I have over 16 Years of experience in the IT Industry primarily as a consultant, with heavy exposure to Oracle, Unix, Siebel, Informatica and Business Objects. I have had hands-on training in SAP R/3 and recently completed hands-on training in the BW module of SAP R/3. Suffice it to say that I totally underestimated the longevity of SAP and am now seriously contemplating getting certification in BW. Is this a good idea? Where is the next SAP wave going so that I don't miss the boat again?

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It sounds like BW certification is a good fit for your expertise. As the overall demand for analytics and business intelligence is only going to grow, I think your services should be in high demand, especially considering the fact that most BI takes place in the context of a highly heterogeneous environment that often includes many if not all of the systems and applications in which you have expertise.

You should also look carefully into Master Data Management (MDM), this is probably the biggest "new wave" in the SAP market, and one that will have an important impact on every aspect of the SAP customer experience, including BW. The requirement for master data has always been part of the development of both transactional and analytical solutions, and you can expect MDM and BW to converge more and more on common data models and common extraction and loading technology. Having expertise in both should keep you busy for another 16 years at least.

This was first published in November 2004

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