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Next career step for a seasoned Basis support person

I have nine years of IT experience with five years on SAP Basis production support. Should I learn XI or perhaps go the techno-functional route to move forward?

I have nine years of IT experience with five years on SAP Basis production support. I also have had a chance to work a little on solman and XI. But I am not enjoying work and want to grow professionally.

A few say that this is right time to become project manager, but I still feel that I am not quite ready in SAP. I am interested in meeting clients and travelling, but Basis is something of a dead-end street. Is XI or BI or perhaps the techno-functional side better for me? Any advice?

I don't know enough about your background to make any sure-fire recommendations here. But I will say that there is never one time where you have to move into project management - you make the move when you're ready and when the opportunity is there.

One way to move towards project management but not take the plunge is to start taking on hands-on technical team lead roles. This will build on your leadership skills without requiring you to leave your hands-on technical role. Over time, you might get a better feeling for which career path is just right for you. If you had to choose between BI and XI, I would take BI, only because it is more prevalent on SAP project sites right now. But, any of SAP's new NetWeaver technologies are going to serve you well.

Finally, I'm not a big fan of the techno-functional skill set. I think the most marketable SAP consultants are about 80/20 technical versus functional or vice versa. Having said that, there are lots of great functional SAP folks with good technical backgrounds. I hope these comments help you to prioritize your decisions.

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