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Engineer Ahmed Hosny switched careers by retraining on the SAP Partner Talent Initiative and then joining partner Alight.
Having worked as a project engineer across a variety of industries and in a range of different countries, Ahmed was actively looking to move into the world of technology. It was while he was researching this switch that he discovered the Partner Talent Initiative.
“I decided to make a career change to find more opportunities, achieve a better work-life balance and get heightened exposure into the latest technologies,” he explains. “I was familiar with SAP because I’d used their software and had worked with SAP consultants before in prior roles. They all had positive experiences. That was when I came to the realisation that I could combine my engineering and project experience with my passion for technology.”
Ahmed says the Partner Talent Initiative gave him the opportunity to make his move. Due to his engineering background, he applied to be certified as a technical consultant on the SAP Business Technology Platform. This skillset would allow him to work on digital transformation projects that combined machine learning and artificial intelligence.
He says: “It can be a difficult and time-consuming exercise to change careers, especially with the technical knowledge required to move into the SAP world, but the Partner Talent Initiative really helped.
“The course was a full-time programme, led by an instructor, and the great thing was I could complete it at home and fit it around my other commitments. At the end of the course I took the SAP BTP certificate and passed.
“SAP’s PTI team then shared my profile on the programme portal, which partners have access to, and which circumvented my time job searching. Being certified really helped me; Alight could see that I had the skills and desire to be an SAP consultant.”
Now, a typical day at Alight sees Ahmed attending meetings – virtually and in real life – with colleagues and clients and running online training for new tech updates. In addition, and the part Ahmed ‘loves the most’: designing, modifying and monitoring cloud integration flows. “This means I make sure data is moved from one platform to another seamlessly, and that the cloud solutions work as per the client’s requirements.”
Would he recommend PTI to others? “Definitely. In fact, I already have! It’s the perfect route for people looking to move into a career in tech. It has a lot to offer; flexible working environments and interesting roles.”
Like so many businesses the world over, Delaware is facing big issues when it comes to recruitment. The shortage of available talent in the market and then having to fight other companies for talent when is available, is a drain on Delaware’s time and resources.
“It’s unsustainable,” says David Taylor, Head of Growth Initiatives at Delaware. “We’re a smaller business, but we've got big targets for growth; we're aiming to triple our size in the next three to five years. That means we need access to great people. Now the challenge for us is that we don't have the same resources as bigger companies. We don't have a big team of people building that pipeline of talent for us.”
Step forward SAP and the Partner Talent Initiative.
“It’s a really helpful mechanism to attract great people. It gives us the chance to take advantage of SAP’s reach and reputation to get in front of candidates who wouldn't necessarily have heard of Delaware otherwise,” explains David.
The other challenge the programme has helped Delaware to address has been finding experienced individuals who can bring a wider range of skills and insights to the table.
Adds Kaity Cloke, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Delaware: “For SAP Partners like us to establish a strong pipeline of talent and meet the needs of our clients, we really need to diversify our strategies; we need to be looking at bringing new people into the industry, people who have different, diverse skill sets, who can support the work that we do. The SAP Partner Talent Initiative is really helping us to address those issues.”
Indeed, David goes on to say that some of the best consultants they’ve hired have been people who have worked in a specific industry already, rather than only ever working as a consultant.
He adds: “The Partner Talent Initiative gives us access to a pool of experienced candidates from a variety of different backgrounds, many of whom have experience of living in the real world. It gives us a different outlook than if we were only hiring people from our graduate scheme and we aren’t competing against other companies for these candidates.”
So far, David and Kaity have hired three people, two into the finance team and one onto the SuccessFactors team, namely Caroline McDonald, whose story is featured here.
Adds David: “One of the real values of the Partner Talent Initiative is that we can go to SAP and tell them our pain points, the areas where we need to bring people in, and they shape the programme to suit us and address those issues. It's a really collaborative approach. It also means that SAP take on a lot of the hard work of finding talent for us. For us, it’s a no brainer to know that we have access to such fantastic talent to support our growth. It's an opportunity that’s been too good to pass up.”
James Bridgeman heads up Human Capital Management at SAP partner Alight. The partner recently completed the Partner Talent Initiative, saving time and money on building out its team of consultants.
Alight was on the verge of launching its own graduate recruitment programme when James and the team first heard about the Partner Talent Initiative.
“It came at exactly the right time for us,” says James. “And it’s been far more beneficial to us than going to the trouble of setting up our own programme or going through the traditional recruitment process and working with an agency.”
James says the programme gave Alight access to candidates that he could nurture, expose to projects and, over time, develop into fully fledged consultants. He and his colleagues knew that the training SAP would put the candidates through would be thorough and comprehensive and – importantly – would be a mix of functional and soft skills.
“From speaking to the candidates we’ve subsequently hired, we know that they felt engaged throughout the process and were guided by SAP rather than being left to work on their own,” James adds.
Once the candidates have completed the training and gained certification, their details are uploaded to the SAP talent portal. Here, partners can search against a range of criteria relevant to them, to find matches to candidates with the skills and experience they need. Both partners and candidates can register and access the portal.
At the end of the process and having viewed the candidates via the portal, Alight recruited three new members to its team: two working as HR consultants and one working on the SAP Business Technology Platform, Ahmed, whose story can be read here.
James is clear in the advantages the Partner Talent Initiative has brought to Alight: “It has saved us hundreds of hours of time that we would have spent on recruiting, training and getting our consultants ready to run projects. All of that is taken care of by SAP. We now have certified consultants who from day one have been fully utilised and fully billable within four to six months. Usually, this process would take us between one year to 18 months.
“I would recommend the programme to other partners and wouldn’t hesitate to use it again for future recruitment needs.”