Different Ways for Career shift to SAP: SAP Training for pre selected Candidates

Different Ways for Career shift to SAP: SAP Training for pre selected Candidates

“How can I get into SAP?”

This is a common question asked by most of the people who want to move to ERP/SAP career from their non SAP career. As discussed in earlier posts, it depends on your professional qualification, your domain/technical experience, Soft skills, your training in particular area and the most important is the Opportunity you get for this career move..

In my earlier notes, I have discussed different ways people have followed to enter SAP Career.

One of the ways which some people have followed is getting trained for a pre selected employer.

This model is  beneficial for the candidate as well as the “would be employer”.

This has been followed by many SAP Consulting organisations which require no. of  SAP consultants in a particular domain area. This is mostly called as “Train & Hire model” and the methodology is as follows:

 

  • The prospective Employer identifies the SAP Skill Resources requirement for a Functional/Technical area.
  • The Employer either plans to conduct Training themselves OR Collaborates with an SAP Authorised Training Centre.
  • There is normally a pre screening of Candidates for suitability as SAP Consultants which is done by the Employer. This Pre selection of candidates is based on professional qualification, your domain/technical experience, Soft skills, and suitability to work as Consultant etc. etc….
  • The Candidates have to complete the Authorised SAP Training followed by SAP Certification. Depending upon the Organisation, Training Academy the Training Cost is partially/Fully paid by Candidate.
  • Most of the Employers in above model, do give a Conditional Offer Letter for employment before start of the training. This is applicable only after completing SAP Training & Certification. This will vary from Company to company.
  • Normally there will be a final selection process after completing SAP Training & Certification.
  • Once you join the Employer, the normal induction process is followed just like any lateral recruit. and your Career Change to SAP is complete.

There is a possibility of undertaking to serve the Employer for a minimum period and many organisations do insist for it.

The above path will give an opportunity to move into SAP and is one of the most suitable for a Career change.

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IT firms like SAP, Oracle helped Bharatiya Janata Party mount successful election campaign

IT firms like SAP, Oracle helped Bharatiya Janata Party mount successful election campaign

By Satish John & Varun Sood, ET Bureau | 18 Jun, 2014, 06.20AM IST

BANGALORE/MUMBAI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) found an invisible hand in technology even as Narendra Modi spearheaded the campaign to help the right-wing party win a historic mandate in the just concluded federal elections.

BJP engaged global information technology firms, including SAP and Oracle for keeping up with real time analysis on social media and partnered InMobi under which the Indian start-up “carpet bombed” the mobile users with profiles of the party candidates. German software firm SAP enabled the BJP social media team to stay digitally connected through multiple social networking platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

An internal email from Mathew Thomas, vice-president Strategic Industries, SAP Indian Sub-continent, congratulated the SAP Labs team members in India, saying: “SAP India helped BJP with the Social Media Analytics division helping the party successfully win and complete their “mission 272+” vision in the just completed federal elections in India”.

Read more at:

SAP Consulting Career Path

There is always an anxiety about Career path in SAP Consulting and its more true for those who are switching Career to SAP.I always come across a question about Career Progress path in SAP Consulting.

Let us understand the different roles available in a typical SAP Consulting organization. The three broad streams normally available are Consulting, Technical and Project Management/Program Management…One can continue in the first two to become Expert in the area chosen or after a good experience move into third with additional skills..

The Career Paths normally are Junior/Trainee Consultant, Consultant, Sr. Consultant, Project Lead/Manager, Program Manager/Principal, Practice Head/Director…The titles may vary from organizations to organizations but roles will be similar..Many companies call these as K1, K2…..K6 level Consulting and the Billing rates are normally linked to this level.

Let us see briefly the different roles in SAP Consulting:

Project Trainee: Many companies recruit Project Trainee for student’s college Project term. The students are working on internships for a defined period with consulting team and are given a defined work assignment.

Junior/Trainee Consultant: This is an entry-level for aspiring Consultant/Technical team member who has no previous experience.. Most of the companies recruit Technical team members in this category and give them Technical training and provide opportunity to work under Senior team members. These are typically ABAP Developers, Basis persons..Normally it takes 2 to 3 years to move to a Technical Consultant position for these Junior Consultants.

Consultants: Consultants are the key team members on Project Team for deliverables. Functional Consultants are normally having a 3 to 5 years of Domain/Business Process knowledge experience in their area. This is followed by formal training in SAP in the relevant module and SAP Certification. The Consultant will be working as a team member under the guidance of Senior Consultants.

Senior Consultants: Senior Consultants normally have 3 to 7 years of SAP Consulting experience. A Senior Consultant is responsible for a functional area in the project and generally manages project sub teams for his/her area. There is a larger role of Client interaction for these people and some time they may be managing a small project.

On the Technical side, Senior Consultants normally will be managing a Development Team and will be responsible for defined Technical deliverables.

For detail of role of a SAP Functional Consultant pl. see my earlier post here  http://wp.me/p2uGi4-1l

Project Lead/Manager : Manager normally will have at least 7/8 years of SAP Consulting experience. They are leading Project Teams which may consist of Functional and/or Technical team. Manager will be responsible for Project deliverable and is Consulting companies face to Client. Project Lead/Manager is responsible for overall project and oversees Budget, Cost, Deliverables. They are expected to be knowledgable about SAP project management methodology.

Program Manager/Principal: Program Manager leads a large Project or oversees multiple project engagements. Program Manager normally gets involved in full Project life cycle consisting of Pre Sales to closing of Project.

There are Functional/Technical Consultants who do not get into project/man management and pursue a Career Path in their area of expertise. They are the Experts in that area and are typically guiding multiple projects. Such very Senior Consultants are designated in many Consulting companies as Principal Consultants.

Practice Head/Director: Practice Head is overall In-charge of SAP Consulting practice and is responsible for overall Budgets and growth of the practice. In small consulting organizations he/she may be CEO of the organization.

There are many roles & responsibility definitions for the above roles, but with above, one should be able to understand the SAP Career Progress chart available. One need to plan and review the Career Plan & progress on continuous basis.

 

 

Your CV/LinkedIn Profile is your ‘Brand’

Other day, I was interviewing an aspiring SAP Consultant. She was SAP Certified but without any SAP Project experience. Her earlier functional experience was very good and her communications skills were also good. We were somehow getting a feeling that she has a bit of casual attitude. The interview panel had shortlisted her. The only thing which the panel found not up to the mark was her CV. The feedback was given to her and then we just looked at her LinkedIn profile. It was just giving name, college name, qualification and the name of company where she was working prior to SAP training…

HR representative promptly raised a question – Do you think we can present this candidate as SAP Consultant who cannot prepare a professional CV or maintain own LinkedIn profile?

In a second incident, I got an email about SAP Career guidance and the candidate gave a very brief professional background. I just thought about checking his profile on LinkedIn for more details and was surprised. His LinkedIn profile was briefer than what he had written to me in email!!

Your profile is your ‘brand’ and do take efforts to make it up-to-date and professional. I am again repeating below my earlier write-up on how to keep your LinkedIn profile updated

Keep your LinkedIn Profile Updated

In today’s world your presence on FB, LinkedIn, Google is used by many to understand you as a person, as a professional. Professional profile on LinkedIn is referred by Recruiters, HR Managers, and your colleagues/Superiors.

In spite of knowing the above facts, many people do not update & maintain their profiles correctly and in turn loose some of the opportunities..Somebody who is looking for a job, prepares his/her CV taking lot of efforts but many times ignores LinkedIn profile. Here is a simple way to ensure that your CV & LinkedIn profile are in sync and are updated.

  1. Keep your latest CV for reference with you.
  2. Once you have logged in on LinkedIn, go to Profile..
  3. Click on Drop down Arrow next to EDIT and click on “Export to PDF”
  4. This will generate a .pdf file with your name as file name..This contains your profile title, Summary, Specialities, Experience, Skills & Expertise, Education etc….In fact its your CV.
  5. Save the file on hard disk.. This also works as your back up for your LinkedIn profile.
  6. Do a cross check and ensure to update any missing details on LinkedIn profile..

 

From System R to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

When SAP was founded in 1972 nobody would have known what cloud-computing would mean. One might have guessed it was related to space travel, as mankind had been visiting the moon for some years with huge rockets.

Since its beginnings SAP has helped businesses run better through world-class software solutions that solve complex problems to help invent, commercialize, and mainstream the products and services of the global economy. Today SAP is the world’s largest provider of business software. As a result of customer-inspired innovation SAP’s portfolio of solutions is currently used by more than 248,000 of the world’s best-run businesses, touches more than 74% of the world’s financial transaction revenue, and impacts more than 500 million people.

In 1972 nobody would have imagined to which extent computers would affect the lives of most people four decades later. Estimates at that time predicted only some hundred computers worldwide to exist in future. The understanding was that only large companies and governments would be able to afford such costly technology.

Today we know it turned out otherwise and since its beginnings SAP stood to benefit from the technological advance in computer science.

Real-time and Standardization

The first programs that were written from 1972 onwards emphasized the aspect of real-time. “System R” used data entry via screen and keyboard rather than punch-cards. Thus data was immediately available to support business processes and their evaluation.

The aspect of real-time was kept in focus since then whenever new software was developed by SAP.

“System R,” later called R/1, was developed on customer-owned hardware, but thanks to the ongoing miniaturization of computers the quickly growing company SAP could soon invest in its first own hardware. The next evolution of real-time software, the mainframe software SAP R/2, became a huge success during the 1980s. It supported not only instant availability of data but provided an integrated view of all relevant business areas.

A second important attribute of SAP’s software is standardization. Standard software addresses many customers’ needs with a basically identically coding using a standard set of customizing options. This has many benefits: software development can be streamlined, upgrades can be better planned, customer support can be more efficient and it facilitates forming a stable network of partners.

Evolution

Keeping the core features of real-time and standardization SAP profited from the newly emerged personal computers and invented a client-server version of its established SAP R/2: SAP R/3 which was released in 1992 and became not only an even bigger success but an industry standard in its own.

SAP enhanced SAP R/3 with various standard industry variations and closely attached additional software packages until SAP R/3 was incorporated in the SAP ERP Business Suite in 2004.

With real-time enabled standard software SAP was also entering the next steps in software evolution: mobile, big data and cloud.

  • Big data requires efficient ways to deal with data volumes, SAP’s answer to this is its home bred in-memory computing: SAP HANA. SAP HANA will become an integral part of SAP ERP.
  • For the cloud market SAP developed a comprehensive portfolio of various line-of-business solutions and a cloud-ERP (Business ByDesign) and acquired important cloud-players like SuccessFactors and Ariba.

Revolution

“HANA redefines the market for enterprise software – it’s only logical to take it to the cloud,”

said Hasso Plattner during the announcement of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) in May 2013. The goal is combining the power of real time with the simplicity of the cloud while leveraging SAP’s 40 years of application experience with mission critical data centers. HEC will make in-memory computing quickly available for a large customer base in a managed cloud environment that includes a wide range of flexible options.

READ MORE DETAILS AT

http://www.sapdatacenter.com/article/cloud_sap/

 

Time Line- From System R to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

Many aspiring SAP Consultants do not know how SAP as a company has developed its ERP software.

Here is a brief summary:

1972 – 1980

The first software of SAP, System R, later called R/1 sets the standards: Real-time and standardization. Software that processes data when customers ask it to.
1981 – 1991
Launched in 1981, the new mainframe software, SAP R/2, integrates business functions.
1992 – 2003
The era of SAP R/3. Real-time reaches the desktop with the client-server version of the standard application software.
2004 – 2010
Real-Time anywhere and anytime: the SAP ERP Suite is launched and real-time moves to the Web and beyond: cloud and mobile, open up new horizons.
2011 – Today
SAP HANA re-defines the meaning of real-time for big data and becomes the basis for all SAP products.
The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is announced in May 2013.

SAP Company Information…

SAP at a glance: company information

SAP is the world leader in enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service revenue. Based on market capitalization, we are the world’s third largest independent software manufacturer. Browse company facts and information below.

  • More than 251,000 customers in 188 countries
  • More than 66,000 employees – and locations in more than130 countries
  • A 41-year history of innovation and growth as a true industry leader
  • Annual revenue (IFRS) of € 16,22 billion
  • Listed under the symbol “SAP” on stock exchanges, including the Frankfurt Exchange and NYSE

http://global.sap.com/corporate-en/our-company/index.epx

I am having experience in Testing in an IT Company & want to shift to SAP Career..

Recently I have met lot of people who are working as Test Engineer/Testing Manager in IT companies and who are looking for a shift in career to SAP. Most of them are not aware about what is Testing Career in SAP consulting and they assume a role similar to their existing one to be available in SAP.

One thing which was common in most of the interaction was related to the role they will have to play/available to them in SAP consulting.

I always suggest them to first understand the following before deciding on SAP Career shift :

  • What is an SAP Project.. whether it is implementation, support, upgrade etc…
  • What is the role of Functional,Technical (ABAP,Basis…)Consultant in SAP project
  • Then try to understand what is a typical Testing job available in SAP.

There is no role as a General Tester in SAP project , but it will be always a testing role for a particular module. It can also be a testing role for ABAP, Authorization control testing, Performance Testing etc…Thus the pre-requisite will be always the knowledge about that module, technical area.

Let us take an example of a requirement for SAP SD Testing job:

Minimum xx to xx years of Testing experience in Order to Cash Process of SD

Strong functional knowledge of SAP SD processes

Working knowledge of SD is preferred

….

Strong knowledge of Testing Process, Testing Tools and Quality Policy/Processes

OR see another senior level HCM Testing job requirements:

QA Lead – IT(SAP HR/HCM )

  • testing experience on SAP HR/HCM (PA, OM, PT & PY).

  • testing experience on interfacing applications like SuccessFactors, Kronos & Taleo.

  • experience in test plan, test execution strategy, status reports

  • Strong understanding of project management or software development life-cycle methodologies (ASAP, Waterfall & Agile).

  • Excellent knowledge of HP Quality Center test management tool and the structure of test artifacts (test cases, scripts, results and defects) within the tool.

It is very essential that, they first have to get into one of the SAP module or Technical area and then specialize in SAP Testing .

The module or Technical area to be decided based on individual qualification, experience & liking etc….(Pl. Refer to my earlier posts)

I am having experience in Project Planning, Purchasing & Production. Which SAP module should I select for training?

I met an aspiring SAP Consultant who was having total 7 years of experience in manufacturing industry in various functions. Let us call him Rajesh. He had started working with the company as Trainee Engineer and has worked in Production department initially before moving to Purchasing function. Subsequently he changed the job and got an opportunity to work in a multinational company. His job profile in this new company was Project planning & execution for setting up the new manufacturing plant.

He had made up his mind to move to SAP Consulting after doing a detail evaluation. He was not clear how to choose a particular SAP module for his training & career change. He has met couple of training centres for SAP training and each of them advised a different module- either PP or MM or PS.

Let us look at the key points Rajesh must consider while choosing a SAP Module:

  • Good Qualification: Rajesh is an Engineering Graduate from a reputed college/university and got his first job thru’ campus placement.
  • Considering his professional experience, he has to be in Logistics/SCM area and he can use his functional experience to the best level in this area while working in SAP. The domain experience in your chosen SAP Module provides you to understand SAP in a much better way. The preferred experience level is about 3 to 4 years & Rajesh has varied experience covering Production, Purchasing & Project Planning.
  • The experience level mentioned above has provided Rajesh with good understanding of day to day function in manufacturing and Project planning & execution. Rajesh has spent first 3 years in Production + Purchase function and subsequently has spent about 4 years in Projects function. The initial period gave him good manufacturing exposure and it has been used during the Projects planning & execution period to set up manufacturing plant. He can get into MM/PP/PS very easily based on his experience.
  • As part of Projects function, Rajesh was using MS Project for all planning & monitoring of execution activities. He has now a reasonably good exposure to Finance, Costing for his Project function.
  • Good exposure about various systems used for reporting in manufacturing and/or Projects..
  • Rajesh has above average Computer proficiency-.A very good hands on in MS Office, Projects..
  • Very Good Soft Skills.. One of the areas where many aspiring SAP Consultants lack is the Soft Skills area. As Rajesh has to communicate with people at all level, he has developed good written, verbal communications. He is also having an excellent proficiency level in preparing & making presentations.
  • Awareness about systems in general and ERP in particular. The company where he worked initially was using a home grown ERP system & Rajesh was using it..
  • Rajesh finds the Project Planning & execution function much challenging and he has become passionate about it.
  • The demand for SAP functional consultants in the areas of his interest was analysed using few job portals. This is not the most important decision factor but input about it is required.
  • After analysing & putting down the above key points, Rajesh himself was convinced that he should get into Project System module of SAP.
  • With most of the above requirements fulfilled, Rajesh will require a good SAP training, Certification and hands on project experience which will put him into SAP consulting..

I have just completed my SAP Training.. What should I write in my Resume?

Good demand for SAP consultants motivates many people to get into SAP and complete SAP training in a particular module.

Once they complete their training & start looking for a job in SAP area, many of them face a dilemma about writing their resume. Most of them are confused about how to project their profile for SAP consulting role.

The normal question asked is, what should I write in resume for SAP related role?

( I am assuming a candidate who has Functional/domain experience & has completed SAP training & Certification)

Always remember that, your resume has to give you an opportunity for an interview..Then during the interview, you have to show your competency in your functional area & your SAP knowledge. Also see http://suhasagashe.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-is-the-typical-role-of-sap-functional-consultant/ for understanding the SAP Consultant Role & prepare for your interview.

The Resume format can be chosen by individual, as per his/her choice but MUST cover the following:

Profile Summary:

  • Your Name, Email & phone contacts

  • Profile Summary which highlights your Domain Experience prior to SAP training, SAP training & Certification done , & your SAP project experience.

  • Your basic & professional Qualifications., Certifications Completed.

Details:

  • Start the detail of your Resume with your experience in SAP area.. (if any). If you have worked on a SAP project as Trainee, give details about it & your role in it. If as part of your training, you have done a Project, do mention it with details. You may be strong or having in-depth working in a particular sub module, do highlight that so as to get more discussion on it during interview..

  • SAP Training completed : Give details about Institute from where you have completed SAP training & the status of Institute. It is always advisable to complete the training from SAP authorized training institutes. You can get the list on SAP’s official website.

  • Anybody who wants to move into a particular SAP Module/consulting must have working experience in that area. The domain experience in your chosen SAP Module provides you to understand SAP in a much better way & is valued by organizations. .Please highlight your Domain experience and the areas in which you have worked before SAP training.

  • If you have some exposure in supporting and/or using any ERP systems, do mention those details.

  • Many people are involved in ERP deployment,testing or working as actual user for their daily functions. This gives them good exposure to ERP systems which is very beneficial while working in SAP area. Awareness about systems in general and ERP in particular will be helpful. e.g.those of you who plan to get into SAP HR payroll, TM, must be knowing the existing systems thoroughly & you must mention this.

  • If you have any exposure to understanding of Codification Schemas followed in your function/systems.

  • Your Computer proficiency-.A very good hands on in MS Office helps..

  • Soft Skills & any special Language proficiency .

    One of the areas where many aspiring SAP Consultants lack is the Soft Skills area. You will have to communicate with people at all levels and that will cover written, verbal and many presentations…..If you were involved in pre-sales, presentations etc. do mention it.

  • The other common personal details such as address, age,…..etc. Etc.

I will also suggest, not to wait till you complete your Training & Certifications. Start preparing your resume when you are nearing your training.. Also browse thru’ job portals of reputed Consulting companies giving profile requirements for Junior SAP Consultants…This helps in modeling your resume.

 

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