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Road Ahead for SAP Consultants : 2013

1. BW on HANA : 2013 will be the year of BW on HANA. The groundwork has been done perfectly well in 2012. This should be good for many consultants – BW, BOBJ, Basis etc to ride the wave. If you are not up to speed on 7.3 version of BW, you might want to get spun up on that. This should also have a positive effect in increasing the demand for BPC 10 upgrades for BPC on HANA.

2. Combo innovations : None of the newer stuff from SAP might give full business value to customers when they stand alone. But they have awesome potential when used in combination. There aren’t a lot of consultants out there who can articulate and implement combination of new technologies ( say HANA and CEP, BPC and Mobility etc) to solve existing problems in completely new ways.

3. Upgrades : Many customers have not made use of cool new functionality offered by Enhancement packs. But I do know first hand – especially from SAPPHIRE and TECHED conversations with customers, that several of them want to start using them in 2013.  This should be good not just for technical experts – but also for functional experts whose knowledge is needed to pick what functionality needs to be switched on.

4. Visual Intelligence : This needs me to go out on a limb – but everyone whom I have shown the tool has liked it. It is much more user friendly than most other SAP reporting tools. I have a strong hunch that 2013 will see a lot of traction in the market.

5. SuccessFactors + SAP HR : I understand that the integration needs more work – but there is tremendous interest from On premises SAP HR customers to start using SFSF. SAP definitely is doing the right thing in sales and marketing already in 2012 – and customers should be able to start seeing work in this area in 2013.

6. Automated Testing : I have lost count of how many customers have asked me about automated testing for SAP solutions. If you are an expert in testing, 2013 might be a great year for you. Whether it is done using SAP tools, or will third party tools win the race remains to be seen, especially when it comes to automated testing of interfaces.

7. Enterprise Information Management : Data continues to be vitally important at SAP shops. I expect MDG and Data services to be in hot demand in 2013, probably followed by MDM. The big issue I see is that very few consultants have the ability to explain the cost of bad data to business stakeholders. Just profiling data and saying 70% of customer data is bad is not helpful. If you can then use that analysis and say ” 23% of your shipments will be returned” , will get some one’s attention in a hurry.

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