SAP, started in 1972 by five ex-IBM employees in Mannheim, Germany, states that it is the world’s largest inter-enterprise software company and the world’s fourth-largest independent software supplier, overall. To have a comprehensive range of applications the tangible SAP idea was to provide customers with the capacity to cooperate with a common corporate database and so the applications have been assembled gradually and today the number of corporations such as IBM and Microsoft are also using SAP products for running their own businesses. SAP applications, built around their latest R/3 system, provide the capability to deal with financial, asset, and cost accounting, production operations and materials, personnel, plants, as well as archived documents. The R/3 system runs on a number of platforms including Windows 2000 and uses the client/server model. The most recent version of R/3 includes a comprehensive Internet-enabled package. In recent times SAP has recast its product offerings under an inclusive Web interface, called mySAP.com, and added new e-business applications, with customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM). But in early 2001, SAP, a publicly traded company, had 21,500 employees in more than 50 countries, and 30,000 installations. Now a days SAP is whirling its full attention to small-and-medium sized businesses. A recent R/3 version was supplied for IBM’s AS/400 platform.
SAP Skills that are in demand (USA market):
After the September 11 tragedy, the job market has went down very badly. By the contribution of unimaginable rates, lot of recruiters is taking gratuitous advantages of the market conditions. Many existing SAP clients have been holding on to new projects for variety of reasons and consultants who have been waiting for new projects for a while are now organized to get into any project at the recruiters terms and conditions. Besides market condition is forcing many consulting companies to cease their full time employees straight away after their current project gets over. These are employees who have been serving these companies for a long period of time and are now facing annihilation at any point of time. Independent consultants and full time employees of consulting companies that were laid off recently are the nastiest to suffer, and even they do not have the option to get a full time job, because there is no one available and there is a freeze on hiring in lot of companies. Benefits include low cost and on-time implementation, client driven project and active participation of employees. Key for survival in today’s market is to expand experience in countless areas of SAP, rather than specializing in one particular thing.
Skills that are still in demand are as follows:
• Functional consultants: Experienced functional consultants in any module will always be in demand for a long time.
• ABAP programmers: This skill has lost good market value but will continue to be around forever because of changes done to existing projects and new developments. Demand for HR ABAP programmers have vanished. But programmers with experience in multiple modules, ESS, SAP Script, BAPI, and RFC etc. will persist to be in demand.
• Human Resource (HR): Specialized knowledge of Travel and Expenses module, Recruitment, Tax configuration, extremely good Payroll functional consultants are still in good demand.
• BASIS consultants: Consultants that have good experience in upgrading new versions, UNIX or Windows NT skill and database administration will be in demand.
• APO (Supply chain)
• Business Warehouse (BW): many were thinking BW will be the next hot skill. Due to weakness in economy and tools created by third party, this module has not picked up like expected.
Skills that have good potential are as follows:
• Project Management: Customers that are planning to upgrade will need experienced Project Managers & Team leaders to drive the project from scoping and planning all the way through implementation.
• Human Resource (HR): SAP 46X version of HR is very user friendly and has many added functionalities. Good payroll and time functional consultants will continue to be in demand.
• ALE: Very few consultants get opportunity to do ALE, so there is still shortage of expert ALE consultants.
Modules that may not provide better rates due to more supply of consultants are all modules in general, HR ABAP and functional and SAP workplace.