Career Options in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Space: A Guest lecture by Mr. Prashant Shetty, Practice Director, SOAIS

A guest lecture was taken by TAPMI alumnus Mr. Prashant Shetty, Practice Director at SOAIS for the students on Career Opportunities in the ERP space. Mr Prashant started by explaining Integrated Lifecycle Services and how companies nowadays are shifting towards increasing usage of ERP for their functioning. The Integrated Lifecycle Services include three columns viz Implementation solution which further branches out to end-to-end implementation, Customer Development, Testing services and global roll outs, the second being update solution which consists of end-to-end upgrade, technical upgrade and testing services. The third is Production support solutions which branches out to application support, middleware and database support and L1-L4 technical support.

He threw light on the fact that there is immense opportunity in cloud space and talked about the ever changing technology industry. Every time a path-breaking new product emerges and replaces the existing product-system, it is good in many ways as the new technology becomes cheaper to implement. New versions of existing software products also get launched frequently. The prices of ERP products are quite debatable as it can be paid as per employee, as per product, as per customer and in other ways.

He also emphasized the role of management graduates in the industry as they are the ones responsible for bridging the gap between technology and product. They serve the role of consultants suggesting to the company which software to buy to suit their needs. Once the company buys an ERP, the IT people implement it.

He stressed on Global Blended Implementation Methodology in which various roles were explained like those of Management consultant, Functional consultant and Biz Analyst, Technical consultant, Technical Architect and Functional Tester. The ERP solution from the planning phase to the final function and integration phase was explained and also the role of managers in each phase. The first phase is the Define phase which consists of strategy and planning, Business needs and fit/gap and Define Solution. This phase is handled by the Management consultants. The Define Solution needs are addressed by the Functional Consultant and Biz Analyst. The next phase is the Develop phase which spans building the software and unit testing. The technical process is the task of Technical Architect and the testing is taken care by Technical Consultants. The next phase is Validation which can be divided to sub-phases like Integrated testing, System/User Acceptance testing and Technical cut-over plan. This phase is generally handled by Functional tester. The last phase is Deployment and Support in which the functions performed are Perform cut-over, Post-project support and production support. Finally the project is handled by the Project Manager.

He stressed that the technical knowledge of product for Biz Analyst if not as important as for Technical Consultant, and that they are responsible for bridging the gap between technological need and business need of the company. Explaining the long term career paths he highlighted the career opportunities in these fields. A Biz Analyst can go on to become Functional Lead/Project Lead, Project Specialist and then Management Consultant or Domain Expert. A Biz Analyst can also opt to become Solution Architect, Consulting Sales and then take an ERP sales career path. For a project lead opportunities lies in proceeding on to become Project Manager/ Transition Specialist, Project Director/ Program Manager and finally Project Management Career path. A project manager can advance as a Practice manager, Practice Management career path and general kind of roles.

The lecture concluded with students getting their doubts clarified and presentation of a memento to the guest. The lecture as whole was very informative and the students got to know about different careers in the field of Enterprise Resource Planning.

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