Ask the Expert

SAP PLM's high demand may mean a hot job market

I have a mechanical engineering background and I have had the advantage of working on three PLM implementations for a local vendor. I have experienced different verticals like automotive, customized product development (CPD) and engineering procurement and construction (EPC). After that I worked for a year on the SAP PP module and I also got trained on mySAP PLM.

Now I am wondering whether to continue in SAP PP and build expertise in APO or leverage the skills in SAP PP and PLM and look for some hands-on experience in integration scenarios that involve PP and PLM.

I am finding it quite challenging to get a breakthrough in SAP PLM and I feel I have not grown to the extent I should have because of loss of focus.

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I like the idea of pursuing SAP PLM based on your background. I think SAP's PLM product will be very successful -- they are certainly pushing it hard in their mySAP Business Suite release that many companies will be upgrading to. Unfortunately, the current challenge of the PLM market is that the senior PLM folks are snapping up much of the work. This will remain the case until the demand for PLM increases. So, you may need to combine your pursuit of PLM with some core configuration skills in PP and MM.

One thing I would avoid is the APO route. The APO market is pretty flat right now, due largely, I think, to the complexity of the implementations. SAP is trying to jump start that market by emphasizing the overall SCM product offering, but it's not clear to me what kind of consulting work is coming out of that area right now. So, the pursuit of PLM combined with some core R/3 areas like MM and PP makes the best sense. (R/3 is called ECC in the new mySAP ERP release, but it's the same idea as far as providing some core skills exposure).

This was first published in March 2006

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