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As An Engineering Professional, Can I Switch to

SAP-PLM from a Non-SAP PDM Background ?

Functional Careers in SAP - A Perspective

Benefit From Gray Arrow Kaytek SAP Career Consulting Insights






Kaytek Consulting Director recently answered a query from a US-Based Professional Engineer seeking to switch to a Career in SAP-PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) from a Non-SAP PDM (Product Data Management) Background. The same is reproduced below.



Background : I am software professional with 14+ years experience in PDM/CAD/CAE application development.

From an academic background point of view I am a Mechanical Engineer from my BS to PhD from a top-notched Institute (IITM) in India.

My PhD was mostly application software development for Aerospace and Defence Divisions.

In recent past 8 years, I work for a major PDM vendor in the US; for developing its PDM Integration products. Some of the areas of my PDM / PLM experience come from

Gray Arrow Advanced Product Configurator

Gray Arrow BOM and Product Structure Editor

Gray Arrow Occurrence Data Management

Gray Arrow Team Data Management

Gray Arrow Document Managament

Gray Arrow Life Cycles Data Management

Gray Arrow CAD and Non-CAD data Product Data Management and Integration to PDM / PLM.

My work involves PDM client customizations for various industry verticals that includes pre and post customer service with complete involvement in software life cycle.



My role varies from an independent developer to team lead based on scope and content of the project.

With this back ground, I am seriously considering a change to SAP PLM. I am a green card holder and would like to make this career change in US as such.

Any additional comments/information on this topic are highly and sincerely appreciated.

I have tried to get the answer for these question in some SAP forums but with no luck.

Your feed back and suggestions are highly appreciated.

My questions are as follows :


Down Arrow Question-1 :

I am thinking learning SAP MM / PP as functional skills and NetWeaver for technical skills. Which ever opportunity comes first I will pick up that and go for the rest of the list one by one.

When ever I get the choice for learning/switching to PLM I will go for it.

Based on my back ground/experience, is this a good strategy?

Do you have any comments on this approach ?


Down Arrow Answer-1 :

In addition to the above SAP functional modules, my humble suggestion would also be SAP CRM or SAP SCM since PLM tightly integrates with these modules. Netwaeaver is fine. It is a core SAP technology and your background should manage the same easily.


Down Arrow Question-2 :

Does my background maps to that of a SAP PLM expert?


Down Arrow Answer-2 :

I would not say SAP PLM expert, but Yes; PLM in general.

What is PLM ?

From one of the old AMR research reports,

Down Arrow PLM

is PDM

+ Collaborative Product Design

+ Direct Material Sourcing

+ Customer Needs Management

+ Product Portfolio Management.



Down Arrow Question-3 :

Can I leverage my current professional and academic background to be SAP PLM professional/expert ?


Yes. With adequate knowledge and atleast one / two actual SAP PLM projects in the future.



Down Arrow Question-4 :

If so, possibly, what could be the back ground mapping rate to SAP PLM ?


Down Arrow Answer-4 :

I would say quite good, though not 100 %.


Down Arrow Question-5 :

Is it necessary to go through SAP ABAP training before getting trained in SAP PLM?


Down Arrow Answer-5 :

SAP Netweaver should be fine. Formally learning ABAP may not be required since compared to your background of C, C++, it is much simpler. You can always learn ABAP in a self-study mode.


Down Arrow Question-6 :

In general what is the market growth for SAP PLM compared to its competitors like IBM Dassault, UGS TeamCenter ?


Down Arrow Answer-6 :

I do not know the actual market growth rates. Perhaps smart Googling (using the Search Box below) might help. However, I do know that SAP has a strong enterprise base and is serious about their PLM offering.


Thanks you very for your feed back which is useful in my efforts to switch to SAP PLM. I apreciate your time and valuable suggestions and comments.



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Updated on 14th February 2009.
Created on 13th September 2005.
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