Five key factors and basic tips for SAP consultant.
I have been working as an SAP consultant since 2009. I have worked with many consultants of various modules. Some of them were very sharp, intellectual and intelligent. They always performed their duties beyond expectations and delivered more efficiently than they were supposed to deliver. On the other hand there were also some consultants who rely on other’s knowledge and expertise. They never explored new things and they never thought out of the box. They always took their assignments as duties and never performed with curiosity.
I couldn’t get chance to travel in other countries and see closely how do they do their work but since I am regular contributor of SCN and I see many replies, questions and comments coming from across the world on daily basis. It gives me some idea that cultural differences are not impacting that much the working approach towards SAP.
I am sharing some key features that differentiate you from ordinary consultants and make you noticeable in your team or organization.
Personal interest in information technology
For me most important factor that an SAP consultant must have is his/her personal interest in information technology. I believe that education comes after this. A guy with any ordinary degree can perform well if he has willingness to learn and explore new things in IT. I have seen and known many guys who even can’t make a power point presentation but they are working as SAP consultant and it becomes difficult for them to learn and explore SAP. This is not a usual job like any other in which you always perform similar things on daily basis. When you are in SAP, you can have every day a new task or assignment that you even don’t know about. In such condition your enthusiasm towards learning and R&D works.
Don’t follow the trend. Follow your beliefs and what you are good at.
I receive many messages from professionals or fresh graduates that they want to get into SAP market. Most of them want this because they can see that SAP consultants are getting handsome salaries and other benefits. They think that anyone can be a successful SAP consultant just like that.
Here I want to share a true short story about someone who is a doctor by profession. He told me that one day an old man came in his clinic with his son and asked him to train the son and make him a doctor. Doctor surprisingly asked that old man what brought him there with this idea? Old man said “I tried to make my son a carpenter but he didn’t learn. Then I tried to make him a mason and he ran away from there because it was a hard job. Now I thought I should make him a doctor because doctors are earning well these days” 😀
The bottom line is that for getting into SAP one should have relevant knowledge, interest and educational back ground in some cases (one should have read programming if he wants to be an ABAPER). If you have been working somewhere from last couple of years and you want to get into SAP then you have to start from scratch and sacrifice your previous career. It’ll work for you if you are good at IT.
These two advises or suggestions are for those who are thinking to get into SAP market. Now I will share some for those who are already working as SAP consultants.
Proper use of Google search engine
If you know how to use google search properly, trust me you are quick learner and you can perform more competently. Use proper and short text when you are searching for a scenario. Few days back I saw a post on facebook that how IT people search in Google is “overheated Pc solutions” and how non IT guys search is “My PC get overheat very soon and how to cool down this PC because this PC is my life” 😀
Don’t give unnecessary text and use advance search option if you need to be more precise for your search. There is no other website in Google but SCN which gives more results and discussions about your search. Use site:scn.sap.com after your text if you want to stick to SCN. Sometimes we don’t get any result and this is for those issues/scenarios which are not very common.
If you are facing some error and you want to search that in Google then don’t write your own words in search bar. Just copy paste the error text without any number or value which is specifically for your system. I always recommend and suggest searching with error message number because it gives us accurate threads and results. I believe that if we all start using Google search effectively, we’ll have more than fifty percent less questions in SCN on daily basis.
Never accept or reject the proposal/requirement straightaway
A smart consultant after listening user’s requirement never accepts or rejects it straightaway. He always takes time to analyze and check all the consequences which system can have after implementing the solution. No matter you are so sure about possibility of solution, you shouldn’t ever say that this is not possible in system. You should always ask him for some appropriate and justifiable time. If the requirement is of very basic level and you are so sure about its possibility, still you should ask for some time provided that business requirement is not very critical and they are losing business for that. I have learnt from my experience that if you deliver in very short time users make that a bench mark and they always expect the same results from you afterwards. In this case when you really need time to overcome some issue user can say that you are bluffing and you can do that quickly.
Develop professional network and be active on different forums
Last but not least suggestion that I have is that an SAP consultant must have good networking with other SAP consultants. It doesn’t mean that you should get on their nerves by pinging them all the time or sending them emails for no reason. What I am saying is that you should know who are the best consultants in your area of expertise and you should have them in your hangout, linkedin or other social accounts. You can contact them when you get stuck somewhere because in SAP no one is perfect no matter how many years of experience we have. You must not be working in dark zone. Always try to be socialize with other SAPians and especially with those who share your area of expertise.
I suggest and strongly recommend you to be active in SAP forums and SCN is one of the most visited and famous among all. You meet new consultants here and you learn many new ideas which enhance your expertise. SCN is key to learn and to develop your networking. If you are good at something let others know this and take benefit of your knowledge and expertise. It won’t decrease your worth or knowledge in fact it builds your good reputation. You can at least spare 30 minutes from your busy schedule to participate in some threads or commenting on some good blogs and documents. When you read some good blog or document that you liked, you should always give your feedback. It is a way of showing your appreciation and it gives publisher a confidence. If you don’t agree to what publisher has published or said in his blog or document you should give your critic feedback with respectful manner.
Negative or positive feedback would be highly appreciated. You can contact me directly. I am easy to find on linkedin or twitter and I have also given my email in my SCN profile.
Just read your blog and it's wonderful.Thanks a lot sharing your thoughts.
Thank you for appreciating dear.
Great Blog, Good Tips.
Appreciate your Guidance.
it's very use full to us thank you
I find all of your observations to be true and inspiring.
With all of new technologies SAP is just increasing its flexibility as a s/w solution.
Agreed. Thanks for the comment dear.
do you mind if i add you to linkedin? thanks for sharing these materials!!
Sure Mark you can add me on Linkedin.
This is some very good advice. Thanks for sharing your point of view.
Thank you for appreciating it. Good to see your comments here.
I am new in SAP but i appreciate your views.
thanks for sharing these experiences. Reading this, was worth the time..
Nice Blog Moazzam Ali sir
Very Informative and Encourage Blog
Very nice informative blog !!
Thanks Jamil, Rahul and Sathish.
This really a great blog. I agree to your point of "Effective use of Google Search Engine" which really makes our life quite agree.
I also agree to your point that "a good consultant never says yes or no to a problem blindly". Here I would like to add that sometimes a good consultant needs to say NO also to the client. The reason is, many times the requirement of the clients are quite typical, and not possible in the standard scenario. So in this case, a good consultant should know the art of convincing the client this method to say NO in such a way that the clients' sentiments do not get hurt, and at the same time client is also satisfied with your reply / response.
Thank you for sharing your views. I'd like to add in your comment that sometimes we need to say NO to client even the requirement could be fulfilled in standard settings. We have to say NO because this setting will impact the system in long run.Only smart consultant can foresee the things like this.
These five factors are really excellent to grow in SAP world. Very nice blog.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks Moazzam Ali for this blog.
Such blogs helps to foucs on our attitude towards work, apart from the daily technical activities we are involved.
Keep posting more such inspirational blogs.
Thanks for the blog Mr. Ali,
I believe these are practical problems which a consultant faces in his/her day to day working and the solutions suggested by you are practical too and can be tried and adopted easily. 🙂
This really a great blog. I agree with your above points.
As always your blog/ideas are superb. No need to mention that. I also agree that key differentiating factor between two SAP Consultants can be only interest level and who has the interest will win the game at the day end. Keep posting and Keep sharing. Thanks.
Thank you guys for such remarks.
Great insights for sure, I've since moved over to more of the marketing side of the work working with Travel Industry,<<removed company site>>
"Dont Follow the Herd" is some great advice!
<<moderator edit - removed URL to company site>>
Great Information, Very useful ..
I cannot but overemphasize how articulate your are on this blog! You are well on point! I will call the points you have raised as the "5 Pillars of a SAP consultants". I agree with your points with regards to Personal interest and Passion.
Individuals are most likely to be successful where their passions lies. 🙂
Most times I am on the system exploring , thinking outside the box, and challenging norms.
Bukky (FICO Consultant)
Thank you for the showing your positive feedback. Yes we can say these 5 points as 5 pillars of SAP Consultant.
Thank You for sharing your thoughts and experience, I really appreciate it.
I always had a passion to step in to SAP. It took around 2 years to make a final decision to move away from Accounting & Finance career after 15 years with non SAP experience.
Recently certified FI&CO and still keen on certifying few other modules after my first SAP job. Thanks for sharing frequently asked questions by Ravi Sankar Venna.
Thanks for sharing this Inside-Information with us. It gives me some detailed hints where to look at my first steps towards an SAP Consultant.
It is a very interesting bolg . It applies to everyone in the SAP world. Points about knowledge sharing and Professional networking are useful. Keep on blogging .
Hi Moazzam ,
Consider me in Once who will go leap ahead if i get a proper opportunity
Can you please suggest how can I get an Ice Breaker Opportunity ?
You have to be determined and try to get some intern-ship or some project experience as a junior guy. Don't go for salary at the beginning as there is huge competition in SAP market now. Rest its your luck.
Good luck dear 🙂 .
Thanks for sharing such a valuable guidance.
It is a worth reading.
Hello Moazzam, Its indeed a great blog! 🙂 I missed to read it early. I liked the idea of borrowing some time before you accept or reject any requirement. If proper feasibility check is carried out with this time, the consultant gets a strong base of technical reasoning. And that is really important to have hassle free delivery of the solutions. I agree!
It indeed a great blog! .
Dear Mr Moazzam,
I am a beginner of SAP and the tips that you have presented in this blog are really helpful and your point of giving feedback on the threads that people like me go through for the solutions has made me for the first time to really think that even such kind of gesture can also be a contribution to our family of SCN as i had a notion that i being a novice right now have no say in the forum. Thus taking the courage to respond yours is the first blog that i am giving the feedback and request further to post these kind of articles in future as well which will encourage all the SAPians.
Thanks and Regards,
I agree with you thoughts however its too difficult to reach to stage where you can show that you can show your peers / clients that you can worth delivering .. Most of Recruiters only want see how much years have you spent as consultant and for new (domain experienced consultants) its difficult to get there
I think number of years doesn't matter. What matters is the knowledge of the candidate. If I interview someone I'd never see the number of years or life cycles.
Just focus on learning and increase your knowledge and expertise.
Hi nittala sreenivas
Welcome in the world of SAP and SCN. Thank you for your kind words and gesture. You can also contribute to this community. I always tried to be active member but due to some official and personal commitments sometimes I could not log in for weeks but still I am not out of town 🙂
Are you Sure on this ?
Dont think this is inline with what Recruiters are looking for ?
If I was a recruiter, I would have never focused on number of years. I know people who have spent lot of years in SAP and they don't know how to check entries in SAP tales. For me knowledge matters not the number of years. I think smart recruiters would also focus on knowledge.
Hi Moazzam ,
wise words , hope all the consultants for any others companies will read this article !
Nice Blog and an interesting read for both aspiring SAP consultants and the veterans as well. Keep up the good work !!
Hi Moazzam Nice blog... thanks..
Hi Moazzam very well written..Crisp and Clear!
Hi Moazzam Ali sir ,thank q so much for u valuable words .My strong desire is to become Sap Sd consultant.I am 33 year old ,worked in sales deparment in banking sector for 4 years and 2 years in marketing in infrastructure sector.As I want to b a successful women i opted Sap Sd.
Sir as ur already in the market can u please let me know ....
How much probability i may have to b successful ?
some times I feel very low and blank future ,when i feel it is not easy.how to get out of it
How to make it possible?
Sir after reading ur blog i thought I can ask u .Can u please help.
There are many threads available which could explain your concerns in details. What I would like to suggest you is that it is difficult to change your line when you have spent couple of years in some job or business etc. Now if you want to move in towards SAP you need to sacrifice your banking experience and start as a fresh trainee in SAP which might not be feasible for you. You must be supporting yourself and family etc and couldn't bear to have very low salary job etc. Think from this perspective as well before deciding anything.
This is a very nice blog and good advice for freshers. one should strictly search on google and give daily time to the forum. this will give us a chance to hang with people of best knowledge and great aspiration for us.
Too good. your blogs are good.
i have asked few questions, can u answer them.
just text me on 91-7200385297 whenever u r free
Walaikum Salam dear.
This is not the right way to ask something in SCN. Please go through the community rules first.
Hello MoazzaM ,
Thanks for such good article.
Thank you for calling me with a new name and for appreciating the blog 🙂
Hello MoazzaM ,
I regret , Just now corrected.
Hi Sir Moazzam,
I feel so good to have read this blog. Amazing! 😀
I wish i had read this like a year ago. It says everything that i always felt or wanted to hear. Shall try to follow everything.
Thanks so much.
p.s: So good to be working in the same company which made such a good consultant like yourself.
Thank you for such nice words Hamza. Just wanted to know which company you are working for?
Really a great one if possible sir please add some more insights which will be helpful for us
Your blog is very useful，I like your article，thank you，I am Chinese.
Thanks Dear. I like Chinese people 🙂
Thank you Moazzam.
Good! Thank you Moazza.
Nice blog, very informative information for a SAP consultant...Appreciate your effort 🙂
Thank you so much for this post.
I’m fresher when it comes to SAP consulting and any blog on which I can slowly “soak up the brain” comes really handy for me.
Appreciate effort and time that you’ve to put into this.