It was very joyful November of winter because I had cleared my SAP certification exam. Now I was carrying most valuable tag in SAP world that is “SAP Certified Professional”. I was very happy & in a good mood that my profile is backed my global brand in ERP market which carry lot of brand equity. I have started to search for a good job opportunity. As a standard practice, I had uploaded my CV to all leading job portals. As a result of that I started to receive lot of calls from consultancies as well as direct companies.
But every time I picked up call, the first question would be like
1) Do you have any end-to-end implementations experience?
2) How many end-to-end implementations you did in your SAP career?
3) We are looking for a guy who have at least experience of end-to-end experience hence do you have?
I got amazed. After listening to so many HR guys, my mind crowded with few Questions:
1) Why these white collared HR guys are asking for implementation experience?
2) What so special in implementations experience?
3) Why it’s preferred over support experience?
4) What is the differentiating factor?
But at that time my all questions was answerless. I was not able to find a single guy who can resolve my queries with a logical & rational answer. But after joining SAP consulting partner, I approached several senior guys like project manager & engagement manager with my questions in my mind. Several senior managers tried to answer it honestly also. At that time I got the fundamental idea or you can say basic level of answers.
But now at this stage I am a person who is having SAP experience in end-to-end implementations, support & roll out also, I am able to figure out why this implementation experience matters the most.
I feel, this thoughtful analysis of the questions mentioned above will definitely help thousands of SAP professional who are trying hard to grow in their SAP career. And again the best way to reach thousand of SAP professions, there is no better way other than SCN.
I say SCN -- A sacred place for knowledge sharing.
I decided to divide my thoughtful analysis into 6 major rational & logical reasons to Why implementation experience is HOT CAKE in SAP job market?. Hence friends here we go for the answers that I found out over the period of two years.
Client Interaction – This is the best & most sought after skill, you will accumulate at client location at the time of implementation. Today employers look for consultants who is having good client facing skills & who knows how to calm an irritated customer through proper dialogue. These skills can be developed can only developed through more & more client interactions & which you will get in an implementation project.
Scope for creativity & innovation -- Consider a scenario where an architect has two choices. First one to build mega project like township on an open plot whereas second choice is to modify existing township.
The architect will be happy to go with first one i.e. to build township on open plot because he will get more scope for creativity & innovation. Moreover he can apply his logic to address client’s requirement. The same case with implementation also in green field implementation you will get ample opportunity to apply innovative solution to meet client requirement. When you do this kind of activity, it’s a powerful exercise to your brain & thinking capacity.
Business process understanding – In the process of SAP implementation, you do not just go at client site & carry out SPRO activities. Before configuration, you study their business process in detail; understand exactly how they run their business & what are the exact client requirement? At that point a functional consultant enhances his knowledge of business processes. Moreover if u implemented SAP in different verticals & horizontals, simply you are building your knowledge base in multiple dimensions. Today industry do not needs only SPRO experts, they need business consultants who can provide business solutions.
Exceptional skills – There is more probability that few of the exceptional skills mentioned below you can learn in implementation at faster space. These skills are unique & mostsought after in SAP job market:
Data Upload through BDC & LSMW
SAP interface with client’s software through EDI & ALE
Smart form layout design
Opportunities to interact with senior officials – At client site, we interact with so many top officials like GM’s, DGM’s & Vice-presidents. Consciously or subconsciously we learn so many things from these kinds of experiences. When we hear them at functions like project kick-off ceremony, we understand exactly what they are expecting from us. I feel this is the best opportunity to enrich ourselves with their experiences.
Time – This is the last but most vital point I am mentioning here. Whatever you will learn in support or other assignments say 12 months, you will learn that many things 6 - 8 months. Many will be disagreeing with this but my experience taught me this thing. Implementation is the best way to learn maximum number of things in short span of time.
Caution for fake – For the guys who do not have any implementation experience, but they are showing implementation experience on their CV for the sake of getting good job offer, I would like to advise them all. Please don’t do that. If you are feeling, only by studying any business blueprint, you can match the skills of the guy who did implementation, you are living in myth. Within 3 to 4 questions, interviewer will be able to trace genuineness of your claim. So please stay away from fake claims in your CV.
I would like to urge all SAP professional, if you get an opportunity for implementation, grab it & make the most of it & add value to your SAP career. It would turn out to be stepping stone in your SAP career.
At the end, I hope my blog proves to be useful for all SAP professionals. I would love to see your feedback on this blog. Do not forget to write me. If you like this blog & feels that this blog might be useful in any way, please do not forget to hit stars (rating) & like button.
May God Bless All of You & All The best for your future.