With the drastic digitization in the last few years, most companies have felt the need to shift to online collaborative platforms to remain competitive. SAP or ‘Systems Applications and Products’ facilitates interaction over a common database and provides a comprehensive application range. SAP training has become indispensable with the evolution of the ERP (Enterprise Relation Platform) systems.
Big and small companies, irrespective of the industry, require applications and platforms to manage their financial assets, production operations, equipment, workforce, materials, archived documents, cost accounting and a huge amount of information.
With an increase in these applications, the demand for SAP certified professionals with specializations in e-business applications, web interfaces, tools for supply chain management or customer relationship management, has been on the rise.
While SAP training courses fees depend on the institution and the courses you opt for, the increase in your job regional and international job prospects as a certified professional makes up for the money spent.
Digitization of SAP training
As observed in Michael Management’s 2014 SAP Training Survey, more than 51 percent of 1,200 SAP professionals preferred SAP training online utilizing instructor-led virtual sessions, MOOCs and other e-learning resources. In contrast, the preference for classroom training was 29.5 per cent.
Alarmingly, a significant gap was discovered in the above survey, between the amount of training required and the amount that was received. Over 62 per cent of respondents reported that they received less than 10 hours of training, while almost 52 per cent indicated that they should have received more than 31 hours of training. It was also observed that nearly 41.5 percent of respondents were not confident about their training and claimed that it was insufficient to perform their job.
SAP development modules of an ERP consists of SAP FI (Financial Accounting), SAP CO (Controlling), SAP SD (Sales and Distribution), SAP PP (Production Planning), SAP MM (Materials Management), SAP QM (Quality Management) and SAP HCM (Human Capital Management). A certified professional should be equipped to work with one or more of these modules.
This survey brings up the shortcomings of virtual training and provides a comprehensive understanding of the expectations of the candidates and their employers and the future developments needed to overcome them.
Online training resources
Today, with the availability of the vast amount of online resources and training programmes, the hassle of traditional classroom training has become pointless. Self-paced or instructor-led SAP training allows professionals to continue with their jobs while working for their Certification. Some of the resources available to them are as follows:
- open SAP and other online resources
You can register to access open SAP which will provide you access to podcasts or microlearning offerings. Apart from this, you can also find an online MOOCs which suits your level and proficiency. For example, some courses cover the fundamentals of ABAP, while others deal with the use of SAP HANA and the new features of ABAP in improving existing ABAP code.
- Instructor-led courses
Signing up for a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) may give you access to a virtual instructor and help you grasp the required concepts through regular classes, gamification, and discussion forums. There are several paid and unpaid resources and materials online that provide a comprehensive understanding of the SAP courses.
- Learning rooms
SAP Learning Rooms are special online forums that are dedicated to the curriculum of specific SAP specializations. These forums are available 24/7 and have a moderator who has expert knowledge regarding the field. The moderator is responsible for posting the room’s objectives and guiding the participants wherever they need help.
- Hands-on practice
All SAP training courses must be combined with hands-on experience to be completely prepared for your certification exam. You may use a live SAP training system to implement the class exercises and understand what it is like to work with real-life SAP software environments.
This helps test and further strengthen your SAP skills and knowledge. For example, SAP HANA is a database and software platform from SAP, so the questions will be designed to test your ability to apply the knowledge attained during your training.
Nowadays, both full time and online SAP Courses can have the same impact. Still, the credibility of the institution you enrol in and the modules you use for your training has a significant impact on how ready you are for the certification exam.