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Leveraging your ECC experience: A guide to transitioning into an S/4HANA Consultant role.

24th April 2023

Blog post

With the S/4HANA deadline inching closer day by day, competition for this talent is on the increase. Many SAP ECC consultants may be considering an S/4HANA consultant role. The big question is whether they have the necessary experience to do so.

The short answer is yes. While S/4HANA is a newer technology, there are many transferable skills and concepts from ECC that can be leveraged to make the transition. In this blog post, we'll explore how ECC consultants can utilise their existing experience to move into an S/4HANA role, and the strategy they can take to upskill and prepare for this exciting career opportunity.

1. Identifying transferable skills from ECC to S/4HANA.


A key challenge in transitioning from an ECC to an S/4HANA consultant role is identifying which skills are transferable between the two systems. While there are certainly some differences between ECC and S/4HANA, many of the core skills required for successful SAP consulting are transferable. For example: 

Data Modelling: One of the key functions of both ECC and S/4HANA is data modelling, which involves creating and maintaining data structures within the system. While the data structures in S/4HANA may be somewhat different from those in ECC, the core concepts and principles of data modelling remain the same.

Project Management: Project management is another transferable skill that is important for both ECC and S/4HANA consultants. While the specifics of project management may vary somewhat between the two systems, the ability to plan, coordinate, and execute projects effectively is essential for success in both roles.

System Configuration: Another important skill for both ECC and S/4HANA consultants is system configuration. While the specific configuration options in S/4HANA may be somewhat different from those in ECC, the core concepts of configuring the system to meet business requirements remain the same.

Business Process Analysis: A deep understanding of business processes is essential for success in both ECC and S/4HANA consulting roles. While the specific business processes and workflows may vary somewhat between the two systems, the ability to analyse and optimise business processes remains a critical skill.

In addition to the skills outlined above, there are many other transferable skills that may be relevant for ECC consultants looking to transition to an S/4HANA role. By identifying and highlighting these transferable skills, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for S/4HANA consulting roles, even if you don't have direct experience with the system.

2. Learn the basics of S/4HANA.


To prepare for an S/4HANA consultant role, it's important to familiarise yourself with the system's unique features and capabilities. S/4HANA offers a range of advanced functionalities such as a simplified data model, intuitive user interface, embedded real-time data analytics, and flexible deployment options in on-premise, cloud or hybrid environments. By learning the basics of S/4HANA, you'll gain a solid understanding of its data architecture and be better equipped to leverage its powerful tools and functionalities.

3. Get S/4HANA trained.


Although not always essential, getting S/4HANA certified is going to give you the knowledge, the confidence, and the competitive advantage you need to make the transition.  By becoming certified, you’ll learn about the new processes and features of S/4HANA, understand how they differ from ECC. and how to migrate data from ECC to S/4HANA.

There are many SAP S/4HANA courses available for SAP candidates to learn about S/4HANA depending on the industry and role requirements. 

4. Practice, practice, practice


They key to make use of your newly acquired knowledge is to put it into practice. Repeatedly. 

After you’ve learned the basics of S/4HANA, and you’ve upskilled yourself through official training, the next step is to practice what you’ve learned. 

A safe way to do this is to use the S/4HANA sandbox environment. Here you can familiarise yourself with the new user interface and test your knowledge by experimenting with the platform’s new features and functionalities.

5. Get involved in S/4HANA projects.


Gaining experience on S/4HANA projects is essential for successfully transitioning from an ECC role to an S/4HANA consultant role. 

Seek out opportunities: Look for opportunities within your current organisation, or network to work on S/4HANA projects.  

Start small:  To help grow your confidence and knowledge, start with simple projects initially. As you learn and get comfortable with the new system and its functionalities, gradually move into more complex projects.

Collaborate with other S/4HANA consultants: Work with other S/4HANA consultants on projects whenever possible. This will give you the opportunity to learn from their experience and expertise, and to ask questions and receive feedback.

Keep up-to-date with new developments: Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in S/4HANA, including new features, updates, and trends. This will help you to continuously improve your knowledge and expertise, and position yourself as a knowledgeable and valuable consultant.

Document your experience: As you work on S/4HANA projects, keep a record of your experience, including the challenges you faced and how you overcame them, the skills you developed, and the results you achieved. This will help you to demonstrate your experience and expertise to potential employers or clients.

6. Build an S/4HANA professional network.


Networking has proved to be one of the key aspects that help SAP ECC consultants move into an S/4HANA role. A strong S/4HANA network enables you to access industry insights and trends, learn from more seasoned professionals, and most importantly, access new job opportunities. 

You can start building a strong professional network by attending SAP events, joining online groups and professional organisations, or by connecting with SAP professionals and industry leaders on LinkedIn.

As the S/4HANA deadline draws closer, the demand for consultants with S/4HANA skills continues to rise. ECC consultants who are interested in transitioning to an S/4HANA role should identify their transferable skills and learn the basics of the system. Additionally, getting trained, practicing and getting involved in S/4HANA projects will boost your skills and confidence in the system. It is an exciting opportunity that requires preparation and upskilling. 

If you are looking for S/4HANA roles, please get in touch to learn more about the opportunities available. With over 20 years SAP industry experience, we are here to help you find the best roles for you.

Don't hesitate to take the first step towards a rewarding career in S/4HANA consulting!


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