Experienced System Architect weighing SAP technical/functional careers
I am exploring ways to enter the SAP field and I would appreciate your suggestions in choosing
between technical and functional areas of SAP.
I'm a computer engineering graduate with 10 years of experience in software development working
as a Systems Architect (a SUN Certified Architect) and I'm also currently pursuing an MBA with
finance management major, having long-term plan to move out of the technical line and into
I am bit confused whether to pick technical aspects of SAP or the functional area. I learned
finance only as part of my MBA with some simulation exposure. I have no actual real-life
I appreciate if you could throw some light in making choice between SAP
technical or functional consulting. Which would would be better in regards to growth prospects
and also better rates?
I don't think there's any question that the functional side of SAP, overall, commands better
rates. In addition, it seems that functional consultant is not as vulnerable to offshoring trends.
So if you're picking solely on the basis of what is more marketable, I would go functional.
However, as the NetWeaver and Enterprise SOA era comes into focus, there are going to be some
tremendous technical opportunities in SAP also. Therefore, it's important to follow your passions
and not assume that all the good positions are on one side of SAP or the other. In the long run,
all SAP consultants, technical and functional, are going to have to combine their niche focus with
broader business process and industry know-how to be successful in the age of eSOA that is heading
towards us now. One thing I do like to remind folks is not to be too close-minded towards one
career option or the other - especially when you are just starting out. It's good to have a long
term plan, but in the short term, "go where the opportunities are" is often the best
This was first published in October 2007