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Why implementation experience is HOT CAKE in SAP Job Market?

It was very joyful November of winter because I had cleared my SAP certification exam. Now I was carrying most valuable tag in SAP world that is “SAP Certified Professional”. I was very happy & in a good mood that my profile is backed my global brand in ERP market which carry lot of brand equity. I have started to search for a good job opportunity. As a standard practice, I had uploaded my CV to all leading job portals. As a result of that I started to receive lot of calls from consultancies as well as direct companies.

But every time I picked up call, the first question would be like

1) Do you have any end-to-end implementations experience?

2) How many end-to-end implementations you did in your SAP career?

3) We are looking for a guy who have at least experience of end-to-end experience hence do you have?

I got amazed. After listening to so many HR guys, my mind crowded with few Questions:

1) Why these white collared HR guys are asking for implementation experience?

2) What so special in implementations experience?

3) Why it’s preferred over support experience?

4) What is the differentiating factor?

But at that time my all questions was answerless. I was not able to find a single guy who can resolve my queries with a logical & rational answer. But after joining SAP consulting partner, I approached several senior guys like project manager & engagement manager with my questions in my mind. Several senior managers tried to answer it honestly also. At that time I got the fundamental idea or you can say basic level of answers.

But now at this stage I am a person who is having SAP experience in end-to-end implementations, support & roll out also, I am able to figure out why this implementation experience matters the most.

I feel, this thoughtful analysis of the questions mentioned above will definitely help thousands of SAP professional who are trying hard to grow in their SAP career. And again the best way to reach thousand of SAP professions, there is no better way other than SCN.

I say SCN — A sacred place for knowledge sharing.

I decided to divide my thoughtful analysis into 6 major rational & logical reasons to Why implementation experience is HOT CAKE in SAP job market?. Hence friends here we go for the answers that I found out over the period of two years.

Client InteractionThis is the best & most sought after skill, you will accumulate at client location at the time of implementation. Today employers look for consultants who is having good client facing skills & who knows how to calm an irritated customer through proper dialogue. These skills can be developed can only developed through more & more client interactions & which you will get in an implementation project.

Scope for creativity & innovationConsider a scenario where an architect has two choices. First one to build mega project like township on an open plot whereas second choice is to modify existing township.

The architect will be happy to go with first one i.e. to build township on open plot because he will get more scope for creativity & innovation. Moreover he can apply his logic to address client’s requirement. The same case with implementation also in green field implementation you will get ample opportunity to apply innovative solution to meet client requirement. When you do this kind of activity, it’s a powerful exercise to your brain & thinking capacity.

Business process understanding – In the process of SAP implementation, you do not just go at client site & carry out SPRO activities. Before configuration, you study their business process in detail; understand exactly how they run their business & what are the exact client requirement? At that point a functional consultant enhances his knowledge of business processes. Moreover if u implemented SAP in different verticals & horizontals, simply you are building your knowledge base in multiple dimensions. Today industry do not needs only SPRO experts, they need business consultants who can provide business solutions.

Exceptional skills – There is more probability that few of the exceptional skills mentioned below you can learn in implementation at faster space. These skills are unique & mostsought after in SAP job market:

  • Data Upload through BDC & LSMW
  • Cut-over approach
  • SAP interface with client’s software through EDI & ALE
  • Smart form layout design

Opportunities to interact with senior officials – At client site, we interact with so many top officials like GM’s, DGM’s & Vice-presidents. Consciously or subconsciously we learn so many things from these kinds of experiences. When we hear them at functions like project kick-off ceremony, we understand exactly what they are expecting from us. I feel this is the best opportunity to enrich ourselves with their experiences.

Time – This is the last but most vital point I am mentioning here. Whatever you will learn in support or other assignments say 12 months, you will learn that many things 6 – 8 months. Many will be disagreeing with this but my experience taught me this thing. Implementation is the best way to learn maximum number of things in short span of time.

Caution for fake – For the guys who do not have any implementation experience, but  they are showing  implementation experience on their CV for the sake of getting good job offer, I would like to advise them all. Please don’t do that. If you are feeling, only by studying any business blueprint, you can match the skills of the guy who did implementation, you are living in myth. Within 3 to 4 questions, interviewer will be able to trace genuineness   of your claim. So please stay away from fake claims in your CV.

I would like to urge all SAP professional, if you get an opportunity for implementation, grab it & make the most of it & add value to your SAP career. It would turn out to be stepping stone in your SAP career.

At the end, I hope my blog proves to be useful for all SAP professionals. I would love to see your feedback on this blog. Do not forget to write me. If you like this blog & feels that this blog might be useful in any way, please do not forget to hit stars (rating)  & like button.

May God Bless All of You & All The best for your future.



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    • Thanks Jarret.

      I am sure whatever question I faced in early stages must be faced by thousands of SAP professionals. That’s why I thought  why not to answer this hidden query through my experience.

      Regarding fake experience, I found this is common practice to enlist fake implementation experience in the CV to get good job offer. I think its very risky & unethical practice & must be avoided without any second thought.

  • Very Well said Balaji.I totally agree on the point of facing Interview without having Implementation Experience.Everybody would like to have Implementation Experience,not only for interview perspective but on gaining knowledge also.You are lucky enough to get this within 2 yrs of your SAP Career.

    Wish you all the best in your future.

    Keep on writing to motivate others.



  • i would add one more:

    Opportunities to interact with ordinary people

    i mean people from shop floors, warehouses, …everyone who will run your sap system

    very often you get much more information talking to them rather talking to management…


  • If you are feeling, only by studying any business blueprint, you can match the skills of the guy who did implementation, you are living in myth.


    Could you give some tips on how a consultant (support) who has not had implementation experience can prepare him/her self or learn more about implementation projects?

    By having blueprints or business process documentation, he can go to spro / img and configure various processes (and associated basic functions)

    By having access to existing SAP production environment, he can learn about configuration in existing SAP landscape.

        • Hi TW,

          Nothing can be replaced with your real implementation experience. The implementation experience differ from project to project and client to client. They will never be same. However, each experience will give experience to consultants, not only to configure the system, but interacting with the users, understanding the business processes, participating in the cut-over activities, doing different types of testing and solving number of post go live support issues. Unless you go to an implementation, you will never get that feel. Whatever, you are doing on a demo system only for limited awareness. But, if you do not have a change to implement, you should not limit yourself to just reading blueprints / document, but should also concentrate on the system.

          May be some tips:

          1. Reading more blueprint documents

          2. Try to understanding different types of business process

          3. Configure SAP Building Blocks / available projects

          4. Test the end user documents

          5. Simulate some cut-over scenarios

          But, what you are missing is:

          You cannot conduct Workshops

          You cannot interact with the users

          You cannot participate in User Acceptance Testing

          You cannot solve go-live problems

          You will not get the feel of the live system.

          Hope I have answered your question.



    • Hi TW,

      Due to day to day work load could not reply you within time.

      Regarding your query, I feel you can not gain SAP implementation experience without actual implementation.

      SAP consulting all about two things :

      1) Business solutions which will address client concern

      2) SPRO Configuration & process mapping in SAP

      Whatever you have mentioned is part of second point.

      But in end-to-end implementation only, you will expertise first point.

      1) You listen to client & interact with them

      2) Experience their process & people & their operations

      3) Understand their pain points

      4) Try to create perfect linkage between SAP deliverables & client requirements.

      Hence at that point only, you transform from a SAP professional to SAP consultant who help their client to achieve organizational objectives.



      • Balaji,

        Thank you for your reply!

        Could you please comment on a question which I have asked. The link to the question, you can find in one of my earlier posts (in this thread)?

    • Sir ….

      Write now i am certify …in PP module and i have 5 yr of exp in production field and 3 yr of domain exp …Now where i am working their is no SAP system so how i will get entry without implementation exp. Is that possible as fresher i get chance for consultant. 

      • Rohit,

        First create a new thread with your question(s).

        Second, in my opinion, you have to spend as much time as possible working with (practicing the configuration steps, carrying out transaction related activities) SAP system, learning / repeating the theory.

        Third, keep repeating the related processes (related to PP module).

  • Nice Inputs..Have a Few questions though,

    How did you finally solve “the need of end to end implementation experience” dilemma for your first job requirement?

    How do I get to read different Companies’ Business Blueprints?

    How much time did you require to get that 1st SAP Job from Writing your Certification Exam?


    SAP Aspirant

    • Hi Abhilash,

      If the candidate having SAP Certification even though he is a fresher. Now a days some companies are recruiting freshers with certified students once they recruited they will provide some KT and they will put in to the project. We will think it will be a hard to get survive in SAP. In this world nothing is difficult to learn for any human being.



  • 2) What so special in implementations experience?

    Implementation experience helps you understand the meaning and the usability of fields in SAP.

    This understanding is what helps consultants to design solutions. Thus consultants with good understanding of fields shall give more and better solutions to their clients.

    To understand “understanding of fields”, an example:

    Side note: It is my belief that clear understanding of fields can ALSO be achieved without having implementation experience.

    How then:

    By thinking hard (from business perspective), by answering relevant questions in Forums and by examining IDES and client SAP systems.

    • I totally agreed with you Mr. TW. Implementation experience is good but in my point of view consultants from implementation side has limited knowledge. They might be know all business processes and all fields and SPRO things but they don’t know what problems and scenarios client will face after they go live the project. I have many live examples of this. In my company I have changed almost all scenarios and many configuration to control processes. But this is not a hard and fast rule that every client company experiences this. It depends on management’s and business’s requirements. But what I believe is that an implementation consultant must have some support experience too before he goes for some implementation. Configuring system in project is easy and when you are in live system and there comes some non expected issue and you don’t know how to resolve it then this is much hard time for you which support consultants have. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Great article Balaji and the amount of times I encounter this question and scenario is astounding. I will start referring people over to your post when I get this question next, hearing it from a person who’s done it is best.

    I just wanted to add one thing, which I believe is one of the most basic reasons why it is key to have this implementation experience. Let’s try and paint the picture:

    At the end of the day we have the customer. A person like you and me, sitting in a company looking to get someone in to help them realize a very strategic and important investment called SAP. It’s a complex system and there’s alot of risk involved. He will in most cases be reliant on someone else succesfully implementing this for him. Let’s now compare that scenario to a person who’s looking to get someone in to fix their washing mashine. They have the choice between someone who in theory, through studies, have the knowledge of fixing this washing machine or another guy who have been fixing washing machines for the last year. I know personally, I would want the guy who’s been fixing them over the last 12 months. This is a key reason why it’s important for an employer to get previous implementation experience. It’s quite a basic buying instinct.

    Don’t get me started on fake CVs. Some other time!

    Good blog post once again.

    • Thanks Hans for your good words.

      Washing machine example hit bulls eye.

      Today SAP industry also needs consultants who have real time experience of fixing day to day ERP issues. Expertise gained through practical experience is unmatched one. 🙂 🙂



  • Hi Balaji,

    Appreciate that you tried to answer why people ask ‘ Do you have ‘n’ end-to-end implementation experience?’.

    I have my own opinion on this. I believe it is a shortcut question to get started and many people get fooled by asking this question, and a ‘No’ means they move on to other candidates saying ‘yes’, missing out on many candidates. Actually they are looking for consultants who have most of the qualities described by you above, but that DOES NOT necessarily come out of implementation projects. In fact for many of the people, the learning may be very less depending on their roles within the ‘implementation’. The definition of implementation projects is itself an unclear one and sometimes I ask HR guys/Project Managers to explain to me what do they mean by asking for implementation experience and I chuckle to see the uneasiness or on-the-spot justifications which filters out the candidates with a ‘YES’ or a ‘NO’.

    Over a period of time across many ‘implementation’ and other projects, I have had people working with/for me who keep doing LSMW/BDC creations executions throughout the project. Not that it is not a valuable skill, but is not ‘implementation experience’ that we are after.

    Psychologically it filters out many guys who are good but lack in confidence, not necessarily a good thing!

    TW, you are right. We can learn the nuances of consulting in any sort of project. Some support projects may involve much more learning than many of the implementation projects. The real question we should be after is ‘Do you have all the skills in the Consulting area that we seek, like A, B, C, …’. For a team mix you may also want to have some new guys and empower them to challenge the status quo with fill management support, implementation experience notwithstanding.

    Any consulting team needs a right mix of consultants with practical skills/experience or/and correct attitude and thought process, not ‘the implementation experience’. This is the reason why new guys get chance in ‘implementation’ projects. We also have to look at providing a high quality consulting within palatable cost appetite and people from support/maintenance background have some great skills. I still remember raising this support question for each delivery which used to get the ‘implementation consultants’ stumped. The responses varied from ‘that is opeartions team headache, let’s bring the show on road’ to ‘why didn’t I think of this?’ to outright ‘..pause, and then conitnue without bother…’, more often than not another ‘ahem’ from me 😉 . A solution without support in mind is a waste and operation team will mark it for change at first opportunity, reducing the shelf-life of implementation objects & processes.

    I hope to raise some shackles in ‘Worked in Implementation Projects’-tagged ‘holy cows’ and clear out some cobweb in this comment space 😉

    • Hi Nishant,

      Thanks for your comments.

      I do not have any intention to compare implementation experience against support experience through my blog.

      Individual capability & his zest to deliver solutions matters more than his experience.

      But we must admit the reality industry is looking for candidates with hands on implementation experience. This is not new trend & followed by SAP industry from so many years. On broader basis, industry is getting its purpose served through candidates with implementation experience.

      Planning to write few more blogs.

      Keep writing & looking forward for your views & analysis.



  • Ok, back from my brunch. An example is worthwhile to point out. In a current SSO implementation using third party software integrated with SAP Netweaver, “THE” IMPLEMENTATION company consultants responsible to do this due to historical reasons and with minimum of 15+ exp behind their backs were reluctant to do this due to strange mix of skillsets required. When forced, they came up with a 6 month study, etc etc plan with mind-boggling pounds of efforts. The in-house developers & SMEs after taking it head-on, gave up and said they SAP part was not within their skillsets and proved very challenging. A particular eccentric implementation manager( 😎 ) engaged for the whole end-to-end solution for the organization in question, picked up the piece personally, to the delight and relief of many, designed the whole solution with a detailed cookbook, and then with his dedicated hand-picked couple of consultants with no SSO skills at all, delivered the piece last week wrestling with and solving many perplexing issues using latest versions of OS, Sql Server, Netweaver 7.3, Java 1.6, third party authentication agent, domain nonsense etc. This will be delivered in production by mid-December this year. Looking back, shoulden’t the implementation consultants responsible for this piece and with experience in this area should have been succeessful or confident in this area. That’s some coffee for thought 😉 , which I should have now, literally. Cheers.

      • Hi balaji,

        I am a instrumentation engineer undergone a 200 hrs of training of SAP order fulfillment now placed in utility industry  handling SAP order fulfillment module for last 19 months ,so please suggest will it be helpful to move to SAP HANA or HANAis totally a technical module for those who have technical experience .

        • Hi John,

          I am SAP SD Functional consultant & have very little knowledge regarding SAP HANA.

          Better you get in touch with HANA expert which may guide you in a better manner.



          • Hi john,

            Appreciate your desire for growth & excellence.

            Either you can upgrade yourselves in SD only by enhancing your bandwidth in different skills like Transportation or ALE & I-Doc


            You can upgrade to CRM module which is hot cake in today’s job market & have proximity to SD module.



  • Hi

         I am glad to read ur all information but was querious to know how to start career in SAP HCM, as u said should not go for fake experience then how would get real time experience. As I m new to this SAP world so would appreciate your reply as soon as possible. And one more question is striking me is if I get end user job so it would be helpful in future not not. please advise me what to do n from where to start?

    • Hi Jayanti,

      I do agree with the fact its very difficult to get entry in SAP without experience but persistent efforts will always yield results.

      For freshers, you can track following companies :

      1) KPIT
      2) Fujitsu
      3) BristleCone
      4) Coconut

      These companies offers opportunities for freshers.

      Starting your career as a end user will be one of the option. It might take some long time to get into consulting.

      Good Luck.



  • Hey thanks Balaji !

    I receive your reply but wanted to ask u more about it. as u mentioned few companies I would track them for sure. Now my question is ” to get into this companies would they ask any domain experience or they would take freshers as well? Would appreciate your reply /

    Kind regards


    • Hi Jayanti,

      Suppose if the person worked for 1 or 2 years in core side. they will have much domain knowledge. I the person had domain knowledge he can enter. For freshers there is only one choice ir; they have to clear their certification.Because some of the companies are allowing freshers in SAP side..but they will ensure that candidate should have certified. I hope the above explanation provide you at least some basic knowledge.



    • Hello Jayanti,

      What Balu said is correct, job probability of SAP certified freshers are more as compared to Normal ones. Mere domain experience is not sufficient.

      But one thing that is on your side is your module HCM. For HCM market is not saturated yet like other modules SD or FI.

      Hence suggest you to work on your skills & knowledge, prepare for interviews.

      Wait for opportunities & “strike the iron when its hot.”

        • Jayanti,

          To the recruiter, interviewer, client etc. the domain experience signifies one thing – the candidates understanding of the business processes.

          Note the business processes understanding should be relevant to the module you are working in.

          E.g. if I am a sales manager, then I would exhibit in my resume, in my interviews, in my interaction with clients – my understanding of the Sales processes, my understanding of the delivery process (how goods are picked from the warehouse, loaded in to a truck, and sent / reach the unloading place; the inventory or stock count in the warehouse etc. etc. + what paper work is for what process etc.?)

          Thus –

          – domain experience should be in line with your SAP module

          – domain experience should help you in learning the processes and funcationlities in your particular SAP module

          If the answer is yes for the above points, then go ahead and put your domain experience in your resume.

  • Hi balaji,

    Really a good blog for people who are entering the SAP market. I am working as Pre-Sales Consultant for SAP Business One .I would be doing the implementation role as well in future as I have got  training regarding accounting and  logistics in Business one from SAP.

    1)I wanted to ask you and all experts is the implementation experience gained from working on SAP Business one would be learning exp to do implementation in  SAP R/3. in future.

    2)How is the current marketing scenario for SAP Business One functional consultants, compared to R/3.Whether it would help my career to grow in SAP field and later become consultant for R/3.

    Please let me know about it, Thanks in advance


    Darshan Desai

  • Hi Balaji,

    I am new to sap my domain is into marketing with 4 years. i am doing sd module. can you tell me how you got the implementation experience.Bcoz i heard sap wont allow freshers.

    Please guide me.


  • Hi Balaji and SAP Gurus,

    My quiery is not answered, please answer me you all experts in sap.

    I have done SD module now i am preparing sap resume, but what to show on resume for sap related.


    • Hi Babu,

      For gaining implementation experience, you need to be part of  SAP implementation partner company. Moreover after getting a job in that you need to prove your skills to your bosses.

      Most probably any SAP consultant start his SAP career with support project. After gaining 2-3 years experience in support project one can move to implementation project provided opportunity exists.


  • Hi Balaji Parsewar

    I totally agree with you!! Once part of SAP implementation it great experience every parts of  SAP discussion, meeting, over work load and GO Live due date

    !!Thank for you sharing knowledge and experience !!!

    With Regards,


  • Dear SAP SD Gurus,

    Please resolve This issue for me.

    When i do the Billing and release the same to a/cting by clicking on release to a/cing key, the error is as follows.

    Error in A/c determination with T030K table INT MWS AO.

    what to do  in this case.

    I have maintained GL a/c in table 005.

    • Hi Babu M

      Do you think this is a right place to ask this question? You are commenting on a blog and for queries we have separate forums for all relevant areas.

      And for your query you can find answer from Google by putting some efforts because it has been discussed so many times in SCN and it is a basic question.


  • SAP implementation also gives experience of working in project mode where scope, time, cost, risks, resources, quality and communication are managed. Team members come across best practices, tools and templates which enhances their productivity.

  • Hi Balaji,

    Very well said . To your points I would add followings,

    1) Lessons learned are so cretical for future successful implementation. Clients esnhure that consultatns they select comes with lot of lessons learned backgound and use those learned lessions on thier project to complete thier project is time and within budget.

    2)Integration-More exposure will provide more debt knowledge particularly this is true for SAP which is the most integrataed system in the market.

    3)Deployment Strategy-Particularly for large scope implementation such as State Govt. which normaly has 30 to 40 agecnies with a varaity of different requirements. Good experiance assist to strategies deployment effrots(testing, training, cutover, site prep, work forece transition, support etc) across the orgnisation or state or region or divisions.

    4)For Public Sector implementation clinet will not select any consultant without prior public sector experience in respective areas such as State, City, County, Federal etc.Thier implementations are so unique and implementing stantad SAP is a challange. Therefore you do not find large pool of consultants in this segment.

    5)Experienced consultants will reduce time, scope and cost of implementation.


  • Hi Balaji,

    Very informative blog .You have explained key points of SAP consulting and implementation in a practical approach.



  • Dear Balaji,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us..

    it is very helpful for who have not E to E implementation experience…

    but same time I would say it is next impossible to find SAP consultant job in current market / even not receiving any single call from companies or recruiters without such an E to E implementation experience..

    After spending almost 300,000-400,000 INR for SAP certification course & you come to know there is no value in market….only they concern about the E to E experience…

    So end of frustration guyz are making FAKE CV….


    Dhaval Mistry

    • Dhaval,

      your post is in line with how market behaves now-a-days.

      Colleen Lee

      Jürgen L

      I want to bookmark this post by Dhaval or mark it as important. This facility is not available. Could you please convey if something similar is going in  idea place or WIP by SCN?


      • TW, I don’t understand what you want. I see and can read the words “bookmark this post by Dhaval” but I do not understand what you mean by “this post by Dhaval”

        • Jurgen,

          We have discussed this point earlier, bookmarking a post. I want to bookmark the post of Dhaval, to which I replied. Bookmarking at a thread level is possible but what about at a post level? In addition to the above, could we have an option of “Important” or something else? In this case I don’t want to like but want to keep for future reference.

          My question to moderators is if any of this ideas is under review or development by SCN?

          Thanks! TW

      • TW Typewriter,

        if you hover over the grey timestamp next to Dhaval’s name, you’ll see the direct link to his post. You can bookmark it to your browser favorites that way for future reference, if you like.



  • Balaji,

    I have read your blog and made comments before. When I read your blog again, it give value again…solid contribution, thanks!

    Business process understanding, listening to business (client) officials…agree with you that these are mandatory for the survival and performance of a functional consultant.


  • Hi Balaji – May be i addressing a very old Post however i am similar situation as you were in 2012 can you please let me know what is timeframe that you had to wait ?

    Also how was your first breakthrugh done ? was it with Startup Firm or an highly experianced Partner

    Let me know … I am really keen get into this however am getting Icebreaker opportunity 

  • Hi Balaji,

    Nice Blog to read.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience related to SAP Implementation.

    Could you please share your email id.