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I have experience but no module certification. What now?

Hi Jon, 2 years ago I was sent on 2 SAP Workflow courses after which I worked on 2 client sites and created some relatively basic Workflows. I then moved into Basis and spent a lot of time working on ITS/Workplace solutions as well as normal Basis admin (including user training). I've been to the TCC course. More recently I have been involved in ALE projects. As I am not certified in any SAP module what would you recommend I concentrate my focus on? Prior to SAP my background was technical eBusiness coupled with project management.

Reading between the lines, your true concern is not so much about certification. What you're really trying to do is find a marketable niche within SAP - hopefully something that will remain marketable as SAP becomes more and more focused on e-business and less so on "back office ERP." The way you do that is by accumulating hands-on project experience in the right skill area. Obtaining certification in that focus area is icing on the cake, but landing the right project experience is the key.

The challenge for you is to keep up with what SAP is doing technically - even though trying to keep up with all the mySAP products and releases can be a dizzying task. What you refer to as ITS (Internet Transaction Server) is now called the Web Application Server. By the time this answer gets posted, SAP might have changed it again. :) You have a couple of great things going for you: first, you're not just a classic "techie" - you also have project lead and end-user training experience to round out your skills. And you've also got a couple of years of hands-on SAP technical skills under your belt already. It sounds like you're developing a core set of skills in the Basis area, branching out into new areas within SAP such as mySAP Workplace and the ITS functionality we mentioned earlier. You may want to be careful about your recent shift towards ALE work. ALE is one of SAP's main integration protocols, often used to integrate separate instances of R/3. While it's great to get any type of EAI experience right now, ALE is a proprietary technology that I feel will ultimately give way to more open, XML-based integration protocols. ALE is a nice skill to have in your toolkit, but I think you were really on the right track with your Workplace and ITS experience, and you want to load up on that kind of mySAP project work right now.

Unfortunately, it's not as easy as pointing to one specific technical area in mySAP that is crucial to gain exposure or certification in. But as a Basis person, the kinds of skills you want to focus on are EAI, firewall and security issues, and installation and integration of the mySAP product line with SAP and other mission critical systems. If you can get continued exposure to ITS/Web Application Server, and perhaps obtain technical experience designing and implementing mySAP Markets or Portals solutions, you will be on the cutting edge of where SAP is headed. Other hot technical buzzwords for Basis consultants include SAP MarketSet, SAP MarketSet Connector, and SAP Business Connector. You'll notice that most of these skills involve outward-facing, Internet-based B2B and CRM functionality. Load up on as much of this type of work as you can get, and hopefully the economy will soon surge forward and create some breakout opportunities for you to capitalize on your mySAP skills.

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