Collaborative business software company SAP has revamped its certification program.
Its certification program had been geared mainly toward IT industry newbies, but in consulting with both partners and customers, SAP learned IT professionals would like to use its certifications more to sustain their careers than to start them.
“The vast majority of people indicated they would really welcome the opportunity to continue their certifications to enhance their careers as they went forward and not just at the beginning of their careers,” said Susan Martin, certification portfolio manager.
SAP’s certification program will now be divided into three levels. The associate certification covers the fundamental knowledge requirements for an SAP consultant and is geared toward broad SAP solution knowledge and skills. The professional certification, meanwhile, requires proven project experience in addition to more detailed SAP solution knowledge and skills.
The master-level certification involves demonstrating the grasp of a certain aspect of SAP software and the ability to drive innovation and solution optimization. Certification at this level requires broad project experience, deep or comprehensive SAP product knowledge and the ability to create a future IT vision within complex project environments.
SAP anticipates the added clarity these three levels give to its certification program will boost its ability to enhance IT professionals’ careers.
“Our major objective is to improve the value proposition for the partner and also the customer,” Martin said. “We’re working on making it easier for the customer to understand what a certification actually means and what that person can do so that it’s a more valid benchmark. Obviously, that will lead to an enhancement of the value proposition for the individual in the market.”
SAP’s new certification site went live early in July, but the company projects it will gradually be moving its entire certification program to the new design over the next year.
“Because of the complexity of our solutions, this isn’t something that happens overnight,” Martin said. “We’re moving the portfolio over to the new design probably in the course of the next 12 months, and we’ve started with CRM. We’re just in the beta phase of our new CRM professional exam.”