Many companies are choosing to use ASPs to implement SAP--rather than undertake the initiative themselves. This translates into good opportunities for SAP pros. "SAP is a mature product and lends itself to the ASP marketplace," says Oisin O'Crowley, senior manager of application services at the ASP Corio.
The ASP movement has had positive effects on the world of SAP professionals, says Kevin Kettler, SAP product manager for the ASP Agilera. The nature of the ASP model is to centralize technical and functional knowledge, plus investment in physical infrastructure--and this centralization creates a hub where SAP professionals come together for a more rewarding experience.
"In contrast to the historical, decentralized model of physically displacing consultants to each client serially, this model creates a variety of upsides for the consultants," says Kettler. The benefits include spending more time in the office and less time on the road; the ability to leverage training and skills across many customers; and more stability in ongoing support roles, since the ASP is less reliant on one customer's success.
O'Crowley suggests that ASP hopefuls have experience with multiple installations; newer tool sets like MySAP.com; SAP Markets; and business warehouse and APO modules.
Besides these skills, the SAP pro looking to break into an ASP needs a customer-centric attitude. "ASPs are built on long-term relationships with clients," says Kettler. "These relationships need to be mutually beneficial for the customer to continue to believe in the value of its ASP."
-- Linda Formichelli * www.twowriters.net
Writing appearing this year in Woman's Day, Wired, Writer's Digest, Family Circle, Psychology Today