With the success of SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI), the shortage of knowledgeable professionals becomes critical. This happens not only at customers, but also at consulting firms. So what credentials should a successful consultant or power user possess, or what should you look for when you plan to hire a person to take on this challenge?
This person can no longer be categorized as a traditional ABAPer (ABAP programming) or System guy (system installation and tuning) or Application gal (MM, SD, HR) as we saw in R/3 world. He or she should be a hybrid person with a strong desire to learn new things. From my observation, the following knowledge is a must in no particular order:
- Internet standards, such as XML, Web Services, HTTP, EDIINT, etc.
- SAP application basics, such as RFC, Idoc, Web AS, etc.
- Basic knowledge of the systems you intend to integrate
- Business processes
- Adapter framework
- Openness to new technologies
In addition, the following knowledge is helpful in no particular order:
- Java programming
- ABAP programming
- XML editing
- System/basis knowledge of SAP products, such as J2EE Engine, Java software deployment
- Business process management
- Dare to ask questions at SDN or ASUG discussion groups
In many cases, you need to build your knowledge base through training and hands-on practice. SAP Education is delivering a strong curriculum to help you building this expertise, with a combination of both self-study and classroom lecture. Also, shadowing under an experienced SAP XI consultant can really speed up this process. Last, getting a SAP XI certification is a golden key to open the door of SAP XI World.