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Education Newscast 102 – What skills are important these days for SAP Experts with Alex Greb

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In today’s episode of the SAP Education Newscast, we talk with Alexander Greb, Customer Advisory Lead SAP S/4HANA Strategy, about the skillset of an SAP expert and current skill gaps.

 

Skillset of an SAP Expert. What does it take to become an SAP expert?

It depends on the role. From a general point of view, it is important to be able to think beyond the technical solution itself. You need to understand the value proposition.

When you approach a customer, you should not talk only about the industry he is operating in, as most probably he will know it better than you do. It is important to show empathy, understand the customer’s challenges and focus then on the capabilities. Based on the insights, you can then derive what is necessary to accomplish the goal. Understanding the situation of the customer and connecting him with the experts is very crucial.

The biggest skill gaps – where can the tech industry improve?

Gaps are always present and will always be there, as the market changes. The biggest gap, especially in regard to SAP is the transformation of the SAP ecosystem itself.

Also there is a high requirement for business skills nowadays. Back in earlier days, the implementation of a SAP system was mainly discussed with the IT departments of companies whereas now in a cloud world an implementation can be done without any involvement of IT. The focus has changed towards topics such as digital transformation. The business should be the center of all activities as it has the budget and it makes the decisions about investments. Also it is important to get away from using SAP-specific vocabulary and communicate topics in a way, that everyone understands.

There is a huge requirement for people who understand both the business and the IT side and who are able to communicate in both directions accordingly.

How to become an SAP expert

First of all it is necessary to understand the technical basics of course, which can be done by more formal learning from e-learning to classroom training. The real skills are developed however then on the job afterwards as you execute tasks in real situations.

It also helps to view it from another perspective first and for example work on the customer-side for a certain time span before becoming an expert for a specific software. This helps you to understand what reality looks like and how the system works.

Required soft skills

As already mentioned, it is important to put the customer and his and her challenges into the center of all. It is not advisable to walk into a company and start curing “the disease” by talking about just implementing a solution. You need to talk to the customer at first, understand the problem. Be a good listener! Show empathy! Understand his situation and then try to find the correct medicine for the problem or disease! Have the strategic mindset, know the solutions and best practices, and eventually you will become a good SAP expert!

Thank you for listening and hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. We are looking forward to having you with us next time! Would be great if you can share the podcast on social media, like it on Apple podcasts. And we are always thankful if you share your lessons learned from the talk like in the comments below.

Here are a few more interesting links:

Alexander Greb on LinkedIn 
SAP Experts Podcast on openSAP
Book – “Conversations That Win The Complex Sale”
Book – “Porsche 917: The Winning Formula”

 

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