Being an Oracle Consultant is rewarding both financially and career wise. Most Fortune 1000 Organizations have an Oracle ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation in place. These companies need regular Application & Production Support, Maintenance, Upgrades, Migrations, Minor or Major enhancements to the systems and much more. There are still quite a few growing organizations which are going for a full end-to-end Oracle ERP implementation to support their business growth. The global ERP software market is expected to reach $ 41.69 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 7.2% during 2014-2020 (AlliedMarketResearch Figures). Moreover, Oracle ERP Suites are positioned as Leaders in the Technology Value Matrix for 2015 by Nuclear Research. This clearly indicates that a career in Oracle Consulting is only going to get bigger and better.
Since you are here to read about becoming an Oracle Consultant, you would certainly want to know the basics of ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning. So let us touch upon the very basic fundamentals of what an ERP system is all about –
What is an ERP?
ERP systems are a set of integrated business applications or modules which are mapped to common business functions like finance, payroll, Sales & Distribution, etc. in real time with a common database.
The basic utility of an ERP system is to track & maintain transactional records, generating business critical reports and maintain overall visibility & transparency across the organization. You can find a lot of online resources to understand the basics of ERP so I will not go deeper into explaining it here.
What is the difference between Technical and Functional Consultant?
Firstly let us understand the role of an ERP consultant. An ERP consultant is instrumental in ERP Planning, Selection and Implementation of ERP System and help to align the business processes to the ERP modules. ERP Consultants are required right from design phase to the post-implementation and support phase.
- Technical Consultant
- To get skilled, you have to go through rigorous training programs which improve your technical or functional abilities significantly. Employers value the knowledge you would have gained with such training activities. You will have better chances of landing a job of your dreams with improvement in your credibility during the interviews. Skills will make you a more marketable candidate in the job markets.
- While your peers fumble when new tasks are thrown at them, you will excel at these tasks as you will be well prepared for them. This gives you a clear competitive advantage to get noticed and rise higher than your competition.
- Promotions, Salary Hikes
- Most technical consultants are from an engineering or technical programming background. Technical Consultants work primarily on providing technical solutions. They help in customizing certain areas of the ERP system to suit the custom business needs. The consultant develops, customizes, maintains and supports Oracle Applications. They usually take functional specifications from users or functional consultants.
- Typical tasks where a technical consultant is required are to Support & troubleshoot existing forms & reports developments, Database structure design, creation of SQL packages, functions and procedures, Integration and Interfacing
- Technical consultants should have very strong understanding of the concepts of PL/SQL, SQL Plus, relational databases, etc.
- Functional Consultant
- They understand the client’s business processes, suggest improvements and map the requirements onto the ERP system like Oracle EBS or JD Edwards. In one word, they act as an interface between the end user / client and the ERP. They work to provide the as-Is and To-Be State of the business processes, project blueprints, prepare workflows, configure global project settings, end user trainings and much more
- Functional Consultants are experts in their particular area of business. They usually have worked in core business functions for a good period of their career. For example, a financial advisor or accountant will most likely take up Oracle Financial Functional Consulting. Similarly, an Oracle HCM / HRMS Consultant will most likely have worked as Human Resources personnel earlier in their career
- Oracle ERP suites offer a range of modules each mapping to different business functions. So, a candidate can select a module of their choice based on their industry and domain knowledge
Now that we have covered the basics of what the roles of an ERP Consultant are, let’s learn some more about the actual actions one can take to become an ERP consultant -
How can you become an Oracle ERP Consultant?
- Learn the Basics of ERP
- Just get the basic fundamentals right. Try to learn how and why companies need ERP and what the business results are. Get an overview of the different ERP modules and what business functions they map onto.
- Get Certified or Authorized Oracle Training
- There are many places you can go and get yourself trained on oracle functional or technical areas. But always get trained from an Oracle Approved Training Center like Cyret which will deliver you authorized training programs by the Oracle University. Always talk to a Training Provider and get their advice on which module or certification you should pursue. Training Consultants will offer you the perfect course work which will leverage your current experience
- Get assignment / Live Project Experience
- Working on live projects and hands-on experience is crucial right from the early stages of your ERP consulting career. Programs like Train and Deploy help candidates get employed directly after completing certified Oracle course work and dive into real world client assignments. The more projects you undertake, the more confident and skilled you become to face even greater challenges.
The world of ERP Consulting is vast and you will need to keep updating your skills frequently to stay on top. Keep taking refresher courses to sharpen your skills and test them on the field. With technology advancements, ERP systems will keep evolving. As an ERP Consultant, you need to be on your toes all the time to ride this wave of change and emerge as a successful Oracle Consultant.