Think groups, not modules, when venturing into ERP

As most major ERP systems have the financials modules at their core so , it is where much of the demand for staff comes from, says HR expert.

Looking for IT career advice? Post your question here, and we'll get our experts to answer. We regret, however, that some questions may not be answered due to insufficient information.

Q. I have five years of experience in marketing research, which includes B2B research (agency side), media research and IT research.

I am now working for an IT company in Dubai as a market research executive. My work profile in this company is not a technical one, it's pure marketing research.

I have been thinking of a career shift to ERP (functional module) for some time. But since my experience is in marketing research, I am unsure about the module I choose. Expert opinion says that relevant domain experience is essential to select the module in ERP.

I have been browsing over to match my work experience with certain functional modules but I couldn't find a related match.

I am an electronics engineer and have an MBA degree too.

I am not so keen on finance modules since I don’t have much interest or skill in it. Could you suggest the right module for me? Could project portfolio management or strategic enterprise management be the right choice?

Career advice from Richard Talbot, general manager of IT recruitment specialist, Sapphire Technologies Singapore:
Most of the major ERP systems installed have the financials modules at their core. So although this area is not the one of most interest to you, it is where much of the demand for staff comes from.

More important than the module, in our opinion, would be the ERP product that you choose to move into. The major market products are SAP, Oracle and Peoplesoft.

Commercially, SAP is the product with the greatest skills shortage in the Asia-Pacific region. This would be the one we would suggest to you, as it's easiest to get an opportunity to work with (supply and demand).

In relation to the specific module you are interested in, you should be aware that organizations that implement these systems rarely have consultants with skills in just one module--more often the modules are generally requested in groups.

The primary groups that consultants have experience in are:
• Financials
• Supply Chain
• HR/Payroll
• Manufacturing

Rather than choosing a specific module it's better to choose an "area" to work in, then attempt to get training/experience in the core modules that fall into that area. The consultants most in demand are capable of conducting functional analysis around the major core modules in these areas.