Foote Partners: SAP Salary Surveys and SAP Skills Pay Data

foote.jpgPartner Name: Foote Partners
Specialization: Skills-Based SAP (and IT) Salary Surveys
Reason for Selection: Foote Partners has the most innovative and reliable skills-based SAP salary date in the market today. They have excellent free sample material and the actual SAP salary reports are best-in-class.

I have had the opportunity to get to know David Foote and his unique methodology for compiling SAP Salary Survey information over the course of the last couple of years. David is a real asset to SAP professionals and project teams because he is able to get to the heart of the skills that companies are paying a premium for. Without that knowledge, you can't succeed as a consultant, nor can you succeed in recruiting (and retaining) the right people for your project.

February 2009 update: Special Foote Partners "free SAP skills report" offer to JonERP.com readers! Listen to our most recent SAP skills and pay trend podcast with David Foote and enter their lottery to win one of five *FREE* 2009 SAP Salary+Skills Pay Survey reports (list price $2,000 - $2,500) that will be drawn daily during the week of March 2, 2009. Those who don't win the survey will still qualify for a 25 percent discount on purchases of any U.S. or Canadian edition of this report.

Foote SAP Skills Update: On February 25, 2009, I issued an update to my SAP hot skills section which shared the highlights of Foote Partner's most recent IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index as it applies to SAP professionals. There were some very interesting findings in terms of "counter-trending" skills that SAP professionals can capitalize on.

If you want more background on how David Foote sees the SAP market, after Sapphire 2008, we issued an in-depth podcast with David Foote, co-hosted by SearchSAP.com, which looks back on the event. We also got David's latest findings on SAP skills trends and how to capitalize on them.

In addition to these recent podcasts, David has also been featured in several excellent podcasts for SearchSAP.com over the last few years. Those podcasts will give you insight into how Foote Partners approaches their research and some of the SAP pay trends they have identified. David would be the first to caution you, however, that information on hot SAP skills changes quickly. So, treat these podcasts as background context and go to the Foote Partners site for more on the latest SAP skills trends.

With that discaimer in mind, here are the three SearchSAP Foote Partners podcast links:
(you may need to complete a free registration with SearchSAP.com to access these files)

"SAP Jobs Present and Future,"  February 13, 2007.
podcast highlights: the impact of eSOA trends, how to make your SAP skills outsourcing-proof.

"SAP Pros Feud in Ongoing Talent War," August 30, 2006.
podcast highlights: the marketability of SAP programming skills, the value of SAP certification.

"SAP ABAP, IBM WebSphere, RFID Skills Pay Rising," May 10, 2006.
podcast highlights: Oracle versus SAP skills,  the highest paying IT certifications.

Each of these podcasts has some good background material on SAP market trends and will give you a great sense of how Foote Partners approaches their research.

I can't think of an SAP project team that couldn't benefit from the kinds of research Foote Partners is doing. To give you a sense of why their work is so innovative, consider that more than 50 percent of companies pay some kind of "skills premium" or bonus for IT Talent, including many SAP specializations. Yet very few companies formalize these kinds of programs, as they don't want to become obligated to give similar premiums to all their employees. They want to be able to apply these skills premiums selectively, sometimes with performance incentives.

So imagine the challenge for the average analyst firm or IT trade publication to figure out, on a comprehensive basis, which SAP skills are being awarded these kinds of skills premiums and how they are adjusting from quarter to quarter? On the flip side, imagine how useful it would be as a project manager to know exactly what kinds of bonuses companies are paying for particular SAP skills, so that you can adjust your pay scales and recruiting efforts accordingly?

Foote Partners has developed exactly this kind of research, applied through a proprietary method that they utlizie throughout their connections in the SAP customer base.

The other dilemma of SAP skills pay? Foote Partners has determined that in more than 50 percent of all cases, that an IT professional's actual day-to-day role does not match their job title. Essentially, they need to be given a new job title for the purposes of this kind of research in order for the SAP salary information to be accurate.

Foote Partners has developed a model that allows them to adjust these titles on the fly so that their data accurately reflects the SAP skills that people are actually using, rather than their arbitrary job titles. Obviously, this kind of research is painstaking and is not inexpensive to acquire, but Foote's information is geared to be affordable for the average SAP customer.

In the future,  I hope to do more features on JonERP.com featuring the findings of Foote Partners on SAP skills trends. But if you are in need of accurate SAP salary data now, I recommend checking out their site sooner rather than later.