The Value of Certifications: Learning as a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

A popular proverb states that “Knowledge is power.” Though true, knowledge can become obsolete if one is not able to adapt to changes in technology, industry, or consumer trends. Perhaps the former business theorist Arie de Geus said it better back in 1988: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” Never has this been more apparent than in the rapidly changing world that we now live.

The pace at which today’s innovations are being continuously deployed, through a shift toward cloud and frequent release cycles, means that up-to-date skills that were once “nice to have” are now essential in delivering valued business outcomes to customers. Now more than ever, companies are looking to new technologies for business process improvement and to enable entirely new business models, and the skills and competencies of the workforce are key success factors for a successful transformation.

A recent IDC study forecasts that the SAP partner opportunity will expand to US$260 billion by 2024. This growth is underpinned and driven by growth in cloud solutions from SAP. Through these new market opportunities, over 280,000 new consultant jobs will be created between 2020 and 2024. These opportunities also present challenges in ensuring workforces have the latest skills and knowledge of cloud solutions from SAP, meaning the time is now for acquiring crucial knowledge and the certifications to back it up.

Software certifications build your organization’s credibility and increase customer confidence in successful business outcomes. Highly trained staff proven to meet high professional standards provides tangible proof of your commitment to excellence.

SAP partner Rizing has experienced this: “There’s a direct correlation between professional, certified consultants on a project and satisfied clients. Projects with professional, certified consultants are more likely to be successful, resulting in happy and referenceable customers. The SAP Global Certification digital badges are a quantifiable indicator of our SAP SuccessFactors expertise. Being SAP experts is not just a claim we make, but we have the data to prove it.”

The SAP Global Certification program not only heightens your organization’s reputation as a trustworthy, knowledgeable expert with proven SAP capabilities, but also differentiates your organization.

GP Strategies confirmed that the SAP Global Certification program allows them to provide piece of mind to their customers that they are making the right choice with their implementation capabilities. “We always staff our implementations with a professionally certified lead consultant for each module. This makes us stand out from the crowd and position us as the experienced and safe partner choice.”

Through differentiating with the SAP Global Certification program, SAP partners are also able to set themselves apart from the competition during the sales cycle. Rizing can credit recent deal closings to their certifications. “Two recent sales wins with net-new customers specifically called out our consultant certifications and the depth of knowledge we have in our organization as reasons for choosing us as the vendor of choice. This follows a pattern of historical acknowledgement in many cycles that certification is a key differentiator.”

Certifications are not only a way to stay ahead of the competition; IT certifications also bring several benefits to attract top talent and motivate employees. Software certifications are proven to boost worker confidence, productivity, and job satisfaction. Certified employees are better prepared to get the most out of software technologies, work more efficiently, and improve the business outcomes of their projects, meaning certifications are a great way to motivate your workforce to succeed by demonstrating your commitment to people and excellence.

ABeam has seen how the SAP Global Certification program helped it become first choice for its customers as well as motivate and develop its employees. “In our experience at ABeam, the more certified consultants you employ, the more likely you will be the first choice for clients who, for example, want to improve their current customer experience solutions or start using SAP in general. Of course, ABeam in general proactively encourages us to further develop our skills and knowledge. The SAP Global Certification program can act as motivation for as well as proof of that.”

One key tool SAP uses to supports its partners in preparing for SAP Global Certification is SAP Learning Hub. SAP Learning Hub supports learners to build and maintain SAP solution skills with online, collaborative, hands-on, and expert-led training. Learners can start their learning experience with the Learning Journey interactive guides, recommended paths to full solution competency specific to the learner’s roles and goals.

SAP Learning Hub also promotes continuous learning to ensure skills stay current, which is imperative in addressing the frequent innovation releases in cloud solutions from SAP, to help ensure consultants are equipped to reach new customers and drive successful business outcomes.

With more and more people understanding the value of upskilling and certifying, learners need to stay ahead of the curve to not be left behind. Prime your organization to lead in the digital economy with a skilled and confident workforce and trusted certifications by SAP.


Hans Georg Uebe is global head of Ecosystem Delivery Success at SAP.