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Experienced Basis admin looking to boost market value

I have nearly 8 years of experience in administering SAP R/3 systems on Oracle and UNIX/W2K. What could be done to increase my market value? Should I focus on ABAP development or go for the functional side? Or would it be more suitable to build on my database, OS and network background?
I would say "none of the above." Here's why: if you switch to ABAP, you will be a lot more vulnerable to outsourcing trends. But being a Basis person right now is not so bad. That's because Basis specialists are more tied to a company's internal systems, so they are a lot harder to "move offshore." And then, in terms of functional roles, why would you want to compete with the five-year-plus functional folks? Nope, the best answer is to "keep on keeping on" as a Basis consultant. But instead of working on something mundane like "learning more networking skills," I think you should focus on getting experience in Web Application Server and SAP Web services. Learn as much as you can about the Enterprise 4.7 architecture, and try to get yourself some hands-on project skills in the latest SAP technologies. Basis is one of the best places to be right now, if you want to stay on the moving train that is SAP. The catch is that if you won't ride the Basis train for long unless you evolve right along with SAP. Your deep technical background will be an asset as you make this transition. Good luck!
This was last published in August 2003

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