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Marketability of APO vs. CRM

Which one more marketable, APO or CRM?
Contrasting APO and CRM is a topic I have touched on a number of times in previous career columns, so be sure to scroll through the Q&A archives. I have also written articles contrasting SEM, APO, and CRM career paths on the www.mySAPcareers.com web site. Access to them is also free; check the newsletter archives. As a rule, it is a mistake to simply contrast one SAP product against the other and choose the "hotter" one. A more productive exercise is to map SAP's solutions against your own skills and figure out which products line up the best with your overall background. The SAP market is not for "juniors" right now. Even if CRM is a bit hotter than APO, which it seems to be right now, if your background is in supply chain, you are usually better off pursuing APO and building on that background. But since you're looking for an objective comparison of the two products, here's my latest take. Though the APO market has been especially victimized by the slowdown in capital spending, I have a slight preference for APO over CRM right now; I still feel it's a more robust product. On the other hand, there are aspects of SAP CRM, such as Internet Pricing, that have done pretty well lately. Bottom line: both the CRM and supply chain markets are trying to reframe their value proposition to cost-cutting customers. Therefore, I would probably choose SEM over either CRM and APO. But that's a whole different can of worms.
This was last published in August 2003

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