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Launching a mySAP SRM career in Canada

I have 3 years of Functional Consulting experience in MM module of SAP. I am currently implementing mySAP SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) in India(Ramp up project by SAP). I am cleared for immigration to Canada. Now, questions:

1) What is the global scope of SRM?
2) How can I break into SAP in Canada?
3) Should I get formal SRM certification?
SRM looks like an interesting area of SAP to focus on, especially if you are getting some hands-on project experience. For the most part, I have perceived SRM as "vaporware," essentially a loose collection of existing SAP functionality, spiced up by the good old Exchange tools (formerly SAP Marketplace). Of course, EBP, SAP's e-procurement product, is not vaporware. EBP is a very viable product, but most analysts agree that e-procurement is a pretty "vanilla" product until it can be used to purchase complex, customizable products online and promote real collaboration between trading partners. Until that time, EBP is primarily used for purchasing things like paper clips in bulk, and while this can save companies a lot of money, it is not a real promising consulting focus by itself. That's why I like the idea of becoming an SRM consultant, with skills both in EBP, and also in the so-called "exchange" technology. I assume that the latter is what you have. More than likely, you have used SRM to help a company set up a private, proprietary marketplace, which is one of the main aspects of a typical SRM strategy. From this marketplace, companies can conduct dynamic auctions and other online B2B processes. Of course, SAP envisions that the future of SRM will include a range of collaborative supplier management functions, and perhaps you have even gained some exposure into something new and cutting edge I don't even know about. The point is that you have some SAP skills that few others have, and that's a good sign. In terms of how marketable this will be globally, I don't know. Whenever you are "ahead of the game," the big challenge is getting enough projects to stay ahead before others catch up. Since there are very few SRM projects out there, it may be hard for you to maintain project continuity, but that is what you need to do if you're going to become one of the leading experts in this emerging area. I don't know anything about SRM in Canada, but if I were you, I would adopt a "whatever it takes" mentality to getting more SRM experience wherever you can. This means being as flexible in terms of geography and project location as you can be. You seem pretty concerned about making sure that SRM is going to be "hot." But the truth is, picking a hot skills area is just like picking stocks – you can only be 100% sure in hindsight. The fact of the matter is that if you can become one of the only guys in the world to have four or five SRM projects under their belt, you will be in demand. To provide you with one more example of how this works, look no further than EBP. Even though I don't generally recommend EBP as a consulting focus, and even though most consultants who get involved with EBP move on to other things, I do know a couple of EBP guys who do EBP and only EBP. These guys have five to seven EBP projects each. Are they in demand? You bet. So keep on keeping on. If you can stay ahead of the curve, you'll do better than most.
This was last published in August 2003

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