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Which SAP Functional Module is the Hottest? A JonERP.com Exclusive
Which SAP Functional Module is the Hottest? A Ranked List by Jon Reed of JonERP.com Published: September 2008
For the first time ever, I am ranking all the core modules from hottest to least hot. I'm not going to count Business Suite applications; I'll cover them in a separate piece down the road. Before you read this list, I recommend reading my full disclaimer about my SAP hot skills rankings, which has some crucial skills tips as well.
Just remember one thing: sometimes what is hot is not a particular module, but which combination of modules are used. For example, MM and PP are not as hot as some areas, but taken together as "Logistics" with a bit of SD thrown in, they can be very hot. Then there are areas like Project Systems (PS), which are not necessarily super hot but are definitely good niches.
Your background goes a long way towards determining what you should be pursuing - not just what's hot. In addition, within a particular module, some areas are much hotter than others. The SAP version number you are working in also has a lot to do with what's hot. ERP 6.0 skills are much hotter than 4.6c across the board.
With that in mind, let's have a look at some of the hottest modules in SAP, ranked in terms of their relative consulting demand:
1. FI/CO (Financials) - Driven by the core upgrades, Financials is still the hottest thing going in the "functional module" arena. I now divide SAP Financials into three areas: Financials (FI), Controlling (CO), and "value added" components. In the core Financials area, you really need that ERP 6.0 upgrade experience. Good old "Accounts Payable" may not be the hottest thing, but when you have the new General Ledger under your belt, now you're talking. The New GL ties into increased activity on global reporting and compliance, driven by SAP's multi-lingual reporting capabilities. It is now possible to really have a top-down GL structure that integrates parallel lines of subledgers in real time. This is a good skill to have, and compliance-based reporting is yet one more reason why the SAP Financials demand ranks the highest. The "Controlling" areas (CO module) are also in demand. Many of these areas involve the costing of various aspects of your company's operations, and analyzing profit and loss by segment and product is very much in demand. SAP has been honing its CO components for years, and the functional areas in CO are robust and also start to dovetail into BI/SEM, which is not a bad skill to have on the resume either.
We're also seeing some definite demand for the FI/Travel Management piece, now that this has crossed over from HR. In terms of the "value added" areas of SAP Financials, there are some interesting niches emerging too, from Treasury to Funds Management (Public Sector), Fixed Assets/Asset Accountings, and, perhaps the most hyped, Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM). FSCM is, in part, about web-based collaborative tools, such as an online claims and disputes management process that is integrated into the core ERP system. Anytime you have a cutting edge "extended ERP" skill like that, you are moving in the right direction, as long as you don't get too far ahead of the overall market demand. Also, keep on the lookout for more work in GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) and EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) as the Business Objects product integration proceeds. All these strategic areas bode well for both the present and future of SAP Financials consulting.
2. HR/HCM (Human Resources/Human Capital Management) - HR/HCM is making a surprisingly strong push for number one. Also driven by core upgrades, HR/HCM is remaining hot in part because HCM is emerging as a competitive
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PS (Project Systems) . This is increasing the need for those who are skilled in Performance Management configuration." The combination of the increased quality of the core HR components and SAP's sophisticated HCM solutions is driving more and more companies to standardize on SAP for HR and FI as they upgrade. as more and more companies realize that they need the best possible software solution to aid in their attempts to recruit and retain top talent as a key competitive driver. We are also seeing a big push in terms of Portals-based HR self-service. Then of course you have Pricing. There is also some demand for SD-Variant Configuration. into extended Supply Chain Management (SCM) when it comes to the "distribution" side of SD. There are also some Portals-HR-Security tie-ins driving work in this area. SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) is driving some of the job orders in this module also. Basic issues like managing storage bins in multiple locations are the key to WM demand today. so there's not as much demand here across the board as in more general areas of SAP like HCM that cross industries more universally. But what makes WM hot today is just the simple needs of companies for more visibility into their inventory. such as MM/WM. And. which can be very sophisticated. and that is because SAP's WM component is starting to win more projects over the bestof-breed warehouse management systems that many companies previously opted for instead of SAP WM. PP (Production Planning) . from the "sales" side of SD tying into CRM. WM (Warehouse Management) . as more strategic HCM components are installed. Performance Management is currently one of the hottest areas of Talent Management. 6. and this is a hot area. SD-CRM integration. and the bread-and-butter Billing component comes into play also. WM would not have ranked this high. SD (Sales and Distribution) . as well as E-Recruiting. but as SAP beefs up WM further.Perhaps the biggest surprise on this list. and SAP's GTM solution is going to play an increasing role in this. integrated real time with their ERP system. Of course. industry-specific warehouse management needs than SAP can currently handle. Another advantage to SAP HCM: many of the components are new. that particular combination could solidify WM on this list even further. and the "distribution" side tying into overall Logistics side of SAP as well as the Supply Chain Management (SCM) components.a key area for many international SAP implementations. 4. and to some degree. now frequently called GTM (Global Trade Management) . and we can expect a similar surge in the need for other areas of Talent Management as well. If I had made this list four years ago. PP is often in more demand when tied into other http://www.I see SD getting pulled into Logistics upgrades. with ESS (Employee Self-Service) and MSS (Manager Self-Service) showing up on a lot of job orders. of course.PS continues to gain traction as a perhaps unexpectedly popular SAP niche area. but the PS-FI/CO integration between PS and the costing components in the SAP CO (Controlling) module is probably the key to the ongoing demand in this area. This means we can be confident that SAP HR skills will be in demand. not just during this "upgrade wave. Another area we are seeing that drives the demand for SD consultants is the SD-GTS (Global Trade Systems). that list is getting smaller.Jon Reed on SAP Consulting advantage for companies (as opposed to the traditional HR administrative/back office approach). we are seeing more of an emphasis on WM jobs lately. 23:23 . because you can't manage talent unless you can systematically evaluate and reward performance. As one recruiting friend of mine told me. Another good skills combination involves WM and RF/RFID. thus reducing competition from experienced consultants. Warehouse Management has made a big rise from earlier days. "SAP HR has grown up. 2013.Use varies by industry. as companies are able to manage complex warehouses down to the storage bin level. This niche area has traditionally been more attractive in combination with other skill sets. It's a versatile module that links up with several key areas of SAP. International tax requirements are pretty complex. SD spans a lot of areas.com Powered by Joomla! Generated: 7 April. and one that requires significant expertise to configure properly. 3. some companies have more sophisticated. which often ties into PP and MM.jonerp. However." but after the upgrade. and if RFID ever picks up more momentum. SD's integral role in all these areas promises continued consulting demand. 5.
A pretty low place on the list for a core area of SAP. SAP has very little penetration into best-of-breed "QM" areas like LIMS (Laboratory Management Information Systems). I'm grouping it with MM. SM might go higher on this list.jonerp. and SM/CRM may have some appeal as well. SM (Service Management) . The MM/QM mix is a common and effective one. PM is often a handy module to have in conjunction with other core areas like MM. in general QM skills often work best in conjunction with core modules like MM.PM is another niche area of SAP that has always had a steady trickle of requirements. SM/PM is an interesting combination. I think that PP is an area that may be better pursued now as part of a broader SCM (Supply Chain Management) focus. To the best of my knowledge. Not all industries apply or use the MM module. But. Because QM is often tied to regulatory compliance. PM (Plant Maintenance) .If combined with the CRM Service area. There are successful consultants working in all ten of these areas and many more besides. In some industries. future development of Service functionality is taking place on the CRM Service side.com Powered by Joomla! Generated: 7 April. they cannot bend on functionality simply based on the appeal of easy integration with the ERP core. http://www. best-of-breed solutions that address the compliance issue perfectly often have the upper hand over SAP QM. For this reason. This is another area of SAP that does compete with best-of-breed systems for market acceptance.Jon Reed on SAP Consulting core Logistics components (SD/MM/PP) or integrated with APO on occasion. or other niche areas like SM. Let me know what you think of it. But if this answer helped to give a better sense of which functional skills are in demand. 23:23 . typically scooped up by senior level consultants. 9. Again. but for our purposes here. In many industries where companies would consider QM. Another example of where SAP has had some success is in the SAP MRO for Aerospace and Defense solution (Maintenance. but not enough for new folks in my opinion. I hope this ranking of the SAP modules was taken with a grain of salt. While the QM area does support some senior level expert consultants. which has overlapping functionality. Some would consider IM (Inventory Management) a separate SAP niche module. enough SAP customers are still utilizing it that it remains an area of some demand. Repairs." but it can be a nice area for a senior level consultant. We also see plenty of SM/CS (Customer Service) requirements. QM (Quality Management) . MM has also given way to SRM when it comes to e-procurement and more sophisticated marketplace and auction functionality. we also see a nice skills combination of SM/PM/CS. MM (Materials Management) . 7. unless their non-SAP industry background lines up perfectly. However. 8. I don't consider PM to be a good focus for an SAP "newbie. 2013. but there are some reasons for this. then it was a fun way to do it. and the MM/IM skills combination is one of the hotter MM-related skill sets. so the core SM module is not something to count on in the long term. 10. There is enough consulting work to support an experienced consultant. such as Pharma and Chemicals. and Optimization). and this area may get a bit hotter as NetWeaver's embedded wireless capabilities have an impact on integrating the shop floors of these remote service and plant areas. It does get pulled into many Logistics and SCM processes and job openings.Another niche module that seems to have more traction in areas where compliance throughout the manufacturing process is mission critical. which is why it earns last place on this list.
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