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What makes SAP Project Systems so interesting? Answer: staying power

With over nine years experience in logistics, is it wise to start an SAP career in the Project Systems module? Jon Reed explains how to utilize PS knowledge towards a positive career outcome.

I have over nine years of experience in an IT field working with logistics and SCM (supply chain management), but...

currently I am studying SAP PS (Project Systems). Is it in my best interest to continue to study SAP PS? Also, is it wise to start my SAP career in the PS module?

Project Systems is one of the most interesting areas of SAP. It never gets really hot, but it never goes away either. PS has a surprising amount of staying power. From what I've seen in recent conversations with PS consultants, there is still some good project work to be found in the PS niche. If anything, I am seeing more PS requirements these days. Maybe that's because companies are more broadly entrenched in SAP and thus are more likely to use SAP's own project management functionality. It may be that the flexibility of PS is also making its use more common. For whatever reason, senior PS consultants are doing all right lately. However, just because PS is doing well doesn't mean it will be easy to break into. As a general rule, I advise both new and senior SAP folks to combine a niche area with a broader area that relates to it. To use PS as an example, PS has very tight integration with the FI/CO modules, and FI/CO has a much broader usage on projects - especially given the upgrade wave going on now.

For an aspiring SAP consultant, I wouldn't say "avoid PS," but I would suggest combining it with an area of broader relevance. Breaking into SAP consulting is always a matter of measuring supply and demand, and then heading for the area of highest demand that matches up best with your particular background. Currently, the demand for the PS module is steady, but it's mostly being filled by senior PS consultants. FI/CO, on the other hand, has a much higher demand level due to the upgrade waves involving this core functionality. Also, we also have to consider that many companies are only looking for FI/CO folks with 5.0 and 6.0 expertise. There are differences in the General Ledger and other areas that are causing companies to prioritize FI/CO folks with more recent SAP version experience. This situation creates more openings for "junior" consultants with recent SAP experience on the latest releases. In fact, I recently heard from an individual with an accounting background who broke into SAP consulting armed only with an FI/CO certification. I haven't seen that happen in a while.

This means the demand is high in SAP Financials, and you have to take the comparative demand for particular areas into account. So unless you have a job offer in hand to do PS work, I would recommend looking to combine PS with a more mainstream area such as FI.

This was last published in May 2007

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