Q

Future SEM prospects

Can you throw some light on mySAP SEM career prospects and its future opportunities in both technical and functional terms?
I answer SEM questions on a pretty frequent basis, so check around in the SearchSAP archives. I also am publishing a major SEM career interview with SEM specialist Paul Halley on my www.mySAPcareers.com web site, so for some in-depth information on the SEM consulting market, check out that interview. I like the SEM career path for many SAP professionals. Like other mySAP products, SEM leverages the investment companies have made in R/3 for more strategic purposes. It's this kind of product that is going to push the SAP market forward in the next few years. In terms of specific opportunities, on the technical side, SEM is all about BW. SEM is closely linked to BW, so you can't really make a technical contribution to SEM without mastery of BW. Knowledge of how to integrate various enterprise data into BW is another piece of this puzzle. For this reason, SEM can be a great skill expansion for a senior BW consultant. On the functional side, there are a number of interesting areas to pursue. Many of them (except, right now, BCS - Business Consolidation) do also involve some BW skills, but there's a lot to do on the functional side of SEM for SAP folks - especially those with strong FI/CO backgrounds. R/3 Legal Consolidation folks can move into BCS, and CO-PA experts can find action in the BPS (Business Planning and Simulation) area. These are the most widely-used areas of SEM right now, but we just heard from an SAPtips reader today who had some questions about the Balanced Scorecard - which is now part of the SEM Strategy Management component. So, I think there's going to be a lot of action on the SEM side. Paul Halley, who was on the original SAP America SEM Product Development Team, sees SEM as the most promising area of growth in the mySAP product line. However, he emphasizes that companies are mostly starting with smaller, targeted SEM projects focused around specific objectives. But if your skills play into one of the areas I mentioned already, you might be able to move into SEM in the not-too-distant future.
This was first published in October 2003

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