A career in SAP (Systems Applications and Products) is challenging but high paying. It's a specialized field in information technology that provides Enterprise Resource Planning solutions to companies. SAP as an ERP software is used to map business processes in material's management, production planning, purchasing, finance and costing, etc. With more companies buying SAP software and with the number of SAP customers rising, the demand for qualified SAP consultants becomes higher as well. While embarking on a career as a SAP consultant one must decide in what area one would want to specialize- functional ( SAP SD, MM, FI) or more technical (example BASIS, ABAP) on the basis of the demand present. As a SAP consultant, you can choose between three areas of activity: Business Consultancy, Solution Consultancy, and Technology Consultancy. A Business or a Sales consultant tries to win projects at customer end. A Solution consultant presents the different SAP modules and helps companies to find the right solution that matches their needs while a Technology consultant implements the system and customize the software for the company's business processes. SAP consultants should be very well-trained in the use of different SAP modules and need to be constantly working on new products and improving their old ones. SAP consultants help businesses design and implement solutions in the following areas:
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- Accounting and Cash Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Profitability analysis
- Inventory forecasting
- Production forecasting
- Insurance modeling
Salaries and Job Outlook*
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SAP Consultants play a variety of roles in an ERP project and the market for certified SAP professionals is likely to grow in future years. SAP consultants are sought-after in companies of all kinds of areas and of any size with diverse job offers and a considerable salary. They may either be employed by a consultancy wherein one could be working on varying projects and with varying clients from all over the world or be employed by a company to be an in-house consultant. Government programs also call for SAP Consultants who can flex their skills for developmental projects. Whether a full time or contractual position, if you work in the field of SAP, you enjoy the benefit of getting paid higher than any other IT specialist. A SAP Consultant earns an average salary of INR 6.0 per year. Skills, certification and the type of employer play a vital role in deciding compensation packages.
Education and Training
A SAP Certification is not an educational requirement with many employers but, most newcomers to the profession can't gain significant hands-on experience without completing a degree program or a certification course. Some of the ways to enter this profession is to join a consulting company that do lots of SAP projects, join a company as a SAP trainee or do the SAP Academy training if you can't find someone to sponsor you. Likewise one may also start collecting SAP material and notes on SAP to take you through the basics of the area you would like to specialize. SAP is always innovating and adding new functionality and consultants have to keep upgrading their knowledge.
Valued Traits & Abilities
Opportunities for SAP consultants are very high for technicians with management and client services experience. Being the most widely used ERP system in the world the future for SAP consultants is bright long into the foreseeable future. The Career paths normally are Junior/Trainee Consultant, Consultant, Sr. Consultant and Project Lead/Manager. The job titles may vary from organization to organizations however most of the skill sets and roles remain the same. Some of the various opportunities under this profession are:
With about seven years of SAP consulting experience one can become a project manager responsible for project deliverables, overall project and oversees Budget and Cost. They normally get involved in full Project life cycle from pre-sales to the closing of the project.
They are hired to identify problems and opportunities for improvement in business operations and design and implements the SAP business systems products used by today's global organizations. Sales analysis and HR analysis are among the most frequent job scope of a SAP Business Analyst.
They are responsible for the overall execution of training activities that includes developing proper SAP training material, training for the new SAP users, identifying possible problems throughout the duration of the project and providing support. He also conducts need analysis, and develops training solutions to meet identified needs and objectives of the project.