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author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva

[Status Update]Starting to think I should become an SD Consultant...

No need to use ABAP Objects, care about test-driven development, Eclipse, CDS views or SAP killing your income source any day now. Just listen to the requirements ("and how do you feel about it?"), give common sense answers, push a couple of buttons in SPRO, get paid better. Less ageism too (somehow functional consultants are perceived to get wiser with age while developers turn into "dinosaurs"). Don't know something? Post on SCN or just throw it over the fence to the ABAPers. Bwahaha.

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  • May 03, 2017 at 09:08 PM

    BASIS job is worst. Every other functional consultants thinks that we know ALL

    :( :( :(

    • May 03, 2017 at 09:23 PM

      No, I dont think that ;-)

      • May 03, 2017 at 09:28 PM

        You are very good functional consultant but not everyone thinks like you :)

        • May 04, 2017 at 03:31 PM

          I'm not so sure he was thinking what you were thinking he's thinking. :-)

    • May 04, 2017 at 01:41 AM

      security is up there. People think we are part of basis (and then within basis is it a "junior" role beneath most administrators) and that PFCG is all you need to know but many still don't know it

      on projects it's always underestimated as it doesn't impact end user functionality (according to the sales person even though lack of access and authentication has major impact to business process) and is treated like an insurance policy that no one wants to pay for.

    • May 04, 2017 at 04:18 PM

      Puh-lease! Basis folks throw stuff to ABAPers all the time too. Unless the whole system is down or the short dump specifically mentions scary words like "kernel" or "Oracle", it's an ABAP problem. "I'm getting this error, what does it mean and what do I do? - Ask an ABAPer! They know all the errors in the whole SAP!"

      I don't envy Basis though. Because when the system does go down the hell breaks lose and at least I can hide under the table.

      • May 04, 2017 at 05:06 PM

        If ABAPers writing code like

        select * from TABLE

        All basis guys go mad on ABAPers and most of them don't know coding

      • May 04, 2017 at 05:26 PM

        It's always greener on the other side. I believe every role is filled with challenges.

        However, with BASIS the biggest challenge to them is they have to be always right in any situation to look good. I down think if a production system is down, they have the opportunity to do trials in Sandbox, development and QAS to verify the solutions and then apply in productions.

        Also, even if there is issue with Development system, that system still acts as productive system for BASIS as it is part of productive Landscape.

        I always consider all SAP Modules as a human body.

        1. Skeleton - Hardware

        2. Brain - SAP Kernel and BASIS components.

        3. All other Organs - Are modules like SD, FI..

        4. Clothes/Accessories/Disability Support - ABAP (They provide all cosmetics, support to Body if it is disabled in Functionality like artificial limps. ;)

        5. Education/learning like Language/Music/sports/etc - Customization done by functional consultants and add-ons.

        For Human body to work, everything must work in its own role.

        • May 04, 2017 at 05:29 PM

          So you mean to say ABAPers in cosmetic category !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW I like it :) :) :) :) :)

        • May 04, 2017 at 05:55 PM

          The whole SAP is written in ABAP. At minimum, it's like a circulatory system.

        • May 05, 2017 at 10:33 PM
          Imtiaz, so true that all the systems are PRD systems from the Basis perspective. If I need to upgrade DEV (which, by the way, I'm doing right now), I have to do it at night and on weekends, mostly, because otherwise I've idled ten other people.

          I do have a sandbox system, but it's not just mine -- the team uses that, too.

      • May 05, 2017 at 10:32 PM

        Hah! Jelena, my ABAPers come to ME all the time trying to throw things over the fence to me! I've become the catch-all for any problem that no one else can solve -- even if it's not about SAP, apparently.

        • May 08, 2017 at 02:18 PM

          Most of the errors in SAP says - For this error please contact your system administrators.

          That is why everyone coming to BASIS !!!

          SAP please change your wordings :( :( :(


          • May 08, 2017 at 04:28 PM

            So true! Sometimes, when I get that error myself, I want to yell at the system, "But I am the system administrator!"

          • May 09, 2017 at 03:41 PM

            Users ask me all the time who is that "administrator" they're supposed to contact.

        • May 09, 2017 at 11:44 AM

          Same here!

    • May 05, 2017 at 10:30 PM

      Yogesh, you mean we don't know all? I don't know about you, but I know all. ;)

      More seriously, yes, I get everyone in the organization coming to me to ask me all kinds of functional questions, process questions, policy questions, network questions, questions about how to enter time, questions about the procedure to request leave, or to request approval for a trip, or how to fill out an expense report....

      • May 08, 2017 at 01:18 PM

        Ah, you must be the friendly "computer guy" then. :)

        Unfortunately, I found that as soon as you answer one question the good news spreads like a wildfire in the user community. Some time ago I was filling in for a colleague and had to create some user accounts. And now I'm finding that my name is circulated as some kind of a "contact person" for the whole SAP system.

      • May 08, 2017 at 02:03 PM

        Hello Matt,

        What I wanted to say was "I know all" :) (like you do) but, it's not my part of the job to solve functional issues as Netweaver Administrator. But when you say no to other people management say -You are not acting as a part of "THE TEAM" but they need to know you hired "WRONG PERSON"

        What if I ask functional consultant please upgrade SAP kernel in cluster environment? :)


        • May 08, 2017 at 04:26 PM

          Yes to both these comments above (Jelena's and Yogesh's), this is what happens! You become known as the "SAP go-to resource" for everything.

          And, to be fair, when you manage a business system like SAP ERP for enough years, working closely with FI, MM, HR, and PY experts and the respective departments, you can't help but pick up a lot about best practices in those areas. So, I'm no accountant, but I can tell you quite a lot about three-way-match for vendor invoices, goods receipts, and purchase orders, and when approvals for a shopping cart, or a personnel change request, get hung up, I can dig into the workflow and figure out where it should route next and forward it there. I'm no HR analyst, but I could likely optimize the practices of an HR department for efficiency while meeting all State and Federal requirements.

          But I'm not too sure about anyone else on my team upgrading the kernel in a clustered environment. :)

          • May 08, 2017 at 05:02 PM

            I did have an interesting experience with a company in Germany doing some consulting for them back around 2000 -

            Me - So, you are the project manager for this SAP Warehouse / Manufacturing system we are putting in

            Him - Yes

            Me - We have to run some ethernet to the new printer in the plant, who do we talk to

            Him - Me

            Me - Ok, good. We will need a new System User set up, who we contact

            Him - Me

            Me - Ok, part of plan is train your Functional and Technical team on what I am doing. Who would that be?

            Him - Me and me

            So on... turns out the guy was the everything guy for SAP technical, functional, Networking, etc... and the CIO to boot! And, they run full fledged SAP, not some cut down new out of the box version.

            • May 08, 2017 at 05:17 PM

              I ran into something like a number of years ago in a customer contact situation. If I recall correctly, this was for a small city or county government, and their entire IT department, including a full-fledged SAP ERP system, was run by a single person. He had the title of IT Director, but his entire job was managing contracts, as everything was outsourced and/or externally hosted. That's increasingly common these days, but this was in the early 2000s.

              Also, to be fair to the functional members of my team, who started "life" as business process experts, many of them now know a great deal more about database concepts than they likely ever expected to. They may not be able to perform a kernel upgrade, but they can probably describe a best practice for choosing table key fields and the design of a secondary index.

            • May 09, 2017 at 03:48 PM

              We have a person like that in our team. He was not a CIO but was running the SAP system pretty much all by himself for one of the companies in the holding. Really amazing skillset.

  • May 03, 2017 at 09:37 PM

    ABAP is still better. At least you are not limited to SAP SD functionality. You can even write your own SD :)

    Best regards


    • May 04, 2017 at 03:32 PM

      I need time to live :)

    • May 04, 2017 at 04:55 PM

      Well, it's a blessing and a curse. I have to admit I like the feeling of power that knowing what actually happens behind the SAP scenes brings. But then people look at you like some kind of messiah and expect you to know and fix everything. As usual, with great power comes all that other, less pleasant, stuff. :)

  • May 04, 2017 at 03:07 AM

    No techno-functional? Just plain SD? Here is a fictional scenario:

    1. You become a functional SD consultant.

    2. You spend 2 hours in conference calls:

    - explaining to the business the differences between Excel and SD pricing;

    - pleading to your manager not to insist on redesigning SD pricing to work exactly as Excel;

    - give up, explain why you need budget for development and provide effort estimations.

    3. As a result, you get a few of the 'dear gurus' kind of coders assigned.

    4. You start writing ABAP in Notepad++ in addition to solution design, functional design, test scenario documentation and user guides. Don't forget to prepare test data with step-by-step guides for the developer how to perform the test and what is the expected outcome.

    5. Developers ask you to help them debug their own code. You log on via remote desktop and do the needful.

    6. You receive a request to investigate SOST problems, because it might be related to SD workflows (it isn't, of course, but you have to prove it by investigating and sending the results with screenshots as evidence).

    7. You discover, that a few change requests were assigned to you, which have nothing to do with SD or with SAP, but because the software is somehow related to logistics, and nobody in the team really knows what it does, this must be SD.

    8. Your manger is worried, because you are already behind schedule. Why are you slacking around?

    * What I was trying to say, is, that every position has its unique challenges and annoyances. I can't believe, that you will feel comfortable as a plain SD functional consultant. Maybe you can choose something trendy from the SAP product catalog with an exotic name, which nobody knows what it means? :) *

    ** I am not sure about the 'getting paid better' part - it depends on a lot of factors: I have seen striking differences of 100-150% in salaries for the same country, position, experience, company, similar skills and almost the same contract sign dates. **

    *** Ageism. When you are looking for a job or even when you have one, you may encounter: jingoism, racism, sexism, <insert any suitable - ism here> and just horrible people, who don't like you hair-cut. And you are worried about ageism? ***

    • May 04, 2017 at 12:01 PM

      Welcome to my world! - I have written more ABAP code as a functional consultant than a technical :)

      One problem is that no one wants to hire a techno-functional consultant. That's a unicorn, no one can possibly do, or know, or understand both.

    • May 04, 2017 at 04:46 PM

      Just had an epiphany. Scratch SD consulting. Management is the way to go! Just sit around, make empty promises and then get mad at people. Get paid even more.

      • May 04, 2017 at 06:45 PM

        +1 for management... I am starting to look around. I seriously don't know what is going to help more - my MBA or Dilbert. Personally I think the latter, but I am not sure how to put that on my resume.

  • May 04, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Your subject would mislead other SD freshers that consulting in SD is an easy job but it is not the case :-(. Many clients are more knowledgeable in SAP and when they come with some requirements, as a functional consultant, we should be confident in proposing customized solutions where the requirement cannot be achieved through standard configuration. For that, unless, the functional consultants are not strong enough in core SD, it would be even worse if the client show the required configuration path and ask the functional consultant to do :-(. Not only in SD, but in all streams, the functional consultant should have the updated knowledge both in their respective domain as well as in SAP.

  • May 04, 2017 at 03:24 PM

    In my SAP journey so far, I have seen a number of Technical consultants who have better understanding of overall flow and integration point and they challenge functional consultants (if they are allowed to ) when they feel that "Common sense answers" are very common (Thanks to Google/ SCN) and doesn't make any sense.

    This remind me of one interesting line where management used to believe "Anybody can become a SAP consultant as long as they have access to Google and they know how to use Google search"

    • May 04, 2017 at 03:36 PM

      It works both ways. But usually in both cases it's the same root cause. Lack of experience and training.


  • May 04, 2017 at 03:40 PM

    Starting to think I should become an import/export white flour consultant :)

    • May 04, 2017 at 05:59 PM

      I have flour, can you export that? Well, its kind of white. Most days anyway. Well at least part of the day. If it's a bit off-white is that Ok? If I look at it in one particualr processing room it looks white. But it's kind of yellow looking in the warehouse. Are the black bugs in it a problem? I think I'm allowed to have so many of them. Do you know how many I can have? The stuff in drums looks whiter than the stuff in the bags. But the stuff in the white pails looks really white. Especially in that one room I mentioned earlier. Do I need to change the material number when it goes into that processing room? I don't want to do that. In fact, can I just use one material number all the time? Even if it's kind of grey? We don't have to do anything special right when take it from the silo and put it in a pail or sack do I. I really don't want to do a lot of stuff in the computer. Maybe we can just keep printing our labels from Excel? You can interface that right? Oh.. and when the truck pulls up I want the system to read the door of the truck and then just print his paperwork at the guard shack.. I really hate dealing with those truck drivers, they alwasy want to much paperwork.

      I saw a brown flour with white specks, will you help with that to?

  • May 05, 2017 at 09:34 AM
  • May 05, 2017 at 01:38 PM

    Hi Jelena,

    It's never a bad idea to broaden your horizon and gain skills traditionally belonging to functional consultants.

    Anyways, I predict that the old techno vs functional will disappear somewhere in the next 10 years and make place for some hybrid breed who is able to interpret the wishes of the clients and understands the tools available to cater for their needs.

    Purely technical or functional consultants will go the way of the dodo.

  • May 05, 2017 at 04:55 PM

    Ok, now I retire from programming.... Mr. Keller!!!!

  • May 09, 2017 at 12:11 PM

    What I love about SAP - I have no idea what majority of used abbreviations here are, but I understood the pain. :)

    I think core SAP is a bit snobby and territorial.

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