SAP Expert or SAP Analyst?
Previously, I wrote an article about SAP consultancy . Of course, I wanted to write about SAP experts or SAP analysts working in coordination with SAP consultants and working in the relevant departments of companies using SAP. SAP experts/analysts are professionals who provide first and second level support to the incidents and change requests coming from the business units in companies using SAP, and escalate these incident/change requests to third level support( usually outsource SAP Consultants) when necessary. They are often part of companies’ IT organizations. Some have a consulting background (like myself), while others are directly involved in the SAP ecosystem in similar positions. A small part of them may join SAP departments after taking part in SAP projects as key users.
Although parameters such as the size of the incidents/change requests managed, the team structure and number, the variety of modules used, and the number of users are very important factors, there are generally two profiles of employees;
• Power User: Such SAP experts are knowledgeable about common errors and can provide first and second level support. They need a consultant to implement change requests and projects. Without knowing the technical details of the work done by the consultants, he/she makes unit tests and sends it to the relevant user for testing. Giving the same job to the consultant is not a problem for them, they do not develop themselves technically or do not want to improve. They provide communication between the business unit and the consultants. In process designs, they have difficulty in predicting the points where the changes to be made can affect. Debugging a program on SAP is like launching a rocket into space for them. They generally do not have knowledge of SAP tables either.
• Inhouse consultant: Experts in this profile usually examine the system in detail before asking the consultant. He has command of the technical infrastructure of the system. Even though he does not do the work that the consultant has done, he has a command of the details of the work done. Of course, in some cases, it may cause some problems by making the wrong intervention, but I think that this should be tolerated as it is a learning for the company and itself. Such SAP experts are very valuable for SAP teams and users, especially in matters where the consultant plan is made weekly and requires urgent solutions. The fast solutions they provide add value to the company. However, these profiles will also contribute to the institutional memory as long as they are employed in the company, in response to the information reset in case of change of consultants and consultant firms. Since they have a good command of the process and technical infrastructure, they have the ability to foresee the affected points while evaluating the change requests.
Of course, the profiles are not so black and white, there are also analysts standing in the middle of these two profiles, who do their work partly on their own and partly with the support of consultants. In my opinion, very few SAP experts can be positioned as Inhouse consultants, mostly in the first group or intermediate group.