2. Is ABAP knowledge mandatory to learn BIW?
SD into BW is not the most obvious SAP transition. As an SD consultant, it's nice to have BW as part of your toolkit - especially the knowledge of how to populate BW with SD-related business content. I'm wondering if you've considered moving into CRM? CRM might be a more logical extension of your current skills. Whichever option you choose, ABAP is not necessary. There are plenty of "ABAP-free" BW openings out there. As for whether BW will help your career progression, it depends on where you're trying to go. But in general, if you tie new SAP skills into your current ones, you should become more marketable. On the other hand, if you just slap BW onto SD without tying the two closely together, then you're just another SAP consultant with too many areas of knowledge and not enough focus. It would be great to offer blanket assurances about marketability, but in today's SAP market, becoming marketable is a personal challenge that requires ambition, planning, more than a bit of luck, and more sacrifices than you'd expect. Typical sacrifices include: spending thousands of dollars on training, traveling more than you want to get the skills you need and taking less money to get the skills you need. Long hours are understood. I think it's great that you're trying to expand your skills proactively - you should continue to aggressively research SAP's evolving product line and how it fits in with your skills.
This was first published in August 2003