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A world of opportunities awaits SAP consultants and ERP professionals

Role of a SAP Consultant
September 28, 2015

21-years-old Geeta had no idea what career path to take after finishing her graduation. However, she knew she wanted to land a good paying job as soon as possible. She was at her friend Neelam's place, where she happened to meet her mom who is a SAP Certified Consultant. While she was discussing a few career options, Neelam's mom told her about SAP training.

The kind of job opportunities available and the average salaries in the market acted as wonderful motivators for Geeta to choose SAP as a career. From Neelam's mother, she understood the course she should opt for, the training institute she should choose and the number of hours she would have to put in.

One of the most popular jobs under SAP is a SAP functional consultant. Although there are many areas of work such as SAP support, system upgrades and roll-outs, project implementation is the one that seems most common for SAP functional consultants. When a company wants to install SAP system and find out how to go about it, the SAP functional consultant steps into the picture.

There are quite a few companies who have installed SAP ecosystem but with no idea how to operate it. The SAP functional consultant can help them in implementing and understanding the system, while explaining its functionality to key stakeholders. Best of all, he/she gets to globe-trot, gain experience working with cross-cultural teams, and learn from multi-disciplinary exposure.

Briefly, the role of a SAP functional consultant can be described as follows:

  • A SAP functional consultant provides expert advice on the functionality of SAP. He/she has expert knowledge of all modules of SAP and can explain in detail the functionality of each of these modules. He/she can help the customer select the best module that will help in automating his business processes in the perfect manner.

A SAP consultant collects and analyses the requirements of her customers by:

  • Understanding customers' business processes: This helps in selecting the right configuration
  • Enabling data transfer mapping: This refers to the transfer of data from legacy systems into the SAP modules
  • Determining reporting requirements: SAP professionals are well paid in the industry so it's easy to recover the cost on your training within the first two or three years

Determining the requirements of printed forms

A SAP consultant suggests appropriate solutions based on the best business practices so that the customer gets to reap maximum benefits from the SAP processes. He/she assists in developing new business processes that will help in maximizing productivity. Additionally, a SAP consultant also conducts various kinds of workshops related to training and implementation. Such workshops are extremely useful for SAP power users and end-users. Train the trainer approach is what most such implementations follow. Further, a SAP consultant provides guidance on the end-user documentation. He/she also offers guidance on the test plan. This is useful in checking out SAP functionality for various business processes and in ensuring that all scenarios get covered. He/she also conducts various test scenarios specified by the customers. He/she co-ordinates with SAP consultants overseeing other modules to integrate different systems and achieve maximum efficiency. Last but not the least, a SAP consultant offers various functional specifications to the technical team in order to enable any kind of customised development work at the organisation.
It all starts with a meeting where important aspects related to the size of the team, the members in the team, the duties, responsibilities, working hours and schedules of the members, the reporting system and the methodology get decided.

Apart from a SAP functional consultant, there are also SAP support consultants, SAP technical consultants, SAP business consultants and SAP techno-functional consultants. Here is a brief description of each:
A SAP functional consultant provides expert advice on the functionality of SAP. He/she has expert knowledge of all modules of SAP and can explain in detail the functionality of each of these modules. He/she can help the customer select the best module that will help in automating his business processes in the perfect manner.

A SAP consultant collects and analyses the requirements of her customers by:

  • SAP Technical Consultant: He/she is an expert in SAP Basis or SAP ABAP programming. After understanding the functional requirements, he/she translates functional specifications into technical specifications and does the necessary coding.
  • SAP business consultant: He/she explains the benefits of SAP to the customers and tries to win projects from the customer-end. He/she may not have extensive knowledge of SAP, but he/she is a useful resource in the SAP hierarchy, nonetheless
  • SAP techno-functional consultant: As the name suggests, he/she is part SAP technical consultant and part functional consultant. He/she is an expert in all modules as well as well-versed in coding in Basis or ABAP.
  • SAP support consultant: He/she provides support to the end-users after a project gets implemented at the client site.

 

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