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Increasing your market value as a functional consultant

I have been into SAP SD as a functional consultant for the last five years without certification. I am an engineer & MBA (marketing). This month I completed training in SEM. How do you see my career path going from here? And since SAP is moving toward more Web based stuff, what other areas can I explore that would help in building a solid foundation and career path? Needless to say, I want to increase my market value.
It's great to see that you're tracking SAP's direction closely and getting yourself trained in the latest mySAP products. While I agree that understanding the Web-based aspects of SAP is important, I believe that is more of a concern for technical SAP folks than functional types like yourself. Your job is to expand your SAP business process expertise to include the "best practices" SAP has incorporated into its mySAP components. I do think SEM is going to be a nice growth area in SAP consulting - although most successful SEM consultants will also need some BW skills, so you'll need to pursue that knowledge base too. To be honest, I would prefer that you focus on SAP CRM over SEM. CRM probably incorporates more of your SD-related knowledge. SAP is packing more and more order processing power into CRM, and of course, if you manage to get experience with CRM's Internet Sales functionality, you would also be achieving your goal of learning more about SAP's web-based components. A CRM focus would also leverage your overall business and marketing expertise. The goal here is to find a way to build on your overall skills and move into the areas of SAP that give you some kind of relative advantage over other consultants. In the SEM area, you'll be competing with seasoned BW consultants on the one hand, and very senior FI/CO functional folks on the other. It seems to me you have more to offer in the SAP CRM area; but then again, as I have said many times, the ultimate tiebreaker is to go where the projects are. If you have an employer that will pay you to implement SEM, then you can disregard my advice and acquire the hands-on skills in SEM. You might eventually move into CRM, but right now, don't follow the money, follow the projects.
This was last published in June 2003

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