SAP FUNCTIONAL CONSULTANT

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This document consists of in total information about SAP Functional Consultant including Support Consultant role and responsibility.

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SAP FUNCTIONAL CONSULTANT

  1. 1. SAP FUNCTIONAL CONSULTANT Information about SAP Functional Consultant Prepared By: Ms. Pramila Nagaraj First Class MBA Finance Graduate (2010) - FRESHER Global Academy of Technology, Bangalore (VTU- Belgaum) SAP Financials Associate Certified Consultant – Trainee/Fresher Certified Candidate @ Source One Management Services Pvt. Ltd Bangalore 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore
  2. 2. 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore Role of a SAP Functional Consultant For those who wished to know the role of a functional consultant. Below is one view: A functional consultant evaluates the demands in talking with the customer's representatives, transforms the essence into an abstract and algorithmic business model. Hence, he identifies the use cases and transforms them into logical and technical views. Then the main task starts: customizing the respective business area and making sure the system reacts in the manner according to the constraints of the requested use case. The consultant documents the settings and prepares proper guidelines that allow other consultants to do further changes or repairs with due efforts. The consultant takes care that proper training is given to the users and that the system is usable, performing appropriately and the business flow is complete and correct. During go live he assists the technical staff by testing the behavior of the system. After go live he guarantees that the procedures remain usable and consistent in real live situation and proposes enhancements. The main duty of a consultant is to transfer external know-how to the client. It is not manpower that counts but intelligence, understanding of processes, a feeling for defects and general a common sense. Role of a Functional Consultant in an End To End Implementation When you talk about the role of a Functional consultant in an end to end implementation, I think it won't be possible for me or anybody to define everything but I will try to summarize it: 1. Functional consultant is expected to generate knowledge about the current business process, design current business flows, study current business processes and its complication, in all we can say getting through with current business setup. Flow diagrams and DFD are prepared, most of the time in Vision format, all this forms the part of AS IS document. 2. Everything configured has to be documented as per their categories in the form of predefined templates; these have to be then approved by the team leads or who ever the consultant is reporting to. 3. Mapping and GAP analysis is done for each module, I have seen people defining integration after mapping, gap analysis and configuration is done, but as per my experience in implementation, it is a simultaneous process. 4. Before starting configuring future business processes in SAP, the DFD/ERD are prepared, this documentation is called TO BE, which can be also siad as the result of mapping and gap analysis.
  3. 3. 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore 5. Sometimes Functional consultants are also expected to prepare test scripts for testing the configured scenarios. 6. End user manual and user training is also expected from Functional Consultants. The project normally starts off with a Kick off meeting in which the team size, team members, reporting system, responsibilities, duties, methodology, dates and schedules, working hours which have been predicted are formally defined. ASAP, it won't be possible for me to explain it here, but all I can tell you about it is that it is SAP standard implementation methodology, which SAP prescribes but is not mandatory for any company to follow, but recommended to follow the same. Five Phases of ASAP methodology Phase 1: Project Preparation - The purpose of this phase is to provide initial planning and preparation for your SAP project. Phase 2: Business Blueprint - The purpose of this phase is to achieve a common understanding of how the company intends to run its business within the SAP System. The result is the Business Blueprint, a detailed documentation of the results gathered during requirements workshops. The Business Blueprint document represents the business process requirements of the company. It is the agreed statement of how the company intends to run its business within the SAP System. Phase 3: Realization - The purpose of this phase is to implement all the business process requirements based on the Business Blueprint. The system configuration methodology is provided in two work packages: Baseline (major scope); and Final configuration (remaining scope). Phase 4: Final Preparation - The purpose of this phase is to complete the final preparation (including testing, end user training, system management and cut-over activities) to finalize your readiness to go live. The Final Preparation phase also serves to resolve all critical open issues. On successful completion of this phase, you are ready to run your business in your live SAP System. Phase 5: Go Live and Support - The purpose of this phase is to move from a project-oriented, pre- production environment to live production operation. Additionally: Some additional Information on ASAP methodology: Phase 1 - Project Preparation Change Charter - Goals and objectives of Organizational Change Management Project Plan - This is a first cut focusing on milestones and Work Packages; details to come. Scope - Sets the initial definition of then project; input from sales cycle. Project Team Organization - Sets the who of the project: Standards and Procedures - Sets the why and how of the project. Phase 2 - Business Blueprint - Requirements reviewed for each SAP Reference Structure item and defined using CI Templates (in the Q and A). Business Blueprint - This is the output of the Q and A and is the key document for Phase 3. Phase 3 - Realization - Master Lists - Define business scenarios and R/3 transactions to be realized in the system. BPP - Business Process Procedures representing R/3 transactions; used for unit testing
  4. 4. 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore and documentation. Planning - Defines how the configuration will be done and how it will be tested. Development Programs - Provides details of the external programming requirements. EU Training Material - End User training material and process documentation. Phase 4 - Final Preparation Stress and Volume Tests - Plans for confirming the production hardware's capabilities Cut-over Plan - The details of how to move to the production environment and go live Conduct End User Training - Delivery of the necessary levels of R/3 End User training prior to going live Phase 5 - Go Live and Support: Ensuring system performance through SAP monitoring and feedback. TYPICAL ROLE OF SAP FUNCTIONAL CONSULTANT What is the typical role of SAP Functional Consultant? Responsibilities of a SAP Functional Consultant for SAP implementation project. These will vary based on Project size, scope etc. Main Responsibilities are: A) Provide expert advice on SAP functionality. The Consultant is supposed to be expert in his/her SAP module and should be able to provide in detail the functionality available in SAP. He/She should advice customer on how to use the best business processes as provided in SAP. B) Collect & analyze customer requirements on the following: *Business processes and parameters: This is important for business processes to be covered in SAP and compile the various parameters required for subsequent Configuration. *Assist in data transfer mapping: Data is required to be transferred to SAP from the legacy systems (e.g. Master Data like Material Master, Customer/Vendor master etc..) *Determining reporting requirements: Standard SAP Reports and any Customized Reporting required. C) Determine printed forms requirements D) Suggest solutions to customer based on best business practices so that Customer gets Business benefits by following these SAP processes. E) Assist in the development of business process descriptions F) Conduct implementation & training workshops: This is particularly required for SAP Power users and then guidance for end-user training. Most of the implementations follow ‘Train the Trainer’ approach.. G) Provide guidance on end-user documentation. H) Provide guidance on test plan: How to test SAP functionality for the required Business processes and ensure that all scenarios are covered. I) Conduct unit tests based on customer defined scenarios
  5. 5. 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore J) Coordinate with other module SAP Consultants for Integration requirements. K) Provide Functional Specifications to Technical team for any Customized developments. SAP FICO Functional Consultant VS SAP FICO Technical Consultant What is the meaning of SAP FICO Functional and SAP FICO Technical? SAP FICO Functional means functional knowledge, by which one can proceed in terms of functional process with FICO area as well as FICO configuration knowledge. Whereas SAP FICO Technical consultant may be an ABAPER, who have short of knowledge of FICO configuration and functional knowledge as well and can proceed for technical jobs e.g. reports development, client requirement, system modification etc. SAP FUNCTIONAL CONSULTANT VS SAP BUSINESS CONSULTANT What are the differences between a SAP Functional and SAP Business Consultant? The difference between Functional consultant and Business consultant are as follows: 1) A functional consultant is able to configure the system unlike business consultant. 2) Functional consultant knows more about business process unlike Business consultant. 3) A business consultant will bring business process knowledge and provide it to functional consultant who in turn used this knowledge to configure the system. 4) Functional consultant has more configuration knowledge then Business consultant. SAP SUPPORT CONSULTANT ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES The responsibilities of a support consultant are: - Primarily responsible for Handling tickets and application support to the end users - When an issue comes diagnose, analyze and solve the issue - Responsible for any enhancements - Writing functional specs and interacting with ABAPPERS to develop any user exits - Training the end users and preparing end user training material 1. How the tickets in production support are resolved? 2. Give some examples with solutions? What are the types of ticket and its importance? This depends on the SLA. It can be like: 1. Critical. 2. Urgent. 3. High. 4. Medium 5. Low.
  6. 6. 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore The response times and resolution times again are defined in the SLA based on the clients requirement and the charges. This is probably from the viewpoint of Criticality of the problem faced by the client as defined by SAP. 1) First Level Ticketing: Not severe problem. Routine errors. Mostly handled by Service desk arrangement of the company (if have one). Eg: a) Say Credit limit block in working on certain documents? b) Pricing Condition Record not found even though conditions are maintained? c) Unable to print a delivery document or Packing list? PS: In the 4th phase of ASAP Implementation Methodology ( i.e Final Preparations for GO-LIVE) SAP has clearly specified that a Service desk needs to be arranged for any sort of Implementation for better handling of Production errors. Service desk lies within the client. 2) Second Level Ticketing: Some sort of serious problems. Those Could not be solved by Service Desk. Should be referred to the Service Company (or may be company as prescribed in SLA). Eg: a) Credit Exposure (especially open values) doesn't update perfectly to KNKK Table. b) Intercompany Billing is taking a wrong value of the Bill. c) Need a new order type to handle reservation process d) New product has been added to our selling range. Need to include this into SAP. (Material Masters, Division attachments, Stock Handling etc.) 3) Third Level Ticketing: Problems could not be solved by both of the above, are referred to Online Service Support (OSS) of SAP Itself. SAP tries to solve the Problem, sometimes by providing the perfect OSS Notes, fits to the error and rarely SAP logs into our Servers (via remote log-on)for post mortem the problem. (The Medical check-up client, connections, Login id and Passwords stuff are to be provided to SAP whenever they need or at the time of opening OSS Message.) There are lots of OSS Notes on each issue, SAP Top Notes and Notes explaining about the process of raising a OSS Message. Sometimes SAP Charges to the client / Service Company depending on the Agreement made at the time of buying License from SAP. Example: 1) Business Transaction for the Currency 'EUR' is not possible. Check OSS Note/SAP Note- This comes at the time of making Billing. 2) Transaction MMPI- Periods cannot be opened – See OSS Note. There are many other examples on the issue.
  7. 7. 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore 4) Fourth Level Ticketing: Where rarely, problems reach this level. Those problem needs may be re-engineering of the business process due to change in the Business strategy. Up gradation to new Version. More or less this leads to extinction of the SAP Implementation. For those who wished to know the role of a functional consultant. Below is one view: A functional consultant evaluates the demands in talking with the customer's representatives, transforms the essence into an abstract and algorithmic business model. Hence, he identifies the use cases and transforms them into logical and technical views. Then the main task starts: customizing the respective business area and making sure the system reacts in the manner according to the constraints of the requested use case. The consultant documents the settings and prepares proper guidelines that allow other consultants to do further changes or repairs with due efforts. The consultant takes care that proper training is given to the users and that the system is usable, performing appropriately and the business flow is complete and correct. During go live he assists the technical staff by testing the behavior of the system. After go live he guarantees that the procedures remain usable and consistent in real live situation and proposes enhancements. The main duty of a consultant is to transfer external know-how to the client. It is not manpower that counts but intelligence, understanding of processes, a feeling for defects and general a common sense. Career Progress –Junior FI Consultant - Support Role This was a case of SAP FI Consultant - Support Role (Experience), this case was analyzed by IT Career Councilor. Its not that easy for Support Consultant to Shift into Implementation Project. Note: " I " in this Case means IT Career Councilor - Suhas Agashe I met a Junior SAP FI consultant and he was curious to know how he can move forward in his SAP Career. His name was Vinay and he is Chartered Accountant and has taken SAP FI training. Subsequently he has been working in SAP FI support project for last @ 2 years. As in such cases, he was worried that he will not make career progress in SAP as he is working on SAP Support Project and NOT on implementation project. There was little chance that his current organization can provide him an implementation project in near future. I asked Vinay about his last two years experience and the skills/competency he has achieved in his SAP area, namely SAP FI..I just asked him few following questions: “Can you say that you have mastered FI module and you know AR, AP, and GL fully?” “Are you able to resolve most of the issues referred in above areas?” “What is your competency level for FI integration with other modules implemented in your organization?”
  8. 8. 2013 Copy Rights Reserved © SourceOne Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore “Are you confident that you can complete FI module from start to end? You should be confident to do it at least for a dummy project!!” “What is your comfort level for Master Data- design/migration etc.?” “What is your exposure to AM, and CO module?” “ If I ask a Senior FI/CO consultant from your team to assess your knowledge in above areas, will you be judged a competency of K2 in above areas?” Vinay answered most of the questions but admitted at the end that he is not that confident in many areas!! We discussed about his current project and the work he is doing..There are many areas even in his current project that will give him lot of value addition. This thinking that there is great value addition only on implementation project was removed finally. I suggested him “Just concentrate on any of the sub modules AR,AP,GL which you enjoy the most. Become a master in that area and use your knowledge for issue resolution, helping others. Anybody who is stuck up in that area should recollect your name for solution..Become ‘Guru’ for that area in your project.” “Then concentrate on other areas, Integration, Authorization controls, ABAP specs writing etc…and for any new upgrade, implementation project you will be selected by default!!” The best way is to use the opportunity available in the environment..Try to add value to the project by acquiring higher skills/competency and you will be making Career progress…. As per his Advice majority goes to mastering of SAP Implementation Project - FI. Try to become a Master in Implementation Project.

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