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How I became an SAP tech leader: actionable insights from a 14-year career

SAPIndependent professionals

Becoming an SAP tech leader is a significant milestone in many SAP careers. Wondering how to get there and what the job entails? We’ve got insights from Renan Andrade de Castro, SAP Global Tech Leader at K2 Partnering Solutions. 

Renan shares his journey up the SAP career ladder, talks about the main challenges of his role, and offers practical advice on the skills you need to succeed as an SAP tech leader. 

What motivated you to pursue a career in the SAP ecosystem? 

One of my key interests is problem-solving, and a career in SAP aligns perfectly with this passion due to its complex and challenging nature. I enjoy providing creative solutions based on specific needs. During my 14-year SAP career, I’ve grown by consistently delivering innovative solutions.

Tell us about how your career has progressed.

I started my career in a support role for SAP Business One. My strategy was to tackle the most challenging problems, which allowed me to enhance my technical and business knowledge. Progressing from support to consultant, project manager, and solution architect, I then became a solution director for a consultancy specializing in SAP Business One ERP. So I had all the technical positions possible on the Business One career ladder.

How important is training and certification to being successful in an SAP job?

Certifications help us understand how the entire system works and how it was developed by SAP. They provide a secure foundation for implementation, ensuring the correct application of each feature to address specific business problems and processes.

Why did you join K2?

K2 Partnering Solutions is a huge company, and as multinational we have the opportunity to work at a global level. This is allowing me to understand the diverse needs of each country, expanding my knowledge of business nuances in each part of the world.

What are the main tasks you do as an SAP tech leader?

My week involves handling support tickets, assisting users with SAP usage, managing integration projects, and optimizing business flows through automation. I also address localization issues, requiring in-depth analysis to provide effective solutions.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

There are a few, including working out whether a requirement is global or specific to a particular country, and working across multiple tech platforms on integrations. It’s also crucial to design solutions from a holistic perspective, considering the entire process, and apply them accurately to avoid potential complications. SAP users often propose solutions that may not ultimately be effective, so I need a more comprehensive understanding of the problem in order to solve it.

And what do you enjoy most about the role?

I love to solve problems. It may sound strange, but I really like the process of designing the solution until everything is working well, based on a deep analysis.

What are some of the key skills you need to succeed as an SAP tech leader?

Patience is crucial to understanding business needs because obtaining necessary information often requires multiple requests. Good communication skills are also essential to getting information, and delivering it in a simple and concise manner, fostering a clear understanding of complex needs. Time management is vital for prioritizing activities. And of course, deep knowledge of the SAP system is essential for providing faster and more effective solutions.

What are your long-term goals in your SAP job?

My professional goals include conducting more strategic analysis to reduce costs through efficient and automated SAP operations. This, in turn, would contribute to company revenue and enhance customer satisfaction. 

What critical pieces of advice would you give someone starting out as an SAP tech leader?

Invest time in learning about the business, so you speak the same language as your clients. And keeping on acquiring the latest technical knowledge about the SAP platform. SAP is about providing solutions, and without a deep understanding of the platform, it’s challenging to manage teams and make decisions.

Learn more about K2 University’s world-class enterprise technology training solutions.

Simon Mortlock, Head of content

Simon Mortlock, a seasoned writer and editor, is an expert in producing content across diverse digital channels. Having joined K2 in 2023, he brings over a decade of specialized experience covering talent-related subjects.

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