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The Value of SAP Certifications – Learning as a sustainable competitive advantage

A popular proverb states that “Knowledge is power” and, whilst true, knowledge can become obsolete if one is not able to adapt to changes in technology, industry or consumer trends. Perhaps the former business theorist Arie de Geus said it better, back in 1988 and still holding true today, with “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” Never has this been more apparent than in the rapidly changing world that we now live.

The pace at which today’s rapid innovations are being continuously deployed, through a shift toward cloud and the frequent release cycles, means that up-to-date skills that were once a “nice to have” are now essential in delivering valued business outcomes to customers. Now more than ever, companies are looking to new technologies for business process improvement and to enable entirely new business models, and the skills and competencies of the workforce are key success factors for a successful transformation.

A recent IDC Study forecasts that the SAP partner opportunity will expand to $260 billion by 2024. This growth is underpinned and driven by SAP Cloud growth. Through these new market opportunities, over 280,000 new consultant jobs will be created from 2020-2024. These opportunities also present challenges in ensuring workforces have the latest skills and knowledge of SAP’s cloud offerings, meaning the time is now for acquiring crucial knowledge and the certification to back it up.

Software certifications build your organization’s credibility and increase customer confidence in successful business outcomes with highly trained staff, proven to meet high professional standards, as well as providing tangible proof of your commitment to excellence.

The partner Rizing has also seen this correlation “There’s a direct correlation between professional certified consultants on a project and satisfied clients. Projects with professional certified consultants are more likely to be successful, resulting in happy and referenceable customers and the certifications are a quantifiable indicator for our SuccessFactors expertise. Being SAP experts is not just a claim we make, but we have the data to prove it”.

SAP Certifications not only heighten your organization’s reputation with a staff of trustworthy, knowledgeable experts with proven SAP capabilities, but also differentiate your organization – with existing and prospective customers, partners, and employees – with the high-quality expertise of your staff.

GP Strategies confirmed that SAP Certifications allow them to provide piece of mind to their customers that they are making the right choice with their implementation capabilities “We always staff our implementations with a professionally certified lead consultant for each SF module. This makes us stand out from the crowd and position us as the experienced and safe partner choice”.

Through differentiating with SAP Certifications, SAP Partners are also able to set themselves apart from the competition during the sales cycle. Rizing can credit recent deal closings to their certifications “Two recent sales wins with net new customers specifically called out our consultant certifications and the depth of knowledge we have in our organization as reasons for choosing us as vendor of choice. This follows a pattern of historical acknowledgement in many cycles that certification is a key differentiator.”

 

Certifications are not only a way to stay ahead of the competition, IT certifications also bring several benefits to attract top talent and motivate employees. Software certifications are proven to boost worker confidence, productivity, and job satisfaction as certified employees are better prepared to get the most out of software technologies, work more efficiently, and improve the business outcomes of their projects, meaning certifications are a great way to motivate your workforce to succeed by demonstrating your commitment to people and excellence.

Abeam has seen how SAP Certifications help them become first choice for their customers and in motivating and developing employees “In our experience at ABeam, the more certified consultants you employ, the more likely you will be the first choice for clients who for example want to improve their current CX solutions or start using SAP in general. Of course, ABeam in general proactively encourages us to further develop our skills and knowledge, SAP certifications can act as motivation as well as proof for that.”

 

One key tool SAP uses to supports its partners in preparing for an SAP Global Certification is via the SAP Learning Hub. SAP Learning Hub supports learners to build and maintain SAP solution skills with online, collaborative, hands-on, and expert-led training. Learners can start their learning experience with Learning Journeys interactive guides, with recommended paths to full solution competency, specific for the learner’s roles and goals.

SAP Learning Hub also promotes continuous learning to ensure skills stay current, which is imperative in addressing the frequent innovation releases in SAP Cloud technologies, to ensure consultants are best equipped to reach new customers and drive successful business outcomes.

With more and more people understanding the value of upskilling and certifying, learners need to stay ahead of the curve to not be left behind. Prime your organization to lead in the digital economy with a skilled and confident workforce and trusted certifications by SAP.

 

3 Comments
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  • Hans, you might want to add the links for the information sources referred by this blog. Otherwise we don’t know what research you’re referring to (or whether it’s even real) and personally, I never heard the company names mentioned here. So, please support your statements with links to sources.

    I definitely agree that knowledge is power and training is important. But I’m quite skeptical in the value of SAP certification when it comes with no other credentials. Google “SAP exam dumps” and you’ll find several sites offering texts that allow anyone to pass the test by simple memorization. Personally, I would not want to be on a project with such “professionals”.

    It would be best if SAP education was focused on the real life customer needs vs new product sales. Even in this blog you mention that it’s important to know about “cloud products”, as if on-premise world no longer exists. At the same time, for many existing customers it’s probably more important to know how to migrate their ECC to S/4 and avoid costly design mistakes. Unfortunately, freshly baked, even certified, consultants often can only parrot SAP marketing talking points instead of advising on what is best for specific customers.

    Not sure certification is a panacea for this, unless it is backed by hands-on experience and knowledge of not just what works but also of what doesn’t work.

    • Hi Jelena,

      Thanks for your comments. And good point of missing references that I will add to the post:

      You can find the IDC Study and full video of the session with IDC’s analyst here (registration may be necessary if you did not register for the original session) – https://events.sap.com/whats-next/en/home

      Furthermore, you can download the IDC infographic and analyst brief from the “additional resources” section of the video from which the figures are taken.

      Additionally, please also see the official SAP Press Release on this topic – https://news.sap.com/2020/10/new-research-sap-partner-revenue-opportunity-nearly-double-2024/

       

      And yes, you are right: certifications are not everything. But they are the starting point and SAP customers are moving to the cloud. To complement certifications, we also promote hands-on coaching services by SAP to help partners apply what was learned for a certification in practice and help them gain experience to tackle possible implementation challenges, going beyond normal classroom training with experiential learning and hands-on enablement. Furthermore, within the SAP Partner enablement offering, we have added applied skills workshops so that partners can hit the ground running.

       

      One very important aspect we see moving forward is the skills on the latest release with innovations coming faster and more frequently to market. For SAP Cloud Certifications, we have the so-called “stay current” program, to ensure skills are continuously checked and remain relevant, meaning the certifications are not just a one-time achievement based on a single point in time, but instead require continuous learning and skill enhancement. This is making certifications more meaningful as you have to continuously update your skills to stay certified.

      Your point on on-premise is very valid, and SAP is committed to helping all our customers become intelligent enterprises. To help our on-premise customers, we have the S/4 HANA Move Program, which is exactly focused on helping our existing customers  together with our partners transition from ECC to S/4 HANA.

      I hope I could address all your points and once again thanks for your comments.

      Best regards,

      Hans