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With a lack of technical knowledge, will I still excel as an SRM consultant?

A MM (materials management) consultant is trying to decide on a career change to an SRM consultant. Expert Sachin Sethi explains what to expect in an SRM consulting career.

I am a functional MM (materials managment) consultant with sound experience in the materials domain, including exposure to the MM module of SAP R/3. However, I do not have experience in ABAP or any other programming language. In the near future I have an opportunity to work with SRM as a functional consultant. To my distress, the preliminary reading of SRM documents seem to be a lot of technical information/jargon. With my lack of technical knowledge, will I be able to excel as an SRM consultant or do I need to acquire technical skills as well (e.g. ABAP and Java)?
The SRM field offers a number of opportunities for growth. SAP also continues to invest a lot in the solution on a yearly basis. I would think it is to your benefit if you take on the opportunity to work in an SRM functional role.

Also, with your background in the MM module you should have a good base of knowledge, which you can use to understand and grasp the business processes and integration scenarios within the SRM suite.

You are correct that the SRM solution is a technologically intense solution, as there are a number of components that make up the overall solution. An understanding for the technology components that drive the SRM engine will be good for you to understand the various components. For example: knowledge of ABAP, workflow, MDM, XI, ITS, etc. However, you do not need to take a course in ABAP or Basis to do this. On projects, you will have access to developers and Basis resources. However, your ability to analyze the relationships of the BADIs in SRM (Development), the importance of ITS (internal for newer releases) and IPC, along with the web templates will be a huge help when you attempt to blueprint, analyze, and troubleshoot during implementation and beyond.

Initially, I would try to familiarize yourself with the underlying technologies and their relationship with SRM. Let some of the other deep knowledge of ABAP be a natural progress as you work more closely with the development teams on the project. What I mean here is that make sure you understand what a BADI is and what the different BADIs are that become available to you in SRM -- but don't worry about how it's coded, that's what a developer will be able to help do. Similarly, understand how workflow functions in SRM and its configuration. Finally, know the standard templates offered by SAP, but don't worry about learning how to code a workflow template for SRM -- that's what a workflow developer will be able to assist you with.

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