Having been in SAP for some years I get asked this question how to get into SAP as a career. I was writing this to a close friend of mine and thought of putting it on the blog. This advice is a rather first step to decide which stream to join in SAP –

  1. Technology Consulting – understanding the architecture of various SAP solutions and advising the IT department of clients on what is best for them and then helping them implement it. Your end customers in this case is always IT department people. This is purely technical job 😀 Folks who work in this area are called technology consultants. On the first day of project you can recognize these guys as someone who is wearing a suit but is uncomfortable in it.
  2. Business consulting – understanding the capabilities of SAP’s solutions and implementing them for the client’s business. For example let us say you manufacture bulbs – you have plants where you make them, you have suppliers who supply you materials, you have distributors who distribute your products and finally you have customers. Also don’t forget the employees. So you implement SAP solutions which take care of all these folks and the processes they are involved in. People who work in these areas are called functional consultants and they love to wear suits 😀
  3. Solution Delivery – both of the above activities could involve multi-month engagement with the end clients with a team of functional as well as technology consultants. This engagement would be called a project. There are folks whose main job is to deliver the on time within budget and scope delivery of these projects. These are your project managers. Usually PMs evolve organically from the above two roles. But you might see folks coming out of B-Schools directly jumping as PMs. This guy is a leader and can be seen very nervous during the first few days of the project 😉

Once you have decided one of the three above you can focus on a particular SAP product. I wrote this with SAP in mind but I think this would be true for any enterprise software product.