coming soon: survey on Contractors & SAP Certifications

Ever since the big response on Dennis Howlett’s “Should You Be Certified?” SDN blog post I felt that the implications of SAP’s certification push had not been identified well enough for contract and freelance consultants. The main reason for this is probably because there is not enough data to establish what this particular group thinks about the old or the new 3-tier SAP accreditation.
Why focus on SAP contractors?

It’s been my idea for a while now to do a survey purely for contractors and freelancers in the SAP arena. This group’s approach and its take on the topic is slightly different for the following reasons:

  • most of the time freelancers have to pay for certification out of their own pocket
  • market circumstances might dictate that certification is paramount to land your next assignment
  • they might use certifications to break into new SAP areas / modules, very often without any work lined up after the exam, as clients want people with experience who can hit the ground running.

In contrast to this, SAP consultancy firms and partners tend to educate their consultants in anticipation of upcoming demand. In the current climate, they might decide to send a dozen of their staff to SAP certification exams as they expect demand for products such as Business Suite 7 to pick up within the next 12 months, for example. Moreover, these partners can also offer sandbox systems or access to early adopting clients so their newly certified consultants can learn by doing.

End users certify their staff yet again for different reasons. In my experience the leading motive in multinational corporations is usually to establish centres of excellence with certified subject matter experts.

One last thing…

One last thing that I feel is important to mention: overall goal of all this really is to support the aim of facilitating better implementations of SAP and increase ROI. My intention is not to talk SAP certifications down. Far from it.

Coming up later today

The survey will be up later today. Some people will be emailed separately with a link to the survey, but the link will obviously also be posted on here. Please forward it on to as many SAP contractors and freelancers you know. SAP is listening to the community and it’s our part to come up with ideas and constructive comments. Hopefully the survey results will contribute another piece to the “certification jigsaw” and improve the system even more.

3 thoughts on “coming soon: survey on Contractors & SAP Certifications

  1. Nigel James

    March 13, 2009 at 12:39pm

    Thanks for this Michael. I am looking forward to your survey. I am also running a session on certification at the SAP Inside Track London 2009 unconference at IBM Southbank on the 4th of April.
    It would be good to thrash out these ideas in that forum.
    If anyone is interested in coming along to the day they should check out the wiki and signup,

    Look forward to seeing you there.

  2. Klaus

    March 13, 2009 at 2:53pm

    I simply don’t understand why you’re so scared of getting certified?!

    Of course, it’s no panacea, but to know that behind practical skills there is an able guy with deep theoretical knowledge – that’s worth getting certified, isn’t it?

    I hope it’s getting mandatory!

    Btw: I’m on my way to the second certification… 🙂

  3. Michael Koch

    March 13, 2009 at 4:43pm


    Hi Klaus,

    Thanks for your comment and if you’re a freelancer then I hope you’re going to take the survey. Very interested in your views!

    You’re right – backing up your project experience with certifications can be a good thing. But I also know a lot of employers who remain fairly cool whenever they see a CV from a certified consultant.

    I suppose you’ve followed the discussion on SDN about certification. There is no simple answer to this and the fact that most SAP Mentors are not certified, yet do a brilliant day-to-day job gives the whole thing an interesting twist.

    As I pointed out in my earlier posts, this survey is being held because I truly believe that certification and education can be one of many keys to improved ROI and more high-quality implementations. Contractors rather make sure they invest into the right education and to the best effect. I would like to understand this better, hence the survey.


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