Having said all that, I do expect to see more functional outsourcing in the future as some of these complexities...
are overcome. And as SAP moves into the small business market, we will see more outsourcing of functional roles from these smaller companies that are used to buying their solutions "out of the box" and can't afford extensive customizations. From what I've said so far, it makes sense that SAP HR would be the first area to be heavily outsourced on the functional side. Companies are used to outsourcing their HR functions, and core HR processes like payroll are hardly a key to a company's competitive advantage. I think it's also possible that some "vanilla" financial areas will be outsourced more frequently, but here we have the specter of Sarbanes-Oxley and other strict reporting requirements to consider. In terms of other functional areas, I can't foresee a situation where companies outsource their core manufacturing processes. Therefore, I expect to continue to see most of the outsourcing take place on the technical side. But that doesn't mean that all SAP consultants, technical and functional, should take outsourcing lightly. Success for an SAP consultant means staying on your toes and keeping your skills sharp. That was true before outsourcing took off and it's certainly true now.
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