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A Career in ERP.. Where Does One Start....

By Satha Arumanayagam ·
Well they say that a career in ERP is something that evolves..

I tend to agree with this statement. I am an accountant who left the life of a "CFO" to be in a customer servicing role. I started my ERP career as a functional ERP consultant and then progressed through to service delivery and sales leadership roles.

However in the current environment, where a channel based "go to market model" is popular amongst larger and smaller vendors (i.e. Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Netsuite, Accpac, Sage..) there is greater opportunity for us to choose an appropriate career path in ERP, at a very early stage in our career.

The typical ERP professional has the option of transitioning their career across the organisational functions (from customer support through to consulting to service delivery management to sales and business leadership). And choosing other well known paths of specialization such as: supply chain management, CRM, distribution, manufacturing, financial management, project management etc..

In addition, with inroads made by players such as: Microsoft, SAP and Oracle to the small to medium business sector, ERP professionals are also able to choose their specialisation by business sector (i.e. small to medium business vs large corporates).

Those specialising in solutions such as: Microsoft Dynamics Nav, Microsoft Dynamics Ax, SAP B1, Oracle E-Business suite, Netsuite, Accpac etc.. will largely be working with businesses in the small to medium sector.

Whilst others specialising in SAP R3, SAP All In One, Oracle, MAPICS etc.. would be spending time in the corporate sector.

Broadly speaking the soft skills and attributes required of the ERP professional will vary significantly depending on the business sector and the type of client.

Soft skills & attributes required of the ERP professional should also include:

For the Small to Medium Business Sector

a) the ability work in small teams with greater responsibility towards the project success
b) the ability manage a large portfolio of customers at any given time
c) the ability to deal with clients who are much less systems /IT savvy
d) ability to operate under strict budgetary constraints
e) the ability to deal with staff/business owners, who have less time for the project but are more demanding

For The Corporate Sector:

a) ability to work in large structured teams, comprising of very many specialists

b)ability to focus on one or two large projects/bids until completion

c) ability to work to strict deadlines

d) ability to operate in an environment where one may have very little influence over the direction of the project

e)ability to deal with higher levels of organisational politics amongst business users

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