Old dogs, new tricks

My fellow SAP analytics professionals and I are reacting to an altered career landscape.

Editors Note: As luck would have it, today is the 11th anniversary of this blog. Thank you to all of my readers who have stuck with me through such humble beginnings.

As an IT professional, it has always been necessary to keep learning and growing. As an SAP analytics professional, that’s become even more clear as SAP is pivoting away from the classic SAP BusinessObjects platform. SAP customers must augment their analytics toolkits (see related article, Everything Must Change). To be fair, the SAP BusinessObjects platform isn’t going to disappear overnight, playing an important role in SAP’s “hybrid” analytics strategy. But just like the new and unfamiliar Crystal Enterprise/BusinessObjects XI platform had to be learned and embraced back in 2005 (what? No more Supervisor?), it’s time for me and many of my BusinessObjects peers to expand our horizons.

On a personal level, I’ve finally done something that I’ve put off for years. I bought a beautiful sea foam green Fender Stratocaster and signed up for Fender Play, Fender’s cloud-based self-service training platform. As an accomplished pianist, I’m amazed and just a little frustrated how a guitar uses completely different muscles than a piano keyboard.

On a professional level, I’m branching out my skills by studying for Amazon AWS certification as my employer became an AWS partner this year. I wasn’t one of the lucky consultants to get certified first, but I do not intend to be the last. Amazon offers three different certification paths (see illustration below) and I plan to become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect with a Big Data specialty.

Amazon AWS Certification Roadmap

I’m not alone. Several of my long-time BusinessObjects friends are moving on. My friend Eileen King just became a certified Looker professional.

And Michael Welter now works for Tableau as a solution architect.

Fellow Web Intelligence co-author Jim Brogden is now a certified Tableau specialist.

And Jay Riddle is hanging out with the cool Tableau kids, too.

I’ve heard of more than one SAP customer that intends to drop their maintenance for SAP BI to save their budgets for new priorities. Perhaps your organization is one of them?

I’ll leave you with one of the masters of the Fender Stratocaster, Mark Knopfler, singing one of his Dire Straits songs as a duet with Emmylou Harris.

Why worry?
There should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now?

Why Worry, from Dire Straights’ fantastic album Brothers In Arms

What new skills have you added to your personal goals? How is your organization adopting to SAP’s new analytics road map? I’d love to hear what’s going on in the world via your comments.