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SAP on SAP: Building up the SAP skills necessary to meet end-user needs

As new technologies confront IT departments, it’ll be necessary to build up the SAP skills to handle them. SAP’s IT chiefs share how they’re building up the SAP skills on their staffs.

With new technologies such as on-demand, mobile and in-memory the centerpieces of SAP’s product strategy, new SAP...

skills will be needed to manage them.  At SAP, chief information officer Oliver Bussmann and Martin Heisig, vice president of enterprise architecture, look at three-year plans on how they’ll meet these technology demands.

In this interview, Heisig and Bussmann detail their plans for ensuring they have the right skills on their staff, including plans to “upscale” those already on their team.

SearchSAP.com: How are you building up skills in the IT department to be able to meet needs of end users?

Oliver Bussmann:  The whole enterprise architecture exercise, the three-year plan, gives you a clear indication in which area the demand is coming through the door. If you don’t do that, you only look at the 12 months ahead, what kind of projects are coming, and the whole skills requirements pop up, and it’s hard to figure out in that short period of time to identify resources, bring them up to speed.

We’re looking at, on a regular basis, our skills. That means the different domain skills, in which lines of business, and then the different job categories, from analyst to solution architect to project management. We balance this kind of information with the portfolio, and see, if there is a gap from a maturity, skills domain expertise, and figure out, is that a gap we have to act on.

If we figure out there’s a gap, like right now, we are starting in certain areas upscaling and trying to use as much as possible internal expertise and bring them up to speed.

SearchSAP.com: Are there areas you’ve seen gaps?

Bussmann: I think the whole BI [business intelligence] environment, there’s a huge demand. Also, we see that SAP is going through a transformational change. We see that our current, addressable market space is 110 billion euro and we want to go up to 220 billion. There’s a lot of new business coming through the door. Different business. And the need to streamline in certain functional area processes, there’s a significant demand.

See if there’s folks out there that have the capabilities to be upscaled and invest in those people and try to bring them up to speed in three to six months.

Martin Heisig: Also with the new technologies, new roles come up. You need to establish power-user communities, create training for these. Some roles are going away, and some new roles are coming up. 

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