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Post-grad finding the right SAP niche

After graduating with a Bcom Honours (Information Systems/Marketing) degree, I joined EDS in the beginning of the year as part of their graduate program. The plan is that during the whole year I get exposed to different technologies, clients and roles in the organisation, which will give me the chance to see what I like and which area I want to go into. I have decided that I want to pursue a functional SAP career, and have been working at a client site that runs SAP R/3 and SAP CRM. I've read about and been exposed to some other SAP products such as APO and BW. I feel that CRM best suits a graduate in my position, as it seems to me that CRM combines a good mix of functional and technical skills. Also, I recently took VB .NET training. I have the opportunity now to go on a 1 month ABAP course, the rational of my managers being that it could provide a good base for my future CRM training. Do you think I should pursue the ABAP training, even though I more inclined to the functional side of things, and do you think CRM is a good choice within SAP for me?
Sounds like you're part of a great program. Since you're still a post-graduate, you shouldn't be too rigid on your skills focus. Just seize the opportunities you are given and go with them. Every SAP consultant can benefit from a bit of ABAP know-how. As far as functional versus technical, I would prefer to see you end up as a functional consultant with light technical skills, like an 80/20 or 70/30 mix. But that's a long term thing. I agree that CRM offers a nice mix of functional and technical skills needs, but then, so does BW and APO - though with APO, you have to be a bit more aggressive to get that functional/technical mix as a functional person. Although I like CRM as a career path, I generally like all three - APO, BW, and CRM. All three are the kind of strategic, "value-added" products that SAP customers will invest in during the years to come. The bottom line is that you should pursue the skills that you are offered on projects, and stay flexible if necessary in order to do so. All things being equal, between those three, go for the one you personally find the most intellectually stimulating, as the best SAP consultants all have a real passion for their subject matter.
This was last published in October 2003

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