So you want to be a SAP Functional consultant ?
This post is strictly for the folks who have no idea about SAP.
I started my SAP journey in 2010 with no knowledge of SAP. I was not aware what these so called “SAP consultants” do? If I go back and think what was that one thing that raised my interest in this field, I would say “Money” without any hesitation. I used to hear phrases like “They mint Money” Global career, huge demand, they write their own checks and blah blahbalh …the list goes on.
I never used to believe all that but their pay checks were too big to ignore. This primarily was the reason for me to get into the SAP ERP world. I did nothing different from what all others were doing. Yes, I started googling about the SAP (which I am assuming is the main reason why you are reading this post J ). I had a list of my concerns which I believe you too might be having. So, I am listing down common concerns here, and will try to clarify them as best as I can.J In case I miss any area of your concerns, please post your concerns as comments.
- What is SAP? Is it a technology or a company?
Well SAP is “NOT” a technology it is a Company. To be more specific it is a software company which is the market leader in ERP software. Now you might be interested in knowing what is an ERP software? Well, Google is your friend! 🙂
- What SAP consultants do?
To answer this it would require a new blog post but to tell you in short, there are two types of roles in SAP: a- Consultantb- End user Role of a Consultant is to map the business processes in SAP software. Now what is a Business process? “It is a series of steps designed to produce a product or service.” Let’s take an example of buying a mobile from the market. In order to that, you first “Inquire” then you ask for a “quotation” then you give an “order” and then finally mobile is “Delivered” to you with an “Invoice”. This series of steps is called as a process.Inquiry>Quotation>Order>Delivery>Billing (Order to Cash process) So SAP consultants map these processes and configure the SAP system so that companies can run their business on SAP.End User profile: Once SAP is implemented in the company they start to run their business on SAP and of course it doesn’t run on its own so they need “End users” to create orders, deliveries, billing in SAP system.
- What is required to be a SAP consultant? Do I need to learn a programming language? Is it technical?
Well the good news is it doesn’t require learning any programming language to be a Functional consultant. All you need is a graduation and good knowledge on business processes of a company which I guess you can easily gather a few years of work experience. I’d say two years of work experience is good to begin a career in SAP. Recently SAP has extended their certification programme for the fresh grads too! Straight after your Graduation. Without any domain work experience. But I’d advise you to get some domain experience first and then get your hands into SAP because what you are going to do is processes mapping in SAP and in order to map it one should understand the processes first. J It doesn’t mean it is not for the fresher’s, you can learn it and get a job too. I am saying this so confidently because I was amongst those who did the certification without seeking two years of work experience and got a Consultant’s profile.
- How to do it? From where to do it?
There are 3 ways you can learn SAP
- Authorized training institutes
- Non authorized local institutes (economic)
- Internal training from your organisation
Authorized institute like Gennovate, Atos, and NIIT (India) provide certification training. There are two types of training’s these authorized institutes provide (a)- Classroom training (b)- Online training Classroom training’s from authorized centers are quite expensive (Around 3.5 lakhs for a month course). On the other hand, online training is comparatively economic but its quite challenging as there will be no trainer to tell you what to do . You will be given training material (Audio/video).One good advantage of authorized institutes is that they have a placement cell. All the authorized centers have their internal placement cell which works for your placements. Companies also look forward to these institutes if they have any openings. This is one very critical factor to consider while taking a call on your training institute. Most of the folks choose a midway between Classroom training and online training. They enroll themselves in an online training and join a local institute for classroom training for a trainer. Sounds very good to me but local institutes have very bad placement support.The best option is to get trained internally within the organisation but this path is not that easy. It is not easy to switch your career within the organisation until and unless company has a critical requirement for a consultant and sees a huge potential in you and is ready to invest on you.
- Now let’s come to the big question, how much SAP consultant earns ?
Well it depends on their domain and SAP experience. A fresher can expect somewhere between 2.5 to 3.5 Lakhs PA. Don’t be disheartened with these figures this is just the beginning. You may start with lesser package but sky is the limit once you are an experienced SAP consultant.
A SAP consultant with 2 to 3 years of experience in India can get around 6 to 8 lakhs per annum. It also depends on skills you possess and your project experience (Implementation as well as support experience).
A good profile would have at least 2 to 3 implementations with 2 support/rollout experience, this you will get eventually with time (Indian scenario).
As SAP is implemented in 9 out of every 10 Fortune 500 company, SAP consultants enjoy a premium remuneration over their IT counterparts working in other technologies like Java, .net etc.
The salary of a fresher SAP consultant in USA is from $47,000 to $60,000 and the bonuses are from $1,000 to $2,000.(Source – Glassdoor)