Jon Reed on IS-Retail

Podcast: Listen Now!

In this interview with senior SAP consultant Suresh Sreenivasaiah, Jon and Suresh get to the roots of the opportunities in the SAP Retail consulting arena. Co-sponsored by B2B Workforce, this podcast takes a closer look at why SAP Retail consulting is picking up steam and the skills that companies need to achieve success in their SAP Retail implementations.

Jon also asks Suresh to give his perspective on why SAP’s Retail solution has become so successful after a rocky start. Suresh shares with members the “best practices” he has seen on multiple SAP Retail installations.

In this thirty minute interview, Jon and Suresh cover key topics including:

– How Suresh got his start in SAP and how he was able to break into SAP Retail consulting in the late ‘90s.

– How SAP Retail triumphed over its rocky beginnings through developing industry best practices. Suresh’s “keys to successful SAP retail implementations,” including the importance of quality resources, master data, user interfaces, application integration, and best practice reviews.

– The main consulting roles on SAP Retail projects and the skills consultants need to have to make a contribution to Retail projects. Factors such as retail industry experience, SAP Retail solution skills, finance, procurement, and Retail ABAP are considered. Suresh notes the various “entry points” into SAP Retail consulting.

– Jon gets Suresh’s take on why there is more emphasis on industry-specific SAP skills by hiring managers than ever before, why companies are emphasizing this point, and why there is a tension between what companies are looking for and the availability of qualified consultants.

– Why an industry focus has helped Suresh to succeed as an SAP consultant.

– How Enterprise SOA and NetWeaver are impacting SAP Retail consulting, including issues pertaining to BI, Portals, and reporting.

– The importance of quality master data for SAP Retail installations and how SAP’s own Master Data Management (MDM) solution might fit into a Retail solution environment, and whether you must have MDM installed to have an effective SAP Retail installation.

– What skills Suresh is looking to acquire next and why the RFID skill set is compelling to him in the context of his retail specialization.

– What “scommerce” is and why Suresh is excited about its potential in the SAP marketplace in terms of visibility and point-of-sale solutions.

– Given that there are limited training and certification opportunities in SAP Retail, what are the entry points into SAP Retail consulting and how can consultants get involved? Suresh answers that question and explains how retail experts without SAP background can also break into the field.

Podcast: Listen Now!


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