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Should I take an SAP R/3 job then hop to ERP, or go straight to ERP?

I recently took a job working with the Canadian government in an SAP R/3 4.7 environment. We are moving to SAP ERP this year, how valuable will this experience be for me, since I would like to become an SAP consultant working with BI/BW?

I recently took a job working with the Canadian government in an SAP R/3 4.7 environment. My current work is on reporting and standardizing reporting across my department. We are moving to SAP ERP this year and I will be part of the implementation team for this project, with the current reporting-project being tied into the new version.

My question is how valuable will this experience be for me, since I would like to become an SAP consultant working...

with BI/BW? Also, where should I try to focus my attention during the testing and implementation phase of the SAP ERP system? Is this a good path for a career as an SAP consultant?

I definitely think that going through the mySAP ERP upgrade process will be an asset to you in your SAP career -- regardless of exactly what your role during the upgrade is. However, in terms of the reporting exposure, it really depends on what your company's reporting strategy is on the new mySAP ERP platform. Since mySAP ERP ships with BI, the chances are good that you will get the BI exposure you are looking for during that upgrade cycle. But not all companies running on mySAP ERP use BI for reporting. However, most are going in that direction.

In terms of where to focus you attention during the testing and implementation process, that is a role-specific question that really varies based on what your precise role is on the project. The one thing I would recommend is that you do your best to understand the overall business processes your company is implementing as well as the overall business strategy your company is pursuing (how SAP fits into that strategy). The best SAP consultants of the future will have a focused skill set, but they will be able to work with a "big picture" context where they understand where their piece of the implementation fits into the bigger picture. So if you can balance your hands-on skills with a broader sense of SAP's role in your company's so-called "best practices," you are on the road to becoming a marketable consultant who can come in and make money for your clients.

This was last published in September 2007

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