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Making a career of SAP Enterprise Portal

I am certified and I have just completed an SAP Portal implementation. I have a background in MM and have dappled with Ariba Buyer as well. Now I am planning to focus and wholeheartedly make a career out of SAP Enterprise Portal. Is it advisable to bet big on the EP as a career option? Can I sustain myself as a specialized SAP Portals consultant?
I am doing some ongoing research on functional Portals work, and it's not clear to me if there really is a functional niche in Enterprise Portals. It seems that Portals is ideal for Basis folks and ABAP/Java programmers. I think that BW would be a more natural functional niche, because at least with BW you can be dealing with the specific design of InfoCubes containing relevant functional data. Portals don't really need to be designed according to that kind of business logic. Portals does need to draw on data from different sources, but that's more of a technical issue. So, an MM guy with Ariba Buyer experience who is moving into Portals is really moving in a more technical career direction. That's not a bad thing, but the competition is going to be steep until the market picks up. Nevertheless, you did pick up the Portals skills on the project, so as long as you can continue to find Portals work, why not keep going and see where it takes you? If you can string together a few Portals projects in a row, Portals could be your ticket to a successful SAP niche AND a transition into a more technical consulting role. Please write in and correct me if I'm wrong here, but all the Portals work I've seen and all the Portals consultants I've known have been on the technical side. On paper, if I were plotting out your skills transition, I would imagine your MM and e-procurement background leading you into EBP, and from there, into SAP's evolving Supplier Relationship Management area. That's going to be a major piece of the mySAP product line, and it seems that you have a solid background for that area you could draw on and become an expert level consultant in more quickly. But you have embraced the opportunities that have been presented you, and that's the most important thing. Right now, in SAP, you take what you can get. Portals will be a good niche for those who get in early. You're in early, so keep on keeping on! But if you have trouble finding a new Portals project, keep my EBP/SRM suggestion in mind.
This was last published in April 2003

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