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Date: April 28

Time: 4:00 pm Eastern

Where: – see attached Outlook calendar appointment

Who: YOU and Susan Martin Tom Cenens Martin Gillet

SAP Mentor Tom Cenens wrote about how he influences SAP Certification Influencing SAP Certification & Education: a SAP Mentor success story – SAP has offered to update everyone in a SAP Mentor webinar on April 28th

One thing I did hear last week is not enough people know HANA and some of the latest SAP tools on the market.  One of the ways to “upskill” is to take a look at what SAP offers in the area of SAP certification and training:

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Source: SAP

I am a fan of the Learning Hub and I have learned a great deal from it.  However, in talking to people at BI 2014 last week many were not aware of the FREE discovery edition.  For more information go to training.sap.com

If you are an ASUG Member you can register for this Learning Hub webcast on April 9 with Arnold Jung

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Source: SAP Credential Manager

I hope to hear an update about the Credential Manager – learn more at  SAP Global Certification is rolling out SAP Credential Manager

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Source: Crowdsourcing Homepage

Also planned is an update about Crowd-sourcing SAP Certification questions  – see Experts Contributing to Crowdsourcing Initiative

So save the Outlook calendar entry attached to your calendar and please join us – see SAP Mentor Monday Webinars 2014.

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8 Comments

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  1. Simon To

    Hi Tammy, thanks for bringing this up. Yes, SAP and ASUG need to do a better job on promoting those learning channels. I have been promoting the OpenSAP and many people have not heard about it either. 🙂

    simon

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  2. Paul Hawking

    Hi Tammy

    There is saying I like “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig”.  This often comes to mind when I hear the rhetoric about SAP Certification.  I suppose it depends on how one measures the success of SAP certification,  These are some of my measures:

    1. SAP Certification is not highly regarded by industry

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    2. Certification fails when SAP themselves don’t trust it as a true measure of competency.  In a number of developing countries individuals are forced to undertake SAP Education courses before they can sit for Certification. Why?

    SAP

    3.  SAP has taken nearly 2 years to develop a tool/process to enable employers to authenticate someone’s Certification.

    4. One of SAP’s solutions to the poor reputation of SAP certification was the introduction of tiered certification (2008) where it focused on project experience.  After 5 years this initiative has struggled with very few undertaking a course even if they exist in their area of expertise.

    SAP Certification Changes – Interview with Sue Martin of SAP Part 1 – YouTube

    I admire members of the ecosystem who continually try and improve SAP Certification.  Maybe it is time for SAP to admit its shortcomings and abandon it and put the cosmetics bag away.  Instead provide proof of completion of courses and provide advice to companies the best way to get the right skills for a project.  Hopefully this would prevent experiences where people believed that SAP Certification would make a difference to their career.

    DOs & DON’Ts for SAP Career (Certification) on the basis of my on going journey from an Accountant to SAP FI Consultant.

    Paul

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    1. Tammy Powlas Post author

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comments.  I hope you can make this webcast to raise these measures?  I don’t know what time it will be for you in Melbourne.

      I’ve shared it with the SAP Certification team.

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        1. Tammy Powlas Post author

          Thank you – I realize that is super-early then 🙂

          I did pass along Paul’s comments to the SAP Certification team.  I hope it gets covered.

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    2. Susan Martin

      Hi Paul,

      I am sorry for the delayed response but as you rightly say there is still lots to do and it keeps us busy. In case you can’t make it to the call I will try to answer some of your questions via SCN first … hope that helps. If not we can have a call that is more in keeping with our time zones. Please feel to reach out to me.

      In all fairness I don’t believe that the phrase “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig” is the right one – I would see it more along the lines of “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” or “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Our major challenges still remain on the one hand the resistance of the ecosystem to adopt a standard that has not been adequately pushed in the past and, on the other hand a lack of awareness around changes that have been made. 

      1) In terms of recognition the SAP Certification Program undoubtedly still has some catching up to do as it has not traditionally been mandatory –  as in some of the other IT cert programs – as a prerequisite for working in the partner ecosystem. That being said – a user group survey from last summer showed that it is nevertheless used as a relevant criteria for our customers to make engagement or recruiting decisions – please see below  –

      pic 1.png
       
       

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      2. The global policy for certification eligibility does not specify training as a prerequisite and none of the emerging markets specify only SAP training. In India, Korea and China we do check experience and/or training as a prerequisite due to the unfortunate proliferation of cheat sites and brain dumps of exam questions. This is a sad but necessary measure to uphold the credibility of the certification and ensure that our customers are not put at risk.

      3.The credential verification platform Credential Manager was launched in October of 2013 after 12 months of implementation. This is not an SAP developed tool, is not ONLY a platform for credential verification but offers a host of other self- service scenarios and benefits to the certified community, etc. and yes – this did take longer
      than we would have liked – but that is primarily due to the fact that SAP holds
      the bar extremely high in terms of data privacy legislation (in accordance with
      EU regulations). We have been translating the tool and rolling it out to other
      markets since October and that will be completed by June.

      4. Multi – tiered certification – yes that is indeed a shame that the adoption of Professional certification has been relatively low but again this is primarily an awareness issue.

      pic 3.png

      I am interested to hear your stance on proof of training completion as an adequate substitute for certification to protect our customers from risk. But when I look back on my time at university I would have myself been euphoric if attending the lectures and enlisting my friends’ help on the coursework would have been sufficient to get me through some of my least favorite subjects, such as statistics. Looking at it 30 years on I am glad for my employers that I had to take an exam to validate that I had at least understood the subject – regardless of how painful an experience that was at the time 😉 We continue to see it as SAP’s responsibility to our customers and partners to provide a measurement of competence to help them minimize risks and drive their business success. The link you refer to http://scn.sap.com/community/training-and-education/certification/blog/2012/08/09/dos-don-ts-for-sap-carrier-certification-on-the-basis-of-my-on-going-journey-from-an-accountant-to-sap-fi-consultant
      reiterates the widely held  – and in my opinion absolutely correct  – view that
      certification alone (whether it be SAP or another certification)  is not a job guarantee and should never be considered as one. But that is in no way a reason to
      admit its shortcomings and abandon it and put the cosmetics bag away”. It is more a reason to continue to work with the important stakeholders such as the SAP Mentors to continually improve the program. We are on the right path. Nobody said it would be easy and nobody said that it would be done on a weekend.

      Best regards,

      Sue

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      1. Paul Hawking

        Hi Sue

        There is another saying which I think is relevant “flogging a dead horse”

        1.  I would suggest that the questions in the survey were a little biased.  I am impressed that nearly 50% of the sample knew about Professional Certification.  Obviously not an Australian sample. I am willing to assist is designing future survey questions if that would help.

        2. In terms of “The global policy for certification eligibility does not specify training as a prerequisite and none of the emerging markets specify only SAP training.” The extract below comes from the prerequisite for Certification Exam at Teched India.

        “In addition, the following eligibility requirements exist for certification candidates:

        Partners and Customers

        • Participants must complete the relevant academy courses with SAP Education or an SAP Education Partner to qualify to take the certification exams.
        • Candidates can appear for re-certification with a copy of score sheet, provided the exam is in the offering.”

        Yes they do!

        In terms of “cheat sheets or breaches” I am finding it insulting to suggest that this is confined to certain countries.  Matter of fact a search of the internet found some sites based in America selling answers to exams.  Based on SAP’s logic the policies which apply to India and other developing countries should be applied to the USA.

        3.  Comparing certification assessment to university assessment is interesting.  The point I was trying to make is that no assessment is better than poor assessment.  Customers are increasingly realizing that SAP Associate Certification is not a reliable measure of SAP skills or knowledge.  My experience with university assessment is that there is a range of tasks and these change each semester.  If an academic did not change their assessment task from semester to semester then they get what they deserve.

        Obviously we have different perspectives when it comes to SAP Certification.  We both want it to be an industry standard but unfortunately it has a long way to go.

        Paul

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        1. Kumud Singh

          Hi Paul,

          You have highlighted few very valid points regarding differences in certification-prerequisites across different locations. One of the requisites that really surprise me is: the candidate should have served the current organization for at least 12 months. Why is it a mandatory criteria? Does the previous experience not count?

          Regards,

          Kumud

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