The SAP PartnerEdge program certifies companies with special competencies
In recent years, SAP SE has partner companies with the title as part of the SAP PartnerEdge program Recognized Expertise excellent. This was awarded to companies that have proven expertise and experience in a selected solution or industry. Each assessment was based on rigorous training and certification requirements coupled with customer reviews outlined in SAP’s program policies. SAP partner companies had to meet the following criteria to receive the award:
- Product Competence: The company must have a defined number of certified consultants. Depending on the solution or industry, there are different specifications.
- Evidence of successfully completed projects: Using questionnaires on successfully completed projects, customers must confirm the quality of the services provided directly to SAP.
On September 1, 2022, SAP SE presented a new system for partner categorization for the future. Competence and customer satisfaction are also the central evaluation elements here. The new “Competency Framework” consists of three levels: Essential, Advanced and Expert. Each competency allows for specializations at product or process level, and each partner competency is evaluated in the areas of expertise, customer success, and performance.
The ratings will therefore continue to distinguish particularly competent and experienced service providers in certain subject areas. They offer customers transparency and make it easier to select a partner for a specific SAP project.
CONET continuously demonstrates comprehensive SAP know-how in a wide variety of areas
Since the introduction of Recognized Expertise CONET can continuously demonstrate its expertise in all aspects of SAP topics and services. In addition to numerous awards, CONET has in 2022 Recognized Expertise Certificates in the areas of Business Intelligence, Defense & Security, Insurance, Public Sector, Financial Management, Enterprise Asset Management, Talent Management and SAP S/4HANA.
In addition, CONET is a “SAP Gold Partner” and in 2022 received the award for “Public Services Partner of the Year” for the fourth time in a row.
SAP competence and the faces to go with it
At CONET, the long-standing and successful partnership with SAP and thus also the SAP competence is lived on many levels. Starting with the junior consultant, through experienced SAP project managers, to the partner manager who pulls all the strings together in the background.
We would like to introduce you to two SAP faces at CONET in more detail below:
Junior Consultant at CONET: SAP certification as the basis for a successful start
Susanne Klassen has been working as a junior consultant at CONET Business Consultants GmbH since autumn 2021. In an interview, she introduced us to her work in the SAP environment.
Susanne, how did you start at CONET?
After my part-time degree in Business Administration (BA) I was looking for a new challenge after ten years with my former employer. In October 2021 I started as a junior consultant in the accounting business unit of CONET Business Consultants. I hadn’t worked with SAP before, but thanks to the good on-boarding and the very helpful colleagues, I was able to familiarize myself with it. After a short time, I attended my first extensive SAP training course: a total of four weeks on site in Walldorf.
What does your area of responsibility look like in detail?
I am currently working on two projects. At a German state capital, we oversee the switch to the latest version of SAP S/4HANA. We create the conditions for the changeover, clarify which requirements have already been met and what still needs to be adjusted. This always includes checking which processes we can improve. At the same time, we conduct customer training courses and workshops for requirements assessment.
The second project is also thematically about the switch to SAP 4 HANA – this time for a large public client at the federal level. The challenge here lies in the fact that the customer has a very specific SAP system and therefore also has its own framework for the changeover.
What SAP certification do you have?
I have certification this year SAP S/4HANA for “Financial Accounting associate” purchased in the 2020 version. The content is about external accounting, general ledger, balance sheet preparation and financial statements – all of course based on SAP. After a basic four-week training course, which imparted all the knowledge, I was free to choose the exam date so that I had more time to prepare for the exam. This was very time-consuming – I had to work through a total of four books with 400-500 pages. I found the preparation together with my CONET colleagues, who also took the exam, very helpful. We also have a junior study group together.
At Easter 2022, the time had finally come: the exam ran online via a SAP center on the Indian subcontinent. After a strict identification process, 80 multiple-choice questions were asked in three hours, which were really tough.
Why is SAP certification important?
Although I was technically prepared for my current area of responsibility through my studies, I lacked the SAP-specific knowledge. I was able to acquire this with the extensive four-week certification training and in exchange with colleagues and prove my expertise through the exam. From my point of view, this is fundamental for the operational entry into projects. Especially for newcomers, it also ensures a better assessment of what you can do and gives you self-confidence for future work.
With regard to our customers, certification is of course important in order to demonstrate expertise in individual subject areas and thus stand out on the market.
Are further certifications planned?
Constant knowledge building and the acquisition of further certification are part of CONET LIFE – our corporate philosophy. Choosing suitable further training courses is part of the annual employee dialog and ensures that we have a broad range of topics and close gaps in knowledge. My certification is a standard certification for the area of accounting – other SAP training courses build on this and deepen individual key topics.
Depending on the area, the certification is valid for 3 to 4 years – so that for this reason alone, regular refreshment and checking of knowledge is required.
How do you personally rate the SAP certification you have earned?
From my point of view, the energy and time required for the certification is worthwhile. SAP is a growing field that will keep us all busy for a long time.
In addition, it was a great experience to do the training on site in Walldorf and to get to know the SAP cosmos.
SAP-Partnermanagement bei CONET
The successful long-standing partnership with SAP is carried by many shoulders at CONET. In addition to committed and certified consultants and project managers, the partner manager Elisabeth Justinger is an important key person. She also told us about her work in an interview:
Lisa, what are the tasks involved in the field of SAP partner management?
All new colleagues are registered by me in the SAP system and receive S-user access, which allows access to a wide range of information from SAP and participation in internal training courses and information events. For colleagues who have already worked in the SAP environment, I ensure that the existing certificates are transferred to the new S-User.
In day-to-day business, I keep an eye on the current SAP topics – these can be newly identified strategic topics or new or changing certification offers. As an international corporation with correspondingly different contact persons, the information offered by SAP is very diverse and is aimed at a wide variety of target groups. My job is to bundle the offers that are relevant to us and make them available internally.
Certifications as a basis for awards
I regularly exchange information with colleagues about current and possibly expiring certificates and am available as a contact person for all questions about certifications. Especially for receiving the previous award Recognized Expertise it was important to keep an eye on which certifications colleagues have in which SAP subject areas.
To receive the SAP awards, I select customers together with my colleagues, who we ask for an evaluation. In addition to the certifications, these customer ratings were the second requirement for obtaining the Recognized Expertise and will certainly also be in the new one Competency Framework have great importance.
What else matters?
SAP is currently converting its topics to cloud products and adapting services accordingly. This results in regular changes in the SAP portfolio and certificates may be updated several times a year. This also has an impact on our choice of training courses. After all, we always want to be up to date for our customers.
Another topic related to the growth of the CONET group is the bundling of all CONET companies in the SAP partner landscape. My job here is to establish contact between the individual companies and SAP and to manage this shared account.
Last but not least, regular exchange with the specialist departments is important for SAP partner management. Who uses which areas of SAP, where is there still a need for information, where have not all possibilities been exhausted? My job is to maintain this exchange and make relevant news accessible to everyone.
How do you rate your task?
“The job as a SAP partner manager is fun because it has both organizational and operational content. SAP never stands still, software and solution offerings are constantly evolving, so it never gets boring.”
view in the future
Even with the conversion of the partner program, CONET will be successful with satisfied customers, committed employees and a high utilization of certifications Competency Framework take part. We look forward to the new challenges!
Antje Gerstenberger has been Senior Communication Manager at CONET since January 2022.