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The current and future growth of MDM consulting

I have recently started my SAP career in MDM in one of the leading ITSP companies in India. Though I do not have any prior experience, I come from a complete IT academic background.

What is the current and future growth in MDM and what would be the best way to establish myself as a consultant in this area?

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MDM is one of the most tantalizing areas in SAP consulting. The reason? It seems like the product has come of age, and it's an area that all companies are going to look at one way or the other. As a company, you can't capitalize on the promise of the mySAP ERP platform if you don't have consistent master data standards across the region. For this reason, as of MDM 5.0, some folks have pointed to MDM as a great consulting area to pursue, as if it's about to explode. But I wonder. I expect the demand for MDM consultants to continue to grow, but will it ever get hot enough to create a bunch of "first project" type of opportunities and a high volume of jobs?

The lesson I take from SAP up to this point is to always be careful about putting too much stock in applications that don't ship with the core. And right now, while MDM is technically part of NetWeaver, you have to pay more to use it. Essentially, it's an add-on product. Based on the history of what I've seen in that area, I would suggest thinking of MDM as a great part of an overall skill set that might also have some areas with broader market usage, such as BW. I think the BW/MDM skill combination could be an excellent one, because you'll have a great mix between "emerging area" and "bread and butter."

Having said that, in the case of this person's question, if you are truly ahead of the curve on MDM and getting good project opportunities, it may be fine to just focus on MDM and ride the wave. I'm sure that the MDM market will support some expert specialists, and if you're in that first wave of focused MDM consultants, you might be able to ride that momentum for a long time. But I would make sure you understand the integration points between MDM, BW, and the overall NetWeaver platform. This will give you more versatility in case the MDM consulting market doesn't heat up as much as we might hope.

This was first published in July 2007

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