Proven technical ability aside, the requirements for those wanting to establish themselves within enterprise technology-based consultancy services is stringent and mirrors the level of innovation and demand within the market.
Would-be consultants hoping to secure a position within the competitive world of SAP-based application solution development, integration and support must also demonstrate business experience, leadership skills, people skills and facilitation skills.
This is the view of management at Swicon360 (Pty) Ltd. (Swicon360), established business technology partner and solution provider within the international Human Capital Management (HCM), HR and payroll markets.
Liezl van Rensburg, SAP HCM Manager Consulting, Swicon360, says this business unit is comprised of SAP specialists whose job it is to analyse business requirements and develop the most suitable SAP design, based strictly within the SAP framework, to meet client requirements.
“SAP can be modeled around extensive criteria but a thorough understanding of the business and legal requirements must be undertaken prior to customizing the client’s solution This is where experienced consultants can add value by using their level of knowledge of SAP to exploit all the possibilities available,” says Van Rensburg.
Using her company as an example to illustrate the level of skills and competence required by consultants and other role players, Van Rensburg explains that the typical client engagement begins with a design based on business requirements and then follows the realisation phase during which the system is adapted to meet these requirements.
“We then take the process forward to user acceptance testing stage. This involves the client testing the system thoroughly to ensure it operates in accordance with requirements and design. Once this has been successfully completed, we initiate final preparation for ‘go-live’,” she explains.
As an established service provider in this space Swicon360 is positioned to assist clients with both traditional implementations as well as those wanting to invest in cloud-based HCM services.
“Traditional implementations can take anything from twelve to sixteen weeks and the system can be developed exclusively to meet client requirements,” adds Van Rensburg.
The company reinforced its service portfolio with the introduction of the HCM Spectrum cloud-based offering. Global best practice and years of experience in the field were combined and applied to develop a template to streamline the process.
“We have developed a pre-configured template as part of our solution offering which covers aspects such as payroll incorporating legislative requirements. If the template process is followed, a client will be up and running in no time,” she continues.
From an SAP integration point of view Van Rensburg reiterates that consultants have to be aware of other modules in SAP, particularly those that integrate with SAP HCM such as finance for payroll postings.
“We recruit consultants who are multi-skilled across HCM modules. As SAP continues to develop its HCM offering, the integration aspects between HCM sub-modules are increasing in significance and importance. As such it is critical that consultants to understand the impact of changes to the entire HCM solutions,” Van Rensburg explains.
Swicon360 management says that HCM, HR and payroll markets have evolved and innovation in technology will continue to make an impact as far as implementation success and related consultation is concerned.
“Looking ahead the role of the consultant will emerge as significantly more influential and relevant,” says Van Rensburg.