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Why you don't have to choose between SAP XI and BW

Learn Jon Reed's advice for a reader who wants to move into a career combining SAP XI and SAP BW.

Dear Jon,

I have experience in SAP ALE/IDocs and in building custom interfaces to SAP. My work demands me to set up and configure SAP modules like MM and FI, and I also work with a product which acts as a Web front-end to SAP. Since I do not see much growth in my current position, I am looking for alternatives.

Will focusing on SAP XI or SAP BW will help me? I am more functional than technical and lead a team of four ABAP consultants. I do not have knowledge of Java, and SAP XI excites me more than BW. I also read your recommendation of a combination of BW and CRM, but I do not have access to a SAP CRM system, whereas I do have access to BW and SAP R/3.

I think XI could be a good focus for you. Remember that you don't have to choose between XI and BW -- I know some consultants who are finding some good work in the XI/BW installation area. These are forward-thinking projects, the latest in "business intelligence SAP style." Even though you like XI more than BW, you may want to rely on BW for a while also, since it's still much more commonly used than XI. Over time, you could move more and more into XI, while doing enough BW to keep your skills in demand. So yes, I like your overall direction and expect you'll do well.

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