I am a Senior Basis consultant with experience with different databases and architectures. I want to get into SAP...
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New Dimension products for career advancement and more billing. What would you suggest for gaining relative long term stability? Or is it better to stick to R/3 or Enterprise?
SAP has just announced its new NetWeaver technical architecture, which will eventually replace Basis as the terminology of choice for SAP's Web-enabled technical architecture. So you are smart to be thinking about expanding your Basis skills. I have commented on the future of Basis before, but here's the summary version: my recommendation is not to get hung up on specific mySAP (formerly "New Dimension") products like BW, rather, try to get as much cutting edge technology exposure as you can. Sticking to R/3 through thick and thin is not the way to go, but getting upgrade experience to the latest versions of R/3, such as 4.6 can be valuable.
One comment on your question: there's no such thing as "Sticking to Enterprise" right now, as Enterprise 4.7 has only been in release for the last half year. If you already have Enterprise exposure, I would consider you ahead of the pack, as that architecture has some significant changes and enhancements that will expand your Basis skill set. The goal is not to abandon Basis, but to transform your core Basis expertise so that it mimics SAP's own evolution. If you study up on SAP's NetWeaver product, you'll see that NetWeaver is the central part of SAP's technology vision of SAP-enabled Web services. SAP is selling its ability to seamlessly integrate third party solutions with the mySAP product line and the SAP back end, all using Internet-based, "open" protocols. And NetWeaver will be the product that drives all this. Sure, the full realization of this "seamless" vision is a long way off, but it's clear where the technology is going. So how does a Basis consultant like you get there? One project at a time. Choose your projects wisely (skills over rates!), and squeeze in extra training and industry events whenever you can find the time. Your next step is to embark on a vigorous self-education program regarding the latest SAP product developments. From there, you'll begin to formulate a strategy for long-term marketability.
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