I am a PLM consultant from India with eight solid years of experience in IBM PLM in the Automotive and Aerospace industry. I wish to move to SAP PLM. Because I don't even know the ABCs of SAP, will it be the right decision to move to SAP PLM? The market demands consultants with a minimum of 2-3 implementations in SAP.

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There is no easy way to become a PLM consultant right now. I like your strategic thinking here, and I think your background is relevant to a SAP PLM career. But the problem is what you have observed: since there are a limited number of SAP PLM positions available, the positions that are out there are going only to those with previous project experience in PLM. That situation will only change if the demand for SAP PLM consultants increases faster than the supply. Hopefully that will happen. There is certainly a lot of interest in the SAP PLM product, and I expect the SAP PLM product to be a success. I would certainly recommend getting training in SAP PLM -- that would be a good next step. Perhaps you can find a multi-software PLM consulting group that will place you on non-SAP projects for now, and if they land a big PLM project where they can put in some "junior" SAP PLM consultants with deep overall PLM industry experience like yourself, then that could be your chance for a good break. Once you get one project under your belt, you'll be off and running -- it's the first project that's the trick. Good luck!

This was first published in October 2004

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