Look around an SAP training course these days, and you'll see more than implementation teams from SAP customer corporations--you'll also see a lot of lone consultants. "Recently we put together some facts and figures regarding who our top ten customers are," says Paul Sullivan, Boston training manager for SAP. "We had a category called 'independents'--people who registered for classes who did not work for any particular company--and these represented the second or third largest contingency for training. This is a large group of people we have who are paying for the education on their own." Sullivan theorizes that the proliferation of SAP, with more than 35,000 licensed customers, is what's been causing lone consultants to flock to their education program.
In response, SAP changed the name of their education program from the "Partner Academy" to the "Solution Academy," and they no longer restrict the classes to partners. The Solution Academy runs classes plus exams to certify consultants. Classes take place in various cities in the U.S. and Canada and cover everything from CRM fundamentals to mySAP Interface Development.
Most lone consultants, Sullivan says, are seeking certification. Also popular are courses in mySAP.com products, CRM, supply chain management, and SAP's Business Information Warehouse.
So how can you take part? You can find a schedule of courses at www.sap.com/usa/education. And be sure to check out the SAP Preferred Card on this page, which can help you save time and money when registering for classes.