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- Hussain Sehorewala - Hot SAP Skills Updates

Jon Reed is putting together his lists of the hottest SAP skills of today and tomorrow. The skills that SAP professionals need to succeed is a common theme in all of our podasts as well, but these articles and ranked lists below will take you closer into the skills you want to have to succeed on project sites, and to stay marketable in the "outsourcing era."
Hot SAP Skills Update
Reflections on Leadership, SAP Mentors, and the Pitfalls of Recognition - Expanded Version Print E-mail

hassoandstickers.jpgWith the latest round of SAP Mentor nominations wrapping at the end of February, the same questions about "who should be a Mentor and why?" keep popping up. To me, these questions provoke a broader debate about vendor community leadership. When a company like SAP selects Mentors, what does that mean to the individuals chosen? Yes, they are leaders, but what kind of leaders should they be? Leaders in advocating for SAP's products? Umm, I think not. Leaders in a command and control leadership style? Definitely not. Leaders who take the glory of the stage for themselves and don't raise others up? No to that also. Leaders in standing up for customer concerns and community needs? Now we're getting closer...

In the 2nd edition of the SAP Mentors Quarterly, I wrote an in-depth piece on leadership and how it pertains to community leaders like Mentors. I tackle the questions that are raised whenever some people are elevated as leaders at the expense of others. Now was a good time to revisit the article and fine tune some of the ideas. SAP has been ahead of the curve with its support of the Mentor Initiative, which has answered some big questions about what the SAP Community Network members should aspire to beyond points. But questions remain.

Avoiding SAP Skills Commoditization - Keys to Differentiating Your Skills Print E-mail
jonerp_full_logo.PNGAugust 14, 2010 Bangalore intro from Jon Reed: I wrote this piece as a part of my streaming discussion on "SAP Career Strategies" with SAP Inside Track Bangalore. I envision this to be a document I return to and add additional context and links. Make sure to also examine the SAP Career Outlook 2010 which informs and fleshes out many of the concepts in this piece.

Avoiding skills commoditization is a constant challenge for most white collar professionals, and the SAP pro is no exception. Much of the work on can be seen as a guidebook for differentiation in a crowded SAP skills marketplace. This is not just an issue for junior consultants anymore. Even some senior consultants (15 years plus) are calling me to let me know that they are struggling to maintain the rates they need to continue as independents.

Of course, becoming a commodity is a matter of degrees. All of us have areas within our skills that are trending and areas where the demand for that skill is leveling off. And rates for commoditized skills don't usually disappear; they just gradually level off. But what is especially interesting for SAP professionals is how complicated the mission of differentiation has become. It's less and less a simple supply and demand issue for one particular skill. It's about having a stable core of skills and several emerging skills, but it's also about a mindset change.

Which SAP Business Suite Skill is the Hottest? A Special Podcast Feature from Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGWhich SAP Business Suite Skill is the Hottest?
A Ranked List by Jon Reed of
Published: September 2009

For quite a while, we've been planning a ranked list of the SAP Business Suite skills and that list is finally here. This time, the complete review is done in podcast form, with the SAP Business Suite podcast from the ERP Lounge. So you'll want to listen to that - but we'll present the highlights from that podcast in this entry as well. During the podcast, Jon's co-host, Brian Trout, discussed his detailed BS7 skills rankings. Note that the rankings were limited to the four major "Suite" apps: SCM, SRM, PLM, and SRM.  Before we move ahead, it's also a good idea to read through our general disclaimer about the limitations of hot skills lists.

Remember as you read through these BS7 skills highlights from the podcast that too often, we talk too generically about skills needs. Skills demand in SAP is highly specialized. Even if we talk about CRM, some areas within CRM have broad needs and some have specialized needs. Just saying CRM is hot and SRM is not as hot is not very helpful, so in this feature, we're going to hone in on the skills needs of each module in turn. 

SAP Skills Update in the Downturn and “Counter-Trending” Skills from Foote Partners Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGSAP Skills in the Downturn:
The Latest Foote Partners Skills Pay Findings
February 25, 2009
by Jon Reed of

I recently heard from David Foote of Foote Partners, who has just issued a quarterly IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index report. The data covers the fourth quarter of 2008. David also let me know that anyone who purchases the new Pay Index (or any other Foote Partners Product) also gets a free copy of their 2009 IT Skills Trends Report. David has taken part in a couple of SAP skills podcasts as well, in collaboration with

As readers of know, I am regularly assessing the hottest skills in the SAP market based on my own discussions with SAP insiders. David's firm, however, approaches this data from a much more systematic angle, gathering information from literally hundreds of SAP customers each time they issue a report. I find that Foote Partners' SAP skills data usually jives with my own perceptions, but there are also many useful clarifications in their reports.

Which SAP Industry Solution is the Hottest? A Exclusive Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGWhich SAP Industry Solution is the Hottest?
A Ranked List by Jon Reed of
Published: January 2009

Ranking the consulting demand for SAP's Industry Solutions is not an easy task. As we consider SAP industry skills, we must take into account that SAP has not only expanded its Industry Solutions, but its own industry listings have gotten pretty complicated. I'm giving this a shot because the topic is more relevant than ever - today's SAP consultant is more likely to find success if they have some level of industry specialization.

Which SAP Technical Skill is the Hottest? A Exclusive Print E-mail
jonerp_full_logo.PNGWhich SAP Technical Skill is the Hottest?
A Ranked List by Jon Reed of
Published: October 2008

For the first time, I am ranking the demand for the hottest SAP technical skills. With the proliferation of SAP technical skills, it's not possible to consider every skill (or skills combination). But visitors seem to like these lists, so I hope you enjoy this one. Before you read the list, I encourage you to check out my disclaimer about my SAP hot skills rankings, which has some key skills pointers to keep in mind.  
Which SAP Functional Module is the Hottest? A Exclusive Print E-mail
jonerp_full_logo.PNGWhich SAP Functional Module is the Hottest? 
A Ranked List by Jon Reed of
Published: September 2008

For the first time ever, I am ranking all the core modules from hottest to least hot. I'm not going to count Business Suite applications; I'll cover them in a separate piece down the road. Before you read this list, I recommend reading my full disclaimer about my SAP hot skills rankings, which has some crucial skills tips as well.

Beware of Hot Skills Lists: a Disclaimer and Tips List Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGBeware of "SAP Hot Skills" Lists:
A Disclaimer and Tips Sheet You Should Read Before Checking Out My SAP Hot Skills Lists
by Jon Reed,

By popular demand, I have relented and finally started publishing lists of hot SAP skills. I have published a list of "SAP Skills You Want to Have," a ranking of the SAP Functional Modules, a list of Hot SAP Technical Skills, an SAP Industry Solutions skills ranking, and there are more lists to come.

Lists are fun, and they can be informative, but they are like junk food and not to be taken too seriously. Hot skills lists do not take the place of a well-balanced diet of solid career planning.

SAP-Business Objects Skills Transitions Print E-mail
jonerp_full_logo.PNGBusiness Objects is an SAP Company...
So What's Next?
Identifying the Skills Opportunities
Created by the SAP/BO Merger
Unabridged Edition, Never Before Released

One of the most frequent questions I receive is how the SAP-Business Objects acquisition is going to affect job requirements. Whether it's experienced SAP BW/BI consultants who are looking to stay on track, or folks who see the BO acquisition as an opportunity to move into a new area of SAP, there is plenty of interest in how BI-plus-BO will play out. Along with that interest comes a fair degree of confusion. It's not that easy to put the two together on paper and figure out where the opportunities are going to be. (You can see my archived live Tweets from the August 2008 SAP BO Summit here)

Site Editor's Note: This article includes SAP-approved screen shots of Business Objects product functionality and roadmaps.

SAP Skills Shortage Panel at Sapphire 2008 Print E-mail
ERP Consulting Supply and Demand:
Highlights from the Sapphire 2008 "Competing on Talent" Panel

Jon Reed notes: One of the most interesting events at Sapphire was a panel I took part in that looks at SAP skills demand. Since the report we were talking about looked beyond SAP, I decided to write this piece for a broader ERP audience - but most of the examples in here are SAP-specific. View panel replay: you can now view the replay of the Sapphire 2008 "Competing on Talent" panel (right click on the lnk to save this 225K Windows .asx audio/video file onto your computer, then open the file to play.)

Some ERP consultants prefer blue (SAP), some prefer red (Oracle). But there's one thing they all have in common: a desire to keep their skills marketable in a rapidly changing market. This raises an interesting question: are there "mega skills" that transcend individual applications? Are there skills that all ERP consultants can aspire to?

Keys to Success in SAP Consulting: How to Capitalize on the Market in 2008 Print E-mail
Keys to Success in SAP Consulting: How to Capitalize on the Market in 2008
Unabridged and Unadulterated Edition, Never Before Released
by Jon Reed
Guest contributors: Brad Elster and Ray Kelly of B2B Workforce

The hardest thing for the SAP professional is to stay on top of where SAP is headed -  without overlooking the skills that are needed on projects now. SAP does a terrific job of marketing its next-generation solutions, but what's next is not the whole story.
SAP Skills You Want to Have Print E-mail

jonerp_full_logo.PNGA Ranked List by Jon Reed of
Published: February 2008

In this piece, I am charting the SAP Skills "You Want To Have." The emphasis is on skills you can acquire either on your own or on SAP projects right now. Note that this list is not the same as a list of hot SAP skills, though I have now completed one of those for the hot SAP functional modules. This list is a little more forward-thinking. The list you are about to read is the "SAP Skills You Want to Have" list, which looks a bit more to the future to chart out the key skills you want to have going forward. Before you read this list, I also recommend reading the general disclaimer for my SAP skills lists, which has some important pointers.

How I Compiled the "SAP Skills You Want to Have" List Print E-mail

We’ve heard the keynotes and read the clippings: yes, we’re entering the eSOA and NetWeaver era of SAP. But what does that really mean? eSOA is a vast umbrella of emerging technologies, and NetWeaver is a broad technical landscape with a number of different components.

When it all comes together someday, it should be pretty dreamy, bringing an unprecedented level of integration and business adaptability to SAP customers. ERP as we know it won’t be the same.

The Pros and Cons of SAP Configuration Skills: An Updated Classic Print E-mail
The Pros and Cons of SAP Configuration Skills:
Revisiting a Classic Article on SAP Skills Trends

Jon Reed's New Introduction, April 2008: One of my most-discussed articles about SAP in the ‘90s was a piece called "The Pros and Cons of SAP Configuration Skills." A good portion of this article eventually found its way into the SAP Consultant Handbook. As I was compiling material for the web site, I took a fresh look at this piece, which is no longer available online. I decided to republish it because it has quite a bit of relevance to the current discussion we are having about the SAP Business Process expert and how the SAP functional skill set is evolving.


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