• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
I have been programming in java/unix/oracle/app servers/middleware last 13 years and now I don't want to do it anymore . I want to start a new career in ERP implementation preferably in SAP or Oracle apps initially as technical person and later as functional . Has anyone done it . I may have to start at a lower level to begin with . what are the potential risks . Anyone in IT would like to add any comments ? . I see rapid growth as ERP consultant as compared to programmer / architect .

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Just so you know, the OP seems to be an Indian.... so he already has that head start :-p

stuffedwallet (Dec. 28, 2012 @ 10:11a) |

This is very true, my old company offshored a lot of their remotable skillsets. They promply lost almost all the suppor... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Dec. 29, 2012 @ 12:26a) |

Most good consulting firms do offer you the ability to move around in domain/expertise etc. If you are able to join one ... (more)

puddonhead (Dec. 29, 2012 @ 11:24p) |

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

I don't think it'll be as big of a switch as you imagine - at least the general impression I have is that your problem solving skills and thought processes are the most important part of a programming/technical position, and that all translates into the new role even if it means a little bit of a ramp up period.

Hopefully someone else chimes in with more intimate details - this is just my impression.

I currently have an opening for an Oracle person and one of the KEY requirements is to have another set of skills (SQL, other DB, Exchange, whatever). Our environment is too fast-paced to have someone say "I have to sit here and examine the results of last night's cold export; After all, I'm the DBA"; If you are not versatile enough to work in whichever is the most demanding realm at the moment, you wont fit it.

I'd say that dual skill set (or background, at least) is a good choice.

after having worked with both I think you'd be backtracking going from Java to SAP. Much more interesting and challenging work to be done with Java IMO.

Just curious, what makes you want to get out of programming?

OP, SAP has different modules. Have you decide which modules are you going to pursue your career on? The field on SAP had a lot of choices. For example, you can be a SRM SAP consultant or implementation.

Erp is the way to go

I've worked ~10 yrs in managing middleware projects for a smaller ERP/CRM, and I'm planning to retrain myself in Microsoft GP, (Though I hear there's a huge demand for anyone with MS SL experience and a pulse..) My partner does the coding, I did the sales, and knowing how the front end tied into the schema, wrote the spec.

SQL should be an easy pickup, and will come in handy, especially when it comes to reporting.
I've played around with SSRS, and the Census offers some really nice datamaps where you can visualize your data by zip code easily, and built for developers. (Crystal Reports requires a less technical skillset, and is more of a pain to use.)

If you can whip up a mobile app, you'll get heavy spotlight and referrals from the ERP's sales force. If you can, own the rights your code to license to others, and make it reusable. (Keep the presentation and business logic separated.)
Lastly, if the ERP is SaaS, you will have much more limited access to data.. Anything SQL Server based, and you can just run profiler and data diff to find what table's it's touching.

----

As far as being an implementation consultant, you'll have to get in with one of the ERP vendors. They have CPAs/Hardware/Software/Mobile specialists that they assign to a project. It's a very tricky, very intense business, with a lot of risk of failure due to miscommuication and managing expectations. Typically, the client is looking for a platform that will closest fit their business model, and customize to fit the rest, and when mistakes are made, they tend to be spectacular. (Hershey's, Waste Management among others.)


Best of luck, and let me know if I can answer any questions.

Tom

I suggest you hit the Gartner's reports for emerging technologies / hype cycles and pick your choice. Some of them are virtualization , cloud computing, big data, User Experience, SAAS. Most of these areas have a lot of demand and less supply so your rates don't have be low.ERP is broad based. SAP, Oracle Financials, MS GreatPlains and even QuickBooks offerings. Unfortunately in the ERP industry, experience counts but how do you get experience without working on ERP? Another thing you want to avoid is commoditization. Java and .Net are now commodities as you find dime a dozen programmers from India. Same with database administration. Can you try leveraging your domain expertise?

I am learning bi / bw / hana in sap to begin with since it does not need domain expertise . I am unable to keep up with fast changing pace of java/cloud/mobile that is why I want to get out of programming

HANA is the big thing of the future from what I've read and learned about it.

Unless you are looking to be a full-time consultant, in my experience, technical is not good for the well established platforms like ERP when you are at larger companies because those departments rely heavily on outsourcing. If you want to work at a non-consulting company and you can get onto a first time implementation team, then you have more options.

I was SAP basis/infrastructure for almost 4 years when I was told my work was "commodity" work.... so I hopped on over to our web team which actually values the type of work I am skilled at. It's a smaller team that relies on core competency instead of the SAP team which relies on cheap outsourced work that is ultimately unsupportable. (End rant.)

I guess my two cents is decide what you like, consulting or in-house, and then pick your employer carefully. For consulting, ERP is always safe, but HANA is a big wave of the future.

NorthStar2020 said:   I suggest you hit the Gartner's reports for emerging technologies / hype cycles and pick your choice. Some of them are virtualization , cloud computing, big data, User Experience, SAAS. Most of these areas have a lot of demand and less supply so your rates don't have be low.ERP is broad based. SAP, Oracle Financials, MS GreatPlains and even QuickBooks offerings. Unfortunately in the ERP industry, experience counts but how do you get experience without working on ERP? Another thing you want to avoid is commoditization. Java and .Net are now commodities as you find dime a dozen programmers from India. Same with database administration. Can you try leveraging your domain expertise?

thanks! i picked up bi/bw/hana as it is both ERP and big data .

Milay said:   HANA is the big thing of the future from what I've read and learned about it.

Unless you are looking to be a full-time consultant, in my experience, technical is not good for the well established platforms like ERP when you are at larger companies because those departments rely heavily on outsourcing. If you want to work at a non-consulting company and you can get onto a first time implementation team, then you have more options.

I was SAP basis/infrastructure for almost 4 years when I was told my work was "commodity" work.... so I hopped on over to our web team which actually values the type of work I am skilled at. It's a smaller team that relies on core competency instead of the SAP team which relies on cheap outsourced work that is ultimately unsupportable. (End rant.)

I guess my two cents is decide what you like, consulting or in-house, and then pick your employer carefully. For consulting, ERP is always safe, but HANA is a big wave of the future.


yes support work can get outsourced . But BI is ever changing requirement with data growth . It also need constant end user interaction and can not be easily outsourced .

Big Data

I am a SAP consultant for one of the bigger consulting companies in the world. It's funny because my degree was in business adminsitration and my background is in finance and I had no experience at all with SAP before joining my new company 3 years ago. (I am fully a functional consultant though so can't provide much help in getting in on the technical side first.) The one thing I will say is I know people who started technical and tried to go functional afterwards and it was not easy for them to make the switch, at least not at my company. You might be better off just starting out functional and using your technical background to your advantage (also all of our technical development happens offshore for SAP.)

It wasn't too hard for me to pick-up the functional skills I needed for SAP but I have had good managers to learn from too. And there are definitely a ton of opportunities out there for SAP and people at my company who do SAP do tend to move up quicker than others. If you have more specific questions I can try to answer.

Just think back in the day...I was a hot shot for knowing Visual Basic. Now I can barely pronouce HANA let alone have any idea what it even is.

cochiseTX said:   I am a SAP consultant for one of the bigger consulting companies in the world. It's funny because my degree was in business adminsitration and my background is in finance and I had no experience at all with SAP before joining my new company 3 years ago. (I am fully a functional consultant though so can't provide much help in getting in on the technical side first.) The one thing I will say is I know people who started technical and tried to go functional afterwards and it was not easy for them to make the switch, at least not at my company. You might be better off just starting out functional and using your technical background to your advantage (also all of our technical development happens offshore for SAP.)

It wasn't too hard for me to pick-up the functional skills I needed for SAP but I have had good managers to learn from too. And there are definitely a ton of opportunities out there for SAP and people at my company who do SAP do tend to move up quicker than others. If you have more specific questions I can try to answer.


how do i start out as functional consultant when i do not have any functional knowledge . I guess try something in FI/CO or SD or CRM .

malasv said:   Milay said:   HANA is the big thing of the future from what I've read and learned about it.

Unless you are looking to be a full-time consultant, in my experience, technical is not good for the well established platforms like ERP when you are at larger companies because those departments rely heavily on outsourcing. If you want to work at a non-consulting company and you can get onto a first time implementation team, then you have more options.

I was SAP basis/infrastructure for almost 4 years when I was told my work was "commodity" work.... so I hopped on over to our web team which actually values the type of work I am skilled at. It's a smaller team that relies on core competency instead of the SAP team which relies on cheap outsourced work that is ultimately unsupportable. (End rant.)

I guess my two cents is decide what you like, consulting or in-house, and then pick your employer carefully. For consulting, ERP is always safe, but HANA is a big wave of the future.


yes support work can get outsourced . But BI is ever changing requirement with data growth . It also need constant end user interaction and can not be easily outsourced .


I was not support.... I was project development for ERP data archiving and basis/security for a CRM implementation with ERP & BW Integrations and performed an IDM implementation on a team of 3 (including me)... and I got outsourced. I am not a consultant. I am in-house.

Consulting is the way to go if this is what you want to do. The in-house road is rough for larger companies that only care about bottom lines.

I am/was an ERP consultant and that's where the money is. I'm hiring experienced Java developers for cheap and training them on ERP vs. hiring experienced ERP.

Developing software pays money, but companies that need software to run pay big bucks to make sure it runs well, and they just write you off as an employee.

With a Java background, I would probably stay away from SAP...have you ever seen ABAP? Oracle sounds Java like so that'd make sense. Never seen what you work with in JD Edwards. Dynamics AX is C#/Java like and is a RAD language you could pick up.

A career change is harder than it looks. You almost have to lose your current job to make it worthwhile.

malasv said:   I have been programming in java/unix/oracle/app servers/middleware last 13 years and now I don't want to do it anymore . I want to start a new career in ERP implementation preferably in SAP or Oracle apps initially as technical person and later as functional . Has anyone done it . I may have to start at a lower level to begin with . what are the potential risks . Anyone in IT would like to add any comments ? . I see rapid growth as ERP consultant as compared to programmer / architect .

Do you travel a lot with your current job? Any product specialty usually requires traveling, unless you live in a very large metropolitan area with many large companies implementing ERP packages.

It is a potentially higher paying job than your garden variety developer, but I would not consider it more interesting. Just different set of challenges. With your background, you should be able to handle the technical side. The challenge is getting training. It is very expensive. At your level, you probably are getting decent salary. You'd have to join a consulting company, probably at a lower salary, with an explicit expectation of being a part of SAP/Oracle practice and getting in-class or on the job training.

Are you ready to travel 100% of time? Then move into consulting with ERP cosulting BIG5's else, its better to stick to programming in JAVA etc....another thing, there are too many folks form India that can do anything under the sun!(not sure how though ) If you have any other special skills list them..if your heart likes to something that you love.. think about that... just saying..

cognoscube said:   another thing, there are too many folks form India that can do anything under the sun!(not sure how though )

As with anything, it depends. In my module (HR), a lot of times companies don't want outsourced work directly because they either can't communicate well with the outsourced team, or have had previous sour grapes experience with outsourced work. If you are good at what you do, there will always be companies that are willing to pay decent rates. If not, there are companies that are willing to go the outsourcing route.

Al3xK said:   With a Java background, I would probably stay away from SAP...have you ever seen ABAP? Oracle sounds Java like so that'd make sense. Never seen what you work with in JD Edwards. Dynamics AX is C#/Java like and is a RAD language you could pick up.

ABAP is a breeze to learn. Only took me a couple months doing part time work my last semester in college.

malasv said:   how do i start out as functional consultant when i do not have any functional knowledge . I guess try something in FI/CO or SD or CRM .

When I first started working with SAP, I would do exactly what was asked of me, technically. Since I wasn't too familiar with it, took pretty much all my time to just get that done. Once I started getting more of the hang of it, then I would investigate why something was being done a certain way, which would usually lead to me getting some insight on the functional need for X Y or Z. While it probably isn't the most efficient way, seems like starting off from a technical perspective and moving into functional once your knowledge is firmed up is something to look into.

malasv said:   I am learning bi / bw / hana in sap to begin with since it does not need domain expertise . I am unable to keep up with fast changing pace of java/cloud/mobile that is why I want to get out of programming
That is ironic because both Oracle and SAP are undergoing major changes as far as I can see. And any IT job that can be standardized would be at risk of potentially being outsourced.
Being in IT myself I feel the pressure every day to keep up with all the changes, too. But I see that having those changes is one of the key reasons we still have jobs.
This actually makes changing career to a different IT area difficult---unless to very closely related areas.
Because you will have to learn not only what others in the new area already know but also the new things.
In this case you will very likely have to take a pay cut in order to get in. I know people who have made such changes that did have to start with a lower salary.
I'm honestly not sure if it's worth it unless for people who are working with declining technologies.

cognoscube said:   Are you ready to travel 100% of time? Then move into consulting with ERP cosulting BIG5's else, its better to stick to programming in JAVA etc....another thing, there are too many folks form India that can do anything under the sun!(not sure how though ) If you have any other special skills list them..if your heart likes to something that you love.. think about that... just saying..

Just so you know, the OP seems to be an Indian.... so he already has that head start :-p

pthor1231 said:   cognoscube said:   another thing, there are too many folks form India that can do anything under the sun!(not sure how though )

As with anything, it depends. In my module (HR), a lot of times companies don't want outsourced work directly because they either can't communicate well with the outsourced team, or have had previous sour grapes experience with outsourced work. If you are good at what you do, there will always be companies that are willing to pay decent rates. If not, there are companies that are willing to go the outsourcing route.



This is very true, my old company offshored a lot of their remotable skillsets. They promply lost almost all the support contracts with their largest customer over the next year. Their third largest customer isn't that happy with the support from Mexico and India. (I am working for them indirectly providing backup support for the third largest at the moment)

Most good consulting firms do offer you the ability to move around in domain/expertise etc. If you are able to join one of them (Big4, Accenture, bunch of niche consulting firms, may be even IBM/Accenture), and pay your dues, i.e. work with them for a year or so in an area you are an expert at - then there are good chances you may be able to switch to another area.

Some firms are more uptight about these types of mobility and some others are not, so you need to do your research.

Please make sure you want to switch for the right reason though. If you spend 5 years catching up on a new technology, and discover you have the same problem as before - that's not a good place to be.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014