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SAP Consulting in North America could be acknowledged as one of the top SAP-focused implementation and consulting groups in the world.  After all, its consultants work for SAP on deployments at leading companies around the world.

 

But even this group felt it needed a leg up on the competition. So it set a goal that 90% or more of its consultants would be SAP certified by the end of 2010.

 

According to Nicolás Steib, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Services Delivery, SAP Consulting, it was about validating the group’s globally recognized level of expertise by an industry standard.

 

Not surprisingly, the group looked to the experts in SAP training: SAP Education and its certification exams that measure and define the skill levels of consultants and IT experts.  There were three main things that made the choice easy:

 

  • SAP Education is a single-source provider of certification exams that prove an individual’s competence in SAP software.
  • It’s the only provider of globally accepted certifications for SAP solutions.
  • With its range of in-classroom and online training packages, SAP Education is able to design and implement certification and training for geographically disbursed organizations.

 

Based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, SAP Consulting employs nearly 2,000 consultants throughout the United States.

 

The final result?  SAP Education executed a comprehensive training and certification program that resulted in more than 1,500 consultants achieving certification in less than 30 months.  More than 90% of consultants have proven they have the skills and knowledge to be certified by SAP, resulting in a boost in customer confidence and a super-charged, highly qualified competitive differentiation.

 

Plus, with such a solid benchmark of consultants’ skills and knowledge, SAP Consulting now has the ability to plan strategically for future training based on business trends, and the ability to recruit and retain consultants based on their specific skillsets.

 

All in all, SAP Consulting used certification to make its smart business even smarter.

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4 Comments

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  1. Nathan Genez
    I can appreciate SAP’s desire to get its own staff certified but I don’t think it influences the customer base one bit. When a customer contacts SAP, the customer is already expecting for the resource, regardless of their rate or experience, to be knowledgeable about their area in the same way that certification is meant to authenticate. I don’t think it influences the customer either during the selection process or later during the project when the consultant has a chance to apply their certified knowledge.
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  2. Stephen Johannes
    If the certifications don’t match real world requirements how is this helpful to the customer.  Best example is SAP CRM, if there is no CRM middleware certification then how does your consultant being certified in something else help the customer when I need a middleware resource?

    https://training.sap.com/us/en/search?SolutionId=103#certification

    This is real world example of consultant certification categories do not align with the needs of customers.

    Take care,

    Stephen

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  3. Ethan Jewett
    I’ll admit, I’m getting a little tired of this.

    You say, “More than 90% of consultants have proven they have the skills and knowledge to be certified by SAP, resulting in a boost in customer confidence and a super-charged, highly qualified competitive differentiation.”

    In a previous blog post (Do I Need to Be SAP Certified?  In Short, Yes.) you indicated that you hoped to be able to provide evidence for the three claims you made.

    Now we just see more claims that SAP certification provides significant value (boost in customer confidence and competitive differentiation), but ***no evidence***.

    I’m sure that if SAP is making these sorts of claims, you have actual facts to back them up. After all, one of SAP’s primary businesses is Business Intelligence – the process of understanding how business activities are providing or destroying value. How about sharing some of these facts with us?

    Ethan

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  4. Jorge Alonso
    Hello,

    I understand that SAP Consulting wants to sell itself as a “high quality, good performing” company … for getting clients. I´d also lie if I had a company; otherwise, nobody would hire my “highly skilled, certified” consultants. No company in this world wants a bad publicity because this damages the business.

    I´ve been working now 10 years as a consultant in Europe for huge companies and so far NO client has ever asked me whether I am certificed (which I am not). I can think of 2 reasons for not asking about the certification:

    1) a certified consultant can cost more
    2) they don´t care about the certification as they want experience and know-how

    In a globalized world with IT services being done in misery-salary countries like India & China, companies try to push down the prices for consulting services by hiring off-shore consultants.

    I don´t consider a certification as some kind of status to consultants, knowing beforehand that the client is horrified when he/she hears about the price. We later hear from possible clients that consutancies in India want a very cheap price for their consultants … just to find later in internet IT companies in Bangladesh that want even less for their services.

    I have met very few certified consultants in my career (I have more fingers on my right hand to count them all) but there´s something common to all of them: they have no experience !! they are novice in ABAP development or in any other SAP solution !!

    I talk about persons that were trained during any number of weeks or months in the SAP system and then they carried out the certification exam at SAP. If they passed the exam, they get obviously the certification, but the question is whether they are in the position to bring good solutions to the client. I ask this question because they come to me to ask questions about how to do things (especially in ABAP & BSP programming which are my specialities).

    In the case of the certification as an ABAP programmer, I consider this is cheating and nothing else but a big trick from SAP for making money. During the exam, the future consultant has to answer 100 theoretical questions with multiple choices … and he/she writes not a single line of code. As far as I know, the process is similar in other areas within the SAP system.

    I ask these questions to SAP A.G. and SAP Consulting:
    1) are we really talking about highly skilled programmers and consultants ??
    2) Can they really deliver good solutions and good programming to clients ??
    3) if they have much theory but no practice, will these certified consultants/programmers get a job or find a client ??
    4) Who has more chances in the job market: a certified newcommer or an experienced programmer (with no certification) ??

    As I titled my comment to this blog: does the certification really help ??

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