Skills to Guarantee Your Next SAP Project in the USA
Finding your next project as a SAP freelancer can be a challenge. While you’re on a project, working long hours, it can be tough to keep up with your personal affairs let alone market trends. As a SAP freelancer it’s always helpful to have an idea of where your next project might be coming from. Securing SAP projects in the USA, is easy; making sure it’s going to get you ahead in your career and future opportunities is a little more challenging.
In order to choose where to upskill for a sustainable project pipeline, it’s important to look at the current SAP market and understand where it may be going. We asked our extended American SAP network and found four skill areas that are and will continue to be in high demand.
It’s no surprise that SAP consultants with experience and certifications in S/4 HANA are in high demand. As major SAP users come to terms with the fact that they will be needing to run on S/4 HANA by 2022, business have begun to scramble to find the right S/4 HANA talent.
S/4 HANA projects have already kicked off but they’ve not yet reached their height in terms of scale across SAP users. Consultants looking to upskill in this area will not only be highly valued by the teams they join, but will have a healthy project pipeline for years to come.
Read here: Top Trending in S/4 HANA
Techno-functional expertise is typically in demand in most SAP markets, however, now more so than ever. With complex implementations across multiple regions, upgrades to new platforms, and integrations with inadequate support, the need for techno-functional SAP professionals is critical in the USA.
The most common additional quality many hiring managers look for is techno-functional experience. What do they mean by this? They’re looking for SAP consultants with a strong technical background who can also manage stakeholders, gather requirements and make recommendations to the business— all while understanding the complications of change.
This is an area that’s interesting for technical SAP consultants to upskill in and can be done over the space of a long-term project (one or two year commitment). Look for roles where you can gain exposure to change management activities, user training and direct contact with stakeholders. Good techno-functional SAP consultants are difficult to find for many teams, though their work is highly valued and crucial to cohesion across teams.
Like S/4 HANA, SAP Hybris implementations are a global trend and extend to SAP projects in the USA. Skills in this area are particularly scarce because of the high demand, particularly when it comes for Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C).
SAP consultants in the USA would do well to gain skills and certifications within SAP Hybris. This is a good area to upskill in for SAP consultants with experience (or a strong interest in) working in the retail industry and e-commerce solutions. If the timing of certifications is tough, many businesses will take on consultants with Hybris experience rather than waiting for certifications.
Industry experience is often the ‘x factor’ in the American SAP projects market when it comes to selecting between two consultants.This may seem strange to some, considering SAP is relatively uniform across industries. However, there are many exceptions to this rule with industry solutions (such as IS-Retail and IS-Oil). Additionally, business processes that vary across industries often impact SAP projects, which makes industry experience extremely valuable to some teams.
In the American market, industry experience is particularly valuable when it comes to Chemicals and Oil & Gas / Energy companies. For these industries in particular, safety regulations and processing requirements need special accommodation within SAP systems. Functional consultants working with these clients find a matching industry project portfolio indicates generates trust with their clients. Industry specialization suggests that to the business that they have experience managing and communicating with stakeholders unique to their business.
If you have a broad range of clients in your SAP project portfolio, upskilling in this area is as straightforward as selecting one industry and highlighting experience in this area to leverage more consistent projects. For more junior consultants, becoming a SAP industry specialist is a more long term goal with 3-4 projects needed in one industry to achieve this result.
Find out here: Is it worth it to become an SAP industry specialist?
SAP Projects in the USA are booming. With such a wide selection of projects to choose from it’s important to be strategic of where to gain skills in order to ensure that you have a healthy project pipeline for projects to come.
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