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1st Edition 2013, Gleichen

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Table of Contents
Copyright
Acknowledgments
Preface
Chapter 1: Introduction to SAP
Chapter 2: Starting Your SAP Career
Chapter 3: How to find a job working with SAP technology
Chapter 4: SAP Terminology, Tools and Methodologies
Chapter 5: Important SAP skills and concepts for beginners
Chapter 6: Conclusion
About the author

Acknowledgments
If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent.
Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me? You are a human being with
a unique story to tell. You have every right.
Richard Rhodes
I used this quote to remind myself while writing that neither age, nor title qualifies a
writer. I may not be a CXO, but the past three years of my SAP career are worth sharing. I
believe I have valuable advice to share with you as you start your career that could only
come from a peer.
As I look back on the past 6 months of writing, it is hard to believe I found time to write
this career guide. Between traveling cross-country each week, two project go-lives, and
balancing a personal life it has been quite a busy year!
This book would not have been possible without the support of my biggest fan club: my
husband Joel, my parents Dan and Coleen, and my parents-in-law, Tim and Elaine. Thank
you for your encouragement, advice, and keeping my ego in check!
I know you will find this book valuable as you begin your SAP career. Please engage with
me on Facebook, Twitter and on TanyaDuncanBlog.com to stay up to date on my latest
blog posts and share your experiences with other beginners.
Tanya Duncan

Preface
What to expect in this career guide
If SAP is such in-demand software used globally and by the majority of Fortune 500
companies, why are there so few career resources for SAP professionals; especially those
seeking to break in to the field? I struggled to find helpful resources when I graduated
from college and started interviewing for SAP positions. I wasnt sure how different a
consulting career would be from an industry position at an end-user company. I would
have benefited from a book that guided me through the job search, resume, interview, and
job negotiation process.
Once I started my first job, I was overwhelmed with the acronyms of what many joke is
SAPs language, SAP-anese. Initially my main focus was to learn the business and
technical side of my functional area, Finance and Controlling, along with the integration
points with other modules. I also focused on understanding the project lifecycle, writing
functional specifications, communicating effectively with offshore team members, and
turning business requirements into technical solutions.
I found that online resources were limited, brief, and specific to certain areas of SAP. Even
still, career questions cannot be fully answered in online forums or blogs. Most textbooks
were focused on configuration and technical skills and the few resources available were
outdated or not targeted towards young professionals starting their career. Reflecting back,
I wish I had a resource that described the key skills, terms, methodologies, and experience
required; and then helped me understand how to learn.
The Essential SAP Career Guide is a valuable resource for the college graduate or young
professionals SAP career questions because its written by a peer. Im a second generation
consultant (my Dad has been an IT consultant for 15+ years!) at a large professional
services firm. Since graduating from college, I have worked in both industry and
consulting roles on global SAP projects. Therefore, my advice is current and relevant. I
understand the challenges with writing a strong resume, finding internships, and
interviewing for SAP positions. I experienced some of the common challenges for
beginners, like how to learn about other modules, write functional specifications and find
project work. In this book, I avoid using overly formal language and confusing technical
terms and acronyms. This book is very relatable and written for you, the beginner SAP
professional.
Im not an expert in every area of SAP and I certainly wont pretend to be in this book.
This guide is a tool to help you achieve the same successes I have in the beginner of my
career by learning from my experiences. Much of the advice in this book is SAP specific,
but some tips are applicable to other software solutions or professions altogether. My hope
is that this book will provide eager students and young professionals with a guide for

navigating the professional world of SAP.


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1 Introduction to SAP
In a mature technology market, college graduates and hopeful technology
professionals are looking to differentiate themselves from peers with marketable,
high-paying skills. Basic computer and software skills are now mandatory in the
workplace and it is increasingly difficult to identify the best path to a successful
career in the ever-changing technology landscape.
For some, the picture of a software career today sparks images of trendy, Twitter-esque,
Bay Area start-ups. For others, its coders working in a window-less room, surviving long
hours on a caffeinated-drink binge. While technology jobs can vary greatly, the key
takeaway is that technology runs businesses. Understanding business processes and using
that knowledge to drive change through technology is ultimately the value of any software
professional.
What may be surprising is that a computer science degree and advanced programming
skills are not necessarily required to work with software. Business and engineering
degrees are actually just as common in software technologists.
Executives are searching for investments that will allow them to expand on a global level.
Investing in a common, flexible platform with cloud computing and mobile platforms can
allow companies to lead from the front. Companies can achieve value in this type of
transformational investment through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
The lifeblood of the largest and best run businesses in the world is Enterprise Resource
Planning (ERP) software. I gained exposure to several in-demand software solutions
during my college coursework, which led me to start my career using SAP.
1.1 What is SAP?
SAP AG is the worlds leading enterprise applications provider. Headquartered in
Walldorf, Germany, SAP provides solutions for companies of all sizes and industries. With
more than 238,000 customers in more than 188 countries, SAP is currently ranked by
Forbes as one of the worlds most powerful brands and innovative companies.
SAP is a broad technology provider offering applications, analytics, cloud, mobile, and
database solutions. SAPs investment in mobility, the cloud, and in-memory computing
tackles the issues major corporations face with big data. Their solutions extend through
the entire supply chain and allow businesses to run better.
SAPs history dates back to 1972 when five IBM alumni created SAP (System Analysis
and Program Development) with a vision of real-time data processing. Throughout the
1970s and 1980s, SAP released SAP R/1 and R/2 which included integrated finance,
inventory management, purchasing and human resource modules. Through organic

customer growth and acquisitions, SAP rapidly grew in global significance. In 1988, SAP
became a publicly held company in Germany SAP AG and welcomed its 1,000th
customer.
SAP exploded in the 1990s during the technology bubble when SAP R/3 was released and
partnered with consulting firms as logo partners. In 1998, SAP was listed on the New
York Stock Exchange and expanded its workforce to 19,000. By 2000, SAP was the
worlds leading provider of integrated e-business software and the third largest
independent software provider in the world. Since then, SAP has positioned itself as a
leader in cloud computing, mobile solutions and in-memory computing.
Currently, SAP customers provide more than 72% of the worlds beer, 70% of the worlds
chocolate, and 86% of the worlds athletic footwear. Nearly 80% of Fortune 500
companies rely on SAP to run their business processes from inventory management,
financials, human resources, purchasing and sales. It is estimated that there are over 10
million SAP users in the world. There are numerous job opportunities for all experience
levels supporting system integration as a consultant, or in industry working at a SAP
customer.
For more information on SAPs past, present and future, I recommend you visit sapproject-inspiration.com. This website features a beautiful, virtual reproduction of the
interactive Project Inspiration Pavilion at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.
1.2 Current State of the Enterprise Software Market
In the year 2013, CIOs are challenged with finding value in mobile, cloud, social, and big
data. Large corporations must stay responsive to their changing customer base and midsize competitors require technological advantages to contend against bigger rivals.
SAPs main competitors are IBM and Oracle. The battle between these giants has been
long-standing. These vendors have now positioned themselves as business suites with
SaaS (Software as a Service) addendums. Other major players in the current ERP market
(as of 2013) include Microsoft, Infor, Epicor, J.D. Edwards, and Netsuite.
Best of breed application providers are serious competition for SAP as well. Companies
like Salesforce.com, which offers CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions
and Workday, a cloud-based Human Resources and finance enterprise provider, are major
threats to mega vendors like SAP. The benefit all-inclusive ERP software companies like
SAP bring is the integration of all applications in one.

Figure 1.1: Google Finance: Percentage Value Increase for SAP and competitors IBM and Oracle compared to Dow
Jones Average

Figure 1.1 shows SAPs steady growth (shaded in green) from mid-2012 to 2013
compared to competitors IBM and Oracle on the Dow Jones. According to forecasts from
Gartner, ERP system sales are expected to grow by 6.7% from 2011 to 2016. By 2016,
Gartner predicts enterprise software spending to reach $158 billion with a 20.8% spent on
ERP systems. What does this mean to you? The market for ERP skills is still very hot.
1.3 SAP can fast-track your career
Without a doubt, working on a SAP project as a business user, configurator, or developer
can be a launching pad for success. Business process reengineering is integral to ERP
implementations. In order to be successful, ERP projects require strong leadership and
effective change management. Leadership opportunities are abundant. Increased
communication and data availability creates the perfect environment for professionals
eager to learn and contribute.
Unlike a traditional IT project, ERP projects demand involvement and coordination of
employees from all departments and levels of a company. Each business process must be
documented and optimized to fit into the integrated system of SAP. Through business
process redesign, teams remove inefficiencies, define responsibilities and document tribal
knowledge.
The opportunities are vast to learn about how companies function and understand
technical solutions for business issues. There is also opportunity to contribute ideas for
process redesign. Those project team members that are the most successful are those who
recognize and facilitate the integration between process teams. SAP deployments are an
ideal time to gain cross-functional experience and crucial leadership skills.

As a junior project team member, you can more easily gain exposure to project and
company leadership on a SAP project. Status reporting through each phase of the project
is a great chance to gain exposure to project and company leadership. Escalating risks and
issues early to project management and communicating the impact will demonstrate your
understanding of technology and business processes.
For these reasons, SAP is a fantastic way to fast-track your career.

2 Starting Your SAP Career


As you begin your SAP career, there are several major career options to consider.
One of the first decisions to make when starting your career is whether you are interested
in an industry or consulting position. All other career options seem to follow this key
decision. As a SAP professional at a consulting firm, you could serve clients in a variety
of industries with their SAP rollouts and upgrades. An equally rewarding position is to
work in industry supporting SAP customers.
Many consultants decide to become independent later in their career. Some find that more
lucrative and satisfying than consulting within a firm. Consulting independently is a
longer term goal for many SAP professionals, but starting in a firm or at a SAP customer
is the best way to start your SAP career. Both options have varying benefits and
disadvantages depending on your career and personal goals. The following are the major
SAP career options, pros and cons and typical project work.
2.1 SAP Consultant
If you answer yes to the majority of the following questions, you should consider a career
in consulting:
Do you prefer working in various industries for multiple clients over more consistent
work?
Do you consider yourself independent and self-motivated?
Are you open to traveling full-time (50-100% of the time)?
Would you mind staying in hotels or apartments and commuting long distances each
week to your client?
SAP consultants work for a consulting firm or independently consult as a subcontractor
for clients who are SAP customers. Many people find consulting glamorous because of the
travel, typically higher salaries, frequent project and client changes and the prestige of
large firms. There is something to be said about advising some of the largest and most
well-known companies in the world. Most people that have spent time as a consultant
agree that consulting puts you on a career trajectory of fast growth. You learn an immense
amount about technology solutions, client relationships and what it takes to succeed.
Like any job, there are some aspects of consulting that outweigh the benefits for those
who prefer a career in industry. Frequent travel comes with long commutes (sometimes
cross-country), early travel on Monday mornings, flight delays, hotel living, and the
general inconvenience of living out of a suitcase. Others may not feel comfortable leading
meetings with clients or lack the confidence to advise others. In spite of the added

pressure and drawbacks with traveling, consulting is certainly a worthwhile consideration


for those starting their SAP career.
2.1.1 Expectations
Your typical work week as a consultant starts by traveling to the client site Monday
morning, or Sunday night. Cross-country travelers may spend the better part of Sunday
traveling to the client site. Those rare, lucky consultants on local projects get to sleep in
the comfort of their own bed every night and avoid travel. While local projects are a great
break from being on the road, you are often expected to work longer hours because you
are not traveling and you are not able to expense meals to the client.
Consultants typically start at the client site Monday morning sometime before noon and
work long days (10+ hours) before flying home Thursday or Friday night. Project
timelines and go live weekends occasionally require staying in town for the weekend.
Consultants are generally expected to work a minimum of 45 and most work closer to 60
hours in a given week. The weeks leading up to project milestones usually require
intensely long days of 14+ hours.
As a consultant, you rely on business users and leadership to provide the requirements for
the system. Based on these requirements, you can configure the system. Consultants must
guide clients in making key decisions by providing information and demos in SAP
(commonly called CRPs, conference room pilots). Consultants take the lead in blueprint
workshops, configuring the system, facilitating testing, providing knowledge transfer to
the client, and supporting the live system.
2.1.2 Consulting Career Ladder
The major consulting firms follow a career ladder similar to Figure 2.1 below. There are
variations in the names for each level between firms, but the general idea is the same.
Some firms also offer a separate career ladder for those interested in specializing in a
specific area of SAP instead of following the partner track. The next page describes each
of the levels in the partner career ladder.

Figure 2.1: The Consulting Career Ladder

Intern
Internships are typically full-time summer positions for undergraduate or graduate
students. Some firms keep interns part-time during the school year to keep connected with
strong talent. Interns are usually assigned a small project management type position on a
SAP engagement. This provides them an opportunity to understand the phases of a project,
how client engagements work, and explore project roles.
Interns are expected to spend a significant amount of time learning about the firm,
networking with leadership and finding where they could fit in. As an intern, focus on
delivering quality assignments and work with your manager to contribute to meaningful
projects. Many interns can be stuck with trivial work that leaves them feeling like they
have no part in team or project success. Ask for more responsibility if you have extra time
and demonstrate your potential by going above and beyond expectations.
If you are a high-performing intern, you may receive an official offer to join the firm fulltime after graduation. Some firms will require you to interview for full-time positions, but
others consider an internship a long interview for a full-time position.
It is crucial to distinguish yourself from other candidates during an internship. They are a
great way to see inside a company and decide if you fit in with the culture and project
work. Internships are also important in discovering what you are passionate about and
whether your planned career path is really right for you.

Business Analyst
The analyst level is an entry-level position for undergraduates and inexperienced
consultants. The analyst role usually lasts 2-3 years before promotion to consultant.
Analysts usually work in a project management role or join a functional or technical
project team. They are usually paired with an experienced consultant or senior consultant
and have opportunities to learn about project roles and explore different functional or
technical areas.
The analyst role is a unique time in your career to explore different modules in SAP or
decide that you want to pursue another technology or career path. Find formal and
informal mentors to nurture your career and help you achieve your career goals.
I recommend you have clear deliverables on your project(s) as an analyst so you can
articulate your accomplishments. You dont want to get to a performance review and only
be able to say that you were a key performer or team member that achieved XYZ. That
doesnt demonstrate your potential because there is no way to measure your achievements.
To succeed as an analyst, focus on learning the firms tools and methods so you can
articulate their value to clients. You should also develop your network of peers and leaders
on your project and in your local office or region. A great way to meet people in your
organization is to lead events in your local office and join special interest groups. Finally,
proactively seek opportunities to develop your consulting skills and SAP expertise.
Consultant
After roughly 2 to 3 years of experience, the next level in the SAP consulting ladder is a
consultant. Consultants are valuable project team members that take on an increased
number of deliverables. Consultants usually work under a senior consultant who manages
their work. Some experienced consultants may manage a functional sub-team which
allows for a gradual transition to the next level as a senior consultant.
Consultants should continue to develop relationships with firm and project leadership,
take ownership of more work with less oversight, and build their reputation by delivering
quality results. Important consultant level skills include presenting options, project
management, decision-making, and critical thinking. Find opportunities to lead meetings
and lead internal initiatives to demonstrate your leadership potential. Consultants should
also develop their mentoring skills by supporting interns, analysts, and junior consultants.
Strong consultants focus in on 2 or 3 specific areas of their functional module and
familiarize themselves with other modules or solutions that enhance their experience. In
other words, consultants should have a major and minor in specific areas of SAP. For
example, I have a deep understanding of the Controlling module (major) and I am versed
in the Production Planning and Execution module (minor). My minor in PP-PE enhances

my Controlling major because these modules are highly integrated.


Senior Consultant
Senior consultants usually have about 4 to 7 years of experience. They manage functional
project sub-teams or lead small projects. Senior consultants also begin to sell smaller-scale
client work.
At the senior consultant level, you should have deep knowledge of your functional or
technical area. Important skills of senior consultants include project management,
coaching, leadership, and strategic decision making.
Many consultants are promoted to senior consultant after completing their MBA. Most
large firms have programs for consultants to pursue their MBA full-time and return to the
firm as a senior consultant. There are usually options to pursue a part-time MBA while a
full-time employee as well. An MBA is highly recommended for senior consultants and
typically mandatory at the Manager level.
Manager
Managers have at least 7 years of experience with SAP and leading small teams. They are
often functional or technical leads of small project teams and oversee senior consultants
and consultants. Their work can include selling client engagements, managing project
budgets, obtaining team members, overseeing team deliverables, and working closely with
the client team lead.
The manager level is a senior role in the firm that requires handling difficult situations
with clients and team members, coaching team members and occasionally representing the
firm at executive-level meetings.
Managers usually spend about a quarter of their time on project pursuits. They are less
hands-on with the technology and provide guidance and coaching to team members.
Managers also spend a considerable amount of time working closely with client leadership
to manage issues and drive decisions.
Senior Manager
Senior Managers lead larger project teams or are project managers. They often lead sales
pursuits from beginning to end working closely with Partners. Senior Managers are
respected, senior leaders in the firm that are specialized in an industry, functional, or
technical area. Senior Managers are very hands-off with the technology and provide
guidance to Managers, Senior Consultants, and Consultants.

Partner/Director/Principal
Partners and Principal are different titles for shareholders in the firm. Directors are on the
same level as Partners and Principals, but are not firm shareholders. Partners, Directors
and Principals (PPDs) are focused on selling client engagements. There is a lead PPD on
each client project.
2.1.3 Consulting Salaries
Consulting is attractive to many people because the salaries are typically much higher than
similar roles at SAP customers. It is important to weigh all benefits of a job offer and
understand the difference in expectations.
Consultants are often paid more because of their SAP expertise, technical or business
skills, and to make up for some of the inconveniences of travel. Consultants must also be
business consultants and use technology to drive change.
As an entry-level analyst at an end-customer, you may not be required to lead meetings
and give presentations to large audiences. Consultants generally have a higher level of
expectations and that commands higher salaries.
SAP positions, consulting or industry, are also usually higher paying than other software
skills like Java because of the higher demand for SAP skills. You will also find that there
is a significant difference between a technical SAP salary and a functional SAP salary.
According to the Glassdoor.com, the U.S. national average for SAP consultant salaries is
$70,000. This is comprised of SAP functional consultants who make $90,000 on average
and technical consultants who make $60,000 on average. Salaries for technical SAP roles
may be lower on average because many of these positions are outsourced in an attempt to
lower project costs. The market is also flooded with certain technical SAP skills,
especially entry-level ABAP programmers.
2.2 Industry SAP Professional
A career as an IT professional at a SAP customer in industry is another great option for
your SAP career. Many SAP customers have very experienced in-house SAP deployment
teams and are not as dependent on consultants. When you are focused on one company
and one industry, you can really understand the business requirements and drivers that
lead your SAP project.
My first full-time position after college was working in IT on project teams deploying
SAP in Europe and the U.S. I learned a tremendous amount about the finance module,
management accounting, and how technology drives change through the business.

Reflecting back now as a consultant, I also gained an understanding of how it actually


feels to be a client. I believe that those that join the consulting world without any industry
experience may lack some empathy for the stress and change that comes with SAP
projects. This is an important consideration I try to remember when planning work
expectations with my client counterparts.
As mentioned, there are many differences between consulting and industry work. Travel
seems to be a major deterrent for professionals that choose industry work over consulting.
Consulting typically has higher levels of stress and longer workdays. That being said, you
should still expect to do some travel, have stress, and work long weeks in an industry SAP
position. We are still referring to roles with SAP!
I dont believe there is a wrong choice between choosing a career in consulting or at a
SAP customer. Personal responsibilities like family might inhibit you from a position in
consulting that requires travel. Priorities also change throughout your career. You may
start off in a demanding, high travel role and find that after starting a family, a more
flexible, predictable position is more appropriate.
2.3 How is consulting different from industry positions?
As an SAP professional with experience on both sides of the relationship, I know that the
world of SAP consulting is distinctly different from industry work. First, consulting
requires you to confidently and frequently lead client meetings, advising clients on
complex business and technical decisions. This can be intimidating at first, but you learn
quickly about how to communicate effectively and drive teams to decisions. The learning
curve is much shorter when you are in front of clients. The client may change with each
project and the ever-changing requirements will keep you continually learning about SAP.
Some young professionals seem to shy away from opportunities in consulting because
they assume consultants must be experts in SAP. In fact, the word consultant doesnt mean
expert. Consultants are professionals who provide professional or expert advice in a
particular area. As a less-experienced or beginner with SAP, your value is your ability to
learn about the technology, ask the right client questions and communicate effectively to
leadership.
By nature, consulting work requires you to have a certain level of confidence in your
abilities. It is typical when starting off your career to be hesitant of your skills and
experience. As long as you are honest about your level of experience with SAP, your
manager will not put you in a situation that you cannot handle. Junior consultants often
help experienced consultants with tasks, which allows you time to understand project and
SAP basics. Those team members that succeed find opportunities to lead small efforts and
research concepts on their own. Senior project members are more inclined to support
junior practitioners that show initiative instead of looking for the answers.

Secondly, consulting is unique because you must build strong relationships with client
counterparts and continually network within your firm to grow and find project work.
Strong client relationships are crucial to a successful project, and networking is a necessity
to grow in your career.
Relationships with clients are distinctly different from relationships with colleagues. That
also applies to the type of relationship you have with consultants from other firms on your
client site. The relationships you build with client counterparts require you to maintain a
sense of distance and be somewhat self-sufficient in achieving project goals.
While building personal relationships is part of the job, holding your composure and
performing your job with a strong level of integrity and professionalism is essential. It is
important to recognize that there is a difference between the conversations, jokes and
overall presentation between colleagues and client counterparts. Each client is different,
and what one company or individual finds as appropriate, may not be acceptable to
another.
Consulting firms have strict rules on dress code and behavior to ensure that
professionalism is always maintained in client situations. Standards are formalized to
ensure consistency in the firms brand, and practitioners must use methods and tools in
their work. New consultants are typically placed on a project team where they are not
directly paired with a client counterpart. It takes time to learn how to properly navigate the
client/consultant relationship, and consulting firms typically ease in new practitioners.
Professionalism in your dress, demeanor and work relationships is a necessity in an
industry position as well. The role of a consultant just elevates the pressure to be on top of
your game all the time!
Lastly, consultants must take responsibility for owning their career. This idea of owning
your career attracts many people to consulting. After gaining experience and building your
network, you can essentially choose what project work you want, who you work with and
ultimately where your career goes.
This concept extends from selecting learning courses and firm activities, to client service
work. Consultants, in general, are expected to be more proactive in broadening and
deepening their experience by choosing projects and learning courses that help them
achieve their goals.
On top of client projects, consultants must balance client work with firm activities. Most
firms require you to contribute to the firm through firm activities, volunteer work and
develop your skills through learning courses. This includes leading firm initiatives like
networking events, special interest groups, or contributing to firm knowledge with white
papers and point of view documents.
Involvement is essential to building eminence in the firm, finding project work and being
promoted to the next level. It can be difficult to meet firm requirements while on a

demanding project, but it reminds you to continue to grow in your knowledge and build
your network.
The increased expectations in the consulting world allow motivated and driven individuals
to quickly shape their career, but it also requires a greater time commitment to work. If
consulting excites you, the next decision is what size firm fits you best.
2.4 What size firm fits you best?
If you decide to pursue a career in consulting, consider whether your goals and interests
better align with a larger or smaller firm.
Smaller consulting firms may have a smaller, but more specific client base in fewer
industries. This can be ideal if you are seeking to specialize in a very niche technology
offering or a specific industry like healthcare. A smaller firm may allow for more visibility
to senior leadership, but its also likely that fewer senior positions are available. The
projects are likely smaller scale and the firm may not be the primary consulting firm on
the account.
Large firms have a broader client base in more industries and come with a stronger
reputation. The notoriety and reputation of a large firm can propel your career by
providing larger scale project opportunities. You may also have more project options
because the client base is much larger. If you are interested in exploring many different
clients and industries, a large firm is a great fit.
I really enjoy working for a large consulting firm because the opportunities for growth are
endless. There are many technology service lines, client projects, and internal initiatives to
gain unparalleled experience and make your mark. Large firms are constantly growing by
acquiring new technology companies to increase their market offering. Large firms also
have the capacity and resources to invest in the latest innovations. An added benefit is the
option to transfer between offices.
One of the challenges I have found with working for a big firm is how difficult it can be to
make connections. I recognized this issue and made a better effort to get involved in local
office activities and events. This helps me build relationships with coworkers at my level
and senior levels. Once you start to build your network through office events and project
work, a large firm starts to feel a lot smaller. As you interview for positions with varying
sized firms, you may find differences in salary and benefit offerings. In my experience,
smaller firms typically offer less vacation time than larger firms. There are usually fewer
requirements for training at smaller firms because they are not able to make the same
investments as large firms. You may find that less required training is a plus because it
allows you more time to focus on client work. Personally, I enjoy the option to attend
training events in person or online to continuously develop my skills.

No matter the size firm you choose, remember that the market is constantly changing.
Your small firm may be acquired by a larger firm at some point.
2.5 Independent Consulting
A longer-term career option within consulting is independent contracting. Those looking
to become independent should assess whether they have a niche skill or market offering
that offers a competitive advantage. You also need a strong network of professionals and
companies in the SAP world and ideally in the industry and geographic location you want
to pursue.
Independent consulting typically allows you to receive more take-home pay because you
dont have a consulting firm taking a percentage of the hourly rate the client pays. There is
also less corporate administrative type work, like time and expense reporting for example.
You also have the potential for more flexibility in your work situation. Since you do not
earn vacation days from a company, you could essentially take off as much time as you
can afford.
Before you jump ship and think youre sold on independent consulting, let me add some
of the negatives. Since you entirely own your own career, you must take the initiative to
develop your skills and fund that learning yourself. This includes attending conferences,
learning courses, or purchasing textbooks. These expenses are probably minimal
compared to the extra pay you receive. Also keep in mind that any vacation time you take
is not paid. You are a true hourly worker, and your client will not pay your vacation or sick
days.
How do you go independent? It takes years of developing your networking, expertise, and
brand. You must build notoriety and trust with clients and companies. Market yourself
well online with a personal website, LinkedIn, Twitter, SAPs Community Network, etc.
When the time is right to make the move, I suggest you have a mentor who is an
independent consultant and can advise you.
2.6 Moving from industry to consulting or vice versa
While many people have a strong preference between consulting or industry work, it is
common for professionals to make a jump (or several) during their career. Industry
professionals with SAP experience are heavily recruited by consulting firms. Likewise,
SAP consultants frequently move to industry roles after developing strong relationships
through client service work, or if they need a break from frequent travel.
Before making the jump, consider your long-term goals and ask yourself these questions:
Where do you see your career in another 10 or 20 years? Have you reaped all the benefits
you intended? Do you have the experience, skills, and network to pursue your goals? Are

you seeking a managerial or technical career path? Do you plan to work independently, at
a start-up or for a corporation?
Salary alone should not be motivation for a job change. Think about the requirements for
the job you want in the future. How can you check off each of these requirements to
ensure you get there?
When you change roles, the interviewers will want to understand why you are interested in
making a career change. Are you disgruntled with your current project and looking for a
short-term solution, or are you looking to make a permanent change because of family
reasons? You will need to prove to the interviewer that you can handle the change in pace
and expectations.
When I moved from an industry role to consulting, many of my interview questions were
about trying to understand if I was ready for the heavy travel and if I would be
comfortable leading meetings. I remember one of my interviewers asking, How would
you respond if you are leading a design workshop and the client tells you the presentation
youve spent all night preparing is junk? I tried to have as little reaction as possible
knowing that the idea was to see if I would be shocked at the chance of this occurring.
And yes, I have experienced this as a consultant!
One of my coworkers that left consulting after many years to work for a smaller firm said
her interview was focused heavily on her work style. The interviewers wanted to
understand if her experience at a large firm would make her aggressive and overbearing in
her new role.
2.6.1 Industry to Consulting Tips
If you are changing from industry work to consulting, consider the following tips for a
smooth transition:
Prepare for travel Monday through Friday. Start with buying a sturdy suitcase, laptop
bag, umbrella, and passport.
Set reasonable expectations with your spouse and family about your new travel
situation and longer work hours. If family is accustomed to nightly dinners at 7, you
will need to help them understand how your new job will affect them.
Become familiar with your firms policies on time and expense reporting.
Learn to work in a virtual culture where you are at a client site most days during the
week, but need to stay connected to your own firm. Find local office initiatives to get
involved and meet other people. Networking events are important in meeting partners
and people at your peer level.

Take the approach to either carve a niche for yourself or go for breadth in an industry,
technology, or service line. Personal branding is important in a large consulting firm.
Seek mentors to coach you on consulting strategies.
Learn your firms methodologies, templates and tools so you can speak and live the
firms brand in your work.
2.6.2 Consulting to Industry Tips
If you are moving from consulting to industry work, consider these tips in your transition:
Learn about your companys history and culture. Family owned companies operate
very differently from large, multinational corporations. Recognize the standards
around meeting etiquette and communication standards.
Meet with directors and managers to learn about the organization structure, both formal
and informal.
Attend company events to stay informed with corporate goals. Understand how your
position and contributions fit in to the overall company goals.
Understand that your industry role will be very different from consulting. Your
company may not have as many defined methods, tools, and templates. This means
there is opportunity for defining standards, but ease in to suggesting change.
2.6.3 Strategies
Its important for college graduates to know that most large consulting firms recruit very
selectively from a short list of schools they consider to be elite. You may find that taking
an industry position or internship initially is a smart way to move into consulting with a
firm or independently.
I felt that my experience in industry gave me the benefit of understanding the client
perspective. In my opinion, this is not something that can be taught to a college graduate
that immediately joins a consulting firm. While my path to consulting as an experienced
hire was not my initial plan, I believe it can be a strategic move for students that need an
extra edge on their resume.
It is uncommon and near impossible to change software solutions during your career
unless you have a breadth of experience already or are at a management level. SAP
professionals dont typically look to move to Oracle, for example. The technology is too
different and there are not necessarily more opportunities available. What usually makes

more sense is supplementing your SAP skills with a related module or enhancing your
technical skills with management experience.
In addition to moving between consulting, independent consulting, and industry work,
there are a variety of other career development opportunities. Many SAP experts write
configuration or technical books. There are numerous conferences around the world
focused on SAP where you can present and contribute to the SAP community. An easy
way to get started with sharing your thoughts and expertise is by blogging online.
Blogging on SAPs Community Network led me to many professional development
opportunities.
2.7 Functional vs. Technical Roles
There are hundreds of SAP position titles and roles that range from enterprise architects
and developers, to testing and purchasing leads. One of the major distinctions between
many of these roles is a functional or technical focus. Usually people find that their
interests and strengths lead them to one type of position over the other. A business degree
is a better fit for a functional specialist, whereas a computer science or engineering degree
makes more sense for a technical specialist.
2.7.1 Functional Roles
Functional SAP technologists are focused on configuring and enabling business processes
in SAP. They work closely with business users in functional modules such as Sales &
Distribution, Production Planning and Execution, Plant Maintenance, Finance and
Controlling, Procurement, Human Capital, Materials Management and Warehouse
Management. Functional technologists conduct workshops and meetings to gather
requirements and drive design decisions. They create functional specifications for any
customized development objects needed to enhance the system and configure standard
SAP requirements.
Functional roles require strong written and verbal communication skills. Successful SAP
professionals are comfortable leading meetings and discussions, possess strong written
communication skills and can translate technical concepts into business terms. An
understanding of a functional business area is very beneficial, but can be developed
through experience. Some functional specialists have experience on the business side and
moved to a technical role. This allows them to bridge the gap between technical and
business processes for business users.
Many times there is little choice in which functional area you are placed on a project.
There are definitely certain personality types and characteristics that can align people with
the right functional area for them. For example, supply chain modules like Production

Planning and Execution and Warehouse Management require a strong understanding of


manufacturing processes and an operations background is very helpful. On the other hand,
the Finance and Controlling modules require a strong understanding of legal financial
regulations and requirements, as well as basic accounting practices.
The following are the most common functional solutions within SAPs portfolio:
SCM (Supply Chain Management)
Materials Management, Production Planning and Execution, Plant Maintenance,
Quality Management, Warehouse Management, Sales and Distribution
FICO (Finance and Controlling)
General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Asset Accounting, Project
Systems, Financial Supply Chain Management, Business Process Consolidations,
Treasury, Investment Management, Cash Management, Profitability Analysis, Product
Costing, Internal Orders
HCM (Human Capital Management)
Personnel Management, Time Management, Payroll, Training and Event Management,
Organizational Management
CRM: Customer Relationship Management
Sales, Marketing and Service solutions
BI: Business Intelligence (formerly known as BW Business Warehousing or BIW
Business Information Warehouse)
BI contains both functional and technical roles
SAP also has industry-specific solutions for every industry
Aerospace & Defense, Banking, Consumer Products, Engineering, Retail, Utilities,
Public Sector, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Healthcare and many more.
2.7.2 Technical Roles
There are a variety of technical options available with SAP such as Basis, ABAP, and
security. Technical specialists are responsible for gathering technical requirements and
programming customizations to enable the system to meet these requirements. Technical
roles require strong programming experience, problem solving skills, and analytical skills.
Be aware that some technical roles (like ABAP development) are frequently outsourced

and the demand for on-shore or full-time resources is diminishing. In order to be


successful, technical resources need more soft skills like strong communication, project
management and leadership capabilities.
One of the most important qualities of a technical person is your ability to explain
complex technical solutions in common terms. Often times, business people make
technical design decisions without full consideration or knowledge of the impact. This is
usually due to lack of knowledge about the technical solution and not knowing what
questions to ask.
Technical roles by solution include:
Analytics: Develop and enable applied analytics, business intelligence, Data
warehousing,
Basis: Administer the creation and on-going support of SAP clients and systems.
Business process management and integration: Tools like Solution Manager are used to
efficiently implement and integrate solutions and monitor processes.
Cloud: Enable analytics, business applications, collaboration, platform and
virtualization in the Cloud.
Content Management and Collaboration (Portal): Develop a functional front-end
solution for customers or business users to perform tasks in SAP.
Development: Develop ABAP reports, programs, enhancements, conversions,
workflow, forms and interfaces based on business requirements.
Mobile: Develop mobile apps, platforms, commerce solutions, device management and
other services.
Security: Develop sustainable security solutions to enable users to see and perform
tasks that are relevant.
PI: Process Integration (formerly Exchange Infrastructure XI): Enable the integration
of different external or internal systems through interfaces.
In-Memory Computing (SAP HANA): A new application that enables real-time
complex analytics and aggregation of big data.
2.8 How to develop skills in other modules
SAP is a highly integrated system therefore; cross-functional knowledge is an absolute
requirement. The strongest SAP users and professionals have at least a rudimentary

understanding of other modules and continue to deepen their understanding of the many
integration points. Functional knowledge can also be beneficial to technical specialists.
For example, a production planning user must understand the impact of production data
like Bills of Materials (BOMs) and Routings on Controlling. In the same way,
professionals in technical areas like security and basis need a basic understanding of
functional areas in order to assess risks and build a sound solution.
My biggest struggle when starting my SAP career was figuring out how to begin learning
about other modules. Its overwhelming to think about everything you dont know about a
topic, especially something as complex as SAP.
Firstly, as a junior practitioner, your goal should be to deepen your knowledge in one or
two areas in SAP and gain a broad understanding of the overall project, your module, and
multiple industries. As you become more senior and move to the manager level, your
focus should be in a particular industry as you continue to broaden your skill set of SAP
solutions and modules.
Secondly, break modules down into sub-modules or processes and create a learning plan.
The work becomes manageable when you have a plan, and you can better track your
progress. Accountability and frequent progress review on your learning plan with a mentor
or manager will ensure success.
2.8.1 Resources
The best and most exhaustive resources are reputable SAP textbooks that can help you
achieve both depth and breadth in an area. The book market is flooded with SAP books on
every given topic. To give you an idea, consider that there are over four thousand books
on Amazon that contain the word SAP. I advise using well known websites like Amazon
or iTunes and referencing customer reviews before buying any books.
There are two main types of books: module configuration books and business process
books. Configuration is the functional tweaking and tinkering in the system to achieve the
desired settings based on business requirements. In order to comprehend SAP
configuration options and the requirements that drive them, you need an understanding of
the basic business processes. For example, if you are reading about the configuration of
special procurement keys, a specific business example for procuring from different plants
or using phantom materials will help you better understand, rather than just reading a
textbook example.
It is also difficult to pick up a textbook and read about configuration or a technical topic
without practicing hands on in the system. If you do not have a sandbox client (practice
system) available to practice in, ensure that the textbook has screenshots and business
examples to help you apply the concepts. The best way to learn about a topic, especially

configuration (establishing the system settings), is to apply it to a legitimate business


scenario.
As you start out your career, you can use online resources to research issues and questions
on forums, wikis and blogs. Although, remember to use caution when finding answers to
SAP questions online. Make sure you use forum answers as a hint, and thoroughly test
suggestions to validate. As you gain experience with SAP, you should contribute online by
blogging, contributing to wikis and answering forum questions. This helps you gain
recognition among peers and leaders as a resource and build your brand in your technical
or functional area.
You should also find mentors within your organization to support you with your detailed
questions. I have found that experienced users are willing to help when you put in the
work. This means researching concepts and trying to teach yourself first. Instead of asking
open-ended questions about topics, challenge yourself to read or practice on your own so
you have specific questions.
The best way to learn about a topic is hands-on experience. I recommend you set a goal
within your organization to learn about certain topics and aim to contribute using your
knowledge. The most effective goals are specific, measurable, and attainable. Your
leadership will be more inclined to support your goal to broaden your knowledge if you
indicate a focus on a specific module, solution or business process.
It can be difficult to measure knowledge unless you lay out key concepts and a plan to
achieve them. Perhaps you work with a more experienced person who is willing to mentor
you. Be realistic about your plan. If your project is demanding, give yourself ample time
and lay out a detailed plan to stay accountable. Ive found that by following this advice,
you can broaden your SAP exposure and become a more valuable team member.

3 How to find a job working with SAP technology


Now that you understand why a career working with SAP is valuable and the
potential career options, lets discuss how to land a job.
The SAP job search process consists of several parts:
Find several interesting SAP positions you are qualified for
Submit an eye-catching, professional resume
Excite the recruiter in an initial phone screening
Impress the interviewers during in-person interviews
Finally, receive job offers and navigate the negotiation process
3.1 Finding open positions
In lieu of perfecting your resume and practicing interview questions, arguably the most
important step is finding quality positions. There are numerous websites that provide job
postings, professional profiles and resources for connecting with companies. Professional
online tools are ever-changing; follow these principles to successfully find open positions.
Start by building and cleaning up your online presence. All credible SAP professionals
have a professional LinkedIn page with a headshot and details on their experience with
technology. Before applying for positions, create a professional online presence that
recruiters and interviewers can reference. In addition, I recommend increasing the security
on your personal Facebook and Twitter profiles to ensure that unnecessary information is
not shared.
Job Search Fact
According to a Career Builder survey, 37 percent of employers
review social media sites prior to interviews to find affirmative or
revealing information about candidates (Career Builder, 2012)
You can focus in on relevant jobs by using professional websites, ideally something
specific to SAP or technology. Websites that are geared towards SAP will be more
valuable over mass-posting sites like Monster, Dice and JobFox. Pay attention to the job
posting date and specific roles and responsibilities. Many SAP positions require 50-100%
travel including international or cross-country travel.
Even if you dont find positions at your level or in your field, you can start building a list
of interesting companies that use SAP. The goal in building your list of positions should
be a quality list of realistic positions, not a high quantity of non-relevant jobs.

There are a few good ways to start building your short list of companies:
You can start in reverse by researching the top employers in your area and reviewing their
open positions to see if they use SAP. Wikipedia summarizes the companies that are
headquartered in major cities and groups them by industry.
SAP has a relatively new Student Union in SAPs Community Network (SCN). This offers
a way for employers to connect with students, and students can engage in a social
environment. I highly suggest utilizing this resource if you are a college student or recent
graduate.
SAP user groups have regional meetings to discuss successes and solutions for challenges
with SAP. There is a user group for almost every country. The United States group, ASUG
(Americas SAP User Group), has regional meetings with local SAP customers. Some
simple searching online can tell you which companies attended previous events to build
your perspective employer list.
SAP has success stories on their customer website. These companies will likely be well in
to their rollout, or complete, but there are always post go-live upgrades and enhancements.
Never underestimate the power of your personal and professional network when job
searching. SAP is a specific field, but surely several of your friends or colleagues work
with SAP or know someone else that does. LinkedIn takes a lot of the guess work out of
finding who has relevant connections. It also facilitates an introduction through your
connection.
Networking is the single best way to find a job in todays market. Employers waste too
much time and money interviewing and reviewing applications for applicants that are not
qualified. Hiring an employee without confirming their credibility with a legit reference is
a significant risk. If someone in your network can refer you, you will stand a much better
chance at an interview. Moreover, any lack in experience may actually be given less
weight if your reference vouches for your ability to learn quickly.
3.2 Creating a stand-out SAP resume
During the typical hiring process, hundreds, sometimes thousands of resumes are
submitted for positions. The average resume is read in 10 seconds (Hannon, 2011).
Resumes are now frequently submitted online, where aggregation and filtering tools
narrow down qualified candidates. It is increasingly important to use key words from
position descriptions in order to pass through these filters and have recruiters see your
resume.
Think of your resume as an advertisement of your skills. Just as consumers look for ads
with relevant, enticing information, an employer should be able to briefly scan your
resume and absorb your skills and objectives. Also consider that you may need several

versions of your resume depending on if the role is technical, functional or as a team


leader.
3.2.1 Formatting
As you begin to format and structure your resume, aim to be concise so that every word
serves a purpose. Regardless of your level of experience, two pages should suffice as the
length of your resume. You may wish to keep a more detailed resume called a C.V. which
includes all project work throughout your career. You can use narrow margins and a
header for your name and contact information to increase available space. Limit the white
space on your resume and do not use an additional page if you cannot fill it.
Resumes are a paper representation of your professional self. Professional fields like SAP
do not appreciate the use of distinguishable paper colors, clip art, photos, or eccentric
fonts. Your experience and skills should be memorable enough that they speak for you, not
your creative color schemes.
Consistency is also key. Ensure that you use consistent bullets (use something standard),
line spacing, fonts, and font size. Underlining or italicizing can be used in a consistent
fashion to highlight sections of the resume or company names.
Carefully review grammar throughout your resume. Use past or present tense where
applicable and be consistent in your tense. If you start a series of bullet points with a verb,
continue in that fashion.
3.2.2 Header
At the top of the page, perhaps in the page header, include your full name, email, phone
number and home address. Your contact information is important, but it should take up a
minimal amount of valuable resume space. If you use multiple pages, make sure that your
contact information is on every page, because your resume pages will likely be separated.
You may also choose to include the address of your professional website. This can be a
great way to include more information about yourself and perhaps any standout
coursework or projects. Of course your website should be reviewed to the same extent as
your resume for grammatical and formatting errors. It should also be focused on your
professional self and not include photos from your family vacations or link to your
personal Facebook or Twitter.
3.2.3 Professional Summary
Below your contact information, you can choose to include a professional summary. A
professional summary should replace the old and tired objective or mission statement.

Objective statements are typically too generic to earn valuable space on a resume. Many
objective statements also use overused buzzwords like creative, hard-working and
dependable. Your experience and accomplishments should speak for themselves without
needing these types of adjectives.
A professional summary can be used to quickly mention your current profession, years of
experience, relevant skills, certifications and industries. It can also be beneficial to include
your professional goals, especially if your previous experience is not related to SAP. Or,
perhaps you are trying to shift from a technical role to a functional role. It is important to
ensure that your goals do not limit your scope of jobs. I recommend tweaking your
professional summary and entire resume to align with each specific position.
Above all, make sure that your summary is concise and draws in the reader like a book
summary. Think of the professional summary as a quick headline for your resume. You
should avoid formal introductions and filler words and phrases.
Here are examples of weak objective statements that are too long, generic and too much
like a sales pitch:
I am a hard-working, dedicated and motivated individual and I am looking for a great
company to start my career.
I believe I have the skills to be a strong IT analyst in your firm.
Looking for a full-time job in your company as an IT manager.
Here are a few example professional summary statements that highlight the applicants
professional status and specific goals:
3+ years SAP FICO experience with Project Systems, Accounts Payable, Accounts
Receivable and Controlling in Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries.
Certified SAP Logistics professional with 2+ years of experience in Warehouse and
Inventory Management.
3.2.4 Skills or Qualifications
Some job applicants choose to showcase related skills in a separate section prior to their
work experience. This section can be beneficial if desirable skills are used to summarize
experience. For instance, you can mention your level of experience with different SAP
solutions, functional modules and sub-modules, or specific tasks like writing functional
specifications, executing testing, or supporting go-live.
In addition, this is a great place to note the versions of SAP and the training, testing, or
document management solutions you have used. For those with limited experience, you
should include your programming languages, operating systems and software applications

to demonstrate your understanding of technology.


Many people list out every possible SAP module, software, programming language and
operating system they have touched. This makes it difficult for employers to understand
your level of expertise and what area you are interested in exploring. To avoid this, you
can list your best module first and use phrases like experienced in or knowledgeable
in. If you have limited experience in other modules, you can use a statement such as
strong understanding of the integration between CO and SD.
An even better strategy is to elaborate with a particular integration point in configuration
like experience configuring automatic account assignment to support material
movements. Above all, always focus on the required skills in the job posting and make
sure you elaborate on your level of capability in these areas. Your expert skills in
Photoshop are probably not interesting to a SAP interviewer, and strong Microsoft Office
skills are assumed.
3.2.5 Work Experience
The next and major section in your resume should include work experience. For each
position, list the company name, your position and start and end dates (month and year).
Reverse chronological listings of experience are the easiest to follow, and provide
information on how you have grown in your career. You may also want to organize your
experience with projects.
If you have work experience that is not relevant to SAP, you should focus on indicating
experience that is transferrable. Each section of experience should clearly state the
company and position. If you held several positions in the same company, list these as
separate sections, and note the differing responsibilities. For example, you may have
initially been an intern assisting with project management tasks, but you are now doing
hands-on configuration. This provides details on your growth and specifies the
accomplishments associated with your experience. Interviewers are very interested in the
exact number of years of SAP experience of applicants, so it is important for this to be
clear in your resume.
Bench Time
Many SAP consultants have spent time on the bench in between
project work. It is important to account for this time as well (if
greater than a few weeks) and highlight any accomplishments
during that time.
If you are a college graduate with limited experience, you may be challenged with what
experience to list. Even fast food or secretarial jobs can teach you transferrable skills that

demonstrate your potential. The best resumes showcase how you excelled in those roles
and made a positive impact.
Maybe you streamlined a process, reduced costs, or improved employee morale and
customer satisfaction. These types of skills are desirable no matter where you learned
them. They just need to be worded in a professional manner with more focus on the skills
rather than the job position and mundane duties.
Perhaps you worked at the same restaurant or store for several years and were promoted to
a supervisor role. This is a great way to demonstrate your loyalty and ability to handle
increased responsibility. Employers are looking for qualified candidates to hire and retain.
Retention is equally important to finding strong talent, especially in the consulting field
where turnover is notoriously high.
You can trim down space on your resume by removing jobs as you gain more experience.
A good rule for young professionals is to highlight the previous five to seven years of
experience, or your last three positions. Your most recent positions should include the
most detail because it is the most relevant. As you gain more SAP experience, you may
want to keep a detailed list of experience in the event that a C.V. is requested. You should
also avoid mentioning unrelated, short-term work; however, any significant gaps in
employment, including bench-time, will require some rationale.
It is valuable to note if you have full SAP lifecycle implementation experience. This
means you saw a project from blueprint to post go-live support. You should also use verbs
that detail the type of work you performed. Strong SAP action words include: designed,
configured, tested, built, deployed, supported, and implemented. These words clearly
demonstrate your experience. If you are a functional person, you can indicate the submodules that you have configured to further elaborate.
Strong resumes use quantifiable examples to demonstrate accomplishments. Avoid phrases
like responsible for, participated in, or duties included, which explain your job
responsibilities but not how you excelled in your position. Use verbs to describe the
actions you took to achieve project and personal goals. A focus on high-level project goals
like cost reduction and revenue increase will demonstrate you understand the big picture
of SAP projects.
These example phrases demonstrate the benefits you can offer:
Reduced costs by eliminating customizations to scope by 15% utilizing standard
reporting functionality
Increased retention rate by 50% using streamlined portal
3.2.6 Education

At the bottom of your resume, create a small section to highlight your higher education.
This information belongs at the end of your resume to bring the most attention to your
work experience. Use this space to list your university, the city and state, degree, major,
expected graduation date and current cumulative grade point average.
I suggest only listing your GPA if it is above a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If the position lists a
minimum grade point average, make sure your average meets this minimum or do not list
it. If requested, you can provide your GPA and mention any special considerations to
explain a low GPA. You may also choose to include your SAP certification in this section,
or in a skills or qualifications section near the top.
If you are working on a degree or are only accepted to a program, you can still list the
university and degree, but include your expected graduation date or add in progress. You
will need to provide details on your class status at some point, so be honest on your
resume to avoid any misunderstanding that you already have a degree.
In your education section, resist the urge to list out business and technology courses with
course numbers. This is a common tendency for college students that feel they dont have
enough relevant experience. If you have a particular project or award from school that
supports your leadership, dedication, or innovation, these accomplishments can be briefly
described. Simply listing course names does not provide any support for your skills. It
shows you attended classes in certain topics, but does not indicate how you excelled.
Resume Tip
Highlighting dual majors, a relevant minor, or an early
graduation date will be appealing to employers.
See section 3.4 for a Sample SAP Resume.

3.3 References
I recommend creating a separate references page to include with resumes submitted online
or to provide during an in-person interview. This demonstrates you have references ready
to comment on your experience and ethic and you are very interested in pursuing the
position. You can list the references full name, title and relationship to you, as well as
their email and phone.
Many sample resumes conclude with References upon request. This is truly a waste of
valuable space on your resume because any interviewer will ask for references, and the
assumption is that you will provide them if requested.
Make sure you prepare your references by explaining the types of positions for which you
are applying, asking for their support and the right to provide their contact information. It

would be unfortunate to disappoint an employer after a strong interview with a poor


reference. Of course, you want to avoid using a current boss as a reference for a new
position unless they are supportive and aware that you are looking for work.
As a final note, lying or exaggerating about your skills and experience is strongly
discouraged. It is a waste of your time and the interviewers to realize after calling
references that you are not qualified. Even worse, you may be put into a role that you are
not qualified for. The world of SAP is small enough that you may gain a reputation for this
type of behavior.
Likewise, do not make up email addresses or use your friends as references. It will be
obvious and quite embarrassing for you. People that try to fake their skills and references
subject other candidates to a higher level of scrutiny. This makes the interviewing process
more difficult and frustrating for everyone. Genuine honesty is always the best policy.
3.4 Cover Letters
Cover letters are not typically mandatory when submitting your resume, but they can be
used to supplement your achievements and explain your qualifications and desires. A
strong cover letter could make the difference between receiving a call for an interview, or
your resume ending up in a reject stack. They are an opportunity to explain why you are
interested in the company and position, as well as demonstrate your communication skills.
If your resume is one of 200 submitted, you need every opportunity to set yourself apart.
Cover letters should be written as a formal letter with your address and a formal
introduction. A cover letter should include a brief introduction to your experience and
skills, as well as your interest in the position. A short two to three paragraph letter will
suffice.
You can start your cover letter by expressing the prestige of the company instead of
starting your letter describing how you found the position. Secondly, explain why you are
looking for a position and that you are excited by the role. You can highlight something
specific from the job description that interested you enough to apply. Lastly, a strong close
to a cover letter reminds the reader that you are very interested in the position and that you
can be contacted for any questions about your resume.
Mr. or Mrs. So and So
XYZ Consulting Firm
123 Main Street
Pleasantville, MS 90210
Dear So and So,

Thank you for your time and consideration. XYZ consulting firm has a strong reputation
for driving change and leadership in organizations. As a certified and experienced SD
consultant, I believe I am highly qualified to fulfill the SD analyst position. My experience
includes full SAP life-cycle project exposure in the chemical and utilities industries.
My studies at California State University included SAP coursework where I had hands-on
configuration experience. I demonstrated how business processes integrate through SAP in
my final project of a fully configured solution. Furthermore, I led the California State
University SAP club as Vice President for two years.
Enclosed is my resume, which details my qualifications and previous work experience. I
am very interested in bringing my skills to XYZ consulting. Please do not hesitate to
contact me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Jane Doe
619.999.9999

Figure 3.1: Sample SAP Resume 1

3.5 Preparing for SAP interviews

Preparing for SAP interviews can be stressful with few available resources that provide
SAP-specific advice. Interviews can involve multiple rounds and intimidating technical
questions. For those preparing for their first interview or fifth, you can prepare yourself
for by following these key pieces of advice.
SAP interviews typically consist of several rounds of phone and in-person interviews.
Some companies also use business cases or ask interviewees to complete sample problems
that demonstrate their competence. The format of interviews widely varies amongst
companies, so preparation for the unexpected is crucial.
Most people view interviews as a question and answer session where the interviewee has
little control. Instead, think of it as a time to highlight your achievements and skills while
making them relevant to the position. This mindset will change your approach from
responding to questions to taking control of what the interviewers learn about you.
Exude Confidence
Exude confidence in your body language by sitting upright with
your hands relaxed. Shake hands firmly with all interviewers,
state your name, and ask for their name.
As you prepare for interviews and enter the interview room, have a positive mindset about
your experience, appearance, and ability to make conversation. Dont be nervous if several
people interview you. It is typical for a second or third round interview to consist of SAP
managers, directors, and a Human Resources employee.
Gain confidence by reviewing the companys financial statements and website. Learn
about their products and services, what makes them successful and their corporate culture.
You can use keywords from the job description during your interview to demonstrate you
have the skills in demand. Ask insightful questions about the past, present, or future of the
company to demonstrate your interest.
If you are a college student or recent graduate, it is important to make your degree more
than simply a line on your resume. If you are participating in on-campus or local
interviews, you will need to set yourself apart from other graduates from your school.
Interviewers in your region may or may not be familiar with your schools reputation.
To emphasize your educational background, you can take the opportunity to discuss
specific courses or projects and the impact on your skill set. If you are fortunate enough to
have attended a SAP Alliance University, universities with SAP curriculum, share the
value of that courses and the difference it made in your education and preparation.
Transferrable Skills

Whether or not you have SAP experience, you can discuss how
you excelled in a particular project or assignment. This
demonstrates translatable skills and adds depth to your education
and work experience.
When it comes to your work experience, be prepared to discuss your previous projects in
detail. If you dont have much experience with SAP, think about group projects in your
courses or an internship. Interviewers will likely ask technical questions to test the
experience level your resume shows. If this is a functional role, you will most certainly be
asked questions that demonstrate your knowledge of configuration. Technical interviewees
will need to answer questions and solve problems that prove your programming and
logical skills.
During the technical portion, interviewers are trying to weed out the interviewees that are
genuine and those that artificially inflate their skills. If this is a phone screening, dont
bother talking your way through IMG to try to demonstrate your skills. There really is no
trick to nailing part of an interview. You either have the required skills, or you dont. Most
importantly, be honest about your experience. There is no shame in saying I am not wellversed in that topic, but I can quickly pick up new skills.
Continue to the following section for sample SAP interview questions and guided
answers.
The following are common interview questions and suggested answers:
Tell us about your SAP experience. What modules do you have experience in?
When answering this question, mention the module(s) and sub-module(s) that you have
used in your project experience. Indicate your strongest modules first, followed by those
that you integrated with or have a general understanding about.
Be honest about your level of experience with each module by giving examples of tasks
youve completed. For example, you may have configured functionality, created master
data, wrote functional or technical specifications, tested the system, or performed business
processes.
Example Answer: I am experienced in the CO module (Controlling). In my previous roles,
I configured product costing, designed cost center and profit center hierarchies, executed
testing and supported month end close.
What modules would you like to learn more about?
This question provides a great opportunity to express how you hope to grow. I suggest
providing more specific examples rather than mentioning an entire module. If you dont

have experience with SAP, answer the question as if you were in the role youre
interviewing for.
Example Answer: In my previous role I had the opportunity to interface with the
production planning and plant maintenance teams. I would enjoy learning more about how
master data integrates between these modules to increase my breadth of SAP knowledge.
What deployment methodologies have you used?
If youve used the ASAP (Accelerated SAP) method, describe how this project used and
benefited from the method. Perhaps you utilized a company-specific methodology. You
will need to briefly explain some of the unique features of the method and the added
project benefits.
Example Answer: I have used the ASAP methodology in my previous projects, as well as
client-specific methodologies. I found it beneficial to follow a pre-defined framework that
included accelerators and templates to streamline project phases.
What has been the biggest headache for you in your previous deployments?
This is an easy opportunity for the interview to go south, so be cautious that you dont
deprecate previous coworkers or employers. You should answer in a way that
acknowledges your understanding of the impact of mitigating risks and issues in SAP
projects. Furthermore, this is an opportunity to provide a specific example of how you
provided value in previous projects. Your answer should also demonstrate your
adaptability, problem-solving skills and positive attitude.
Example Answer: My biggest pain point in the past has been data. The amount of work
involved in extracting, loading, and transforming data can be easily underestimated. I
closely monitored the status of data cleansing and conversions through weekly follow ups.
The project was very successful because we converted clean data early in testing and
resolved many issues prior to production.
Demonstrate its a Fit!
Take every interview question as an opportunity to prove why
your previous experiences have shaped you into the perfect
person for the job.
In addition to SAP-specific questions, be prepared to answer questions that aim to
understand your behaviors. The best way to answer behavioral interview questions is the
STAR technique: Situation or Task, Action and Response.
Start by describing a situation or task that relates to the question. Then briefly describe the
action you took to resolve or succeed in the situation. Conclude with the result.
Look over your resume and reflect on your coursework to generate several examples. I

recommend recording these examples and practicing each anecdote to pull from in an
interview. You certainly want to avoid uncomfortably long pauses in the interview because
you cant think of a good example on the spot.
Here is an example behavioral question:
Tell me about a time that you overcame conflict in a group setting.
Example Answer:
In a course last semester, my team members decided that it would be easier to plagiarize
our 15 page final paper than write an original (SITUATION/TASK).
I thought about why my team had given up on even attempting the assignment and
decided I could alleviate some of the stress by suggesting we break apart the work
(ACTION).
The team worked well once the paper was broken apart, and it came together cohesively.
Our professor nominated our paper to be published in a management journal (RESULT).
At the end of your interview, the interviewer(s) may ask if you have any final questions.
Ask at least one question about the company, project, or position to show your interest.
Regardless of whether your interview is in person or on the phone, thank the
interviewer(s) for their time, mention that you are excited about the opportunity and ask
about the next steps in the process.
Next Steps
It is expected and reasonable to ask if there be another set of
interviews and when you should expect to hear back.

Once you leave, write down the questions you were asked during the interview and reflect
on your answers. You can build a list of questions and answers to prepare for future
interviews.
3.6 Negotiation
During the interview process, it is best not to mention anything about compensation.
Companies are looking to see if you are good fit for the open role at this point in the
recruitment process. Discussing compensation during the interview may come off the
wrong way. Your interest in the position should not be solely monetarily motivated.
If the interviewer asks how much you currently make or what you expect to make, politely
state that you are sure you can come to an agreement on salary when you discuss an offer.
If the interviewers are not human resources representatives, they likely wont mention

salary.
Once you have passed the interview rounds and are offered a position, you can discuss
compensation in detail with the HR representative. Be careful to avoid sneaky and
aggressive behavior during this discussion. You are not required to disclose your current
salary until after the negotiation process if you accept the position. Remember once your
salary figure is on the table, the interviewer might try to lower the offered salary or
dismiss you as a possible candidate if you make more than what theyre prepared to pay.
On the other hand, if you are a strong candidate, they may raise the offered salary or
include a signing bonus.
One strategy is to ask the salary range offered for the position prior to disclosing your
current salary. You should be firm about receiving a salary first. Research salary ranges for
comparable positions in similar locations. For example, a high salary in a suburban city
will be a low salary in New York due to cost of living differences.
Make sure to inquire about other aspects of the compensation package including health
insurance, vacation time, tuition reimbursement, etc. You should request an information
packet from the recruiter to help you make an informed decision.
While high compensation is an incentive to a career in SAP, your offer acceptance should
be based on other important factors like the exciting new deployment and great teaming
environment. Give yourself adequate time to make a confident decision that will satisfy
you. Believe it or not, companies want to pay you a high, but realistic salary because it
will retain you. People are a significant resource for companies and an expensive
investment.
Negotiations can be stressful because too much or too little negotiation may result in the
offer being revoked, or a low salary. Approach with caution, and dont consider the
position yours until the offer letter is signed and accepted.

4 SAP Terminology, Tools and Methodologies


As a SAP beginner, understanding common terms, tools and methods is important in
quickly providing value on projects. You will have a significant advantage with an
understanding of SAP basics.
4.1 Common SAP Terminology
The definitions featured in this section are used industry-wide; however, you should
expect to encounter company and project-specific language as well. There are terms that
relate to a project, functional terms and technical terms. The SAP Help Portal features a
SAP Glossary which can be very helpful in decoding SAP jargon (help.sap.com/glossary).
The SAP Help Portal can also answer many of your questions about SAP solutions and
versions (help.sap.com/library).
4.1.1 Project Terminology
Blueprint: The second project phase where detailed business requirements for the system
are identified and documented. The as-is process is tweaked to fit SAP and system gaps
are evaluated.
Build: The third project phase where configuration and development occurs using the
documented blueprint of business requirements and any functional specifications for
RICEFW (Report, Interface, Conversion, Enhancement, Form, Workflow) customizations.
Cutover: The detailed steps required prior to system go-live including transporting
configuration, data conversion, and other manual processes.
Deployment or Rollout: The complete implementation of SAP in an organization. The
process contains project preparation, blueprinting, build, testing, go live, and support.
Full Life-cycle: Refers to the entire lifecycle of a project including project planning,
blueprinting, realization, go live, and support. Go Live: The first day of a new production
system or when new SAP functionality enters the production system.
Integration Testing: Testing that focuses on complete business scenarios using realistic
data and conditions.
Realization: The project phase where all business and technical requirements are
implemented through configuration, documented, and tested.
Regression Testing: The goal of regression testing is to uncover defects in existing
functions of a system after a change, like an enhancement or patch, has been made.
Unit Testing: This form of testing focuses on isolated pieces of functionality. This testing

is typically conducted by the developer or functional person that created the object.
Performance Testing: The system is tested to ensure that it can perform during high
volumes of data, users, or processes.
User-Acceptance Testing (UAT): This form of testing is used as a final confirmation that
the system meets business requirements.
Requesting On-boarding Documentation
Ask for on-boarding documentation prior to joining a project so
you have an opportunity to become familiar with the project
terms, objectives, and timeline.

4.1.2 Functional Terminology


Batch Job: Batch jobs are a series of programs, called jobs, which execute without
manual processing. A script or variant may be used to instruct the job on how to process.
A batch job can be scheduled to perform at a particular date or time, recurring or one-time,
and before or after other jobs process.
Configuration: The functional setup in SAP to prepare the system for specific company
needs.
Master data: A collection of information about an object. For example: vendor, customer,
or material.
Module: A division of functional or technical units within SAP that include business
processes for a particular department (i.e. Sales and Distribution, Human Resources,
Finance, Materials Management, etc.).
Production: The live SAP system that end users will use to perform business transactions.
Sub-Module: A further division within a module (i.e. within the FI module, there are the
sub-modules Asset Accounting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, etc.).
Transaction code: A command of letters and numbers that defines a system task. For
example: The transaction code for Display Material is MM03.
Transactional data: Data related to a business event. For example: Purchase orders,
production orders, or financial documents that are created during business transactions.
Variant: A customized set of fields on a transaction screen that can be saved by users for
faster processing. Variants can be included in security authorizations so only certain users
can access them.
Workflow: A tool that allows documents to be sent through levels of review or approval.
For example: A purchase requisition is sent to a supervisor for approval, then a purchasing

administrator to continue processing.


4.1.3 Technical Terminology
ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming): A high level programming
language used in SAP. ABAP was one of the first languages to include the concept of
logical databases.
Basis: The operating system that supports SAP applications. Client: A separate version of
a particular SAP environment. The client must be specified during log in. For example,
within the development environment, there may be separate clients for development,
configuration and unit testing.
Customizing request: A customizing request is a way to transport configuration to other
SAP systems. Most configuration can only be modified in the designated configuration
client. There are some instances where direct configuration is required and you must
enter the settings in the destination client (i.e. number ranges and some screen variants).
Enhancement: A technical customization (RICEFW) to a transaction for a unique
business purpose. Functional specifications are written for enhancements so a developer
can create the development object.
Environment: A version of the SAP database designated for a specific purpose. There are
typically SAP environments for development, configuration, testing, and production.
GUI (Graphical User Interface): SAP GUI is the software on a users computer or local
server that allows a connection to SAP environments.
Transport request: In order to move development and configuration objects to other
systems, you can export your work to a transport request. You enter a short description
and the request number is automatically generated. You can continue to use the same
transport until you are ready to move your work. In SE09, you can release child and parent
transports, which allows them to move to another client. After a child transport is released,
a new child transport is created under the parent transport with each additional export.
User profile: A set of authorizations for a user or user group given in order to perform
relevant transactions.
Workbench request: A request for transporting development objects like programs and
variants to other systems.
4.2 Deployment Methodologies
A software projects success can hinge on the use of a proven implementation
methodology. A methodology contains phases, tasks, techniques and tools to solve an

issue. Methodologies must be formally documented and communicated to relevant project


team members. Methodologies should be continuously improved to streamline
deployments and opportunities for accelerating must be identified.
Consulting firms and clients sometimes have a variation or custom implementation
method that they prefer to use. Usually they are extremely similar to popular methods and
are used as marketing tools to differentiate from competition. You should be familiar with
the industry accepted SAP methodologies outlined in this section.
Variations of a methodology may be used for particular projects based on special
requirements. For example, large projects, especially for multinational corporations,
usually have overlapping waves for each go live. This requires balancing different phases
of projects at the same time.
As I write this book, I am simultaneously supporting a live system, testing for the next
wave and blueprinting for a third wave. The software deployment methodology for a
global project therefore, requires consideration for a global blueprint followed by
subsequent local blueprints.
Corporate culture can also drive the methodology used in software deployments.
Workplaces that are rooted in history and have a traditional culture may choose a
sequential method like the waterfall development model. The agile development method
may be found on projects where adaptability and flexibility are more important than a
linear approach. Both the waterfall and agile software design methodologies are outlined
in this section.
4.2.1 Software Development Life Cycle
The SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is a framework to plan and implement a
software application. It is the oldest formalized methodology framework for software
systems. A systematic methodology for deploying software allows for some predictability
and risk aversion in the process. Understanding SDLC can also help you see the broad
picture of your project tasks in the overall project timeline.
The basic activities in the SDLC include analysis, design, implementation, testing,
deployment, and maintenance as demonstrated in Figure 4.1.

Figure 4.1: The Software Development Life Cycle

Analysis: Executive project sponsors and designated project management conduct


preliminary analysis of project requirements. Requirements are used to select the ideal
software solution(s), consulting team and internal resources and agree on achievable goals.
A cost-benefit analysis is performed to determine if project goals are feasible given
budget, resource or other constraints. A project schedule is determined which lays out the
timeline for the remaining phases of the project.
Design: Functional project team members lay out system requirements blueprinting
workshops during the design phase. Outputs of workshops include clear system
requirements, as-is and to-be business process maps and design decisions.
Implementation: In the implementation phase, standard, or out of the box requirements
are translated into configuration. Requirements that must be customized, such as custom
reports, workflow, interfaces, or conversions, are documented in functional specifications
and developed by technical teams.
Testing: Several rounds of testing occur prior to system deployment. Test cases are
identified and test scripts are written to facilitate the process. Unit tests are performed to
test that transactions, standard or custom, work as expected. Integration tests consist of a
full end-to-end process test using multiple transactions and crossing functional teams.
User acceptance testing allows end users that may not be involved in project design
sessions to test the system and provide feedback. Business simulation testing aims to
practice every day processes in the system to uncover process issues. Security testing
focuses on ensuring users have proper system access to perform their job in SAP.
Performance testing ensures the system is capable of handling mass transactions and
processes during peak times. Regression testing is used to ensure any new changes in the
system did not adversely affect other design elements. Any issues or bugs identified in
system testing are documented as defects and functional and technical teams work with

business users to resolve defects prior to system deployment.


Interesting Fact
The term computer bug can be linked back to Grace Hopper,
American computer scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral. Her
team removed a moth stuck in the Mark II Aiken Relay
Calculator and coined the term debugging. The moth remains
are on display in the groups log book at the Smithsonians National Museum
of American History in Washington, D.C.
Deployment: The deployment phase marks the date of system go-live, when all
functionality is live for users to perform their everyday business tasks. However, prior
to go-live, users are trained on system transactions and their redesigned business
processes. The deployment phase is an exciting time on a project when specific tasks are
performed to cutover to the new SAP system. Data is converted, interfaces are turned
on, configuration and custom development is transported, and system access is granted.
Maintenance: After deployment, system maintenance is required to monitor performance
and resolve any security, process, or data issues. Project teams actively monitor the system
during a stabilization period, typically 4-6 weeks after deployment. Limited ongoing
support is provided after stabilization through IT help desks which route to specific SAP
support teams.
There are also several design models that further expound the SDLC process. You may use
both design methods on the same project based on how development is structured.
Waterfall Design
The waterfall methodology is a classic, linear approach to software design and
development. The focus is on planning, timelines and budgets which are achieved through
a sequential process.

Figure 4.2: The Waterfall Development Design

Pros:
This methodology works for highly structured projects that do not allow flexibility for
system design changes later in the process.
A method with more structure requires greater focus on analyzing requirements and
designing a flexible, scalable solution that will require fewer subsequent design
changes.
The waterfall method also requires strong system design documentation. System
documentation is important to provide knowledge transfer to new resources and to
monitor key design decisions.
Cons:
The waterfall method is inflexible, requiring the cascading processes to start over with
each design change. SAP projects are massive and the idea that any project phase can
be complete prior to entering the next phase is unfeasible.
Clients and business users frequently change system requirements once seeing more
system options. Business decisions also change prior to system go-live. This can result
in significant re-work since the system has already been developed and/or tested.
Agile Design
The Agile development methodology is a flexible, incremental approach that supports the
evolution of requirements. The definition of the word agile is to move rapidly and
effortlessly. The Agile method focuses on iterations of development through team
collaboration. The end result is a leaner, more collaborative process which allows
functionality to go live more quickly.

Agile implementation occurs in two phases: Baseline and Sprint Realization.


In the baseline phase, project preparation sets the foundation for the system development.
The implementation team, including business and technical resources, evaluates the
business requirements and tasks required to achieve the system customization.
In the sprint realization phase, tasks are broken down in to short-term increments called
sprints. Sprints are several week increments in which functionality is demonstrated,
developed, tested and documented. Daily status meetings are used to report progress in
sprints and discuss obstacles.
The Agile method supports using about 4-6 sprints that are shorter in length so work is
completed quickly and reviewed with business users. Allowing users to see increments of
work quickly allows more time and flexibility if changes are required.
Agile design supports lean development principles of eliminating waste, delivering fast
and building integrity in to the system. Lean optimizes business operations while Agile
focuses on delivery of software systems.
Quote
If I cant picture it, I cant understand it. - Albert Einstein
The short sprints in the Agile method support this quote because
it allows users to provide feedback on the solution sooner.
Pros:
The Agile method generally requires less overhead and rework.
Development begins early, so users see functionality and can provide feedback
promptly. This allows for plenty of time to adapt to changes.
Agile development results in many release versions throughout the evolution of the
product. This means there is always a working version of the program at the end of
each sprint.
Agile requires strong team collaboration which can be otherwise difficult to achieve on
a large SAP project. Agile demands that project teams are productive and focus on a
specific development object instead of designing many aspects of the system and later
fitting them together.
Cons:
Agile can be difficult to implement in large-scale SAP projects because projects are
focused on risk aversion and the release dates are usually fixed.

On many SAP projects, documentation is valued as more important than deployment


speed. The evolution of development through the agile approach puts little emphasis
on documentation. This can be challenging when there is turnover in project resources.
SAP implementations usually require functional resources to gather requirements and
send development offshore. This makes collaboration difficult which is a key
requirement for agile development.
Dependencies on other business and system decisions can require some configuration
and development to be delayed. This eliminates one of the key benefits of agile which
is a speedier release.
4.2.2 SAP Deployment Methodologies
ASAP
Accelerated SAP, ASAP, is the standard implementation approach for SAP ERP
deployments. ASAP is the most commonly used deployment methodology on SAP
projects. ASAP consists of 5 phases shown in Figure 4.3 below.

Figure 4.3: ASAP Methodology Phases

Global ASAP
Global ASAP supports multiple implementation strategies. Using ASAP, the methodology
outlined above, you can implement SAP with a local template. Global ASAP in contrast

enables implementations according to a global template.


The global template contains rules defined centrally. It also provides solutions and inputs
for regional and local projects. The Global ASAP methodology is supported in SAP
Solution Manager (further discussed in the section on SAP tools). Global ASAP contains
three phases outlined in Figure 4.4 below.

Figure 4.4: Global ASAP Methodology Phases

In the global program setup phase, the objectives, organizational structure, and
deployment timeline are defined. This first phase contains top stakeholders and project
leadership including executive leadership and project managers. In the initial planning
phase, the SAP project may not be formally announced to the organization and resources
may not be allocated yet.
The global business blueprint requires functional business team members to outline global
business processes as they occur today. Simulations, questionnaires and brainstorming are
used to document as is business processes. Throughout the SAP project, business
processes will be redesigned or reengineered to fit in to SAP. The outcome should be
rationalized, streamlined to be processes.
A major portion of the business blueprint is the fit gap analysis. In fit gap analysis,
matches (fits) and mismatches (gaps) in processes and functions are identified. Gaps may
be technical or processes based.
Instead of customizing the system to meet all gaps, a thorough analysis must be conducted
to determine the root cause. Is this a legal requirement, or just the way things have always
been done? How often is this gap required? Is there a viable workaround offline or
involving IT?
An outcome of the fit gap analysis will be a list of development objects that require
customizations to the system. Development objects can include customized reports,
interfaces, data conversion, enhancements, forms, and workflow.

Run SAP
After a SAP implementation, a support methodology is required to manage the ongoing
business operations in the live production software. Run SAP is SAPs proven
methodology to optimize the implementation and ongoing application maintenance of
solution operations.
This standard for solution operations ensures the end-to-end solution is successfully
maintained. A successful SAP implementation should realize a reduction in costs and a
quick return on investment. The key to the Run SAP methodology is that it is initiated
from the beginning phases of the project. The phases of the Run SAP methodology are
outlined in Figure 4.5.

Figure 4.5: Run SAP Methodology Phases

4.3 Business Process Redesign


The deployment methodologies outlined in this chapter are all proven to deliver quality
solutions on SAP projects. One of the important takeaways is the requirement for business
process redesign and not just process enablement in SAP projects.
A successful software project necessitates that all technical and business requirements are
systematically understood and fulfilled. All too often, requirements are interpreted
incorrectly and the system is designed in an entirely different way than what was
originally required.
Furthermore, processes are often not redesigned to remove waste or solve a problem; they
are customized to fit in SAP. SAP projects are truly business process redesign projects that
start from the ground up. This requires rethinking processes and not making the system
work as it does today.
A classic example to demonstrate the problems in process redesign is the series of varying
images of a tire swing in Figure 4.6 below. The series of pictures of this tire swing are so
comically different its hard to believe they are all variations of the same requirement. In

conclusion, team consensus, iterative testing, thorough documentation and final delivery
of requirements are vital in successfully redesigning a process.

Figure 4.6: How Projects Really Work from ProjectCartoon.com

4.4 Frequently used SAP tools


The SAP implementation tools highlighted in this section are likely to be used on any
given deployment. A basic familiarity with these tools is important when onboarding to
your first SAP project. Deployment tools are used in all phases of a project from
blueprinting, testing and training to go live support and maintenance.
4.4.1 SAP Solution Manager
SAP Solution Manager is a centralized business process management (BPM) and
integration solution that combines tools, documents and direct access to SAP. Solution
Manager can be used as a document repository, solution monitoring tool and change
control system among many other uses. Solution Manager functions as the administrative
system for all other business suite applications.
As a project team member, you can expect to use Solution Manager to store project
blueprint, testing, and training documentation. You may use Solution Manager to hold the

organizational structure of a project or the business process hierarchy. Many also use the
service desk function in Solution Manager because it can easily integrate with all SAP
systems.
4.4.2 HP Quality Center
Hewlett-Packard Quality Center (HPQC) is a commonly used test management software
on SAP projects. The software offers quality assurance, requirements management, test
management, and system defect tracking.
HPQC has several features including requirements, test resources, test plan, test lab,
dashboard, defect management, and business components. HPQC also has standard reports
and an optional QCReporting add-on package to analyze system test results and defects.
4.4.3 Ancile uPerform
uPerform is a content management tool that facilitates the delivery of learning materials to
end-users. It enables easy production of business process procedures. Business process
procedures (BPPs) are helpful documentation for end-users to walk through transactions
step-by-step.
With uPerform, you can create task-based simulations to walk through a transaction or
process in SAP using screen-captures. The tool formats each click you make into an
eLearning document where you can add further explanation to the process.
4.4.4 Aris by Software AG
Aris is a business process modeling (BPM) software that is frequently used in
blueprinting. BPM is a part of process re-engineering where each activity in a process is
streamlined and optimized to improve efficiencies.
Aris models system transactions and users that perform those transactions. Aris can also
integrate with SAP Solution Manager so your process maps are imported with your
blueprint and configuration documents.
4.4.5 HP QuickTest Professional
Hewlett-Packard QuickTest Professional can be used to automate functional and
regression testing in SAP. QuickTest allows for fast testing by recording steps through
SAP in a test script. HP QuickTest Professional integrates will with HP Quality Center to
document and track test scripts and results. A tool like QuickTest Professional is ideal
when test scripts are easily recordable and tests need to be run repetitively to test

performance or to regression test a system.


Quote
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent
effort. John Ruskin

5 Important SAP skills and concepts for beginners


There are a handful of SAP skills and concepts that are not taught in certification
courses or even SAP training. They are crucial for all beginners to possess and will
significantly shorten your learning curve as you begin with SAP.
5.1 Key Professional Skills
Professional skills are often referred to as soft skills. That is, skills that cant really be
taught, and are not easily measurable. I like to think that professional skills can be honed
through intentional practice and coaching. Possessing these professional skills will take
your SAP career to the next level by demonstrating your leadership potential.
5.1.1 Communication Skills
Think about some of the key job duties for someone working with SAP, whether a
business user, configurer, developer, or team leader. A few common denominators arise.
Everyone on the project needs to have strong communication skills.
Communication on a SAP project goes above the standard communication requirements.
Since project teams are typically very large, integration and coordination are crucial, and
risks for on-time and on-budget delivery are high, everyone must communicate well.
Strong communication means full disclosure of status, decisions, issues and risks. It means
communicating often, to the right people, and in the right form.
Status meetings are a great way to achieve frequent communication with the right people.
Verbal communication supplemented with written communication is typically the best
approach. Some messages or questions are not easy or appropriate to communicate
through email.
The idea with any SAP project is to reduce waste, streamline work, and increase visibility.
Make an effort to practice those three objectives in your communication style. If
something can be discussed briefly and a decision can be documented as an outcome, take
that approach instead of using several back-and-forth emails to reach a decision.
A second aspect of communication is the ability to express complex technical SAP
concepts in business terms. SAP projects are complicated. To start, SAP is full of
acronyms. It confuses inexperienced team members or business people that lack SAP
exposure to speak in SAP acronyms. Avoid acronyms when possible, or until people are
familiar.
It can be very difficult for business users to understand how SAP will change their daily
job and business process, even without acronyms. An important professional skill for any
SAP professional is to learn to communicate technical concepts appropriately for the

audience. This takes practice and consideration for the audiences level of knowledge.
Ive found the best way to explain SAP concepts is to relate to how their system works
today. A visual diagram or chart is a valuable supplement to any discussion as well. Keep
in mind that business users will need time to let these new concepts sink in. It takes
reiteration and targeted training for users to adjust to change.
Finally, within the project team, functional people must know how to converse with basis
and development teams about technical concepts, and vice versa. A key breakdown in
development is the lack of understanding between functional and technical teams. Teams
are often intimidated by unfamiliar jargon and dont make an effort to help the other party
understand.
Strong communication requires sympathy on the sender and receiver of communication.
There are a few steps you can take to overcome this issue. First, speak up and ask for
further explanation when needed. Second, make a concerted effort to understand the term,
concept, or process. Finally, make sure you communicate in a clear and simple way.
5.1.2 Problem Solving Skills
The nature of any SAP project is that things will not always go right. Its downright
frustrating at times and it can be overwhelming to first come up with possible solutions,
and then make a decision.
There are almost always two or three ways you can configure a requirement or design a
report in SAP. A professional that possesses strong problem solving skills takes the time to
fully understand requirements or issues, researches potential alternatives, and presents the
options in an unbiased manner for consideration.
Before presenting alternatives or dismissing an option, use some of these key resources to
help:
SAP Service Marketplace: Search for SAP Notes which are SAP documented solutions
to common system issues.
Practice an alternative in a Sandbox (practice) client. Document the results with
screenshots or be able to show the example in the system.
SAP Community Network (SCN): Use SCN wikis, blogs, and articles to search for
SAP customer and partner opinions on topics. Always use caution when researching
anything online. Make sure the source is reputable and always practice options before
assuming they work.
When blueprinting and conducting fit-gap analysis, ensure you document system
requirements and decisions with great detail. Make an effort to keep good notes on why

one decision was chosen over another. Many times on projects you revisit the same issue
multiple times because there is confusion on why a different alternative wasnt selected.
Decision papers and comparison charts are a fantastic way to practice good documentation
of requirements, alternatives, and decisions.
5.2 Crucial Technical Skills
5.2.1 System Landscape Design

Figure 5.1: SAP System Landscape

SAP functionality must move through the system landscape including development and
quality systems before reaching production.
On any given project, you can expect to complete configuration and development work in
the development client. Development clients are often referred to as D. D refers to the
SAP system. Within a system are several clients. Clients are versions of the system that
can have differing configuration, development and data, but are used for a similar purpose.
Once configuration and development is complete in the build phase, this functionality is
transported to the quality system. You can expect a different client in the quality system
for each type of testing. For example, integration testing and user acceptance testing will
likely be in different clients so they can use different data.
Most projects have a Golden Client which is the ideal version of configuration and
development work. No testing or transactional postings should be made in the golden
client. It is available to create a new client copy using the golden client as an example.
During each transition to a new client, a mock cutover is executed to practice the cutover
to production at go live. In a mock cutover, configuration and development is moved, data
is converted, interfaces are turned on, and manual steps are executed to prepare the
system.
Once functionality is completely tested and business users are satisfied, the project
prepares for the real cutover to the production system. There is only one client in the
production system.
Since many SAP projects have multiple waves, or releases, of functionality in progress,
multiple system rails may be used to move to production. Often there is a +1 rail which
is a separate line of development and quality which feeds in to the other rail before

moving to production.
As a project team member, it is important you understand your projects system landscape
and how your functionality will move through to production.
5.2.2 Introduction to Configuration
One of the major tasks for functional SAP professionals is configuration. You configure
SAP to perform properly based on business requirements during the realization phase. On
your first SAP project, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when configuring a
module. Some configuration is cross-functional so there are often multiple ways to
navigate to a piece of configuration. With a few hints and tips, you can easily understand
how to configure the system for the first time.
Configuration is one of the key activities in preparing a SAP system for end-users. The
standard SAP system will not meet all business requirements identified in the blueprinting
stage. Standard configuration can be thought of as the most common changes and
preparations for the system which the system is technically prepared for. Any additional
changes to the system beyond what is allowed are called customizations.
The distinction between standard and custom functionality is important. Standard
configuration does not require development work since the system out of the box allows
these changes. Custom changes require functional specifications which outline the
functional requirements, technical specifications which indicate the detailed technical
design, programming, testing and end user training. You can read more about functional
specifications in section 5.3 in this chapter.
5.2.3 How to Find Tables
Before configuring the system, you need to understand where data is held and how to find
it. You also need to understand where your configuration changes will be held. In the
database of SAP, tables hold all master and transactional data. It also holds tables of
configuration data and details about when changes in the system occurred.
The ability to view table data and identify field names is crucial in writing functional
specifications and analyzing data. Field mapping, the mapping of data fields in tables, is
one of the key skills in writing a functional specification.
First, you must identify the data you wish to display. Why do you need to view data in
tables? You could be looking for all materials that have a certain criteria. Maybe you are
looking to download all billing documents on a particular date. Or perhaps you want to
view all vendors for a particular purchasing organization.
When you have identified what field you are looking for, navigate to one of the

transactions where you can find this field on the selection screen or in the transaction. For
example, if you are looking for a field on a material, you could go to transaction MM03
DISPLAY MATERIAL MASTER as shown in the following screenshots. You could also
go to a screen that has Material on the selection screen, like ME13 DISPLAY
PURCHASING INFORMATION RECORD. There are numerous options for each data
field and typically you are working with data and already know a transaction to use. If
youre not sure which transaction to use, navigate through the SAP menu path or search
online for relevant transactions.
Now that you navigated to a screen where you can see the data you wish to display, click
on the field you are interested in, and then hit F1 on your keyboard. A pop-up window
should appear like the window below called PERFORMANCE ASSISTANT that includes
details about the field.

Figure 5.2: Transaction MM03 Display Material Master

Then click on the icon that looks like tools. Another window will appear with technical
information including the field name, data element, and table or structure where the data is
held.
If the Table Category says Table, you can continue to section 5.2.4 on displaying tables.
If the Table Category is a Structure, you need to do further research to find a table that
can be displayed. A table holds the source data for each field. Sometimes structures are
created for particular screens, and they cannot be displayed in the same way as a table.

Figure 5.3: Technical Information for Base Unit of Measure

To find a table, double-click on the data element. You will see the Dictionary with details
on the data element.

Figure 5.4: Dictionary: Display Data Element

Click on the button with arrows coming out to find where this data element in used. Then
click TABLES and click the checkmark to continue.

Figure 5.5: Where-Use Data Element

Now you see a list of all tables where a data element is used. The tables are orange lines.
You can browse through this list of tables to identify the relevant table. Try clicking on a
table name in orange to display the fields in the table.

Figure 5.6: Where-Used Data Element Table Fields

How To Identify Field Information


This helpful trick for finding where data elements are found in
tables can be used to identify field information on almost any
screen. Note that there are some exceptions like ALV display
reports where F1 will not work and you may need to change your
user display settings for this to work.
This helpful trick for finding where data elements are found in tables can be used to
identify field information on almost any screen. Note that there are some exceptions like
ALV display reports where F1 will not work and you may need to change your user
display settings for this to work.

5.2.4 How to Display a Table


To display a table, enter transaction code SE16. Then enter the table you want to view.
You can drop down on the field where you enter a table to search for tables. Take caution
that there are thousands of tables in SAP, and it is usually difficult to search based on key
words to find the table you want.
In the screenshots below, I am navigating to table MARA that holds Base Unit of
Measure. This is a continuation of the example in the previous section where I found the
table where this data was held.

Figure 5.7: Transaction SE16 to Display Tables

Hit enter or the bar graph icon once you enter the table you desire to display.
How to Change SE16 User Settings
You can change your user settings for SE16 if you go to
SETTINGS USER PARAMETERS. Select Field Label instead
of Field Name so you can more easily identify fields. Also try
changing your list settings to the more flexible ALV list display.
The next screen is a selection screen to choose data to view in the table. In the example
below, the field I am interested is not shown in the selection screen. I can add in the field
by going to SETTINGS FIELDS FOR SELECTION on the menu bar.

Figure 5.8: Transaction SE16 Selection Screen for Table MARA

How to Change the Number of Rows Displayed


SAP default will only show the first 200 rows in the table. You
can change or remove that parameter in the Maximum No. of
Hits field on the selection screen.

Figure 5.9: Choose Fields for Selection

Once you select the fields you want to use as parameters and enter your parameters, you
can execute the data browser to see the table data.

Figure 5.10: Choose Fields to Display

You can choose which fields are displayed in the table by going to SETTINGS FORMAT
LIST CHOOSE FIELDS in the menu bar.
5.2.5 Navigation through Configuration
Now that you understand where configuration is held in SAP, you can continue with the
basics of configuration. To start configuring the system, type transaction SPRO. Then
click on the button SAP Reference IMG. SPRO stands for SAP Project Reference
Object and IMG stands for Implementation Guide.

Figure 5.11: Transaction SPRO

Once you click on SAP Reference IMG, the next screen is the Implementation Guide.
The IMG contains navigation to all system configuration.

Figure 5.12: SAP Implementation Guide (IMG)

The best practice for configuring in SAP is to start from the top and work down. The
initial configuration steps to set up the system are included in the first few nodes. There is
also a step to set up the enterprise structure for the system. This includes the definition and
assignment of organizational units in each functional area.
Once the initial configuration set up is complete, each functional area can configure
details starting with the top node in each drop down. Most configuration has prerequisites,
so it is safest to work from the top down. Configuration should be driven by business
requirements, so ensure that you only configure what is necessary and in scope of the
project.
You can search for configuration in the IMG by going to EDIT FIND in the top tool bar.
If you need guidance on the configuration in a particular node, click on the page icon with
glasses next to any configuration node. To configure a node, click on the execute button
that looks like a stopwatch with a green checkmark.
5.2.6 Transport Requests
In order to move configuration through the development, testing and training clients and
finally to production, you must save your work to a transport request. A transport is a userdefined package used to transfer data or configuration from one system to another.
When you configure something in SAP, it prompts you to save your work in to a transport
request and assign the transport to a project. There are varying designs for how projects
use transports. On some projects, you must capture each piece of configuration separately
in a unique transport. Other projects collect all configuration by team or in one massive
transport. The screenshot shown in Figure 5.13 shows the box that prompts you to save
your work in a transport request.

Figure 5.13: Create Transport Request

You can use transaction SE01 to display your transport requests in the Transport
Organizer. There are two types of transport requests: workbench requests which hold
development work, and customizing requests which hold configuration. Custom
development, batch job variants, and screen variants are all held in workbench requests.

Figure 5.14: Transaction SE01 Transport Organizer

Transport requests contain tasks beneath them where the actual configuration or
development is held. You can have multiple tasks assigned to one transport request. If you
open up the task in a transport request, you can see the table that was changed in the report
source code.
Typically you will perform configuration in one client in the development system and then
transport the configuration to another client in the development system for unit testing. In
order for a transport request to move from the development system to another system, you
must release the transport. In SE01, if you select your transport request to release, click
on the relevant task(s) and then click on the truck icon or F9. This marks the task as
released and does not allow for further modification. Once the transport tasks are released,
you can release the transport request itself.
To move configuration in the development system from one client to another for unit
testing, use transaction SCC1. In SCC1, indicate the source client where configuration was
performed, the transport request, and select including request subtasks to move the tasks
below the transport request. Click start immediately or schedule as a background job.

Figure 5.15: Transaction SCC1 Copy by Transport Request

Once transports are successfully unit tested in the development client, you can release the
transport request so it will be moved with all other transports throughout the system
landscape. Throughout the testing phase, defects will be resolved requiring more transport
requests. These incremental transports will move through the landscape and catch up with
the rest of the project transports before moving to production.
To ensure that transports moved successfully, you can display the transport log in
transaction SE01. The log shows the date and time of import and in to which systems and
clients. You can also use transaction SCMP to compare tables between systems. To use
SCMP, you will need to know the table that the transport updated. If you are unsure of the
table, drop down on the task in the transport in SE01 and look at the details of what was
updated. You can also double click on the transport request and view the objects changed.
Click on the key in the Function column to see the fields changed in the tables.
Certain types of configuration cannot, or should not, be transported to another system.
Instead, this configuration should be done in each system. A great example of
configuration that should not be transported is number ranges. In the Finance and
Controlling modules, document number ranges must be configured so documents are
assigned to different number range intervals based on the type of business transaction. If
you transport number ranges, there will be inconsistency in the intervals and a buffer will
get created each time.
Another example of something that should not be transported is master data. There are
certain types of master data that change that should be converted through a mass upload
program or manually created. For example, materials, customers and vendors will change
frequently throughout the project and are easier to maintain through a mass upload
conversion program. Transactional data like purchase orders, general ledger postings and
invoices should also not be transported. There are rare exceptions to this rule, one being
transporting transaction data between systems for consolidations.
5.3 How to Write a Functional Specification

Functional specification writing is a key task for analysts, consultants, and senior
consultants. A functional specification is a formal project document that details the
business requirements, technical fields, and process design for a customized object that
requires development. Any non-standard functionality must be customized in the system if
deemed an approved system requirement. Such customizations could include reports,
interfaces, conversions, enhancements, forms and workflow, commonly known as
RICEFW.
All functional SAP consultants will need to know how to write functional specifications.
All technical SAP consultants will need to know how to take a functional specification and
translate it in to a technical specification in order to create a customized object.
A poorly written functional specification causes unnecessary rework and communication
issues between technical and functional teams. When offshore developers are in the
picture, this defers the development process even more because there of time zone delays.
To write a strong functional specification, work with the business users to fully understand
the requirements and purpose of the report. Make sure there are no standard SAP reports
that meet the requirement. You can also check with your team to see if there are reports
that can be combined to serve multiple purposes. This will save development, testing and
training time.
Also understand if there is legacy system development work or special security
requirements that need to be documented in the functional spec. This will increase the
cost, resources and time to complete the customization.
Here are some of the key sections in a functional specification:
Functional specifications begin with a summary section which includes requirements,
definitions, assumptions, business drivers, data volumes, performance requirements,
risk/issues and dependencies.
The process section documents the business process with a written description, a process
flow, system descriptions, processing options and security requirements.
Depending on the type of development object, a section with further details on the
customization is required:
If a report, the functional specification will include a section that details the layout of
the report, the selection screen, the access method for the report and special report
functions.
In an interface, the functional speciation will include an overview of the systems, a
sequence diagram, dependencies, selection screen, exception handling rules, the SAP
transaction screen and table mapping.

If a conversion, the functional specification will include extraction and conversion


details, a sequence diagram, a functional data map, exception handling rules and field
mapping.
If an enhancement, the functional specification will include a section on the SAP
objects or processes to be enhanced, a description of the enhancement, the selection
screen, exception handling rules, custom tables and the screen layout.
All functional specifications conclude with the testing approach and test conditions. The
testing approach could be to perform positive and negative testing for all enhanced and
non-enhanced buttons on the screen. A test condition could be User clicks button A.
Expected results for the test condition could be The enhancement calculates B+C and
displays on the screen in $XX.XX format.
Documenting the test approach and conditions allows the developer to understand the
testing outcomes and run several unit tests prior to sending the development object back to
functional teams for testing. Documenting the test approach and conditions also helps the
functional team members and end users clarify how the process will work and the
expected results.
If you follow these tips and complete the above described sections, you should have a
complete and clear functional specification. Customizations should be avoided when
possible, but often they are necessary to meet necessary business requirements.

6 Conclusion
The most important advice you can take away from this textbook is to understand
the business, develop your communication skills, stay up to date with new technology
trends, and be open to change. If you follow these 4 pieces of advice, you will
certainly be successful in your SAP career:
Business to technology translation is crucial in a functional or technical role. Start by
understanding business functions and concentrate on fulfilling business requirements
and drivers.
Learn to foresee risks and issues on your project. Find opportunities to lead meetings
and document decisions and discussions religiously. Communicate status and issues to
the appropriate audience through the most effective medium with the right severity.
Constantly find ways to enhance your skills through training courses, conferences, peer
mentoring and your own research. A strong understanding of related functional
modules or technologies will keep your skills relevant and marketable. Forecasting
trends will keep you in front of the hype and allow you ample time to react, whether
that means selling project work or making a career change.
SAP will likely be around for some time and opportunities will not dry up overnight.
However, expect frequent project changes, new trends, acquisitions or mergers, etc. in
your SAP career. Be open to change as long as it keeps you on track for your longterm goals.
I sincerely hope this career guide was valuable as you start your SAP career. This book is
a culmination of my experience as a beginner SAP professional including both industry
and consulting work.
Please give back to the global SAP community by mentoring and teaching others,
contributing on social media, speaking at conferences and publishing your work. Too
often, young professionals are intimidated or dont feel they have value to add. Even as a
beginner, you have valuable expertise and experiences to share. The SAP community can
continue to grow when we all share our thoughts and expertise with one another.

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A The Author

Tanya Duncan is an experienced SAP Finance and Controlling consultant with Deloitte
Consulting. You can check out her blog at TanyaDuncanBlog.com.
Her global project experience includes the energy and consumer products industries with
deployments in Mexico, Spain, Italy, France and the United States.
She graduated from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI, in 2010 with a
bachelors degree in Management Information Systems. Post- graduation, Tanya worked
at a Fortune 500 global building materials company as a product costing lead on a
European deployment. She joined Deloitte Consulting in 2011 and moved to the west
coast.
A Michigan native, she now endures the unrelenting sunshine of San Diego, CA, with her
husband Joel and poodle Maddie. The Essential SAP Career Guide is her first published
book which serves as a compilation of her experiences and advice for beginner SAP
professionals.

B Disclaimer
This publication contains references to the products of SAP AG.
SAP, R/3, SAP NetWeaver, Duet, PartnerEdge, ByDesign, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer,
StreamWork, and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their
respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and
other countries.
Business Objects and the Business Objects logo, BusinessObjects, Crystal Reports,
Crystal Decisions, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius, and other Business Objects products and
services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Business Objects Software Ltd. Business Objects is an SAP company.
Sybase and Adaptive Server, iAnywhere, Sybase 365, SQL Anywhere, and other Sybase
products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Sybase, Inc. Sybase is an SAP company.
SAP AG is neither the author nor the publisher of this publication and is not responsible
for its content. SAP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the
materials. The only warranties for SAP Group products and services are those that are set
forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any.
Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty.

C Credits
SAP Events Newsroom. (2011, November 11). Retrieved February 24, 2013, from
http://events.news-sap.com/think-you-know-sap%E2%80%A6-think-again-fast-facts-tella-story-at-sapphire-now-from-madrid/fast-facts-excerpt/
Columbus, L. (2013, February 1). Forbes. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from
http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2013/02/01/roundup-of-cloud-computingenterprise-software-market-estimates-and-forecasts-2013/
Curl, M. (2010, June 2). Bluefin Solutions Insights. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
http://www.bluefinsolutions.com/insights/blog/what_happens_when_SAP_meets_agile/

Ekas, L. (2012, June 29). IBM Developer Works. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/invisiblethread/entry/five_benefi
lang=en
Kanaracus, C. (2012, March 3). IT World. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from
http://www.itworld.com/enterprise-software/324673/erp-oracle-vs-sap-vs-upstarts
Lev-Ram, M. (2012, March 29). CNN Money. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/03/29/sap-makeover-mcdermott-hagemann/
About the Author headshot by Alon David Photography, 2013, San Diego, CA.
Project Cartoon. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2013, from www.ProjectCartoon.com Rear
Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2013, from Naval
History and Heritage: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/pers-us/uspers-h/g-hoppr.htm
SAP History. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2013, from http://www.sap.com/corporateen/our-company/history/index.epx
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Martin Munzel & Jrg Siebert


First Steps in SAP
Learn what SAP and SAP software is all about!
Enhanced with videos and audio comments
Simple, consecutive examples
If you would like to understand the basic fundamentals of SAP software without having to
work through 300 pages or more, this book is for you! The authors concentrate on the
essentials and spare you all the details you will not need as a beginner. Martin Munzel and
Joerg Siebert can look back at a total of 25 years of experience with SAP software, and in
this book, they share their profound knowledge in a precise, comprehensible manner.
Using simple, consecutive examples, they take you through the basics you need to know
about SAP:
Navigating SAP ERP
Transactions
Organizational Units
Master Data
Process Design

The videos will help you experience the look-and-feel of SAP software without actually
having access to an SAP system.

Dr. Boris Rubarth


First Steps in ABAP
A lot of SAP professionals start their careers as programmers and focus on turning
functional specifications into technical specifications and writing code. First Steps in
ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is the resource that every beginner
needs to have. Familiarize yourself with general programming principles and:
Step-by-Step instructions for beginners
Comprehensive descriptions and code examples
A guide to create your first ABAP application
Tutorials that provide answers to the most commonly asked programming questions
Get a head start on ABAP! This book provides you with the tools you need to get started
with a job as an ABAP programmer.

Ingo Brenckmann & Mathias Phling:


The SAP HANA Project Guide
SAP HANA is the SAP product for in-memory computing. It streamlines transactions,
analytics, planning, and data processing on a single in-memory database allowing
businesses to operate in real-time. Over the course of the last few years, the authors have
led many diverse SAP HANA projects with extraordinary success resulting in 10,000, or
in some cases even 100,000, times improvement of system performance.
In this book, the authors share their findings from SAP HANA projects to help ensure the
success of your SAP HANA project. The SAP HANA project guide will also help you
identify suitable scenarios for your company to get started with in-memory computing,
while sketching out a long term plan to provide innovation to your entire business using
SAP HANA. Well cover the following key topics:
Delivering innovation with SAP HANA
Creating a business case for SAP HANA
Thinking in-memory
Managing SAP HANA projects