going with BPX, you may want to check out the "Getting Started" link on the bottom left of the center home page text.

I also have a podcast with Marco ten Vaanholt, the Global Director of the BPX community, on the JonERP.com home page right now. That podcast gets into the skills of the Business Process Expert of the future and also looks at how the SAP BPX community can help you to make skills transitions.

Note that right below this trail mark on the right is a "Business Process Expert General Discussion," and if you scroll further down, there's a "Busines Process Expert eLearning Catalog" to check out, and many of the webcasts are free.


Dice.com Job Search Engine

You may be wondering why we are stopping by Dice.com, a job search engine. Dice is the best aggregator of SAP jobs on the web, especially contract jobs.

This is incredibly useful to us as we try to determine which SAP skills are actually in demand NOW. The trap we run into sometimes is chasing hot skill areas that SAP customers don't yet need. So, it's incredibly useful to be able to search on certain SAP skills and see what the actual market demand is within the Dice.com listings.

You know how there is all this buzz over "mashups"? Well, you can think of Dice.com as a kind of mashup for you to find out what SAP skills are needed - and it's all free.

Of course, the exact results are going to vary, but let me give you an example I tried today. I ran a search on "BW," and got 700 results. Then, I ran a search on "BI and SAP" and got more than 1,000 results. Obviously, there is likely some overlap between these two results groups. Third, I ran a search on "APO" and got just over 400 results.

Compare that with the results from two new SAP buzzwords. A search on "xApps," a heavily hyped SAP area, gets only 12 results. Of course, some individual xApps may not have that listed in the job descriptions, but the point is that this area of work has not gained market traction. Then, I tried "eSOA," another hyped SAP term pertaining to the new Enterprise Services Architecture, and got only two results. Now, this does not mean that the future of SAP is going to be heavily impacted by eSOA.

All SAP consultants will need to learn these skills eventually. The point is that right now, pursuing eSOA at the expsense of skills more in demand might be a questionable decision. The balance between the skills of the present and the future is the key. Dice can give us some very important data on this.


JonERP.com Contact Page

And here we are back on the JonERP.com web site! This is the link to the email form you can use to send me an SAP Career Question, which you can also get to from the "Contact Us" page on the left hand menu.

I hope you enjoyed this tour through some of the best ways to get your SAP career questions answered online. If you enjoyed this trail, let me know and I'll create some more guided tours of the SAP universe. If you know of a great place to get information that I missed, email me and consider adding it on.

Keep in mind you can also check out a complete list of the trail stops, with all their URLs if you want to bookmark them, here. Remember that the fastest way to get a response from me is to enter a comment at the end of one of my SAP Career Blog entries.

But you are welcome to email me also. Time doesn't permit me to address every SAP career question by email personally, but I take all emails and questions into account in all the new content I produce. I hope you enjoy the resources at JonERP.com and I look forward to hearing from you.