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SAP pros need certification to keep in step with business change

If you hope to move beyond maintenance and into strategic applications, SAP certification goes a long way.

SAP professionals who spend every day working in the guts of the software may find it difficult to see the benefits of SAP certification. What more could you learn beyond your hands-on expertise? But if you hope to move beyond maintenance and into strategic applications, SAP certification goes a long way.

"Working with SAP every day, you have two perspectives on certification," explains David Boulanger, director of the SAP service at AMR Research,Inc. in Boston. "One is where you need to maintain what's already in existence, in which case certification is nice but not essential." This is because each day, you work with the same modules and configurations, he says.

The other view makes certification far more critical, however. "Say you're in one of the many companies today that needs to get into multiple channels of distribution, or needs to shorten its supply chain to give its partners increased supply chain visibility," Boulanger explains. "In that scenario, you are no longer in a maintenance position, you're in the position of guiding the change. That's where certification becomes essential, because in critical changes like that, you need to know exactly how that application will work. When your business environment changes, you need to respond quickly, and SAP certification is one way to stay on top of it."

Cummings is a freelance writer in North Andover, MA. She can be reached at jocummings@mediaone.net.

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