The SAP Competency Center started its operation at Sii in January 2018. We are talking with Adrian, the Manager of the Competency Center, about his achievements and the recipe for success.
Martyna Kalicka, Communication Specialist: Where did the need for developing SAP services by Sii come from in the first place?
Adrian Gola, SAP Competency Center Manager: At present over 60% of Sii clients have SAP systems. We see a growing need for SAP services and we want to meet it. Sii’s offer covers a very wide range of technologies and SAP is another domain in which we want to expand. We already have the resources and knowledge to fully respond to the needs of the market.
M.K.: What services will you deliver within the SAP Competency Center? Who will be your clients?
A.G.: Currently there are several aspects on which we want to focus:
- The Development Factory – where we provide managed service in the area of development and enhancement of the SAP system in ABAP and Fiori technology. We can work both remotely and at the client’s site. We have a strong focus on new technologies related to UI5, SAP Cloud Platform and HANA.
- SAP Consultants and Project Managers – to our clients we offer the services of highly skilled consultants which backfill either project teams in implementations and internal initiatives or support the local client. Find more information about our services on the SAP Competency Center website.
M.K.: What would you consider your key differentiator among other companies on the market?
A.G.: An ambitious and young team with a focus on the latest technologies like Fiori as well as data migration on the HANA platform. A SAP team open to new challenges with a flexible approach towards the client, representing the same values as our entire organization.
M.K.: The SAP Competency Center started its operation in January, can you tell us about your first successes?
A.G.: To be clear, SAP services were delivered by Sii also before the start of the operation of the SAP Competency Center, but the volume of the projects was much smaller. When it comes to the SAP Competency Center, yes we have already marked some successes. We delegate our SAP team as subcontractors in projects delivered by global providers.
Another success is building awareness on the labor market. SAP specialists who knew our organization couldn’t join it. Now they have this opportunity and we have a lot of applications from candidates. They see it as a chance for their personal development. They also want to take part in the development of our unit within the company. Great Place to Work – a title which Sii has won already four times in a row and is very important and is visible at every stage, from recruitment to development. We have offices in 9 cities. Our employees can choose where they want to work, often people want to be closer to their home or families, and other companies don’t give them this possibility.
M.K.: How do you see the future of SAP?
A.G.: It’s a very interesting time for SAP services as – projects and products keep changing. SAP has released a new database – HANA. We observe a big push on the Cloud offering, this requires a different skillset and new competencies which were not on the market earlier and this is the place and time where we should jump in. Many people, even in the SAP ecosystem, are not aware that there is a new SAP front-end, named Fiori which turned SAP into a solution which is not ugly anymore (surprise!) and has become user-friendly. Another product is S/4HANA, an entirely new system with a simplified data model, which SAP advertises as the next generation ERP. It is SAP’s response to the latest trends in the digital transformation of enterprises.
M.K.: What is Sii’s response to these changes?
A.G.: We are expecting a wave of projects related to the migration to HANA, as all the present users of SAP need to migrate to the new database and new version of the products before the year 2025. We are also investing in Fiori and SAP Cloud Platform and creating extensions in the cloud.
M.K.: Do you think that you are ready to carry out HANA related-projects?
A.G.: We are constantly developing our team, both in terms of consulting and technical competences. We recruit developers basis specialists, first, to cover the current needs of our clients and be fully prepared to carry out implementation and migration projects to S/4HANA independently in the future. Go to the job offers website to see who we are looking for to join our team.
M.K.: Final question, what advice would you give to beginner SAP professionals, who would like to follow your career path?
A.G.: If I could give advice to younger colleagues, I would say attitude and constant development are the two most important factors.
Always try to over perform, always try to upskill outside of your current job role and responsibility as it will benefit in the future. Try to look at everything with a bigger picture, why this company is doing that, what is the business case behind, as at the end everything boils down to return on investments. Don’t be afraid to face new challenges and step outside of your comfort zone as each challenge, regardless of the stress it causes, means growth. Another important aspect is networking, as all the connections you make can turn out to be helpful – and in the least expected moment.
M.K: Adrian, thank you for the conversation! I hope that soon we will hear more about the successes of the projects carried out by the SAP Competency Center.
The article prepared by: Martyna Kalicka