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Author's profile photo Former Member

SAP Education: Chalk and Cheese

I have attended many SAP Education training courses over the years and have seen the training material evolve. Recently I attended a SAP Business Objects Universe training course and I was surprised by differences to traditional SAP Education.  This blog highlights some of the key differences.   For the people who have not undertakes traditional SAP training courses it is usually “death by PowerPoint”.  Participants are provided with printed materials which include copies and slides with notes under each slide.  The detail of content can vary from a few bullet points to a page of notes.  The notes are always positive in regards to SAP and often  include some marketing inferences.  Some courses the manuals can be used as a reference independently while others there are not enough detail.   The BOBJ training had no PowerPoints which completely surprised me.  There were diagrams in the manual but these were not projected onto a screen.  The manual was detailed and indicated what the solution could and could not do. Also the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches.  Both styles of courses include summary questions at the end of each section.   Both types of training courses included hands on exercises.  However with the traditional training the instructor demonstrates the exercise first and then allows the participants to attempt the exercise.  However the traditional training course exercises are poorly written and most participants quickly learn to follow the solution training script.  The BOBJ exercises were clear and did not have separate exercise and solution.  I prefered the BOBJ style course but would have liked to have some PowerPoints displayed.    From a general perception in regards to BOBJ and SAP education is that BOBJ realise that is all about skills rather than revenue.  Unfortunately SAP Education do not have the same priority.  BOBJ and their community are increasingly providing quality training resources free of charge via SCN.  There is access to free trials to undertake self learning.  It was a breath of fresh air when SAP Education launched their Learning On Demand Portal and included access to a SAP ECC system with an IDES data similiar to that used in training courses.  They charged approximately $80 per month for access.  However in true SAP Education fashion they have now restricted access to the portal to customers who have registered on a training course have subscriptions. 

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Paul

      It may have been a while since you attended some SAP training, as nowadays many of our courses are far removed from "death by PowerPoint". The majority are created using a markup language which generates a handbook with the introductory statement:

      This handbook is intended to complement the instructor-led presentation of this
      course, and serve as a source of reference. It is not suitable for self-study.

      Th Powerpoint style courses are mostly based on RKT (rampup knowledge transfer) material and are often designed to quickly get information out. They will often be rewritten using the markup tool.

      Personally I find the exercise/solution layout preferable to the BOBJ mechanism, as it allows me to look at the exercise and try to work out a solution for myself, and then I'll only look at the documented solution if I get stuck.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Thanks for the comment Mike.

      I should have stated that I teach some of the SAP Education courses and The most recent was in November.  That course's training materials had not been renewed.

      I am aware of the disclaimer in the traditional course materials.  But as you are aware some of the course materials have more details than others.  For as long as I can remember SAP Education has rated poorly in customer feedback surveys.  I don't think anybody would say this is due to the quality of the trainers because they do a good job.

      It would be interesting to see the feedback from BOBJ customers.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Paul,
      It’s interesting you reference the BOBJ style courses in your blog as SAP Education has been on a journey over the last couple of years to change the way content is built from the ground up and a lot of the BOBJ views on instructional design were rolled in. BOBJ & SAP content are all built/deliverd in the same format nowadays. SAP End Users are already taking advantage of some of these changes by having access to Knowledge Accelerator (introduced with the acquisition of Business Objects) content for Finance, HCM, Purchasing, BPC, CRM, basic navigation and new titles every quarter.

      For our more traditional offerings, it’s all about different modes of learning and making content quicker, cheaper & easier to consume. If we get this right I think this addresses the issues around customer satisfaction you allude to as this is mainly feedback on accessibility of courses and course pricing. SAP Education have always rated very highly globally for course content/delivery feedback and in ANZ we are above the global averages. Historically we have only built “e” content for non-popular courses and you might (with some accuracy) surmise this helped ensure that out classrooms remained full with the core content. This thinking has now changed and anything that is deemed to have mass interest , particularly where it’s important to innovative solutions,  is being built to support eLearning & virtual learning  as well as the traditional classroom environment. You can see this with our already available eAcademies providing self-paced learning to the Academy tracks at less than half the price with full system access.... and not surprisingly certification pass rates following this method that allows students to learn at their own pace are 6% higher than classroom academies. We also have supported Innovations 2010 with “e” packages for Delta knowledge, new Associate Level Knowledge or Professional level knowledge with exam preparation and certification costs rolled in.

      On the topic of certification, you’ll be aware of the Certification Influencer Council which has representatives from customers, partners and user groups around the world coordinating analysis, alignment, agreement and integration of certification requirements based on the business needs at a global level. The exams are being reviewed and amended by an external certification partner to ensure the questions are designed to capture the most critical knowledge and we’ve also globally reduced certification rates in response to this Council’s recommendations.

      Is revenue important? Of course- it drives how we are able to create and innovate our learning offerings to the ecosystem and account for the changing demographics of learners. However it is not the most important factor. SAP Education exists to ensure SAP Software is implemented and used in the best way possible to ensure the best outcomes for customers.