Why Domain Experience is must to be a SAP Functional consultant?
Now days I am observing that more & more youths are turning towards SAP as a career. With the help of my experience & knowledge if I decode this trend, I can figure out following reasons:
- Glamour & Buzz around SAP Career
- Money & Perks involved in SAP jobs
- One of the way to enter into IT from your domain(sales, production)
- Job opportunities availability
This trend can be well understood with the given reasons.
However I am observing that today’s youths are trying to enter into SAP career by keeping aside mandatory prerequisite. For the sake of entry into SAP, they are adopting shortcuts. However to be successful in your SAP career, if you possess all theprerequisites, it would be in your favor & there are more chances of winning the game.
According to my beliefs & understanding, I will say following are the prerequisite to be a junior or entry level SAP functional consultant:
1) Graduation Degree(Post-Graduation in Business Management like MBA is preferred)
2) Domain (functional) Experience of 3 years.
3) End user/core team experience of any ERP – Preferred
4) SAP Certification (Not mandatory but preferred)
Today I will talk here about importance of domain experience & why I am quoting it as a must factor? I will simplify my reasoning through 5 bullet points so it would be easy to understand for each of us.
1) Always remember, you are in consulting – Just refer the dictionary & try to find out meaning of word “consulting”. According to Dictionary.com, consulting means employed or involved in giving professional advice to the public or to those practicing the profession.Meaning is very simple. For consulting you need solid experience. Consulting is an art or science which requires extensive knowledge & wisdom which can be earned through genuine experience only. There is no alternative to that.
2) Knowledge of enterprise resources – My friends you are planning a career in SAP which is an ERP which simply means Enterprise Resource Planning. And if you do not know what are the resources required to run a enterprise then how you are going to plan it? Very
basic question. Planning enterprise resources i.e. man, material, machines, money cannot be done by just reading any book. You need actual domain experience to do it swiftly & efficiently.
3) Business Process Expertise – What is the role of a SAP functional consultant in a project? Very simple answer to this question is incorporating all existing business process of enterprise into SAP ERP so that firm could transact on day to day basis in a very disciplined & controlled manner to bring productivity & efficiency. Without actual process knowledge this would be a very daunting task. If you are SD consultant you must know important process related to Sales & Distribution.
While speaking with client, you have to speak in business language & not SAP language.
You will not get to know business language in any business school. For that you need real time experience. Business process knowledge will play very significant role while speaking with client. For example if you do not know ARE forms, how you will map export process in SAP & how you will answer customer queries?
4) Integration between different functions – After selling any goods or service,customer account will get debited & company revenue account will get credited. Its nothing but integration between Sales& Finance department. You will come to know this while working in an organization selling goods or services & collecting payment after that. At the time of follow up for payment you will learn credit management & payment term configuration in SAP SD which is integration.
5) Suggesting Improvements – When you suggest improvements to your client, you have to be extra careful because you are pointing out something which is practiced by clients for years. You can suggest improvement only when you know the process thoroughly. You know pros & cons of the process. Again domain experience for this is inevitable.
Hence friends do not make rush, do not make any hasty decisions before entering into SAP career. Jobs will not run away. Jobs would be always there for right skilled candidate. You can do following things to improve your business knowledge:
- Gain some meaningful domain experience.
- Understand the business process from its roots.
- Ask questions to seniors.
- Contribute to business decisions through your inputs.
- Learn from your bottom of your heart.
- Work hard & understand joints between different functions.
- Try to improve your existing processes with your business insights.
SAP world will welcome you with open arms. Then you will become the guy that SAP world needs. You can contribute to SAP eco-system with your knowledge & wisdom.
Please do write to me with your feedback & suggestions. All the very best & god bless all of you.
Certified SAP SD Consultant