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Are you only an SAP PI consultant?

Are you an SAP PI consultant? Have you ever thought what will happen when one day you search about “SAP PI Consultant” role on Google and Google says this? :-/




Don’t worry, this won’t happen anytime soon (or I should say, ever). However, it is time we move ahead with our learning graphs. Holding SAP PI skills alone (may be with ABAP/Java) won’t suffice now. So, what should we do now? This too was answered by Google, to some extent:



1. Make sure all words are spelled correctly: Well, we know the words are correct!

Who else would be surer about it than a PI consultant?

2. Try different keywords: What do you mean? Like SAP “!PI” Consultant?

Hmmm, you always have option to move to other technologies. But for people like me who love the Integration domain, this is not the preferred option. It is always good to get your hands on different skills/areas, but in spite of being jack of all, you should be master of at least one.

3. Try more general keywords: Bingo!

Now that’s an intelligent suggestion which shows where SAP is moving. Thousands of customers use SAP PI as their Integration solution. Due to rapidly changing business needs, these customers are stressed to upgrade their landscape to a more flexible and powerful platform. With IT striving to address Business needs for an improved management of their business processes, it was critical for SAP to come up with an integrated solution providing a “Business Process Solution-for-all”. SAP therefore came up with SAP Process Orchestration clubbing the three crucial products to cater these needs:

  • SAP Process Integration
  • SAP Business Process Management
  • SAP Business Rules Management

I won’t get into details of these three components as “Search SCN” should be enough to know more about them. 😀 If you are already an expert of one, start planning an upgrade to other two skills as well. The best place to learn about Process Orchestration would definitely be this wiki.

 As a bundle, in future SAP Process Orchestration would be the “more general keyword” used for SAP PI or SAP BPM or SAP BRM consultants. As the name suggests, we are moving towards a more Process-centric approach. Business can now design and model business processes using BPM and BRM tools and IT can seamlessly consume the models and execute it with PI. A very important aspect of this structure would be that these business processes could be SAP or non-SAP application based. Although, these three products can work independently, the group as a whole when used appropriately will considerably reduce the Business to IT transition complexities and thereby reduce the implementation effort.

4. Try fewer keywords: Like only “SAP”?

No, we don’t want that. That would be far too generic and it would be then too difficult to identify yourself in SAP universe.


As someone said, “the only Constant is Change”. We have to update and upgrade our skills to adapt to the rapidly changing customer needs. Your existing knowledge with PI, BPM or BRM won’t be obsolete with the new Process Orchestration. Rather it would be useful to better understand the bundle as a whole and the how one product when used in conjunction with others provides improved process-centric solution to customers.

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  • Hi,

    There is also a second view on this, find yourself a niche and earn much more then a typical SAP consultant by working less 🙂 there are so many topics in SAP which are completely not popular but if you have experience you can earn much more then for doing most popular things like BW, portal, PI or abap. So if there are no official jobs but your name appears in google after putting SAP “niche” keyword then it may also be a good idea 🙂

    just throwing a second point of view 🙂

    Michal Krawczyk

    • Thanks for you comments Michal. Heard from you after so long :).
      I still find your second view complementing my  view. 🙂 As you said, niche skills are really the in-demand things and it is very important to become master of one such skill. But it is also important to update your skills (niche or generic) with the upcoming technological trends. The maturity curve of niche skill makes it a popular skill sooner or later where update and upgrade is a must.
      Prateek Raj Srivastava
    • niche is good but wider skills is better. We all know in typical lifecycle of client engagement things go well beyond simply technology. Although this blog focuses on specific skills, I feel increasing wider knowledge in overall enterprise architecture is a good way forward.
  • I think working in any work stream of SAP – a phase in an implementation or support during operations, we would be aware of changes happening around us and we won’t get “your search didn’t produce any results” kind of message just suddenly. Instead I hope we would be observing the job market for certain skill-set slowing down and updating ourselves with demanding skills.

    And as you referred “the only constant is change”, its useful to always look further while keeping some of the skills as your specialty.

    Very nice opening of your blog which attracts one to read through. I liked it 🙂

    • Glad to know that you liked it Faisal. There certainly won’t be any surprises. It was just an analogy. 🙂
      I have witnessed the laid back approach in consultants satisfied with the current demand of their respective skills. That was one of the trigger point for me to write this.
      Prateek Raj Srivastava
  • That is one of the key things I pulled from this blog.   Upgrading skill sets – constant learning, I am in total agreement.  If your skill sets are not being updated, eventually you will be outdated. 

    ONLY PI consultant, ONLY ABAP programmer, ONLY FI business analyst – ONLY…  Are you good at your “ONLY” job?  Do you like / love your “ONLY” job?  Then keep it.  Enjoy it, and update skills in your “ONLY” area.  Maybe that just means understanding where PI links into the other processes.  Even in this blog it points to PI consultants being needed for SAP Process Orchestration.

    Does that mean I don’t think you need to learn new things?  Let me think…  NO!…  I love learning about new technologies.  That may mean learning something like ABAP OOP, PI, gaining business knowledge, adding BPM to your robust PI skill set.  However, I consider myself more of a generalist.  I know enough about a lot of these things to be dangerous.  I have a deeper knowledge of ABAP programming.  I think we still need experts with deep knowledge.  A deep knowledge of PI would help me with some of the issues / problems I may face.  I would call the PI expert.

    Stop learning?  Never!

    Nice blog that makes you take ANOTHER look at your current skill set.  Then I start to think about where I want to go.  But “ONLY” – that is a concept I don’t like, because it leads me to think that someone “ONLY” knows one area.  That is rarely, if ever the truth.


    • Thanks Michelle for your insightful comments!
      Your comments really provide strong support to the content in terms widening our horizon to grasp various skills. “Only” is definitely a risky thing to pursue, however, as I see there are many pretty happy with their only skillset. It may or may not be harmful in future but I would still love to work with person who is as I said earlier jack of all and master of at least one.
      Prateek Raj Srivastava
  • Hello Pratik,
    I am not a PI consultant but then the topic can be diversified to many ‘Are you only an ‘XYZ’ consultant’ and hence read this.
    This again leads to discussion on topics like
    ‘Jack of all master of none ‘ or ‘Specialists’ or keep learning new things or may be something else.
    It is actually an alarming and thought provoking blog.


    • Thanks Kumud! We can indeed generalize it and apply to our individual skillset and career path. I am glad that my blog attracted not “Only” PI consultants. 🙂
      Prateek Raj Srivastava
  • Hi Prateek,

    These seems to be a very nice blog. I can even compare it with Late. Steve Jobs’ famous saying “Don’t settle, Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” from his story ‘Connecting the Dots’.

    Good One Prateek.