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SAP pros need to hone GUI, security skills for

SAP professionals moving to are faced with new challenges, including the honing of GUI and security skills.

Joanne Cummings is a freelance writer based in North Andover, MA. She can be reached at


SAP professionals looking to make the move to are facing a host of new challenges, not the least of which is developing and honing the skills necessary for a successful rollout of the Workplace.

"The most useful thing about is the Workplace," explains David Dobrin, an analyst at Cambridge, MA-based Synergy, Inc., an SAP and E-commerce consultancy. "Workplace allows you to access SAP information without having to go through the formal SAP processes. It provides you with an SAP information portal, where you access information via a browser, and depending on who you are, it shows you what you need to see.", essentially, changes the overall SAP system from being transaction-oriented to being more dedicated to information serving, and that can be a leap for an SAP professional. "With Workplace, you need to figure out what information your customers need, and decide how to display it in a way that's accessible and sensible for them, be they internal or external."

Dobrin says this means SAP professionals now need to be GUI designers, information designers, and even security advisors. "For example, you want to provide personalized access to your customers, but you can't let them see all of your orders," he says. "SAP shows you everything because it always assumes the end user is inside the company. With, security becomes an even greater challenge."

So how does an SAP professional get up to speed? Since technology is so new, there aren't many sources available. "SAP is very good at providing training and information," Dobrin says. "But we're at a point now where the successful individuals are teaching themselves, understanding what the issues are and learning simply by doing," Dobrin says. "MySAP is a tremendous opportunity for companies to get more value out of their SAP systems. And if individuals want to improve their careers and make themselves more valuable, they need to lead their company toward realizing the value of"

This was last published in November 2000

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