SAP and Enterprise Trends Podcasts from Jon Reed (@jonerp) of
Free spirited, old school podcasts on all things enterprise with Jon Reed of, along with troublemakers and/or special guests
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In the second podcast in the "All About SAP Training" series, Jon Reed asks Tom Michael of Michael Management  about the state of SAP training and the range of training and certification options available to SAP professionals.

Picking up where the last podcast on SAP training left off, Jon and Tom jump right into the topic of SAP online training:

- Tom goes back to the beginning: 2-3 years ago, Tom began to get more and more requests for online SAP training. In the past, there were very few options, and while sending folks to the SAP Academy can be very effective, it's not always an affordable option when you are continuously tweaking people's job roles. Meanwhile, the project documentation is useful to a degree but is not really the perfect training tool ("you can't learn SAP from a few screen prints and a PowerPoint presentation.")
Direct download: pcast_1008_sap_reed_michael02.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

In the first podcast in the "All About SAP Training" series, Jon Reed asks Tom Michael of Michael Management  about the state of SAP training and the range of training and certification options available to SAP professionals.

The podcast begins with an overview of Tom Michael's background and his role with Michael Management's SAP training and consulting practice. In addition to Michael Management's consulting work in Asset Management, Project Systems, Investment Management, and related areas, Michael Management has become one of the largest online SAP training sites today. As Tom explains, this was an organic process where clients asked Michael Management about the training side of their implementations and Michael Management began rolling out more and more online SAP training courses.

In this first podcast in their "All About SAP Training Series," Jon and Tom dive into the hot topic of breaking into SAP. Michael reviews some of the free options available online, such as SAP's own help documentation which covers basic functionality. Then there are useful SAP books that can further the education process on an affordable basis. But documentation can only take you so far, so what are the other options?  
Direct download: pcast_1008_sap_reed_michael01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:22pm EDT

In the second podcast in my TechEd in Review 2008 podcast series, I spoke with BPX Community Evangelist Marilyn Pratt and got her honest take on TechEd Las Vegas 2008. This podcast has an interesting interactive twist - at a few points in the podcast, Marilyn turns the tables on me and gets my own reactions to what we saw in Vegas. Themes of this podcast include: the increasing importance of BPX themes at TechEd, an assessment of BPX Community Day, and the "greening of SAP," one "bottom up" idea at a time.

In the first section of this thirty five minute podcast, we get into what a "BPX Community Evangelist" is all about and why authentic conversations are so much more powerful than "marketing messages."
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_pratt_01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:15pm EDT

There's a lot of talk about "SAP Business Process Experts." SAP even has an online "BPX Community" set up around this emerging skill set. But what does this really mean to the individual consultant?

For the first time ever, Jon speaks in-depth with a senior functional consultant, Samantha Gammill, President of Osiris ERP Consulting, about her pursuit of the "SAP BPX skill set."

In this podcast, we get the story of why a certified MM/PP functional consultant with a broad SAP background and 14 years of SAP consulting experience decided to pursue the BPX skill set, how she went about doing it, and what the reactions of her team members were to this skills transition.

During the podcast, Samantha talks about her efforts to move into her role as "future functional business process expert." In the process, she gives listeners a view into her approach to self-education. Samantha funded her own attendance at the TechEd 2008 Las Vegas BPX Community Day, and brought what she learned about that day back to her team.
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_gammill01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT

SOA is having a major impact on how SAP professionals look at the skills they need going forward. But why does SOA matter to SAP in the first place? Is SOA SAP-manufactured hype, or is SOA going to be a real factor on SAP project sites. What skills will be needed in order to succeed in the NetWeaver and eSOA era? And how does NetWeaver BPM fit into the picture? In this SAP-SOA skills podcast, Jon Reed shares his take on these issues with Demir Barlas of
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_searchsap01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

In this thirty minute podcast, David Foote of Foote Partners reviews his firm's latest 2,000-employer benchmark survey data on trends in pay and availability of SAP enterprise application skills. Hear what's hot (and by how much), including which SAP skill has seen a 57% increase in market value over the last 12 months.

Also included: strategy advice for employers deploying SAP applications, and career advice for IT professionals building SAP careers over the next two years.

Kicked off by Demir Barlas of, this podcast begins with David Foote's overview of his latest SAP skills findings, including what's hottest in 2008. Jon Reed of weighs in toward the end of this podcast, asking David several questions about how SAP professionals should apply his findings to their own skills transitions.
Direct download: pcast_0908_sap_reed_barlas_foote01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:09pm EDT

Gas prices have been flirting with $5 a gallon recently. But as Krishna Kumar of Enterprise Horizons points out in this podcast, when most SAP customers implemented their first SAP systems, prices were closer to $1 a gallon. This massive change in the cost of energy has created both a crisis and an opportunity. On this podcast, we look at the opportunity side of the equation. Jon and Krishna are joined by Paul Kurchina, Director of the Kurmeta Group, and author of the recently released book In Pursuit of the Perfect Plant.

The three of us take a closer look at the intersection between the corporate "Green Movement" and eSOA, and how these converging technologies are having a beneficial impact on the bottom line, while charting a better course for global energy consumption. Paul and Krishna also explain how SAP professionals can get more involved in the Green/eSOA space - a potentially great way to mix skills expansion with purposeful work.  
Direct download: pcast_0808_sap_reed_kumar_kurchina01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:02pm EDT

What is at the root of the customer frustration with SAP's maintenance fee increases? And what does RunSAP and Solution Manager have to do with it? To get at these questions and many more, listen in with Jon Reed and Site Editor Demir Barlas as they interview Robert Max, ASUG Evangelist for ASUG, Americas' SAP Users' Group. Formerly the SAP Infrastructure Manager for a Fortune 500 Company, Max has played a leadership role in many ASUG groups, including serving as as the Chair of the ASUG Solution Manager Community.

During this podcast, Robert explains how SAP customers can achieve a greater value from SAP support by maximizing the use of Solution Manager, RunSAP, and end-to-end process optimization. He also talks about the skills needed by project teams (and individual consultants) if they want to take advantage of these emerging post-go-live opportunities.
Direct download: pcast_0808_sap_reed_max01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:58pm EDT

In this landmark podcast, Jon speaks with Kent Sanders, Senior Technology Architect for CSC Consulting, about the beginning of the end for the traditional R/3 Basis Consultant, and how to make the skills transition to "NetWeaver Engineer." Kent explains why mastering NetWeaver is essential for getting involved with eSOA, and why eSOA has moved from hype to reality. Loaded with practical skills tips for consultants and project teams, Kent SAP professionals an inside view on how they can round out their skills, avoid being outsourced, and stay marketable in the NetWeaver era.

During the interview, Kent talks about the differences between the classic Basis skill set and the emerging "NetWeaver Engineer" skill set. He goes into the specifics of the tools that SAP technical professionals need to master in order to remain marketable instead of becoming obsolete. Drawing on his own experience, Kent explains how project teams should approach building NetWeaver and eSOA skills sets internally. Kent also talks about how the business process orientation of SAP is impacting all SAP skill sets, and most importantly, how SAP professionals can educate themselves for these transitions - in particular by leverage the SDN and BPX communities.
Direct download: pcast_0808_sap_reed_sanders02.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:54pm EDT

The value of SAP certification for SAP professionals might be the most frequently asked career question of all time. In this special edition podcast, co-hosted by Demir Barlas of SearchSAP, Jon discusses the key issues in SAP certification with Sue Martin, Global Certification Portfolio Manager for SAP.

During the podcast, Jon poses the "hot button" SAP certification topics that he always wanted to ask, including Sue's take on the relevance of SAP certification to hiring managers, and the value of SAP certification for those trying to break into SAP. Sue also explains the new three-tiered SAP certification program, the latest efforts to make SAP certification exames more location-accessible, and what's coming up for SAP certification at TechEd 2008.

By the time the podcast is over, Jon and Demir get Sue's take on many of the questions readers have posed about SAP certification - including Sue's news that more than 80 percent of SAP hiring managers surveyed say that certification factors heavily into their hiring decisions.
Direct download: pcast_0708_sap_reed_martin01.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:51pm EDT