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Should I move into functional or technical SAP consulting?

Holding experience with different databases and architectures I have looked into FI, BW and Basis courses. What module would you suggest for gaining relative long term stability?

I am a senior Baan consultant (functional and technical) with experience with different databases and architectures. I want to get into SAP for career advancement. I have looked into FI, BW and Basis courses. What module would you suggest for gaining relative long term stability? And once I complete the training how would I break into SAP market?
I wish I had a better sense of what your focus was within Baan. To get the most "bang" from your Baan experience, you want to pursue the areas of SAP that directly relate to your Baan skills; and you need to make a decision between a functional and technical focus.

You can continue to draw on "both sides" of your skills, but you need a focal point. FI, BW, and Basis courses...

could all be good for you, but it depends on your previous expertise and which part of SAP you match up with best. Having said that, I would recommend that you look into "next generation" SAP certifications. I always think that with SAP, you want to pay for training in the emerging technologies. This helps to position you ahead of the pack as much as possible.

So, instead of Basis, look into NetWeaver, and if you do FI, make sure it's mySAP Financials, the latest and greatest, and consider SEM training as well. The training may or may not help you all that much. It's hard to switch ERP packages midstream of your career -- harder than it should be. The problem is that hiring managers don't want to provide the training to "convert" someone from one package to another -- even if that training would be minimal. The best companies for you would be current Baan customers that are transitioning to SAP just like you are.

Or you might find a consulting firm that is retraining ERP consultants and cross-training them in new packages. You have your work cut out for you, but hopefully your depth of ERP experience will pay off. Keep trying, all you need is one break.

This was last published in July 2005

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