Availability of Reasonably Priced Expert Resources!

I was reading this blog.

Dennis Moore says:

However, in conversations with SAP HANA customers and experts, there are still significant issues to be overcome before this becomes a worthy competitor to Oracle – issues in cost, stability, scalability, standards support, openness to a third party ecosystem, availability of complementary solutions, and availability of reasonably priced expert resources.

I wonder if non-availability of reasonably priced expert resources could be the primary reason for all other issues(except cost) listed by Dennis Moore. I say this because the expert resources would’ve identified other issues(assuming they’re true) quickly. Quicker identification would’ve led to quicker resolution. I don’t know what the author thinks as the reasonable price. As far as I know, SAP-HANA market is not attractive for the independent, detailed, ambitious, determined, dedicated, hard-working, successful consultants with several years of SQL / RDBMS / Unix / Linux / SAP / scripting / programming / data modeling / DW / DBA experience but with little or no HANA experience.

I was reading another blog  by Vijay. In this blog, he tries to define what big data is. Based on reviewing all responses of the customers, he concludes :

There is only one big V that matters to customers – BIG VALUE.

Now let us assume non-availability of reasonably priced expert resources is an issue. Let us assume SAP HANA marketing team is one of SAP customers. Let us also assume that identifying & training appropriate resources for HANA expertise would’ve provided BIG VALUE to the marketing team. What data could’ve been used by SAP to get that BIG VALUE?

  • SAP’s internal database which keep track of all messages opened by the employees & the independent consultants. This database would’ve provided information on the length of SAP experience & the quality of messages. SAP could’ve identified all consultants with n+ years of experience with additional criteria (such as experience with large corporations, length of contracts, length of non-SAP IT experience, quantity & quality of messages etc) & created a target group of consultants. Gather & analyze information for the target group from other sources such as:
  1. The level of participation in SCN – look for both the presence or absence of participation. Absence of participation may indicate busy work schedules.
  2. LinkedIn profiles & the recommendations
  3. The length & the scope of contract work performed by the consultants
  4. Other activities (either presence or absence) in social media including the presentations, webinars, tweets, InnoJams, TechEd/Sapphire participations etc. Once again the absence may indicate busy work schedules
  5. Other soft skills such as the level of aptitude demonstrated by attending the training programs, certificate exams etc.

I don’t know if SAP used the information from the databases identified above to recruit & train resources for developing HANA expertise but the point is that BIG DATA is nothing to do with the amount of data(Volume) or other Vs as confirmed by Vijay.

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4 thoughts on “Availability of Reasonably Priced Expert Resources!

  1. Thanks for the thoughtful response to my blog. You make a good point that there is a clear correlation between availability of reasonably priced experts and any new system’s success. Given that SAP HANA has been on the market for such a short time, and given the many use cases in which SAP is pitching it, it is hard to imagine that there are sufficient expert resources available at a reasonable price, despite all SAP is doing to train employees and partners.

    Like many in the SAP ecosystem, I look forward optimistically to the positive impact SAP HANA can have on the world. I have nothing against Oracle, but I do believe Oracle has a long, tough road ahead to bring similar advances to the market, but no one should dismiss Oracle’s tenacity, competitive spirit, and technological prowess.

  2. I learned a lot from your blog, tweets & others in the last two days. Based on what I learned, here’s what I believe is happening:

    1) Your tweet: Maybe they have little/no real-world experience.

    My interpretation: “they” enter HANA market at a very low rate. This is why I come across very low rate HANA requirements. These requirements don’t look at how many years of HANA relevant SQL/RDBMS/IT/SAP experience the candidate has but merely how many years of HANA experience he/she has. No HANA experience, recruiters say, fine, enter exciting HANA market at very low rate. This rate is not attractive for experienced, independent consultants so they don’t consider these opportunities even though they’re experienced in related SQL/RDBMS/data modeling space.

    2) “they” finish 1 or 2 HANA POC projects.

    3) Now “they” are HANA experienced candidates & so they probably claim they’re experts. “They” now probably demand unreasonable rates as a result.

    I hope I’m wrong but based on what I see/hear, it seems my interpretation is correct & explains the situation well:

    a) You point out a few critical issues with HANA. Experienced consultants would’ve pointed them out much sooner. The issues such as scalability/stability wouldn’t have taken 1+ year to be observed.

    b) You point out the rates for HANA expertise is unreasonable. If they’re true HANA experts, they, in my opinion, would be discussing/responding to scalability/stability concerns.

    I love your blog & thoughtful comment to my blog.

    Best regards,
    Bala

  3. The skill situation is similar to any new technology . When tech is new and no one had experience , rates are low because consultants want experience for now to put in their CV . Once they have experience , they will charge a premium .

    But that is the opposite in the organized SI market . They make their money by scaling skills offshore and making use of labor arbitrage .

    So after a bit of time , an equilibrium will be reached naturally – and then competition will drive cost down a second time . ABAP , BW and Basis all saw those ups and lows .

    What SAP is trying to do now is to remove significant friction from learning process for Hana so that no one has a monopoly of Hana to charge unreasonable prices in consulting market . And this is attempted at massive scale . This will force the rate equilibrium sooner than usual – or at least that is my hope .

  4. Hi Vijay,

    I guess the issue is the incompatibility between the skill requirements & who gets trained and/or get an opportunity to work on HANA projects due to the billing rate situation. What surprises me is that anyone who has worked on HANA project(s) is considered an expert just like how SAP R/3 experts evolved in ’90s. The consultants who’ve significant SQL/RDBMS skills don’t appear to be entering HANA market due to rate cuts they would need to take in order to work on first HANA project.
    I hope I’m wrong but wonder if the consultants with right skill set would’ve identified the scalability/stability issues much sooner.
    I agree SAP is doing a great job with training(open.sap.com); however the challenge is with HANA accessibility for people with right skills who already work full+ time; sure HANA is available on Cloud. It still is not like opening Xcode window in MacBook – cost, efforts & time standpoint. Sure HANA is not Xcode but that’s(to get used to HANA when Xcode is available for almost free) a challenge for people who already work full time & enjoy life/technology.

    Best regards,
    Bala

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