ON BEING AN SAP PROFESSIONAL…
It’s been several years already since I switched career from solutions development to SAP BASIS administration. It was a sudden swing as I was enjoying all the fun of making all ideas into a reality in just a snap of a finger via software development. I have automated so many business processes and simplified various operations and procedures resulting to increase in savings and a boost in productivity.
Well, there was this time when my best programmer buddy, who was an officemate and whom I later influenced to do the same career switch on the same job under the same company, was also my business partner and we have developed this retail business solution we baptized as “PROJECT STARBUCKS” that we got so attached to it that we almost stayed daily after work at Starbucks just to code. Soon, we saw ourselves marketing, deploying and supporting one of the few innovative and successful retail business solution ever – MYPOS.
I was earning extra. I was enjoying. I was travelling a lot. I met several businessmen and I was able to have new friends. As a result, I also made people very happy. I trained companies on digitalizing and automating their businesses and I have implemented various initiatives and projects aiming to level-up efficiency, effectivity and profitability. In doing so, I was able to turn ideas into clickable cost-effective realities. I was able to do all these because I was a die-hard developer and a very dedicated business solutions architect… then (and now).
Then came the switch. Out of curiosity, I took the challenge and excitement in getting an entirely different job using an entirely different and proprietary technology. Why? The main objective aside from curiosity was the fact that I intended to develop along with my best buddy Jason an ERP system. SAP is an ERP system that is so proprietary that learning materials are so limited and training is almost as expensive as buying a car! The only way to learn through it is to actually engage and have an ERP job. That was the plan!
We wanted to do more than office automation, hospital systems, inventory software and retail business solutions. We wanted to do more things in just one ERP-like project where we get to revolutionize or innovate various industry through enhancement of existing systems and development of new features. In short, we wanted to make our own SAP! Thus, I have decided to be an SAP Professional.
Given the option to either take development work, functional jobs or applications consulting, I took SAP BASIS. Why? One thing is that it definitely sounded so different. Hahaha. Among all the given options, it was the most technical and tiring of all the titles. It also has access to all other modules to give me an overview of everything including architecture.
The SAP BASIS role covers multiple solution administration areas such as database administration, operating system administration, server infrastructure administration and the application administration which we usually call SAP R/3 administration.
The good thing on this offering is the chance to have like 3-4 jobs in one where you get to learn so much. The downside for many is that you get only one title and one pay for it and that at some point, you have to multiple your work time to 3 to cover all the job requirements. Hahaha. For me, I took my job as an investment that someday I may reap the rewards of all the learning I get after all the sacrifices.
SAP BASIS is likened to the operating system. All other functional modules above it are synonymous to software applications like MS Office. SAP BASIS controls the performance and all the parameter settings to keep all applications on it running seamlessly. On the other hand, all functional modules are dependent on it and almost everything depends on SAP BASIS to let the show running!
It was perfect! I have already mastered in some ways how to develop systems may it be simple or complex. What matters so much for me is to understand the architecture, landscape and the technology behind the world’s most successful ERP system ran by all best-run businesses.
Well, the job is not that easy. The responsibility and the accountability attached to the post is so great that keeping the entire ERP system running to cater the needs globally of its users is always on the top of the list. Being available for calls and other means of communication is secondary. Having to maintain, upgrade, troubleshoot and fine-tune the system for preventive measures and good housekeeping is as vital as the other two.
The job is tough but it is very rewarding – monetarily and career-wise. Coupled with my love for development and with my current job, I am able to mix both skills in automating and developing tools to deliver better and I am able to cascade knowledge by training people. I am also able to perform administration well because I know how software should behave. Thus, I am able to develop better solutions because in return, I know what it takes to make applications run seamlessly in terms of performance.
I am so thankful. I have already trained several people into the technology and addressed thousands of trouble tickets. I have rendered thousands of work hours and I have created several manuals and documentations useful. Amidst all these, I have not abandoned yet my dream of having my own ERP someday but then again, even if I do not get to do that soon, I am happy for all the learning I have and for the chance to also train people. I may not have all the time but still I love my job and I like what I am doing. I am an International SAP BASIS Consultant!