I have regularly been asked questions on, how a fresher or a junior SAP Consultant can transform himself/ herself into an Expert SAP Consultant. To answer this, I did some study and tried to chalk down my experiences around it- So sharing it all, here-
For Fresher/New SAP Consultants
The technology has a genuinely strong future. SAP consulting may search a testing market for new consultants, yet as with anything, a decided individual can break into the business sector. Instructions to end up a SAP consultant is the for the most part made inquiry by people from various stages in my expert system and more often than not from crisp graduates. I might want to highlight here some critical actualities and practices that somebody needs to consider before settling on choice to get into SAP. You canâ€™t change yourself from a fresher to a SAP Consultant overnight. It needs part of responsibility, commitment, penance, exertion, aptitude and capacity to end up a dependable SAP Consultant. Tragically, there is no alternate way to accomplish this. The key is to locate the right adjust of timing, learning, and technique.
You need to ensure youâ€™re at a point in your profession that consulting is a sensible choice. While a couple of special cases exist, having the right capabilities is a long way from an insurance that you can look for some kind of employment.
SAP handles a greater amount of its consulting business than it used to, so free consultants with senior level experience tend to score the open positions. Before, certification was sufficient to begin, yet now, it isnâ€™t so much that simple to break into consulting. It now requires a considerable measure of procedure and determination.
The best time to attempt to break into consulting is the point at which you as of now have various years of experience working with SAP technology. Hope to put in a couple of years as a full-time worker to expose yourself to SAP and build up a reputation.
Yet, exactly what amount of time do you have to put in before making the jump to consulting? That depends vigorously on the sort of work. Life span in the business breeds systems administration and contacts, expect a normal of ten years in the business just like a decent benchmark for having the capacity to break into consulting.
Regardless of whether one can soften up in one stage depends generally on the cover between his/her present abilities and SAP. Because one has great finances doesnâ€™t mean he/she can abruptly turn into a SAP consultant here. One need a transitional opportunity with an organization so as to get that exposure. Organizations are substantially more ready to open individuals to new aptitude improvement when they are permanent employees than when they are consultants.
The most imperative bit of mastery for would-be consultants is vertical aptitude and industry knowledge. Consulting firms need to have the engagement group stacked with the best thought pioneers and the individuals who know the business best, and this is imperative for independent consultants to remember too. The customer needs to feel that the consultant or firm comprehends the customerâ€™s needs and can convey them.
Narrowing in on the right zone of center can be a test for a few consultants. The applicable skills you require, rely on upon which region of SAP you are attempting to break into. What I urge individuals to do is to study, SAPâ€™s product in order to map your current skills into the product. Numerous new consultants donâ€™t perceive the attractiveness of their current skills. For instance, a few individuals with a tremendous foundation in money pursue CRM as opposed to getting their work done to decide how their abilities best sync up with SAP. Pick both a center and a front line range of SAP to concentrate on.
Anybody considering going into consulting on SAP modules truly needs a tight core interest. Organizations search for individuals who truly live the business to comprehend both sides of meeting the business needs.
Numerous individuals are of the assessment that the SAP Certification would connect this hole in any case, truth be told, it is most certainly not. SAP Certification would most likely give you a superior attractiveness, be that as it may, it doesnâ€™t make you finish SAP Consultant. Doing accreditation may build your attractiveness, anyway it doesnâ€™t promise that you will have the capacity to land your SAP position/ project rapidly.
In this way, on the off chance that you ponder whether accreditation would make it less demanding to break into consulting, donâ€™t expect supernatural occurrences. There are great motivations to consider training and accreditation, yet it doesnâ€™t have the prompt satisfaction angle that it ought to. Training allows you to start the procedure of taking in the application and making associations, however encounter, organizing and paying your dues are key.
To wind up an incredible SAP consultant is a long haul process, adapting new focuses consistently and developing a palace of learning over a period is vital to your prosperity. The way SAP is thinking of new technologies, it is constantly troublesome for the consultants to keep up that pace all through their profession. If you have an incredible listening quality, then you will dependably be interested in learning new things. Learning is a procedure of life and there is no limit to it. It is the best nature of any great quality SAP consultant. Besides, you ought to be continually willing to share the knowledge, as opposed to concealing it in your mind. Numerous SAP consultants are currently without this extraordinary quality. The more you share, your insight would be multiplied, dissimilar to money.
Read as much as you can, rehearse at whatever point you discover time and listen to what mentors are stating. Never feel you have achieved a zenith once you turn into a SAP Consultant. Getting to be SAP Consultant is not the end of story, it is the beginning of new life and new excursion.
Numerous individuals who try toward SAP consulting make a key blunder from the beginning. They comprehend that SAP rates are better than average, so they simply need to escape to that higher rate application yet truly havenâ€™t looked at where the application is going. Stay up and coming on SAPâ€™s bearing through webcasts, item overviews, and taking after the business in general. Having your finger on the SAP businessâ€™ pulse is key in your endeavors to arrange your strategy. Try not to attempt to break into where SAP is presently. Envision yourself meeting SAP further along the way as its advancing.
For the most part here are two methodologies that somebody can receive to get into SAP:
â€¢ Firstly if your organization chose to actualize SAP and give you a change to wind up some part of internal SAP team so you can work with consulting accomplice team to be acquainted with SAP and its execution technique. This is the most favored methodology for somebody anticipating make a profession in SAP in spite of the fact that keep in mind the way that you need to work hard as you will be working in SAP execution in parallel to your everyday occupation undertakings.
â€¢ Second methodology is to get training from SAP education partner and passing the SAP certification exam, however remember that it may require longer time to get an opportunity to work in your first SAP implementation. Try not to think that in the event that you are certified, then you will be the prior choice as SAP implementation required rich experience, furthermore the consulting organizations are continually anticipating to have 2-3 end to end implementation experience consultant at least. Sometimes these organizations can suit newly certified consultant as partner to bolster senior SAP consultant.
Right SAP Module
Module determination is additionally something that befuddles non-SAP folks a lot, recalling your past experience and knowledge is likewise imperative and I would not propose anybody to be wiped out of everything and get to various practice only for the sole purpose of inspiring opportunity to work in SAP. Receiving the right module will make your voyage short and less demanding, beneath are a few cases:
â€¢ If you are a charted accountant or have a degree and involvement in accounts, unquestionably SAP Financial or Controlling ought to be the best choice for you. There are numerous utilitarian zones that may suits your past experience like Human Resource, Procurement, Production Planning, Sales and Distribution and so on.
â€¢ If you are software engineer or developer, SAP ABAP ought to be your decision.
â€¢ If you have done framework administration in non-SAP platforms effectively, then SAP BASIS ought to be your choice.
FOR EXPERIENCED EMPLOYED CONSULTANTS
Nowadays everybody needs to be a SAP consultant. Therefore, potential customers have a great deal of choices on whom to contract for every SAP venture. With the excess of competition, by what method would you be able to emerge from the crowd and score the best project engagements? The keys to accomplishment as a SAP consultant are picking the right projects, situating yourself intensely, and putting the customer first while knowing your own cutoff points. Organizations unquestionably like to ensure a specific level of project accomplishment by carrying on board SAP consultants with the accompanying characteristics (in no specific order):
â€¢ In-depth industry knowledge:Â A consultant who has implementation involvement in the same or comparable industry can comprehend an organizationâ€™s business forms rapidly and instantly deliver relevant direction and address particular torment focuses.
â€¢Â Knowledge of the most recent SAPÂ technology trends: Because of the very fast speed with which SAP is presenting new products and offerings, a noteworthy achievement element for a SAP consultant is to keep finding out about applicable ranges of interest, and even investigate and execute the most recent or shrouded components of existing SAP frameworks.
â€¢Â Cross-component integration knowledge: With cross-segment useful knowledge and aptitude, a SAP consultant can rapidly recognize and direct the procedures that lie in the domain of other SAP segments. Cross-segment knowledge permits a SAP consultant to give perceptibility of end-to-end business forms.
â€¢Â Integrity: A consultant must adjust clientsâ€™ desires to offer them some assistance with understanding that SAP, being a database framework, records each transaction and movement that is then accessible for auditors to assess, with no choice to conceal the data or deceive. A consultant ought to never give workarounds that backing deceitful and misdirecting exercises.
â€¢Â Effective client management: With each new venture, SAP consultants need to adjust rapidly to the business users they will work with for the span of the project. A SAP consultant is required to assume a focal part, guaranteeing that a customerâ€™s business procedures are mapped in SAP, while in the meantime adjusting customer desires on what is, and is not, conceivable in the system. A SAP consultant likewise ought to simplify complex specialized terminology so the customer can comprehend and make imperative and auspicious business choices.
â€¢Â Good presentation,Â communication and correspondence abilities: A SAP consultant spends as much as 60% of a projectâ€™s time planning and displaying a business blueprint, leading training, and making end clientsâ€™ training documentation or adjusting authoritative change management processes.Â It is basic that a SAP consultant should have the capacity to present confidently to a wide audience, furthermore be great at clearly and completely clarifying business prerequisites.
â€¢Â Good documentationÂ skills: A SAP consultant with great project documentation abilities profits when a customer needs to review any decision made and settled upon. If not documented, early decisions can possibly make perplexity.
â€¢Â Functional and technical skills: A useful consultant who principally deals with the business and solutions mapping in SAP needs respectable technical knowledge to comprehend and convey the programming necessities to a SAP technical consultant. Essentially, a specialized consultant with better than average functional and business process knowledge can convey applicable business solutions rapidly.
â€¢Â Effective teamwork and mentorship: Teams collect for a SAP project and when the venture closes, they dismantle. In any case, a fruitful SAP project is a much more than delivering software; itâ€™s about cooperation and mentorship, where seniors and experienced colleagues develop and prep a crisp type of SAP consultants to empower them to finally lead a project all alone.
SAP consultants are relied upon to be all of the above: an expert of all trades with respect to SAP. In the meantime, they should keep figuring out how to stay on top of the SAP consulting field.
FOR EXPERIENCED INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS
The rightÂ projects
Firstly, make certain to bid on the projects that will best suit your circumstance. Clearly everybody needs profitable contracts, yet the right contracts to seek after frequently rely on upon an individualâ€™s personal financial scenario. A wide range of brokers and intermediaries get included in putting individuals on SAP projects, so the more you can locate an immediate pipeline to projects, the better your rates will be.
Some projects frequently include firms bidding directly, then different firms sustaining those organizationsâ€™ requirements, then when the work achieves the real consultant, the rates are really inauspicious. In functioning as a consultant, attempt to build connections with firms that are as close as would be prudent to the projects.
Competitive positioning and promotion
A few basic methodologies can help consultants in promotion. In bidding for a project, play up your industry associations. Flaunt your reputation by getting testimonials from potential customersâ€™ associates. At the point when customers see companions or contenders vouching for your abilities- that can be intense.
How would you be able to best position yourself competitively? Partnering with an offshore firm for transfer of coding on projects is a phenomenal methodology. In the event that thereâ€™s a service that the consultant believes will be a part of whatâ€™s expected to pull off the venture, the consultant ought to have those assets lined up before going into interest. Bring all the resources to the table with a specific end goal to demonstrate your customer your team.
Putting the client first
Customers keep on being careful about consultants over-billing them, promising the sky, and attempting to offer solutions that are past the organizationâ€™s capacity or necessities. Consultants need to scale project proposals, ROIs and RFPs suitably and not be excessively ambitious.
Consultants need to stay adaptable and be interested in an approach that is not indebted to one sort of solution or little arrangement of approaches. Indeed, even experienced consultants who think about specific things, so they actually need to go in and begin discussing them, yet itâ€™s ideal to listen first and after that attempt to adjust your experience to what the issue is.
Knowing your limits
At times not knowing the response to an issue is alright, in the event that you can go ahead to figure out what the customer needs. Try not to attempt to be all knowing. Listen and make inquiries.
There are guidelines of how the consulting diversion functions, and at times itâ€™s ideal to hold your head down and ensure youâ€™re listening to the more experienced individuals. Keep in mind that customers are technology as well as individuals, and make certain to give due consideration regarding the people and politics side of the venture.
Once you have your consulting business up and running, make certain to spend time into keeping your skills up with the latest, and dependably keep to some degree occupied. Your marketability will frequently rely on upon the most recent six months or so of your resume. Regardless of how long of experience you have, itâ€™s truly the most recent year of your experience that characterizes your prospects available. So it pays to keep focused of things.
The impact from offshore outsourcing
The ascent in offshore outsourcing has prompted a fascinating test for prospective consultants. The most encouraging region, is consulting in business procedures and functions. Consultants will discover less open door on the programming side.
Thatâ€™s not to say technical consulting isnâ€™t possible, but rather realize that software programmers confront a unique arrangement of strategic contemplation. One key strategy is to comprehend SAPâ€™s new technology architecture and the new development tools that join it.
Programmers now, must be on the forefront or just virtuoso level ability. Those consultants discovering success tend to discover it in SAP projects with knowledge transfer. Organizations are more complex about in-house staff and search for somebody that truly sees how to function with teams and to distinguish issues with customization.
Soft skills might make you somewhat more attractive, so be prepared to do group administration and training.
Looking to the future
Normally in SAP Consulting, most pay based SAP representatives can expect pay around $50-80,000 every year, and the consulting side may be more like $60-120,000, in spite of the fact that getting jobs can be dubious. On the contracting side the rates have a tendency to be around $60-100 every hour. Clearly those numbers are general and rely on upon ability and experience.
The decision is personal. In case if you want to concentrate only on your zest for implementing SAP and stay concentrated on core technical skills, you might be best off working in an employee situation or full-time for a consulting firm. But, in the event that you lean toward the opportunity and extra obligation of discovering projects, going to conferences, and settling on choices on where to go next, consulting might be the right decision for you.
FOR ALL SAP CONSULTANTS
Regardless of the way that the following are not intensive once-over to end up a good SAP Consultant, in any case, they would greatly steady in their profound established journey.
Solid Education is the colossal establishment for any information based profession. Simply turning into a graduate or turning into a MBA is not all that matters, canâ€™t be called as a decent education. Continuously extend yourself to hardest proficient courses, which will take your insight levels to another a level. Continuously strive for the new professional courses, which try things out. You ought to have an enthusiasm from the youth to have great education. Great edification does not imply that concentrating on in extraordinary B-schools. Great education dependably originates from inside of the person, that soul would push you towards adapting new abilities, subjects and advancements. Unless, you have solid slant towards learning and training, it is dependably unrealistic to end up a decent consultant. For instance, if you are a sanctioned bookkeeper or administration bookkeeper, it would dependably monstrously help you to end up a decent financial consultant.
Business Process Knowledge
Great SAP consultant ought to dependably have sound business process knowledge. What is this business process knowledge? The procedure encompassed at every business movement/item. To make it less difficult, when you are working in an association, you would see number of disordering words. For instance, credit note, debit note, receipt, bank statement, good received note, inventory control, stock taking, balance sheet, profit and loss account, trail balance, purchase returns, production, planning, forecasting, budget, cash flow statement, cost sheet, funds flow, standard cost, marginal cost, fixed cost, materials, purchases, hedging, negotiable instruments, inter-bank clearing, banking operations, petty cash, procurement, purchase order, purchase requisition and so forth. Presently the inquiry is in what manner would I be able to enhance my business process knowledge? Business procedures are dynamic and need not as a matter of fact they are same inside of the business. It might change from organization to organization. You have to see each such word in subtle element and comprehend the business process flow encompassed by it. The critical things to know is the thing that the activating point for this movement and what is are the ensuing business exercises that will be taken after. In the event that you work, on these things, over a time frame, you would get great base of business process knowledge.
Configuration Skills are the most critical abilities for any SAP Consultant. Unless, you ace here, you are not going to get the trust in any task and you will be reliant on other individuals. You ought to be ace yourself simply arranging the system, as well as requirements to comprehend the effect from end client perspective. There are number of consultants hesitant to put their hands on the console, nonetheless, expected to wind up Consultant specialists, that is never going to happen. I have watched number of consultants, they would never take the responsibility for anything on SAP system, be that as it may, sit alongside you by simply watching and talking. In the event that you are going into that mode, you are never going to be a SAP Consultant. The quantity of times you are going to arrange and take after the business process/end client reports, it would give excessive self-confidence. Hence, attempt to assemble configuration records and do as much practice as you can. Investigating the choices in system gives you enough certainty, as the investigating abilities are exceptionally required for SAP Consulting profession.
SAP Help is similar to a Bible. Each day begin perusing SAP help. The more number of times that you are understanding it would give gigantic theoretical clarity. Whatever be level of your aptitude and information in SAP, you ought to always remember perusing SAP Help. SAP Consultants who aced has burned through a large number of hours perusing this. You need numerous years perusing on regular routine and it is not a simple employment. Countless individuals think that itâ€™s hard to go through enormous amount of content frequently and religiously. At a certain point when the consultants turn out to be great in their own particular range, they have a tendency to overlook perusing this. They would allude just as and when required. In any case, as I would like to think, reading SAP Help is a practice that should be rehearsed in the event that you have to change yourself to an incredible Consultant.
SAP Community Network
Throughout the years, SAP Community Network has changed itself to a rich wellspring of SAP knowledge. SAP ought to itself feel pleased with what an extraordinary stage that they have made to unite a huge number of consultants over the globe. Points and so forth has spurred number of individuals to add to the immense extent. More than points, it is learning that is being shared through discussions, articles, online journals, recordings and so on are truly stunning. Without being a piece of SAP Community Network, I donâ€™t consider you as a SAP Consultant. You might be very proficient, nonetheless, without that being shared for the group, there is truly very little esteem. I donâ€™t think you would better platform to share your insight than this and get perceived. It is constantly worth to contribute/read the gatherings once a day. This great practice would keep yourself with great measure of information. Kindly donâ€™t just make inquiries, attempt to share/answer whatever you can. There are number of individuals just have a tendency to make inquiries, yet never tend to give answers. This is a terrible practice, life is to share and offer assistance. Simply making inquiries would make you no place.
Service Market Place
There is no better spot than Service Market Place for SAP Consultants. It is truly disappointing to know that there are numerous certified consultants who donâ€™t know where to login and how to login to this extraordinary resource. I comprehend you need the logon accreditations to get to this, in the event that you donâ€™t have one, please ask your SAP Basis administrators. In case that you are already certified, please ask SAP Education/Help Desk, they would give youâ€™re the credentials. There is not only one sort of document. For everything, you would be requested to refer a specific SAP Note, without having access to this, you could never know what the Note says. This is not only to refer notes, when you have to raise OSS (Online SAP Support) notes for your clients. It is not simply constrained to these things, it has everything. I canâ€™t envision a SAP consultant without having entry to this extraordinary spot.
SAP Best Practices Building Blocks
Being new to the Consultant world, individuals have a tendency to configure the system and test user client transactions how it functions. In any case, there is no thought where to begin and how to incorporate between different modules. SAP Best Practices Building blocks would give extreme confidence to the consultant, as they give the point by point configuration documents, business process archives and situation outlines and so forth. The following link would be useful. There are diverse versions of it. It contains guides crosswise over industry/nation. On the off chance that you have issue in getting to the associated link, use Internet Explorer (IE) as opposed to google chrome browser. If you configure different situations in your demo system and test according to the business process archives, then your confidence levels will be gigantically expanded.
21st Century has begun with Professional Networking/Social Network. You canâ€™t envision anyone without having LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook. You generally need to keep up the system and develop them over a period. Being proficient is half of your assignment, while keeping up proficient network is the other half. Both are similar to two sides of the same coin. LinkedIn the best proficient network site, everyone ought to have one and stay up with the latest. You profile is the preview of your aptitudes, education and accomplishments and so on. When you give a personâ€™s name, individuals tend to look in LinkedIn. In the event that you donâ€™t have LinkedIn account, then they would think it is possible that you are fake or you donâ€™t exist. It is truly horrendous to work in a professional association and donâ€™t have an updated LinkedIn account. By and by, if I canâ€™t see an individual in LinkedIn, I without a doubt trust, that individual is a fake. Subsequently, please redesign your LinkedIn profile, have great professional network and attempt to get recommendations from others.
There are number of individuals who are exceptionally hesitant to share their insight. You may be perceived when you impart your knowledge to your customers, partners and the society around you. If you donâ€™t share your knowledge, the information inside you will be rusted over a time frame. Along these lines, constantly figure out how to learn new things at the same go for an additional mile to impart the learning to others. I have been adversely reprimanded by some of my friends/partners for writing blogs. At the point when the entire world is composing blogs, why wouldnâ€™t we? I may not be master in writing blogs, but if anyone is being persuaded with my blog, the very motivation behind my undertaking is accomplished. It is not required to have incredible measure of knowledge to share, however you ought to have great heart. If you simply work for yourself, gain yourself and educate yourself, then you would never get a character on the planet. Uproot each obstruction around you and begin utilizing your fullest potential to share the knowledge you have.
Last, however not the minimum is Communication Skills. 90% of achievement to your profession is subject to your communications. Try not to underestimate the force of communication abilities in your vocation. It is not that everyone would have great measure of communication skills. Everything relies on upon the common abilities, environment you grown up, the education you have embraced and so on. If you believe you donâ€™t have them, then attempt to create over a time frame. Communication Skills are not simply talking in English, being a SAP Consultant you ought to dependably figure out how to talk both in Business Language and Technical Language. When you go to client places, it is constantly anticipated that you will converse in business language. At the same you ought to likewise have great command on the technical capacities when you are conveying on to other consultants. No one is flawless in this world, continue driving yourself to fill the gaps here.
About the Author
A Senior SAP Architect, Freelance Bidder & Corporate SAP Trainer. Mail Id-Â email@example.com