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In this podcast, Jon Reed of JonERP.com speaks with an expert team assembled by SAP's Ecosystem Workforce Group to assess the SAP skills trends that are relevant in today's economy. Joining Jon on the call are: Peter Russo, leader of PAC's SAP Services Research Practice, and Rob Fiddaman and Deepak Jaiswal of K2 Partnering Solutions. Rob is K2's North American Partner and Deepak, who called in from India to participate in the global call, is the CEO of K2.

The purpose of this podcast was to identify the hiring needs of SAP customers during a time of unprecedented economic challenges. As the rules of the economy change, the skills sets needed from SAP consultants have also evolved. But one thing hasn't changed: consultant quality remains a critical part of ERP project success, and SAP has set consultant quality as a top priority for 2009.

So how do we define "quality" when it comes to today's SAP consultant? And how has the skills profile of top SAP consultants changed in the era of process-driven ERP, business intelligence, and Business Suite 7? Find out in this 26-minute podcast that focuses on the reality of SAP skills demand, with views from the front lines of SAP consulting.

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Podcast Timeline 

2:14: Peter Russo - How has the economic shift affected SAP skills supply and demand? Find out why Peter has an optimist long term view of SAP services based on global demographic trends and PAC research.


5:48:  Rob Fiddaman - What are the four key areas of skills demand K2 sees in the current market? Hear why is SAP closely tied to streamlining costs, lean manufacturing, and better human resources deployment.

7:38: Deepak Jaiswal -  Based on Deepak’s conversations with CIOs, why is consultant quality coming up again and again as the critical theme? And how are trends like SOA and BI impacting SAP consulting?

9:30: Fiddaman - To underscore the importance of consultant quality and operational efficiency, Rob cites a real world case study of a K2 client that has chosen SAP as the means of integrating different paper mill facilities and increasing visibility into operations. 

12:30: Jaiswal -  Deepak outlines the SAP skills needs that serve the business needs Rob described, including BI, NetWeaver, and SAP Logistics.


13:32: Russo -  Peter talks about some of the new SAP job roles that are starting to emerge in PAC’s research, such as the “Business Solutions Architect,” and what skills are needed for these new roles. Peter also talks about the skills consultants need to cultivate in order to be relevant on site and not be as vulnerable to offshore resource trends.


19:21 Fiddaman -  Jon puts Rob on the spot and asks him to share his advice to "R/3 consultants" who want to remain marketable as on site consultants.

 

21:06: “Takeaway Section” – Jaiswal, Fiddaman, and Russo all share a sound bite or key market lesson they took away from this podcast recording.

24:19: Jon's wrap: Jon Reed wraps the podcast by sharing what he learned from the discussion. He also presents his four keys to remaining a successful SAP consultant in today’s economy.

25:42: How to continue the conversation
- by getting more with SAP's online careers and University Alliances portal.

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