In terms of choosing between SCM and APO, that's an interesting question. I've been trying to figure out SAP's so-called "Supply Chain Management" (SCM) product for years. In my opinion, APO is really the only fully-formed product in that area, so there's really no competition. SCM, as far as I can tell, is really just a bunch of functionality pulled from different pre-existing SAP components and modules and dressed up a little bit. Since the APO market hasn't been that hot lately, perhaps due to the complexity and cost of APO installs, your best bet is to continue to get broader supply chain experience in SAP combined with some APO exposure. At this point, I have yet to meet a real SAP "SCM" consultant that is not just an MM consultant in disguise, but I like your overall thinking of where you're headed. If you can continue to use your MM-related skills -- but in the latest versions of SAP -- you should be in a good position when and if more supply chain management products from SAP emerge.
This was first published in March 2005