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Back to Basis – The Evolution

I wanted to follow-up on my original Back to Basis Blog I posted almost 6 years ago, but instead of adding to the list of never ending tasks and products I will like to focus on the evolution of the role itself.

Traditionally your regular SAP Basis was a trusted workhorse that spent his days mainly working in the background (also known as the grumpy fellow in the corner that most people were afraid to talk to), as any other IT job Basis was almost invisible in a business as usual scenario, as long as the system was running the business had little interaction with us.

In the last few years as SAP products evolved and integrated with almost everything the SAP Basis role also evolved drastically, raising from a necessary evil into a core position to the point that now a days most of the SAP Technical Architects come from a SAP Basis background.

But Why?… The answer is simple: No-one knows your SAP Landscape as SAP Basis does!

Let me explain:

To begin with we gather the business data required for the systems sizing, which goes all the way from the number of users and their projected activity levels to the number of invoices produced at peak hours.

We analyze the output of the sizing and choose the architecture (Liaising with business, infrastructure, partner’s influences, etc…. I can go on and on about how Basis can increase the ROI with basic choices but I won’t, that’s a different subject)

We build the systems from scratch.

We integrate the systems with each other and with other 3rd party systems covered by a particular project which is a big advantage from the understanding of the SAP Landscape as a whole, meaning:

– We know WHAT integrates with WHAT.

– We know the WHY.

– We know HOW.

We understand the business processes and translate them into technical solutions. We are well suited to tell the business what are the options available and list the best practices.

No other consultant can tell you how your BW infocubes are filled and at the same time tell you how products and stock are CIF’ed between ERP and SCM, how the SRM workflow works, or how the different PI Channels handle the messages.

To conclude,

Our role gives us a unique perspective that let us understand the intrinsic relation in between people and system. That knowledge makes us the right choice when searching for a SAP Technical Architect.

So, the next time you find yourself in a pickle, talk to your Basis… If we don’t have the answer we know where to find it.

Love to hear your comments.

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  • Well said Juan. In last few year SAP has done major changes and now a days expectations are quite high from a Basis consultant as we should have all the answers raised by business so  its getting challenging day by day to manage the SAP landscape.



  • Juan, you nailed it here. This is the job description for the modern Basis admin. In fact, I was just explaining something quite like this to someone last night, so how serendipitous to read your thoughts on it this morning.

    Also, I think it worthwhile to tag the Career Center space for this one, as questions come up there all the time about this sort of thing.



  • Our SAP systems are hosted by third party and we don't have a full-time Basis person. With mixed success, several people (including me) take care of some simple activities that are normally performed by Basis/Security. But I've already seen how lack of Basis expertise hurt some of our projects, so let this be a word of caution to those IT managers who believe Basis is not needed in the hosted environments.

    I believe the "job description" for the Architects is still evolving. Also there are Solution Architects emerging from the ABAP world whose expertise is in the software integration rather than in the servers and whatever CIF is. 🙂 Quite interesting times we live in.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Absolutely... An experienced ABAPer will know integration inside-out. I'm not leaving them ouside... 😉

      BTW:  CIF stands for Core Interfase, transfer data between ERP and SCM

    • Thanks Ashutosh,

      Someone said to me the other day that this blog lifted Basis to almost CEO level 😆 ...  hightly doubt it, I simply wanted to remind people that we do much more than just keeping the systems running.


  • Hello,

    This is very insightful. Have been working in BASIS for 4 years and yes life is not easy.

    Its good to know how we can use our knowledge of system landscape for betterment of our careers. Thanks for sharing your views.


  • Well said Pablo, great blog and you hit the nail on the head about the evolving role of Basis within the organisation. There needs to be move visibility of the role and how it bridges the gap between ideas and deliverables. Also don't forget about change management and the role your friendly Basis support person supplies. Kudos my friend. Keep them coming,



  • It is pretty much true Juan. Very well written.

    working as a BASIS consultant in multiple projects would suffice a lot of exposure and would be able to get adequate knowledge. But at the End of the Day we love the work we do.


  • Amazingly motivational post for all the unsung basis heros working to keep the systems running.
    Having said that, for all the basis guys new to the tech or losing interest/hope in the same, can you tell us the approach to go from working in a hit and try attempt to being able to be confident and sureshot in solving an issue at hand? The landscape basis offers is gigantic so what approach do we follow to go from being a beginner to a pro at it?

    • can you tell us the approach to go from working in a hit and try attempt to being able to be confident and sureshot in solving an issue at hand? The landscape basis offers is gigantic so what approach do we follow to go from being a beginner to a pro at it?

      That is called experience, confidence is a direct consequence of knowledge. You only learn as much as your curiosity drive you to... be curious, research, understand.

      That is my approach.