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When was the last time you were more than an arm’s length away from the internet?

Technology has penetrated our very existence in a fundamental way and more often than not, we don’t seem to realize it before our internet goes out or your iPhone is on the fritz. Technology has changed, pretty much the way we do everything and it’s just getting started. For business, the opportunities technology unveils are even more profound.

IT has started to emerge from their figurative cellars, starting to break through the unintentionally built barriers between business functions and the enabling technologies behind them. After a long period of slightly awkward dating, it seems like business and IT are ready to take it a step further. Contrary to their human counterparts this marriage of functions has a tougher honeymoon phase but pretty much a guaranteed divorce rate of zero. SAP is committed to guiding companies through this transition and has been and will be the pastor in an increasing number of ‘weddings’ across 25 industries all over the world.

The new generation entering the workforce has grown up around and with these new technologies and on the consumer level, we’ve already been married to technology for a while. We twenty-somethings are used to things being Google fast and Apple simple. We want to see and face consumer level experiences whether it be at home or at work, on a desktop or any device. SAP has embraced this change and built the core of its strategy around simplification. SAP also believes that the new generation will be the ambassadors for this simplification and act as a catalyst for the newlyweds, IT & business. In early 2014, SAP has shown its commitment to be at the forefront of this renewal by kicking off the SAP Sales Academy.

SAP Sales Academy is an intensive 9-month training program which builds a foundation for a successful sales career in high-tech software. The program is divided in two parts to support the efficient learning process: classroom training and field rotations in national market units.

The classroom training is being held in Silicon Valley, California. In the times of e-learning and cost cutting it’s quite rare to send new employees abroad for few months. But it’s already safe to say that the unparalleled experiences we’ve faced can’t be substituted with monotonous self-learning. At least we are happy to spend few months in sunny California with over a 100 colleagues from 29 different countries and experienced trainers who are committed to doing everything for our professional growth. The classroom training covers a broad variety of skills: sales skills, presentation skills, social skills, industry knowledge, problem solving… and the list goes on! The learning methods also vary: in the morning we might be listening to a keynote from our Vice President of Cloud Solutions, and in the afternoon we may find ourselves working on group presentations about our Mobility Solutions. What would be a better kick start for a career than working with the best in a truly global environment?

During the rotations in our market units we are implementing the skills we’ve learnt in the classroom to practice.  We are shadowing our experienced sales personnel and learning how the sales process works in practice in our market unit. It has been great to see that people are willing to invest their time in us and really accelerate our learning. The best way to learn is by doing – that’s why it’s really valuable to work with multiple people on different kind of projects.

Having the privilege to work with SAP’s customers from all different industries gives us a great chance to learn and with all innovations surrounding these industries and technologies, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in IT.

We’re really looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that await in the near future.

SAP Academy Account Executives

Ville Kivinummi & Pyry Honkanen

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