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10 Must Have Skills for Consultants working in SAP

AMS Practice
Posted by Balaji Parsewar in Career Center on Feb 10, 2013 6:18:36 PM

If you try to categorize SAP practice of any SAP partner irrespective of its
scale & size, without any statistics or data, broadly there are 2 categories:
- SAP Implementation
- SAP AMS i.e. Application, Maintenance & Support.
What AMS practice meant for SAP Partner Company?
If you take example of any SAP partner, you will find one universal
phenomenon which is very common across all geographies, revenue from
AMS contribute more as compared to revenue from implementations. The
reason is very simple & understandable, after implementation process which
is spread over the tenure of 6 to 12 months; support for the same project
goes on for several years. In this process support revenue surpasses
implementation revenue.
Moreover, macro analysis of any matured markets like US or European Union
reveals that SAP implementations for the most of the major corporations
have already taken place in the past hence majority of SAP projects/business
received by SAP partner companies are support(AMS) projects.
Above articulation clearly states that AMS practice is backbone of entire
SAP Eco-system.
For a consultant who is planning to work for AMS practice or already working
in AMS practice, do you feel some special skills are required apart from
regular technical skills? The answer is yes.
Please refer following skill sets which are much required for SAP consultant
working in AMS practice. Through application of these skills a SAP consultant
can definitely achieve difficult task of Customer Delight which is beyond
Customer Satisfaction.

1) Ticket Creation in Project Management Tool: Several AMS practice,

the process of ticket creation is automatic through use of SAP solution
manager where customers directly log tickets into the system but there are
several companies where issues are communicated through medium like
telephones or emails or messages. In this scenario the first job consultants
need to do is to create ticket in project management tool you have &
generate ticket number for the same. Once ticket number is generated,
communicate the same to customer.
2) Correct Effort Estimation: Incorrect effort estimation always leads to
misunderstanding between consultant & client co-ordinator. Effort estimation
is sensitive topic because it is directly linked with the cost of the given
assignment hence consultant need to be more vigil while providing effort
estimation. In case consultants have any doubts, he can always approach his
superiors & project managers & get correct effort estimates. For example for
task of z report development consultant should proactively provide effort
estimation in detail like
3) Acknowledge: Once you receive ticket, first job of consultant is to
acknowledgement of the issue. In an acknowledgement mail, you can include
information like Ticket Number, Effort Estimation, Thanks note anything.
Consultant should set a norm for acknowledgement like deadline of 2 hours
for acknowledgement of an issue.
4) Do Not hesitate to Call: After receiving clients requirement, if you feel
any single ambiguity regarding requirement, do not hesitate, just pick up the
phone & call the customer. Through telephonic conversation you can get
answers for all Ws (Why, When, Whom).
5) Probing: Believe me friends probing is an art. Probing is widely used skill
especially in the area of sales & marketing to understand customer needs &
requirement. Probing means asking subjective as well as objective questions
in order to understand the requirement. Example - If customer have asked
you to prepare Z report for pro forma invoices, then at least you should ask
following questions:

How many columns do you require?

Do you have any excel format for the report with column names?
Which billing document types should be covered?
What would be the volume of the data?
Automatic report execution in back ground facility is required or not?
6) Learn to say No: Several times we came across strange situations
which requirement cannot be mapped through system or no work around is
available. In this scenario, after exploring all the possibilities, you should
have courage to Say No in a very polite manner. If something is not possible,

there is point in lingering around the issue. Better you end the topic & move
7) Ask for Help (even to customer also): I had seen so many SAP
consultants who are very reluctant to ask for help. Why to fear? If you did not
understand the issue properly, be open to ask customer twice, ask for test
cases where issues are not clearly visible. You will not become inferior if you
asked help from your client. After all you are trying to help him out. Even in
case you are preparing test case for customer invoice but due to some
reason you cannot post goods issue. In this case you should simply call to
customer & give him order number & ask him to post goods issue. At the
same time never be reluctant to raise issue to SAP if issue is relevant & its a
product error.
8) Offer Complete Solutions: Again its a big deal in entire support
processes i.e. solution offer. Please ensure solution you are offering should
be perfect & in line with the customer requirement. Solution should be
equipped with:

Test cases(Positive testing as well as negative testing)

Required screen shots
Change request with its description
End user manual,
Impact analysis document,
Configuration changes document.
9) Always keep back up of original setting: Before doing any changes,
please keep back up of original setting. This back up will act as recovery plan
in any critical situation. SAP is closely interlinked ERP. Changes in SD might
impact other modules FI or CO. Hence in case something goes wrong against
expectation, this back up can be used to bring system back to normal status.
10) Business stoppage-Forget your working hours: Due to system
error, business stoppage had been taken place, so my friends our first duty
would be to resolve the issue at the earliest. Then for that no matter you
have to stretch yourself beyond working hours. There is very simple principle
Show Must Go On. Support teams are paid for one simple reason &
i.e. Business Continuity.
I have tried to encapsulate all my SAP support experience under the title 10
must have Skills for Consultants working in SAP AMS Practice. I
hope this blog will serve purpose of each SAP consultant who wants to grow
& excel in SAP AMS Practice.
<<Removed By Moderator>>. Your appreciation & feedback always
encourage me to write something new & something out of box. Please do

share your feedback & also request to all SAP Experts to add if I am missing
on something.
Good Luck & God Bless All Of You.
Balaji Parsewar
SAP Certified SD Consultant