I have a wireless background and six years experience with Mobile Handset software (C, Unix) in India. I want to move to the U.S. and make a career change to ERP. I want to learn SAP or Oracle along with Java to broaden my skills. In the U.S., for the long term, does SAP or Oracle have a better future? Being new to ERP, I think I would have to start with technical first.

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I don't know if I've ever answered an "SAP versus Oracle" question before. Don't believe the headlines; the ERP wars are over. With the exception of the small business market, which is not insignificant, SAP and Oracle have entrenched themselves in the ERP marketplace. Barring the acquisition of one or the other by either IBM or Microsoft, I don't think there will be further major shifts. So, bottom line: you can pursue both of them and go where the opportunities are for you. Either package will be good; it depends more on what you end up specializing in and how hard you work at it.

And by the way, I don't believe new ERP folks need to start on the technical side. If you already have good Java skills, however, in that case it may indeed make sense to look into technical ERP work as you try to get your foot in the door.

This was first published in December 2006

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