What do you think about the future of the SAP R/3 Plant Maintenance module? I'm a PM Consultant with an SAP certification 2000.
You could take many of the comments I've made about WM as a fringe module and apply them to PM. PM does not feel strategically positioned when you look at the mySAP product line, and the level of market acceptance for the PM module has always been modest. Once again, you have an expert consulting niche that is to be avoided if you are not such an expert, and once again, you see a lot of PM consultants who have broader supply chain management experience, and that's where I'd want to be. One interesting aspect of PM skills is that they often show up with SM, or Service Management, and SM is one of the most intriguing areas within SAP. The reason for that is that SM is supposedly going to be "swallowed up" by the SAP-CRM product, therefore creating a nice way for SM consultants to move into a new mySAP area. But so far we've seen very few SM consultants who've made that transition, and very few SAP clients that have moved from SM to CRM. So the PM/SM skill set might not be a "no-brainer" CRM move as we once thought. For that reason, I would classify SM as a fringe module as well, and having expertise in two fringe modules does not combine into one set of broadly marketable skills. Looking ahead, I'd try to combine "fringe" modules with "core" modules, and then extend those skills into mySAP and web-driven business initiatives.
This was first published in November 2002