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What Makes the Strongest Tech-Savvy Workforce Even Better?

Feature Article | September 2, 2016 by Derek Klobucher

Between Tesla Motors and Google upsetting the auto industry with self-driving cars, Detroit’s recent counter-attack, and fintech startups outcompeting the payments industry, there’s plenty of disruption to go around.

There’s also a highly adaptive workforce that can prevail over any of the stress and uncertainty that modern business can muster.

“The core values of our company are not that different from the military: It’s hard work, teamwork, leadership and then dealing with ambiguity,” Universal Pictures CFO of worldwide home entertainment — and former U.S. Army Apache helicopter pilot — Jeff Fleeher said in The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. “Every day in the military you have to deal with ambiguity, and as the entertainment industry is changing in front of our eyes, I think that that is a core skill set.”

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About 1 million U.S. service members will leave the military over the next five years. Many of them will have specialized in high-tech fields, such as cybersecurity, robotics and drones.

Entertainment isn’t the only industry that’s picking up on the value of military veterans. High-tech is too, and SAP is leading the way.

Vets Who Know Business and Tech

Outstanding work ethics, communication skills and cross-cultural experience make veterans well suited to excel in the technology industry, according to a webinar last week for organizations looking to hire tech-savvy veterans. Many veterans specialized in military fields as diverse as cybersecurity, robotics and drones — and about 1 million U.S. service members will leave the military over the next five years.

“So we have this great opportunity with all of these veterans leaving the service,” SAP’s Diane Fanelli, senior vice president and COO of Digital Enterprise Platforms, said during the webinar. “They understand technology … and can apply that skill for future careers with SAP.”

Those careers can start with the Veterans to Work Program, a partnership between SAP, Ft. Hood and Houston-based technical and corporate training institute St. Michael’s Learning Academy. The course offers:

“You don’t just learn about the technology — you learn about business processes,” Fanelli said. “And it all has to be put together in this context.”

Hitting the Ground Running

“The world is a big place, [and] SAP gives you an idea of how big that world is with how much you have to learn, how many people are using [SAP software], and how many people depend on it,” Veterans to Work alumnus Lynn Bassett Gatrell said in an SAP video about the program. “Since I got my TERP10 certification, I’ve also got a certification for Landscape Transformation in the SAP software, and I’m currently working to get human capital management and project management certifications.”

Gatrell works for SNP Labs, an Irving, Texas-based consultancy that relies extensively on SAP Landscape Transformation, which helps organizations standardize what could otherwise be chaotic business scenarios, such as mergers and acquisitions and internal reorganizations. SNP Labs boasts a workforce that is 25 percent military veterans, thanks in part to SAP’s commitment to provide a technologically trained and certified workforce that is ready to hire today.

“Our veterans have shown us they can hit the ground running,” Anne Kohlmos, vice president of commercial affairs at SNP Labs, said during last week’s webinar. “We are very impressed with everything they have brought to us, both from the Learning Academy and from the military.”

SAP’s Veterans to Work Program takes a workforce that is already the most disciplined, adaptable and ready to lead — no matter how disrupted or ambiguous the environment — and gives them the skills to succeed in the technology industry from the moment they step through the door. Click here to learn more.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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