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A lack of skills is a problem that plagues the IT industry and the partner world is no exception, but SAP has decided it is going to take positive action to ease the situation.
The vendor has launched a Partner Talent Initiative to identify and train talent that is emerging in the vendor’s partner ecosystem.
Those who go through the initiative will be given access to a full-time curriculum that will get individuals certified in areas where skills are in high demand, including RISE with SAP S/4HANA cloud and an introduction to SAP S/4HANA financial accounting.
Once they have completed the course and graduated, the candidates will re-enter the partner ecosystem and will be looking for employment. The scheme is on offer to recent graduates and those who are working in complimentary industries.
The first two cohorts are currently near the end of the programme and are in a position to describe themselves as a SAP consultant.
The vendor is not just focusing on one side of the skills equation, indicating that it is making a business development fund (BDF) incentive available to partners who recruit, train and certify new consultants as part of the Drive2Deliver partner capacity initiative.
“By launching the Partner Talent Initiative, graduates of the programme will learn invaluable skills, helping customers and partners successfully become intelligent enterprises and provide high-quality services,” said Celine Cazali, chief partner officer at SAP UK & Ireland.
“Through a rigorous curriculum, combined with continuous feedback and support, our programme will equip the next generation of consultants with the mindset, skills and ambition needed to succeed in the channel and beyond.”
The initiative also got the thumbs up from the UK &Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), because of it arming more partners with the skilled staff that could service customers.
Paul Cooper, chairperson of UKISUG, said: “We welcome the creation of the Partner Talent Initiative as it will help address a potential skills gap in the future. Our most recent member research highlighted that many organisations are concerned a lack of available skills will impact the speed their organisation moves to SAP S/4HANA.
“A thriving partner ecosystem with more certified talent will be essential in supporting customers’ SAP S/4HANA journeys and developing the next-generation workforce.”
The SAP initiative follows in the wake of other attempts to incentivise graduates, apprentices and encourage groups that have not previously considered a channel career.
The skills gap has not just been a concern for vendors, with Sage recently publishing research that revealed it was one of the concerns for its channel base.
The vendor quizzed partners on both sides of the Atlantic and found that, in the UK, cloud computing and cyber security skills were the most demanded from new talent, with a sizeable portion also looking for evidence of coding skills.