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Why SAP’s move to a new learning experience is good news

For the typical enterprise IT department or developer today, keeping on top of the latest strategic programming areas is necessary, but also time-consuming and expensive. Few consider enterprise-software giant SAP as a solution to this problem—yet SAP has committed to helping with the cost barrier of learning by removing fees for seven of its most popular courses. 

“We are a software company. We are not competing with training companies,” said Max Wessel, executive vice president and Chief Learning Officer of SAP. He added that the popularity of SAP—and the value of its training—is evident when looking at job boards. “In the U.S., there were about 40K jobs posted in the SAP ecosystem in the last 14 days—let alone the rest of the world. These are jobs with real-life impact; 18 out of the 20 largest Covid supply chains were built on SAP.”

Most of these newly-free courses are sufficient to secure some of SAP’s top certifications. This should help developers get direct access to in-demand skills, by making it easier to complete training and prepare for certification. For the CIO, this move has the strong potential to increase the universe of properly trained SAP talent. This should prove decidedly helpful when trying to develop everything needed from LOBs for 2022, but it also has other likely benefits. 

New certifications on the team will help ensure the competency of internal project leaders and, depending on the nature of the business, could help win more business where SAP is a critical factor—in fact, some 77 percent of the world’s transactions touch an SAP system. Developers themselves love these learning offerings as a way to build up new skills and certificates, which in turn makes them more marketable. The CIOs win as the universe of SAP talent they can hire sharply increases. IT recruiting today is quite difficult, especially in the cybersecurity arena, and these courses and certificates should lessen that pain.

The courses on the newly launched SAP Learning site vary significantly, “going from what used to be multi-hundred-page courses to what are now 15- or 30-minute modules arranged in tailored, consumable learning journeys,” said Wessel, executive vice-president and Chief Learning Officer at SAP.

The skill level needed for these courses—and their associated certificates—ranges from beginner to intermediate. Topics include SAP’s extension and integration suite, SAP HANA Cloud, SAP Analytics Cloud, and low-code/no-code for citizen developers. Information on all courses can be found on the SAP Learning site

SAP is also partnering with Placement, a career coaching service firm that helps candidates connect with—and ideally join—their preferred employers. The first 1,000 developers who complete a certification exam on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) through the new SAP Learning site will get a voucher for services like resume and LinkedIn screening and career coaching. In addition, all registered learners on the SAP Learning Site will receive a discount on select Placement services and access to Placement’s Job Board (promotion valid until November 2022).

The learning programs at SAP are especially popular with developers. “Last year at our week-long SAP TechEd developer event, we had more than 80,000 register for our learning offerings,” Wessel said. “And 13,000 formally engaged in learning rooms with peers. I hope that we have more this year.”

These changes are crucial right now, as enterprise IT departments are preparing for extensive modernization programs in 2022. Given the ubiquity of SAP in the enterprise sector, boning up on the latest SAP capabilities is critical for next year.

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Nowhere are these changes needed more than in cybersecurity and its authentication and role-based privileges. As more users are needing access to sensitive databases from well beyond the enterprise’s employees (think contractors, suppliers, distributors, external sales groups, supply chain partners and even some large customers) both authentication and making sure authorized users are granted access to what they need and nothing more, within a strict least-privilege policy. 

IT has long valued professional certificates—both in programs they know they will be using for years and those that are highly popular with likely partners and customers. Coders can enjoy salary increases, increased work output, possible promotions with more responsibilities, as well as knowledge that is easily transferable to other work situations. What’s more, in an SAP survey, the highest percentage of participants (67 percent) said the greatest single benefit from certificates is “greater self-confidence in abilities.”

SAP is promising that they will continue to add additional training courses and certifications. These offerings “will soon encompass all free SAP learning content with a focus on enablement of development professionals across the SAP solution portfolio.”

Said SAP in a statement about the new offerings: “By bringing together the portfolio of well-established learning offerings, the SAP Learning Site marks a new way for all within the ecosystem to cultivate and stay current on SAP skills. With everything you need to reach your learning goals on one comprehensive site, becoming a trusted expert with certified skills has never been easier or more accessible.”

Explore these offerings and more on the newly launched SAP Learning Site.