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Skills Certifications Are a Hot Topic in the SAP Ecosystem

SAP skills certification has been an increasingly hot topic among many community members broadly.  It has been discussed and debated among the elite SAP Mentor Initiative, it has been blogged by prominent SAP-watchers in our broader ecosystem such as Should you be certified? (note his blog on certification with 63 comments!) and Jon Reed (who dedicates a significant focus of his consulting and blogging practice to SAP skills and careers) and others, it is an area of intense beginning-of-the-year planning with our partners (especially Systems Integrators, who have small armies of people in customer-facing roles and whose skills are always evolving), was highlighted by Zia Yusuf (EVP of SAP’s Global Ecosystem) in our annual Partner Kick-Off Meeting (PKOM) in January (and the related conversation was picked-up on twitter), emphasized by our co-CEO Leo Apotheker at the Business Suite 7 launch earlier this month, and is a major initiative touching many parts of SAP this year. 

Additional evidence is equally strong:

  • An IDC whitepaper called “Skill and Certification: Key to Achieving Technology Vision” says, “Teams with certified architects and developers deliver projects on specification, on time, and on budget more often than other teams.”  This sounds to me like something customers need to consider strongly.

  • Traffic to the main certification pages on SAP.com shows tens-of-thousands of unique visitors per month. 

  • Traffic to our own eLearning area and related eLearning items in the SAP Community Network exceeded one million pages viewed last month! 

  • Our SAP Certification has more than 1,000 discussion threads and more than 4,000 messages…

You might ask: “Why is this topic of individual professional skills certification such a big deal, and why now?”

Market Factors

Customers want faster, more predictable ROI, and high quality is a component of that return.  So, while SAP and its partners can produce fantastic software, if implementations are not done properly, then that return on investment – and years-long Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) throughout the lifecycle of an SAP system landscape – is compromised by delays or cost over-runs or the new system being sub-optimized. 

Meanwhile, SAP’s incredible market growth over the past years (current economy notwithstanding) has driven-up the market demand for highly skilled SAP experts, but that has put a strain on the supply of qualified, experienced people who can configure, install, customize, and optimize SAP and related partner solutions.  In fact, at this time last year a skills shortage of as many as 30,000 people was being predicted for the years ahead.  Now, the slowing global economy has alleviated or at least delayed this a bit, as has the fact that more than 27,000 people were SAP-certified last year (2008).  But still, there remain huge opportunities for skilled, certified experts on SAP solutions today, and that is expected to be the case well into the foreseeable future. 

In a recent article in SearchSAP, consultant / blogger / analyst and SAP Mentor Jon Reed says the need is greatest for “a combination of Basis, security, and governance / risk / compliance (GRC), plus some functional knowledge of SAP FI.”  In that same SearchSAP article, Justin Burmeister, a Basis consultant with more than 11 years of SAP experience, said that the many SAP skills in demand right now include SOA/ESR, BPM, WebDynpro, J2EE development, XI/PI, BI, NetWeaver, and J2EE administration.  I would add to those lists the full SAP BusinessObjects (a.k.a. “BI”) portfolio of business intelligence tools and apps – they are a fast-growth area for SAP (especially in the ’09 economic environment), and they are critical to customers in the short-term as they seek greater insight into potential efficiencies and opportunities in their business operations during challenging economic times. 

Speaking of the economy – and since we are a very global community – it’s also worthwhile noting that some geographies and countries are hit less-hard than others right now.  So, if you’re in one of those countries – maybe in the Middle East or Latin America or parts of Asia – or if you’re in an industry that is more immune to the downturn – the hot market for SAP experts may still be just as strong as ever.  Location matters (you will likely find an advantage being where the SAP customers – potential employers – are, and you will probably have an advantage if you have experience in the customer’s industry – since every industry has its own laws, norms, process, and other unique attributes – on top of your specific SAP expertise, as evidenced by your official certification. 

It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Certification Program

Although too few people are aware of it, the SAP skills certification program has undergone a comprehensive revamp in recent months.  It’s much broader than the one you might think you know, and it’s deeper, with multiple levels to reflect degrees of expertise. 

SAP Certifications now have three levels – Associate, Professional, and Master – which help address the question of how to distinguish more seasoned, senior consultants when such skills are required. Here are the distinctions, in general terms:

  • Associate – can execute foundational tasks, including customization and functionality validation, with confidence and skill, and can move to designing, building, and implementing scenarios.  These people typically: have 1-3 years of experience, are mentored by more experienced team members, have hands-on skills to implement or optimize SAP, and a foundational knowledge of business processes and/or technology
  • Professional – can lead as well as execute tasks and engagements, including conceptualizing complex processes to optimize integrated scenarios.  These people typically: have 3-7 years of experience, work independently within teams to implement, can mentor others, and in addition to their SAP experience also have advanced solution and process knowledge plus industry expertise
  • Master – an exclusive group of visionary experts who can define and guide long-term strategy, including the ability to design broad strategies and to architect and roadmap comprehensive solutions.  These people typically: have 7-10 years of experience, are recognized internally and externally as experts, have deep practical SAP experience in integration + optimization + architectures, can provide both strategic vision and realization of those strategies, and are often called upon to lead projects or teams
Benefits Flow to All

I believe the new SAP Certification program offers tremendous benefits to the members of our community who support the implementations of SAP customers – whether you work directly for that customer as an employee, or if you work for a partner on customer projects.

 

  • For individuals, this certification boosts your career with a standardized mark of excellence that sets you apart in an enormous global marketplace and one that continues to be hot (proof: visit your favorite job portal, search for jobs with “SAP” in the description, and you’ll find tens-of-thousands).  Think: certification = career advantage.  

 

  • For our SI partners and independent consulting firms, your organization can win business with this new differentiator, you can staff with greater transparency about the skill levels assigned to a project, and you can expect higher degrees of customer satisfaction.  Think: certified experts à quality implementations at higher efficiencies (lower costs and better profitability yield) à customer satisfaction with positive referrals and return business. 

 

  • For customers, relying on proven, certified SAP professionals can reduce project risk and TCO, speed implementations, and the program itself allows you to easily identify the best partner consultants available for your implementation (simply insist on a heavy mix of SAP certified pro’s on your team).  Think: certified professionals on your team and on your partner teams = faster, higher-quality implementations at lower cost and better business results. 

 

  • Maximize software implementation ROI
  • Reduce total cost of ownership
  • Improve risk management
  • Safeguard major projects
  • Optimize processes thru highest quality team
  • Improve recruiting and retention of top people

 

I don’t think this is too bold a statement: Every SAP solution implementation, customization, upgrade, or expansion should be led, supported, and optimized by certified SAP professionals.  Why? Simple: certified professionals are more productive, higher-skilled, make fewer mistakes, raise the quality, and lower operating costs – in short, determine project and ongoing success. 

What to Do Right Now

Given all of the evidence and market trends, what should you do, right now?  There are several paths, depending on where you’re starting… and you can mix-and-match any of these:

  • Informal self-study via self-paced education
  • Formal education which culminates in professional certification
  • SAP events for education and insight

Routes to each of these are wide-open…

  • First, our communities (SDN, BPX, BusinessObjects, etc.) provide a number of ways to learn about a subject or to get certified in 2009. For example, we have a comprehensive eLearning section that cuts across all of the SAP Community Network for all communities and roles. 
  • Also, here’s a link to the “Skills and Education” page on BPX, which expounds on the topic of certification.   
  • There’s also a wiki page on “BPX certification.”
  • And of course, SAP Tech Ed conferences are mega- education and certification events, with lots of emphasis each year on the importance of certification and programs and offers to support it (including steep discounts for certification exams!).  Come join us this year in Phoenix, Vienna, Bangalore, or Shanghai … get your hands on the technology via workshops, hear from experts, and sit for the exam soon afterwards. 
  • One fantastic resource for those who didn’t or couldn’t attend SAP TechEd in person are the “Virtual SAP TechEd” sessions available – some free, some for purchase, but all viewable as a preview.  These are audio / video / slides of ~150 of the “best of TechEd” sessions, available as a complete set or by popular track … for 2008, 2007, and 2006 conferences individually or as a complete set (in total 400+ sessions).  These are good for those who attended, too, since Virtual SAP TechEd can serve as a refresher on sessions you saw months ago, or to see sessions you couldn’t attend due to schedule overlaps during the event.  Watch a 5-minute preview of any of the sessions from Virtual SAP TechEd ‘08… 
  • There is a wealth of information about professional skills certification on SAP.com and in many other repositories.  Check it out and make a plan to take the exam(s) and get the certification designation.  You’ll also see more information published throughout 2009 on the expansion of certification programs offered, so you might want to sign-up to get regular updates
If You Work For an SAP Partner (or might want to)

SAP Partners – especially SIs – are strongly encouraged to hire or train certified professionals and to favor them in customer engagements.  If you work for one of our partner SIs, this means that your individual professional certification will more likely get you the top-choice engagements and jobs.  As an indication how important this is: our SI partners certified more than 25,000 net-new professionals last year, and the ramp-up continues … because more and more customers are demanding this proven level of expertise. 

Even if you don’t work for an SAP partner, it means that your individual certification puts you at a higher premium in customer companies and makes you more desirable in the job market.

If you’re looking for your first SAP-related job, or the next one in a long and illustrious career, certification is an important indicator of your skill level, your competencies and capabilities, and is therefore a determinant in:

  1. whether you’ll get that sought-after job,
  2. how much you get paid, and
  3. which projects (the exciting, innovative ones or the less-so) you work on
Feedback Please

I’d like to hear from you about your thoughts or experiences on this topic.  This is also a good place to continue the open conversation about certification … it will help SAP in general, and the Communities in particular, to deliver what you need to be successful.

Regards,

Mark Yolton

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19 Comments

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  1. Michael Nicholls
    Hi Mark
    Last year SAP decided to rebrand the then existing certification as “Associate”. I found this a very strange decision as it immediately devalued all those people who were already certified. “Associate” is a demeaning term in many industries – it is often given to the junior people who have just started. By introducing a next level called “Professional” it suggested that the currently certified people weren’t!

    Michael

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    1. Mark Yolton Post author
      Hi Michael –

      Thank you for your comment.  I imagine that in the absence of information to the contrary (another certification exam to test different and more advanced skills and knowledge), the existing certified people were “grandfathered” into the Associate category as having at least met the baseline for the newly designed program.  Otherwise, how would those pre-existing certified people be evaluated against the new criteria.  It makes sense to me, in that the skills/knowledge they probably tested against in the past were likely becoming stale as new products or updates (enhancement paks, etc.) are introduced on a constant basis.  I would also presume that conferring higher-status certifications (professional or master levels) would have de-valued those designations.  It seems logical to me.  Also, it creates a level playing field; no one has an advantage over anyone else from the start.  I think it’s time to re-test and demonstrate those higher-level skills on the newest products and against the latest updated certification program so you can carry the higher designations… you’ll be one of the first. 

      Regards,
      Mark Yolton  

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      1. Lukas Moll
        Hello Mark,

        why are the “grandmothered” solution certification still offered? This is confusing. I have talked with many colleagues and there is no big difference between the solution certification and the associate certification.

        Also looking at the SAP ERP / SAP SCM Application Consultant certifications currently offered, there is not yet one single SAP Certified Master certification. I think the new certification scheme was changed a while ago. When will it be ready?

        I also agree strongly with Michael Nicholls. I had the issue as I did my certification a while ago that the new certification scheme was set-up, but at this time not even the Associate Certification existed (same as today with the Master).

        Regards,
        Lukas

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        1. Mark Yolton Post author
          Hi Lukas:

          Thank you for your comments.

          The “old” solution certifications are not offered any more, as far as I know (maybe there’s an exception somewhere, but I’m not aware of it, and it would be an exception).  Those people who had achieved one of the previous certifications (when there was just one level) has been migrated to the new “associate” level; they can demonstrate their current higher-level skills by re-testing to move up to the “professional” or “master” designation. 

          Since you asked about specific modules, you might take a look at this list of SAP ERP (including SCM) certification here, which include some professional-level certifications: http://www.sap.com/services/education/certification/certificationfinder.epx?context=%5b%5b104%7c%7c%5d%5d%7c  I noticed three for SCM specifically, all at the Associate level.  I then clicked on the “learning map” graphic to see three Professional-level courses and tests (see, for example,  http://www.sap.com/services/education/certification/certificationrole.epx?context=%5b%5bROLE_P_LEWM_60%5d%5d%7c).  I will ask internally for people on the SAP Education team to announce in SDN and BPX their plans and timing for other Professional and Master courses and tests. 

          By the way, I note that: you are not required to complete an associate-level exam in order to take the professional-level exam … so people with alot of experience and confidence in their skills might skip that first level and attempt the second.  I also note that: course work is recommended but not required … again, for people who believe they already have what it takes, or who do better at self-study than formal classroom learning, and don’t want to spend for a course can test without the classroom experience.

          You might find this page helpful: http://www.sap.com/services/education/certification/levels/index.epx … and this one too: http://www.sap.com/services/education/certification/levels/index.epx

          Best regards,
          Mark Yolton

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  2. Michael Koch
    Hello Mark,

    I am a UK based freelance SAP Development Consultant with 12+ years experience. In the past I have participated in many of the SDN discussions and Twitter conversations that you have mentioned in your blog.

    Let me first of all start off by emphasizing that SAP customers’ needs for better, more efficient, more reliable and faster implementations are completely understandable. Whether in the past that’s always been entirely skills related is debatable (but that’s also slightly beside the point).

    With regards to your blog I was surprised to see that no feedback of today’s SAP Mentor webinar was included. This group, as Dennis Howlett recently pointed out on “Enterprise Geeks” podcast, is an important factor as far as a buy-in into new certification ideas is concerned. Almost none of the SAP Mentors are actually SAP certified, yet are able to do outstanding day-to-day work in SAP-land.

    The SAP resource gaps that you have mentioned in your blog are very often filled by experienced SAP experts such as me who work on a contract basis. This is not something that will go away in the short term. My impression (based on working experience in UK and Germany) is that for experienced freelance consultants certification currently is not a guarantee to land that next contract. And I can’t see this changing in the short to medium-term. Why?

    – most clients I work for want me to produce examples of real work and value
    – agents and end clients are not interested if I am certified in the next hot topic, but without previous experience in it (believe me, I’ve tried it)
    – certification courses and admission to TechEd (except Bangalore) are expensive for one-man-bands
    – certifications are just a snap-shot. (If you’re CRM 3.0 certified, what use is this for CRM2007 implementations? re-train every 1-2 years?)

    Actually, as far as my first 2 points are concerned, partners and SI’s are in a similar situation, because even if their consultants are certified in a particular new area or topic, they still need that first hands-on, exciting project to implement it. In my experience, I have seen a lot of customers who have suffered from being “bleeding edge”, being the first to use new technology in their area. 

    With regards to the value and depth of SAP certification in its current offering, you said: “Come join us this year in Phoenix, Vienna, Bangalore, or Shanghai … get your hands on the technology via workshops, hear from experts, and sit for the exam soon afterwards.”. If this means that a few workshops and seminars at TechEd are enough to sit (and pass) an exam that makes someone within up to 3 months a certified consultant than I feel more than confirmed in my doubts. I also feel there is a “get them while they’re hot” attitude which doesn’t help to raise the profile of certifications.

    What would be a far better idea is if SAP would improve the way how consultants can acquire skills themselves (I mean beyond the current offerings), especially for those without access to partner or customer systems. Why not introduce a 1-consultant subscription scheme for BS7 or ECC6, sitting on top of the SDN subscription scheme, for example? Why? Current offerings for SDN Subscriptions or by 3rd parties such as http://www.sidmembers.com don’t reach far enough as these either
    a) not offer the application stack or
    b) can’t offer cross-client code changes.

    You can only improve the quality of your work if you have access to hard- and software at any point in time, not just in a SAP training center. In my mind, this would be a much easier solution, which could potentially feed into a different kind of certification approach for the future, with help and ideas from mentors &  community.

    Kind regards,
    Michael Koch

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    1. Mark Yolton Post author
      Hi Michael:

      You have many comments, so let’s see if I can cover them adequately…

      I agree that skills are not the only factor in determining the success of customer implementation. Many other things, from planning thru execution, including proper expectation-setting, to change management, etc. are all factors.  Skills is a big factor, I think, based on the research I’ve seen.  The other factors are tackled in various other ways (which I won’t attempt to cover here). 

      Yes, yesterday’s SAP Mentor call with some of the leaders of the SAP Education team, was rich in information and insight.  I was on the call both listening and reading the text commentary.  The questions and comments from the Mentors in that call, prior to that call in the private Mentor forum, and after that Mentor call will help the Education team (which runs the certification programs) to evolve and improve our offering.  Mentors are being heard and are influencing. 

      As I mention in another reply to a comment on this blog, I don’t discount the value of experience.  It’s critically important.  But I also believe that customers will increasingly require some independent evaluation of knowledge and skills – and that’s what certification is and does.  Granted, certification is not required by the vast majority of customers today, but I predict that it will be increasingly demanded in the (near) future.  I also understand that SAP skills certification needs to evolve and improve, and I think that is happening, based on what I see and hear within SAP.  My over-riding interest now is to let our community members know this as early as possible so they (you) can have an advantage in the marketplace.

      In another comment to the blog, you mis-interpreted my invitation to TechEd as a place to gain hands-on exposure to SAP solutions as a replacement for more in-depth study and formal training.  That was not my intent; maybe I was unclear.  Certification is a high bar and can’t be accomplished by simply attending TechEd, but attending TechEd can offer two big benefits: 1) access to the software / tools / experts in a live setting, and 2) a discount on certification exams. 

      We’ll take your other suggestions and comments, along with the ideas and suggestions from the Mentors + customers + others, as input to continuously improve the certification program.  I (we) appreciate your interest and dialogue, and will work behind the scenes on the many aspects of this topic. 

      Best regards,
      Mark Yolton 

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  3. Chandra Shekhar
    Hi Mark,

    I have only 3 year of Experience in SAP and I am not certified. I am commenting on the discussion in which highly experienced people are involved. I am not very experienced, but I have worked with few Certified professional and found that only certification does not matter. I agree with Michael that not only Certification but first hand implementation experience also required to judge the professional.

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    1. Susan Martin
      Hi Chandrashekhar,
      absolutely – I don’t think any certification program, including the SAP one, can or should imply that certification is the only measure. Improving certification as a valid benchmark for engaging, recruiting and training is not about replacing other pieces of the equation, such as references, soft skills, testimonials – but it is about ensuring that the certification is a reliable and valuable measure to accompany the others.
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    2. Mark Yolton Post author
      Hi Chandrashekhar:

      Thank you for commenting. 

      Yes, I also agree that certification must be coupled with actual real-world experience; there is nothing I know of that is more valuable than that experience.  For example, a basic university degree (called a “bachelor’s” degree in the U.S.) in many cases simply shows that someone is a) capable of learning, b) motivated and disciplined enough to work toward a mid-term (4-year) goal, and c) has a basic grasp of the foundation principles.  The next level (“Masters” degree) or top level (“Doctorate” or PhD) demonstrate more, but even then there are PhD’s who have no real-world experience (they can hold academic discussions / debates but can’t always put those concepts into practical use). 

      I also agree that just because someone is certified (or has a degree at any level) that they are the best qualified.  There are many factors that go into determining success (at anything), and formal education is just one factor.  I do strongly believe, though, that some sign of formal education and training is a baseline requirement. I also believe that it will become increasingly demanded by our customers who are seeking higher-quality implementations with lower risk, so many of them will start to insist on certified expertise. 

      Regards,
      Mark Yolton

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  4. Vijay Vijayasankar
    A lot of people I know, and to a certain degree – me too, attribute this sudden increase in SAP’s focus on certification as a way to open up another revenue stream in a bad economy. I guess a lot of resistance to the idea stems from this timing issue. Although I felt slightly agitated at the beginning, now I think SAP should have the freedom to push this as a revenue stream if they think it will work for them – it is the market that decides whether it will succeed or fail. Marketing is an accepted way to try to generate demand, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Personally, I don’t see a huge value in certification. I have been delivering and selling SAP projects for some time now for different SIs, and don’t remember any occassion where my clients considered the number of certified consultants as a differentiator. When I hire or staff a project, I don’t really think of certification as a yardstick – I consider other things more important like experience, team work, communication etc. Conversely, I was never denied a good opportunity ever because I was not certified.

    But that is just me – I am sure others have other experiences, so I am following this discussion with great interest.

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    1. Stephen Johannes
      Vijay,

      Just to followup with a real-world example, technically there should be no CRM “master” certifications available.  The product itself has barely been generally available seven years along with the CRM being a mainstream concept is no more than 10 years old.

      I looked at one example certification curriculum path and it reminded of the old project management example.  Just because you know MS project doesn’t make you a project manager.  In addition just because you certified in the methodology, means you can run that project.  You have to have domain expertise in order to run a project in that domain. 

      Take care,

      Stephen

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    2. Mark Yolton Post author
      Hi Vijay –

      Thanks for your comments.  Two comments back from me:

      1) I can say with strong conviction that the driving force for this renewed emphasis on skills certification is customer satisfaction, driven by a desire for higher quality implementations, which impacts ROI and TCO.  Certification revenue is small for SAP – I would offend someone if I called it a “rounding error” so I won’t, but in the grand scheme of things at SAP it’s not a primary revenue driver. 

      2) I don’t doubt that you’ve seen little demand from customers for certified consultants; I think that is completely true.  But I believe a shift is happening for various reasons (some of them in my blog), so I expect certifications to become increasingly important to customers in the years ahead. 

      Best regards,
      Mark Yolton

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      1. Vijay Vijayasankar
        Hi Mark,

        Agreed – in the grand scheme of things, this might not be a big revenue earner. I stand corrected. Probably a couple of hundred millions wont raise EPS much.

        On the second point – you may be right. I have similar reservations on PMP certification, but I have seen mor and more people ask for it over the years. it is still not an absolute must have, but it ha gained momentum or sure. So SAP certification might also over time become like that.

        I am not fully convinced that having certified consultants will tangibly increase quality in a project or increase ROI. Also, for customer satisfaction and lesser TCO and better ROI – there are several other things to be taken care of, in addition to getting certified people in the project team. Apart from things the clients and conusltants need to do like expectation setting and better program management, there is a lot SAP themselves can do; things like more  affordable licensing fees/maintenance cost, better response to OSS messages , unification of technologies (Eg: why does CRM follow one standard and SRM another for presentation layer?), smarter release and product strategies ( Eg: should the customer implement BPS or IP or BPC, when SAP supports all three?) and so on.

        I think certification has a place in this scheme of things, but I am not seeing it as a top drawer item in the list.

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        1. Mark Yolton Post author
          Good comments, Vijay.  I think SAP recognizes many of the things you mention as areas for improvement, and are working on them as the industry and markets unfold; it’s what keeps us all busy in areas like services, support, product development, and so on. I appreciate your  perspective and thoughtful comments.

          Regards,
          Mark Yolton

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  5. Stuart Gunter
    Hi Mark

    I think the steps SAP is taking with regards to the certification program are very good. They seem to be mirrored along the lines of what other organisations have done in recent years, so I can probably guess where the inspiration has come from. Definitely a step in the right direction.

    I come from a technical background, so please bear in mind that my comments are limited to training & certification in the technical development / infrastructure arenas.

    I have some reservations about certification, and have yet to find value in any certification. I have personally done many courses & certifications from Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and SAP – so feel that I’m in a good position to comment generally on the topic across various industry players.

    Firstly, I think the certification tests have a very long way to go before they truly “separate the men from the boys” (so to speak). I know this sentiment is shared by every technical colleague I’ve ever worked with (incredibly no exceptions!). Creating levels of distinction… Associate, Professional, Master (or whatever they may be called) unfortunately doesn’t solve this problem.

    SAP has also proven that they aren’t truly committed to keeping training & certification up-to-date. For example, SAP NetWeaver CE 7.1 has been GA for almost 15 months, but there is still no SAP certification available for Java EE 5. How is this possible? There was also a significant delay between the release of the product and the first development course available for Java EE 5.

    There is also still no decent training available for NWDI, which has been available for a very long time. I’m not aware of any certification for this either (although stand to be corrected on this). This is highly risky to any organisation that uses NWDI as their source control & build infrastructure – to say the least.

    I’ve attended numerous SAP courses, and found them to be of incredibly substandard quality. I apologise for the seemingly harsh tone, but I have never been impressed with a SAP course and even walked out of some courses due to poor quality. I now refuse to attend any SAP training, as I know my time will be better spent elsewhere. This is unfortunate, as SAP offers no alternative for training. Even as SAP Partners, we are unable to simply buy the training materials. This seems contradictory to your comments about certification not being a big money-spinner. Surely if that was true, SAP would be inclined to offer alternative training options that didn’t require £2500 for a 5-day course? (most of which could easily be taught in 2.5 days)

    I could probably go on for hours about this, but don’t want my comments to be misread. I’m also aware that tone isn’t particularly well conveyed in blog comments. So for the purposes of clarification, I just want to reiterate that I’m trying to give constructive criticism and not pointlessly bash SAP Education. I’m quite happy to discuss further with you, or just send through some other comments directly to you if you would like to hear them – but I’ll leave that entirely up to you.

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    1. Mark Yolton Post author
      Hi Stuart –

      You make some good points.  It’s clear to me that SAP has some work to do in order to improve: a) the quality of the individual courses, b) the full scope of courses available at each of the three levels and updated constantly to reflect the current product offerings, and c) the certification testing itself which should include a proficiency test that goes beyond just knowledge to skills and experience in execution. 

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and recommendations.

      Regards,
      Mark Yolton

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      1. Stuart Gunter
        Thanks for your reply Mark. I definitely think those improvements would be great to see!

        What I would really LOVE to see if accelerated / advanced courses. Most of the training I’ve been on is aimed at absolute beginners, and delivered at the pace of the slowest person in the room.

        It would be great if course prerequisites were taken seriously, and advanced courses planned for those who aren’t completely new to the field of study.

        Good luck! I look forward to see how things change in the coming months / years.

        Stuart

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