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When you begin to think about your SAP profession, you can begin by determining whether you want to be an SAP functional consultant or an SAP technical consultant. Sometimes, there can be some crossover between the two and preferably you will have a combination of both, but professions in SAP are about focus. Your focus is influenced by two things: the overall experience you have gained, and where you want to be headed.

SAP professionals with a functional experience in areas such as customer relationship management, supply chain management, or finance, will likely concentrate on the functional side of SAP in their consulting profession. On the technical side, there is a distinction to be taken between two main profession paths: SAP developer and SAP Netweaver Engineer, or what has generally been called the “SAP Basis consultant.” Basis integrates hands-on SAP systems administration functions.

Often, some Database Administrator know-how is integrated in the Basis skill set, though on larger SAP installations, the SAP DBA is often a separate role. While there is such a thing as a SAP Security consultant, security is often a skill set under the SAP Basis umbrella.
Business Intelligence, also known as BI, is starting to affect all SAP roles and all SAP professionals should consider developing expertise in this area.

With those divisions in mind, how do you become an SAP consultant in today’s marketplace? It’s helpful to think of SAP consulting as a combination of two important skill sets. These are SAP implementation experience and enterprise consulting knowledge. It’s sometimes difficult to acquire both these skills at the same time. In order to become an SAP consultant in today’s market, you almost always need to have SAP implementation experience under your belt. Typically, this experience is acquired while being a full-time employee. On the functional side, product configuration skills are still vital, as well as full life cycle experience throughout an operation. On the Basis side, product installation and systems optimization is the key. On the developer side, experience in customizing SAP reports, making user interface enhancements, and developing third party interfaces are needed. This type of experiences forms the core of the SAP skill set that are accumulated over the years.

If you have experience consulting in other enterprise applications and understand ERP implementation methodologies, you might be able to break into SAP from that side. The consulting side of the skills profile is not to be undervalued. It normally takes years to become a highly effective consultant. Some SAP professionals are able to acquire skills such as helping users to define their business needs, directing them through the implementation of SAP that meets their requirements, and teaching them the knowledge needed for the implementation.

What is the bottom line? How to become an SAP consultant?

Preferably, obtain hands-on SAP implementation experience on multiple projects. Bring together SAP implementation and enterprise consulting skills into one skill set. Gain experience with SAP implementation methodologies and solving client problems.
In this market, perseverance pays. If you’re having trouble landing an SAP consulting position, try to strengthen either your hands-on SAP skills or your overall consulting skills. Then try again. I rarely see people who are determined to become SAP consultants who don’t eventually break through. But sometimes you have to be resourceful finding the right break. Tutorial options are numerous and plenty of training and certification options can help you on your way.

We at FastTrack IT Academy can help you get the SAP training you need to break into today’s marketplace. Attend our Free SAP Career Orientation to know more about the market realities of SAP and SAP Consultants.