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Should I take the offer and leave PP/MM for CRM?

I have 2 years SAP R/3 4.0B experience in PP and MM. More recently, I spent the last 2 years on a SAP CRM 3.0 rollout in the manufacturing sector. I now have the opportunity to work in the public sector as an SAP CRM consultant with an alternative employer. Would this move into the public sector as a SAP CRM consultant be a good career move, or should I try to find work in PP/MM in a manufacturing environment?
There are a few basic laws of the SAP job market. One law is that "what you've been doing the last year (or two) is who you are." It is very hard to go back in time and reclaim an older SAP skill set. If you've been working on CRM the last two years, you are now an SAP CRM consultant. Your MM/PP experience provides a helpful background, but you can't use it to land a job. But that's good! Because you shouldn't even be considering returning to a core R/3 product from a mySAP product anyhow. The choice worth debating is NOT MM/PP versus CRM, it is APO versus CRM. But since you have no APO experience, and you have two years of CRM experience, for you, there is no debate: you should be continuing on in CRM. And, the good news is that you have the opportunity to do so. Now, ordinarily I'm not concerned about consultants taking SAP projects in different industries. But the public sector is very different than the private sector, and if you do make the switch to public sector CRM, it may be hard to return. The good news is that the public sector is a pretty decent area to be in right now. There's been more SAP jobs in the public sector the last couple years than just about any other vertical. It's possible you could develop a very nice niche for yourself as a CRM public sector consultant. My recommendation would be the following: if there is time, see if you can land a private sector CRM position without losing your public sector opportunity. Then, with two offers in hand, you could weigh each position and make a judgment call. But assuming that your only choice is between the public sector CRM job and "back to PP/MM," I would continue on in CRM. There is a lot of emerging and interesting functionality in the CRM area, from opportunity management to advanced Internet Pricing to synchronization between SAP CRM and Mobile Devices. Not to mention customer analytics with BW-CRM functionality. I would pursue these opportunities in CRM aggressively and see where they lead you.
This was last published in November 2003

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