SAP’s €2 Billion Investment and Workforce Transformation

In a significant move signalling its strategic pivot towards Artificial Intelligence (AI), SAP has announced the restructuring of 8,000 jobs. Accompanying this transition is a substantial €2 billion investment earmarked for transformation initiatives, including employee buyouts and extensive retraining programs.

Despite these changes, SAP is committed to maintaining its workforce size through 2024.

SAP’s Vision for AI Integration

Under the direction of CEO Christian Klein, SAP has boldly declared its commitment to becoming a leader in Business AI. This commitment is a key part of the company’s strategic vision, aiming to integrate AI deeply into its enterprise solutions. Klein’s vision underscores the transformative power of AI, not just as a technological tool, but as a fundamental driver of business innovation and efficiency.

Christian Klein, CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE

“From this position of strength, SAP is opening the next chapter: with the planned transformation program, we are intensifying the shift of investments to strategic growth areas, above all Business AI.

Christian Klein, CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE

SAP’s approach involves significant investments in generative AI companies. This move signals the company’s intent to stay at the cutting edge of AI development and leverage these advancements to enhance their enterprise technology offerings. 

The company’s strategy aligns with a broader trend across the global tech industry. Major tech giants, from Silicon Valley to Shenzhen, are increasingly focusing on AI, recognising its potential to revolutionise industries’ operations. 

Impact on SAP’s Workforce

The restructuring initiative at SAP, while significant in scale, is being managed with a strategic and empathetic approach. Central to this approach are voluntary leave programs and comprehensive internal re-skilling initiatives.

The voluntary leave programs offer a respectful option for those pursuing different paths, while the re-skilling initiatives represent a significant investment in the current workforce. 

By focusing on re-skilling, SAP is actively preparing its employees for the evolving demands of the tech industry, particularly in areas dominated by AI and digital technologies. This not only helps in retaining valuable talent, but also ensures that the employees remain at the forefront of technological advancements.

For SAP professionals, these changes open up new opportunities. The focus on enhancing AI and digital skills is especially crucial, as it aligns with the growing demand for AI-skilled professionals in the tech industry. 

The Broader Tech Industry Trend

SAP’s strategic shift towards AI reflects a widespread movement within the technology industry toward digital transformation and AI integration. This trend is not just limited to SAP; it can be seen across the entire tech sector. Many large tech companies and emerging startups are pouring resources into AI, recognising its potential to drive future innovation and give them a competitive edge.

This industry-wide transformation marks a significant change in how technology companies address business challenges and seize market opportunities. AI is now a core element in the strategic planning of tech firms, not just a supplementary feature.

This change has a notable impact, particularly on the workforce dynamics within the tech industry. Tech professionals are seeing their roles change as they need to learn new tools and methods. 

Skills in AI and related technologies are becoming crucial, often influencing career advancement and job prospects. As a result, there’s a stronger focus on continuous learning and skill development to remain relevant in this fast-changing environment.

Furthermore, AI’s rise is modifying existing jobs and creating new types of positions. As AI systems grow more advanced, there’s an increasing demand for experts who can develop these systems and integrate them effectively into business operations.

SAP Quarterly Statement Q4 and Full-Year 2023
SAP Quarterly Statement Q4 and Full-Year 2023

SAP’s Financial Health and Future Outlook

SAP’s financial trajectory has been distinctly upward, as reflected in its Q4 and Full-Year 2023 results. An 8.2% surge in the company’s share price the day after the announcement indicates strong investor confidence in SAP’s strategic direction. 

This confidence is further bolstered by SAP’s robust financial performance in 2023, with a total revenue of €31.207 billion, a 6% increase from the previous year. Cloud revenue, a key focus area, grew impressively by 20% to €13.664 billion.

Looking ahead, SAP’s ambitious targets for 2024 include reaching €17.0 to €17.3 billion in cloud revenue, marking a significant 24% to 27% growth. 

This financial upturn is significant for several reasons. First, it demonstrates the effectiveness of SAP’s current business strategies, including its ongoing diversification and innovation in cloud-based solutions. Second, it positions SAP favourably in a competitive market, where agility and foresight are key to maintaining a leading edge. 

The financial strength of SAP assures its stakeholders – from shareholders to employees – of the company’s stability and growth potential.

About Whitehall Resources

Established in 2007, Whitehall Resources has emerged as a global leader in SAP and IT recruitment. With a presence across the UK, Germany, and the USA, we are committed to delivering excellence to our esteemed clientele and candidates. Our legacy of growth, underscored by strategic leadership and global outreach, positions us as a partner of choice in the dynamic world of recruitment.

Tech Meets Textiles: SAPs Innovative Presence at LA Fashion Week

From October 18-22, the NYA Studios in Hollywood will host LA Fashion Week (LAFW). Amid the numerous fashion presentations and interactive activations, SAP will introduce its innovative solutions, highlighting the convergence of technology and retail.

Powered By SAP – Where Innovation Meets Design

Strategically positioned at LAFW’s central activity zone, the “LAFW Retail Experience powered by SAP” is a testament to the evolution of retail. This space, leveraging technology and commerce, offers a platform for emerging designers to display their collections and facilitate purchases.

Throughout the event, different designers will feature their latest work, coupled with an exclusive customisation booth. This section provides attendees the opportunity to apply specific design elements to items like jackets and bags.

However, SAP’s involvement is not limited to commerce. With the increasing concern over the 92 million tonnes of textiles being discarded annually, there’s a clear need to reevaluate our approach to fashion. SAP’s exhibit showcases how technology can contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.

Image Source – LA Fashion Week

Booths That Inspire Change

Within the SAP domain, attendees can immerse themselves in a series of enlightening booths:

  • Demand Forecasting: A space dedicated to understanding current and future demands, ensuring optimal inventory management.
  • Responsive Planning: Learn how intelligent planning can help businesses stay agile, adapting to changes and thus shortening delivery and shipment cycles.
  • Supply Chain Transparency: Dive deep into the journey of a product, from raw material sourcing to delivery, understanding the various performance KPIs at each step.
  • Collaborative Supply Chain Management: Discover how to collaborate with best-in-class suppliers to achieve a zero-waste, resilient supply chain.

A Look into the Future of Fashion

As the fashion industry leans more towards technology and sustainability, LAFW attendees will see firsthand how SAP is facilitating this shift, emphasising the importance of innovation in reshaping the industry’s future.

About Whitehall Resources

Established in 2007, Whitehall Resources has emerged as a global leader in SAP and IT recruitment. With a presence across the UK, Germany, and the USA, we are committed to delivering excellence to our esteemed clientele and candidates. Our legacy of growth, underscored by strategic leadership and global outreach, positions us as a partner of choice in the dynamic world of recruitment.

What is SAP?

In business software, few names are as recognised as SAP, an essential for modern enterprises aiming to streamline operations and drive innovation. SAP has enhanced business efficiency and integration as a cornerstone of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). In this guide, we walk you through the intricacies of SAP, from its historical roots and features to its impact on business operations.

In this article:

Deciphering the Basics: What is SAP?

For those new to the world of SAP, two questions often arise: What does the name mean, and how do you pronounce it?

Originally, SAP was derived from the German phrase “Systemanalyse Programmentwicklung,” which translates to “System Analysis Program Development” in English. Today, it’s known as SAP SE (Societas Europaea) to reflect its standing as a European public company.

And, contrary to some misconceptions, it’s pronounced as the separate letters: S-A-P (ess-ay-pee).

The History of SAP

SAP, established in 1972, revolutionised the business software landscape by launching SAP R/2 for mainframe computing and SAP R/3, a client-server-based system. These introductions marked a new era in business software.

Fast forward to the present, SAP introduced SAP S/4HANA, which leverages in-memory computing to significantly accelerate data processing. This advancement facilitates real-time analytics and incorporates state-of-the-art technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, elevating ERP software to new heights.

With its headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, SAP has evolved into a global powerhouse, employing over 105,000 individuals and serving over 230 million cloud users across various business domains. The company is led by Christian Klein, the youngest CEO in Germany’s prestigious DAX blue-chip market index.

Core Principles of SAP

Core Principles of SAP

In an era where businesses had to manage data scattered across various departments, SAP emerged as a transformative solution. By centralising these fragmented data points, SAP provided a cohesive view, simplifying data access for businesses, enabling real-time insights, streamlined operations, and, ultimately, bolstering profits.

ERP and the Role of SAP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software system designed to streamline and integrate an organisation’s operations, processes, and information flows. Essentially operating as the company’s central nervous system, ERP interlinks departments like procurement, sales, and human resources into a cohesive unit. This integration fosters improved efficiency, reduced errors and faster decision-making.

Now, where does SAP fit into this framework?

SAP’s ERP solutions extend beyond integration, bringing innovation to the forefront. With its industry-setting features that harness real-time data analytics, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, SAP evolves with modern business demands, ensuring organisations are prepared to navigate contemporary challenges and seize new opportunities.

While ERP provides the architectural foundation to unify and streamline business processes, SAP delivers the cutting-edge tools and technologies to actualise this vision.

SAP Applications | Real-world Examples

SAP partners with over 24,000 companies around the world. As a result, their customers are from various industries, each utilising SAP technology optimised to meet their specific needs. To help illustrate how SAP operates for a variety of businesses, we’ll explore a few customer stories.

Audi Logo

Audi

In collaboration with IBM, Audi embarked on a journey to elevate innovation, speed, and agility within its organisational framework by implementing SAP S/4HANA. This next-generation ERP suite facilitates enhanced data processing and real-time insights—the initiative aimed to harness real-time insights and significantly improve the user experience.

Achievements with SAP

  • Innovation Boost: The SAP S/4HANA implementation marked Audi’s endeavour to explore and extend the innovative boundaries of its operations.
  • Real-time Insights: Enabled access to real-time data, facilitating informed decision-making and streamlined processes.
Walmart Logo

​Walmart

Walmart sought to modernise its technological infrastructure and bolster supply chain management. The objective was to centralise and integrate systems for precise real-time data delivery, essential for informed decision-making.

Achievements with SAP

  • Supply Chain Enhancement: Utilisation of SAP for innovative strategies like Distribution Centers for centralised shipping, cross-docking for minimising storage, and RFID Technology for efficient inventory tracking, among others, streamlined supply chain operations.
  • Data Centralisation: Established an integrated system delivering precise real-time data for better decision-making.
Visa Logo

SAP and Visa Collaboration

SAP and Visa embarked on a strategic alliance to simplify B2B (Business-to-Business) payments, which are transactions between businesses, particularly in Asia-Pacific. This collaboration aims to incorporate Visa’s payment solutions into SAP’s software, facilitating seamless supplier payments.

Achievements with SAP:

  • B2B Payment Simplification: Integration via the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) streamlined the payment process, reducing manual processing and enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Enhanced Cash Flow Management: Enabled better cash flow management and instant payments using Visa corporate cards on SAP platforms, simplifying the payment process significantly.

The initiative benefits businesses and suppliers by simplifying payments, improving cash flow, and indicating the potential for a broader impact on the B2B payment landscape. You can learn more about the SAP and Visa collaboration in this article.

Key Features of SAP as an ERP System

Centralising and Streamlining Data: In the business realm, data is scattered across various domains—finance, HR, sales, or procurement, to name a few. SAP serves as a bridge, transforming fragmented data silos into a unified dashboard, which results in more integrated operations and informed decisions.

Data Integrity: Inconsistencies in data, such as mismatched records or duplicated entries, can derail a business’s trajectory. SAP offers a failsafe by providing a consistent and updated data pool, ensuring that every strategic decision is rooted in reliable information.

Scalability: Businesses evolve, and so should their systems. Whether it’s startups needing basic inventory controls or enterprises requiring global supply chain oversight, SAP’s adaptable structure grows alongside your business. Its modular design allows for adding or adjusting functionalities as needs change.

Collaboration: The best decisions often arise from collective insights. SAP fosters this collaborative spirit by offering cross-departmental data access, allowing marketing and sales to align strategies using real-time data. At the same time, finance and procurement can synchronise to optimise budgets.

Staying Ahead: In the fast-paced business arena, having SAP is akin to having an ace up your sleeve. By harnessing real-time analytics and automating processes, SAP provides the competitive edge companies need, leading to enhanced operations, reduced costs, and a solid foundation for strategic moves.

SAP Micro Climate Diagram

Modular Mastery: SAP’s Unique Advantage

SAP’s modularity is its standout feature. Instead of providing a one-size-fits-all solution, SAP divides its capabilities into specialised “modules”. As a result, businesses can handpick the tools they genuinely need, ensuring a tailored fit.

This approach offers dual benefits:

  1. Precision: Companies can zero in on their specific needs, leaving out irrelevant functions.
  2. Flexibility: Businesses can start small, adding more modules as they grow or as requirements evolve.

While each module can function independently, they’re designed to integrate effortlessly. So, data flows seamlessly across them, maintaining consistency and eliminating overlaps.

Now, let’s delve into some of the most popular SAP modules.

SAP FICO Icon

SAP FICO

FICO Standard for Financial Accounting (FI) and Controlling (CO) are two core modules of SAP ERP. SAP FICO is primarily used for external and internal financial reporting and is one of the most widely used modules in the SAP system. The module has powerful analytical capabilities, helping businesses gain actionable insights into their financial health enabling strategic financial planning and management.

SAP HR Icon

SAP HR

SAP HR (Human Resources) is also called SAP HCM (Human Capital Management). The module is designed to streamline and automate human resources processes within an enterprise. The SAP HR/HCM module encompasses various sub-modules that cater to specific HR functions. These include but aren’t limited to Organisational Management (OM), Payroll, Recruitment, Workforce Process Management and Time Management.

SAP MM Icon

SAP MM

MM (Materials Management) is another essential module within SAP’s ERP system. This module manages materials (products or services) and an organisation’s resources to ensure a seamless supply chain. SAP MM covers the tasks associated with material management, including procurement and inventory management.

SAP Basis

Basis is the technical foundation that underpins SAP applications. The foundation serves as a middleware between the actual software application and the system’s operating environment. Basis includes various components and tools that enable the smooth functioning of SAP applications.

For those looking to delve deeper into a career in SAP Basis, this article provides valuable insights into the opportunities and roles available.

While the modules above are among the most widely adopted, the full breadth of SAP’s offering spans various operational areas. From environmental health and safety (EHS) to customer relationship management (CRM), SAP’s extensive suite ensures that every business finds its tailored solution, no matter how niche.

SAP Skills - Whitehall Resources

SAP Certification & Training

SAP Certification is a testament to an individual’s expertise in specific areas within the vast landscape of SAP solutions. These certifications can be divided into three levels, each designed to validate different levels of expertise and experience:

Associate Certification:

    • Purpose: This certification is designed for those new to SAP solutions, covering the fundamental knowledge requirements for a consultant.
    • Who Should Pursue: Ideal for beginners or those looking to validate their foundational knowledge of SAP solutions.
    • Preparation: Engage in SAP training courses, utilise the SAP Learning Hub, and consider joining study groups.

Professional Certification:

    • Purpose: A more advanced level of certification validates the theoretical and practical knowledge of experienced SAP practitioners.
    • Who Should Pursue: Suitable for those with substantial practical experience in SAP looking to validate their expertise.
    • Preparation: Besides utilising the SAP Learning Hub, consider gaining practical experience through projects or consulting roles.

Specialist Certification:

    • Purpose: This niche certification is for those who want to deepen their expertise in specific parts of the SAP portfolio.
    • Who Should Pursue: Individuals already have an Associate certification and want to specialise in particular areas.
    • Preparation: Engage in specialised training and hands-on experience in the chosen area of specialisation.

SAP Certification is a structured pathway for professionals to validate and showcase their expertise in various SAP solutions. Whether you are a newcomer, an experienced practitioner, or looking to specialise in certain areas, there’s a certification level tailored to your needs. Preparing for these certifications through the SAP Learning Hub and practical experience is crucial for success. By achieving SAP Certification, individuals validate their proficiency and enhance their opportunities for career advancement within the SAP ecosystem.

For more detailed information on training and certification paths, visit SAP’s official Certification Hub.

Conclusion

SAP has firmly cemented its place in the world of business software. As industries evolve and technology becomes more integral to every business function, the need for robust, flexible, and scalable systems like SAP’s suite of applications becomes ever more apparent.

The beauty of SAP lies in its adaptability. Whether you’re a small startup looking for a foundational ERP system or a multinational corporation needing comprehensive solutions, SAP has the tools and modules tailored to fit. Beyond the software, SAP’s commitment to cultivating a skilled community ensures businesses can always find the expertise they need to maximise their SAP investment.

SAP’s journey from its inception in 1972 to its present-day stature is a testament to its resilience, adaptability, and vision. In a complex global market, tools like SAP that streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and foster innovation are invaluable. In this regard, SAP isn’t just a software provider; it’s a key partner for modern enterprises, propelling them towards a brighter, more integrated future.

For professionals, understanding and mastering SAP isn’t just a valuable skill—it’s an avenue to future-proofing one’s career. As the world leans into digital transformation, the role of SAP will only grow, creating opportunities for those equipped to harness its power.

Explore the latest SAP jobs from around the world with the UK’s leading SAP recruitment agency.


About the author

Whitehall Resources is the leading specialist SAP recruitment agency in the UK. We have curated an expansive network of SAP talent drawn from direct relationships and personal referrals. Consequently, we are renowned and respected among the most seasoned candidates in the market.

Working as an SAP consultant in the United States

Starting a career as an SAP consultant unlocks a world of possibilities. And when it comes to lucrative and dynamic career destinations, the United States is one of the most popular locations. Known for its buzzing business ecosystem, diverse culture, breathtaking landscapes, and desirable standard of living, the USA is a magnet for professionals seeking the peak of their careers. In this article, we’ll arm you with everything you need to know about working as an SAP consultant in the U.S.

The Demand for SAP Consultants in the USA

The U.S. business sector sees a significant demand for SAP consultants. This demand is fueled by over 120 Fortune 500 companies based here. Industries like healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and retail heavily rely on SAP systems, creating various opportunities.

Roles vary from system implementation to upgrades and troubleshooting. Benefits often include health packages, retirement plans, and sometimes relocation assistance.

Industry Trends Fueling Demand

  • Digital Transformation: The U.S. is poised to become the largest geographic market for Digital Transformation (DX) spending, with expenditures expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2025. This massive investment is driving a surge in the demand for expertise in this field.
  • Cloud Adoption: As businesses increasingly shift towards cloud-based solutions, such as S/4HANA, the demand for specialised SAP consultants who can facilitate this transition is on the rise.
  • Regulatory Compliance: With laws and regulations continually evolving, particularly in data privacy and cybersecurity, SAP consultants play a vital role in ensuring that businesses stay aligned with current legal requirements.

Top Sectors for SAP Consultants

Healthcare

SAP has a significant presence in healthcare, particularly in the following areas:

  • Patient Care: With a focus on personalising the patient experience, SAP systems integrate medical records and treatment plans. Hospitals and clinics specifically seek SAP consultants to design systems that enable seamless information sharing, leading to quicker diagnoses and more effective treatments.
  • Compliance: Regulations related to patient privacy and drug approvals are complex, and healthcare organisations are increasingly investing in SAP solutions to manage these aspects. The demand for SAP experts specialising in regulatory compliance within the healthcare sector has grown accordingly.
Manufacturing and Retail

Manufacturing & Retail

The demands for SAP expertise in manufacturing and retail are primarily in:

  • Supply Chain Management: SAP’s advanced tools are in high demand to optimise supply chains, allowing real-time tracking of inventory, shipping, and procurement. Manufacturers and retailers are actively seeking SAP professionals who can tailor these tools to their unique operational needs.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): SAP CRM systems are integral to customer engagement strategies. Businesses in these sectors invest in SAP consultants who can customise CRM solutions to track customer preferences, boost loyalty, and drive sales.

Energy and Utilities

The complex nature of this sector has led to specific SAP demands:

  • Managing Complex Workflows: With intricate processes governing everything from energy production to distribution, energy companies are actively recruiting SAP specialists who can coordinate production schedules, maintenance, and regulatory reporting.
  • Sustainability Initiatives: The global drive towards sustainability has created a niche for SAP consultants who specialise in managing emissions and energy efficiency. Utility companies are especially keen to harness SAP expertise for sustainability measurement and management.

The demand for SAP professionals is not only strong but also highly specialised across various sectors. From managing sensitive patient data in healthcare to optimising manufacturing processes and from driving customer engagement in retail to navigating complex workflows in energy, the opportunities are vast and varied.

The specific nature of these demands underscores the importance of specialised SAP expertise in shaping modern industries. By aligning business strategies with technological capabilities, SAP professionals are at the forefront of driving innovation and efficiency in today’s competitive market landscape.

Best US Cities for SAP Consultants

Silicon Valley California

Silicon Valley, California

The Heart of Innovation
Nestled in Northern California, Silicon Valley is more than just a location; it’s a symbol of technological evolution. With tech behemoths like Apple, Google, and Facebook calling it home, SAP consultants here have the opportunity to be at the forefront of technological integration in business. The valley thrives on innovation, and there’s an ever-present demand for experts who can bridge the gap between business operations and cutting-edge technology.

Seattle Washington

Seattle, Washington

The Pacific Northwest Tech Hub
Seattle, with its scenic beauty and dynamic urban growth, offers more than just views. Companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing dominate the landscape. For SAP consultants, this means a diversified field of work, ranging from e-commerce optimisation to aerospace integrations. Seattle’s emphasis on sustainability also means a focus on green tech solutions, offering another avenue for SAP professionals.

Austin Texas SAP Jobs

Austin, Texas

Rising Star of the South
Once known mainly for its music scene, Austin has evolved into the “Silicon Hills” of the South. The city has witnessed a tech boom in recent years, with an influx of startups and established giants like Oracle and IBM. SAP consultants in Austin can expect to immerse themselves in a culture of innovation, with the added perk of enjoying the city’s rich cultural festivities and a warm, welcoming community.

Atlanta Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia

The Southern Dynamo
Atlanta is not just a transport hub but a blossoming tech flower in the South. The city’s diverse business environment, housing brands like Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Home Depot, ensures a steady demand for SAP solutions. As fintech and health tech sectors surge in Atlanta, SAP consultants have the chance to play pivotal roles in transforming traditional business operations using advanced SAP tools.

New York City

New York City, New York

The Global Melting Pot
Beyond its iconic skyline and cultural landmarks, NYC stands as the financial epicentre of the world. The city’s vast array of businesses ensures a consistent demand for SAP professionals, particularly those specialising in financial modules. In New York, SAP consultants have the unique opportunity to work at the intersection of finance, fashion, media, and more, all while experiencing the vibrant rhythm of city life.

Salaries and Hourly Rates for SAP Consultants in the US

If you’ve set your sights on a career as an SAP Consultant or are already in the industry, understanding the financial landscape is paramount.

  • The Baseline: On average, an SAP Consultant in the US earns an annual figure of $97,636. But that’s not the ceiling; bonuses can amplify that number by anywhere from $2,000 to an impressive $22,000.
  • Profit-Sharing Insights: When we analysed the profiles of 830 SAP Consultants, we found that profit-sharing could add a variable bonus, ranging from a modest $979 to a substantial $26,000.
  • The Power of Specialisation: Your expertise area within SAP can significantly tilt the scales. Take SAP PM Consultants as an example; they often command salaries up to 48% higher than the standard rate. Likewise, those specialising in SAP CRM, Basis, or SRM enjoy a 21% uplift in their earnings.
  • Geographical Nuances: Where you hang your professional hat matters. For instance, SAP Consultants in the tech hub of San Francisco relish salaries that exceed the national average by 46%. Conversely, consultants in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, might find their average salary sitting around the $49,914 mark.

Source: Data derived from payscale.com, current as of August 2023.

This data underscores the dynamic nature of compensation for SAP Consultants in the US, influenced by myriad factors from expertise to location.

Understanding Visas

For SAP consultants outside the USA, understanding the visa process is vital for planning a career here. Below are some key points and visa options:

  • H-1B Visa:
    • Purpose: For professionals in speciality occupations. This category often suits SAP consultants due to the specialised knowledge required.
    • Duration: Initially granted for up to 3 years, it can be extended to a maximum of 6 years.
    • Limitation: There’s an annual cap for these visas, making it competitive. Typically, the application period begins on April 1st, and the spots fill up rapidly.
    • Opportunity: Some employers provide sponsorship for this visa.
  • L-1 Visa:
    • Purpose: For intracompany transferees. You might qualify if you already work for a company with offices in the USA and your home country.
    • L-1A: For managers or executives, valid for up to 7 years.
    • L-1B: For those with specialised knowledge, valid for up to 5 years.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT:
    • Purpose: For students on F-1 visas. After completing their studies, students can work in their field of study. For those in STEM fields, this period can be extended.
    • Duration: 12 months for OPT, with an additional 24 months for STEM OPT extension.
  • Green Card (Permanent Residency):
    • Many SAP consultants aspire to obtain a green card. While the process is lengthy, employers sometimes sponsor candidates, especially if their expertise is invaluable.

Tips:

  • Start early: Due to the competitive nature and processing time of visas, it’s advisable to start your visa application as early as possible.
  • Stay Updated: The landscape of international travel and visa provisions can shift, especially when geopolitical or security issues arise. Always ensure you’re in the loop with the latest U.S. visa updates pertinent to your nationality.
  • Consultation: Consider consulting an immigration attorney for guidance tailored to your situation. Your attorney will help you through the documentation and application process. 

Integrating into the U.S. Work Culture: Holidays, Benefits, and Entitlements

While the nuances of daily interactions and professional etiquette are paramount in the U.S. work environment, understanding the framework of holidays, benefits, and other entitlements is equally crucial. This not only helps in setting the right expectations but also ensures that you can make the most of the opportunities and benefits extended to you.

Vacation and Holidays: Unlike many other countries, the U.S. doesn’t have a nationwide policy mandating vacation days. While this might sound alarming initially, many employers do provide vacation benefits. On average, American companies offer about ten vacation days annually, with this number increasing based on tenure and seniority. Additionally, there are federal holidays like Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, among others, where most businesses observe a day off. However, it’s essential to clarify and negotiate your vacation entitlements during the hiring process to avoid surprises later.

Sick Days and Personal Days: Similarly, there isn’t a national requirement for sick days, but many employers offer them. Sick days can be used when you’re unwell, while personal days cater to non-medical personal needs. It’s important to understand how your employer differentiates between the two and the process for availing them.

Health Benefits: One of the significant differences professionals might observe when moving to the U.S. is the health insurance system. Many employers offer health insurance as part of their benefits package, but the extent of coverage can vary. It’s vital to understand what the insurance covers, any out-of-pocket expenses you might incur, and additional benefits like dental or vision insurance.

Retirement Plans: Many U.S. companies offer retirement benefit plans, with the 401(k) plan being among the most popular. Companies might match your contributions to these plans up to a certain percentage, making it a valuable benefit. Ensure you understand how much to contribute to maximise employer matches.

Other Perks: Depending on the company and its location, there could be other perks like commuter benefits, gym memberships, professional development funds, or even stock options. These are not standard across all companies but can significantly enhance your overall compensation package.

Work-Life Balance

The concept of work-life balance has become globally significant, with nations prioritising professional commitment and personal wellbeing. The U.S., known for its robust work culture, presents an interesting case compared with the rest of the world.

In the U.S., a traditional hallmark of professional commitment has often been the willingness to put in extra hours. For instance, the average American full-time worker dedicates about 36.4 hours a week to their job. This is in contrast to countries like Germany or France, where the average workweek hovers around 35 hours. The extended work hours in America can sometimes extend beyond the traditional 9-5, with after-hour emails and calls not being uncommon.

Average Working Hours in the U.S vs Europe

Holiday entitlement (Vacation allowance) practices offer another insightful comparison. American workers, on average, take 11 days of paid vacation annually, which might extend to 15 after several years of tenure. This contrasts with nations like Spain or Italy, where workers enjoy close to 30 days. However, it’s crucial to note that many American companies are increasingly recognising the importance of time off and are evolving their policies to offer more extended breaks and sabbaticals.

But where the U.S. stands out is in its dynamic work environment. The spirit of innovation, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the sheer scale of its economy offer avenues for career growth and financial rewards that are unparalleled. This drive often motivates professionals to dedicate more time to their vocations.

Burnout is, however, a global concern. A Deloitte study highlights that 77% of U.S. professionals experience burnout in their current roles. The good news is that many American companies are pioneering wellness programs, flexible work schedules, and mental health initiatives to ensure employees remain motivated and healthy.

In essence, while the U.S. has its unique professional demands, it also offers unparalleled opportunities. As the global conversation around work-life balance evolves, it will be interesting to see how American workplaces adapt in the context of global trends.

Diversity and Inclusion: A Competitive Edge in the U.S.

The United States stands out for its emphasis on diversity and inclusion. This isn’t just a matter of corporate social responsibility; it’s a competitive edge that drives innovation and reflects the nation’s multicultural fabric.

The U.S. business landscape is diverse, with companies of all scales, from startups to multinational giants, understanding the value of a varied workforce. Diverse teams bring different perspectives, fostering creativity and leading to more robust problem-solving.

Challenges in Solutions in Achieving Diversity

While the intent is there, companies can face challenges in achieving desired diversity levels. This can be due to unconscious biases, lack of access to diverse talent pools, or cultural barriers. However, many businesses are actively taking steps to address these challenges.

Leading American companies are investing in diversity training, partnerships with diverse professional organisations, and mentorship programs to ensure fair representation across all levels of the corporate hierarchy. Initiatives like Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) offer support networks within companies for underrepresented groups, fostering community and providing platforms for growth.

For SAP consultants, this emphasis on diversity offers a welcoming environment. International consultants bring unique perspectives shaped by their diverse backgrounds, which can be invaluable to project teams. Additionally, understanding and valuing diversity can be a significant factor in job placements, promotions, and professional growth in the U.S.

It’s essential to note that diversity in the U.S. isn’t just about ethnicity or nationality. Gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and many other factors come under the diversity umbrella. Companies are increasingly focusing on ensuring a level playing field, irrespective of these distinctions.

Conclusion

In the ever-evolving world of technology and business, the role of an SAP consultant in the United States remains pivotal. The vast opportunities across sectors, regions, and specialisations ensure that those seeking excellence in this field will find both challenges and rewards. As global landscapes shift and industries adapt, SAP consultants stand at the forefront, bridging the gap between innovation and execution. Whether you’re already charting this path or considering the journey, the U.S. offers a unique blend of professional growth and personal fulfilment for SAP enthusiasts.

Start Your SAP Career in the U.S.

Thinking of transitioning to the U.S. as an SAP consultant? Navigate this dynamic landscape with Whitehall Resources by your side. Renowned for our specialisation in SAP recruitment within the U.S., we partner with the country’s most prominent and best-known businesses and organisations, ensuring they’re paired with outstanding talent from across the globe.

Dive into the freshest SAP opportunities in the United States and get to know our specialist U.S. SAP Recruitment Team.

SAP Unveils $1+ Billion Investment in Trio of AI Startups

In an important move in the enterprise AI sector, the global software leader, SAP, has declared a substantial $1+ billion investment in three innovative AI startups. This forms part of their strategy to foster a more open AI ecosystem, signalling a deeper commitment to nurturing AI advancement.

Solidifying SAP’s AI Commitment

In a recent announcement, SAP underscored its dedication to delivering reliable, responsible, and relevant Business AI by strategically investing in three innovative generative AI companies: Aleph Alpha GmbH, Anthropic PBC, and Cohere. This step strengthens SAP’s ambition to leverage top-of-the-range technology and incorporate AI across its extensive SAP® portfolio.

The move enhances a series of AI partnerships and use cases brought to light during this year’s SAP Sapphire. Moreover, it bolsters a massive $1+ billion investment in AI-driven enterprise technology startups, announced by Sapphire Ventures LLC, an enterprise supported by SAP.

A Word from SAP’s Chief Strategy Officer

On this development, SAP’s Chief Strategy Officer, Sebastian Steinhaeuser, remarked:

Sebastian Steinhaeuser
Sebastian Steinhaeuser, Chief Strategy Officer at SAP

“We are at a pivotal moment, with generative AI ready to dramatically alter how businesses function. SAP remains committed to shaping a futuristic enterprise AI ecosystem that aligns with our unmatched suite of business applications, thereby unleashing our customers’ full potential.”

SAP’s Innovative AI Approach

SAP’s approach to AI broadens its value proposition beyond being a mere product to an integral part of an enterprise’s crucial business operations. SAP’s Business AI enjoys a robust user base, with over 26,000 cloud solution customers, thanks to its seamless integration into their operations since day one.

SAP Business AI’s dependability and responsibility are evidenced by its commitment to supreme security, privacy, and compliance standards, fortified by the SAP Business Technology Platform.

Boosting SAP’s AI Strategy

The fresh investment solidifies SAP’s AI strategy, which includes direct investments and a significant escalation in research and development for additional AI use cases and collaborations with third parties. This strategy allows SAP to broaden its commitment to responsibly constructed generative AI designed to enable efficient business operations.

Investing in AI Innovators

The AI frontrunners – Aleph Alpha, Anthropic, and Cohere – have delivered unique generative AI solutions with the potential to revolutionise entire industries.

Aleph Alpha GmbH offers a comprehensive, generative AI solution tailored for intricate enterprise use cases. Known for pioneering multimodal, next-gen language models, it provides AI as a service, with a strong focus on interoperability, data privacy and security, and flexible installation options. Aleph Alpha is a recognised partner in the SAP PartnerEdge® program.

San Francisco’s Anthropic PBC is an AI safety and research company that builds beneficial, trustworthy, and safe AI systems. Their AI assistant, Claude, adheres to a set of principles prioritising reliability and safety. Claude assists with various tasks such as answer generation, coding, workflow automation, and text processing, all within natural conversations. Anthropic’s goal is to create technologies like Claude that positively impact society.

Cohere, a leading AI company based in San Francisco, Toronto, and London, offers user-friendly technology focusing on business needs, security, and data privacy. It provides an intuitive method for generating, searching, and summarising information. Cohere’s platform is flexible, offering cloud-provider choice, API accessibility, and various deployment options to accommodate where a company’s data is located.”

Sapphire Ventures’ Role

Backed by SAP, Sapphire Ventures LLC plays an indispensable role in funding the future of AI enterprise technology. With a commitment exceeding $1 billion, it aspires to invest in the next generation of AI-integrated enterprise technology startups. The collaboration with forward-thinking teams and venture funds, such as Sapphire Ventures, ensures SAP customers get early access to innovations emerging from the startup ecosystem.

About the author

Whitehall Resources is the premier SAP recruitment agency dedicated to connecting high-quality specialist professionals with some of the world’s most renowned and respected brands.

SAP and Visa Collaborate to Simplify B2B Payments

In a transformative move for the digital payments landscape, software titan SAP SE, known for its diverse portfolio of software solutions, and global payment behemoth Visa, a leader in digital payments, have announced a strategic collaboration. Their shared goal? To simplify and accelerate business-to-business (B2B) payments, with an initial strong focus on the Asia-Pacific market. Essentially, this collaboration seeks to incorporate Visa’s payment solutions into SAP’s broad spectrum of software, empowering businesses to seamlessly pay their suppliers, regardless of whether they accept card payments or not.

Paul Marriott, President of SAP Asia Pacific Japan, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership: “Our collaboration with Visa endeavours to streamline and simplify the B2B payment process and drive further efficiencies for our joint customers.”

Paul Marriott - President, SAP Asia Pacific Japan
Paul Marriott | President, SAP Asia Pacific Japan

Embedding Visa payment solutions into the SAP ecosystem aims to scale and accelerate digital commerce, together empowering enterprises – from small businesses to government agencies and nonprofit organisations – to make secure payments quickly, transforming the last mile of procurement.”

Challenges in the B2B Payment Landscape

B2B payments, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, are notorious for their intricacies. Digitising payment methods can be a steep uphill battle for smaller businesses, often leading to inefficiencies and delays. These challenges have spurred SAP and Visa’s unique collaboration. Together, they aspire to lead the digitalisation crusade, providing a comprehensive solution to businesses eagerly awaiting such an intervention.

The potential market for this innovation is immense. With an extensive customer base of SAP, which includes approximately 99% of the world’s largest companies, this partnership paves the way for exploring embedded finance in the B2B market. The ultimate goal? To seamlessly weave financial transactions into daily business operations. Visa estimates that digitising B2B payment flows in the Asia-Pacific region alone presents an opportunity worth over $50 trillion.

How The Collaboration Benefits Businesses

The integration of Visa’s payment services into the SAP ecosystem through the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), an open platform as a service (PaaS) that provides in-memory capabilities, core platform services, and unique microservices for building and extending intelligent, mobile-enabled applications, is a pivotal part of this collaboration. This integration streamlines the payment process, enabling businesses to securely complete transactions with just a few clicks.

The practical benefits of this collaboration are substantial, particularly for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Businesses can enjoy improved operational efficiency, cost savings by reducing manual processing, better cash flow management, and the convenience of instant payments using Visa corporate cards on SAP software platforms. With this integration, businesses can avoid the complexity of managing different payment methods from various vendors, significantly simplifying the payment process.

Stephen Karpin | Asia-Pacific Regional President at Visa

The movement of money is becoming increasingly digital, but the bulk of transformation has been focused on the consumer space. Our collaboration with SAP is an exciting step in making B2B payments simpler and more intuitive as organizations can make payments immediately on SAP platforms with their Visa corporate cards, instead of having to leave their existing enterprise ecosystem and navigate the different payment methods that their vendors accept. B2B payments need to be intuitive and fuss-free, so organisations can maximise time and resources on other aspects of their businesses.

Practical Implications of the Collaboration

Imagine a small enterprise dealing with multiple suppliers and struggling with a labyrinth of payment methods. Before Visa’s payment solutions were integrated into the SAP platform, this company might have faced severe hurdles when processing payments to suppliers who didn’t accept card payments. Difficulty navigating different payment methods would lead to inefficiencies, delays, and potential cash flow issues.

With the new integration, however, the company can now directly process payments to all suppliers within the SAP platform, regardless of their accepted payment methods. This greatly simplifies the payment process, freeing up valuable time and resources that can be better spent elsewhere.

But the benefits don’t stop at the company’s boundaries. Suppliers also gain from this streamlined approach, receiving payments more efficiently and improving their cash flow. The integration removes the obstacles and complexities tied to differing payment methods, fostering smoother transactions and stronger business relationships.

Future Developments

The initial rollout of this embedded finance solution will be to SAP customers in Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. However, there are already plans to expand to other markets in the region, signalling the potential for this partnership to influence the B2B payment landscape on a global scale.

Comparison with Other Initiatives

While other financial technology companies, such as Payoneer and the UK-based Wise, have ventured into the B2B payments space, the SAP-Visa collaboration stands out due to the comprehensive nature of the solution, the potential scale given the size and reach of both companies and the focus on integrating directly within an enterprise software ecosystem.

This strategic partnership between SAP and Visa is set to revolutionise the B2B payments landscape, offering a more streamlined, efficient, and user-friendly process for businesses of all sizes. It is a clear testament to the transformative power of digitalisation in the financial sector and a significant leap forward in improving the ease of doing business in the Asia-Pacific region.

About the author

Whitehall Resources is the premier SAP recruitment agency dedicated to connecting high-quality specialist professionals with some of the world’s most renowned and respected brands.

£54M Investment: UK Government’s Push for Secure AI

The UK government is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to technology. Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Chloe Smith recently announced a significant investment of £54 million to support the country’s artificial intelligence (AI) research. But what does this mean, and why is it important?

Understanding AI and Its Potential

AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks usually requiring human intelligence. This can include anything from recognising speech and images to making decisions. The potential of AI is vast, with implications for nearly every aspect of modern life, from healthcare and education to climate change mitigation and beyond. This is why the UK Government is investing heavily in it.

You can learn more about the UK’s goal of ‘making the UK a science and technology superpower by 2030, in the UK Science and Technology Framework.

Building Trustworthy and Secure AI

The investment aims to foster the growth of the UK’s tech ecosystem, focusing on ensuring the AI developed is trustworthy and secure. At the heart of this effort, £31 million of the funding has been awarded to Responsible AI UK, led by the University of Southampton. RAI UK aims to “deliver world-leading best practices for how to design, evaluate, regulate and operate AI systems in ways that benefit people, society and the country.”

Secure AI is vital as it helps prevent unauthorised access and tampering and ensures that AI systems are reliable. Unsecured AI systems can be exploited for malicious purposes, or can perpetuate biases and inaccuracies.

The consortium will play a pivotal role in driving national discussions on responsible AI and fostering a cohesive AI ecosystem across the entire UK. Their close collaboration with policymakers will provide valuable evidence for future policy and regulation while also offering guidance to businesses on the responsible deployment of AI solutions.

Investing in Real-World Solutions

The research being funded is not just theoretical. It’s also about finding practical, innovative solutions to real-world problems. For instance, £13 million will go towards 13 projects developing pioneering AI innovations for sustainable land management, efficient CO2 capture, and improved resilience against natural hazards.

UK’s Position in Global AI Research

To put this investment into perspective, the UK is making substantial strides in AI research compared to other nations. Last year, the UK became just the third country in the world to have a tech sector valued at $1 trillion, making it the biggest in Europe and third globally, behind only the US and China. This new funding commitment will only bolster the UK’s position as a global leader in technology.

Developing the Next Generation of AI Talent

This announcement also follows a recent £117 million funding for Centres for Doctoral Training in AI and a further £46 million to support Turing AI Fellowships, a programme aiming to develop the next generation of top AI talent.

This all leads to a clear trend: the UK government is committed to advancing AI, not just in terms of technology but also in terms of the people who are going to push this technology forward.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), said:

“UKRI is investing in the people and technologies that will improve lives for people in the UK and around the world. By supporting research to develop AI that is useful, trustworthy and trusted, we are laying solid foundations on which we can build new industries, products and services across a wide range of fields.”

Introducing New Generations to Tech: A Pathway to Success

In the quest for tech dominance, upskilling and reskilling have become vital components of the UK’s thriving tech landscape. Over the past five years, nearly 3,000 ed-tech startups have secured an impressive £1.7 billion in funding.

The impact is tangible, as UK companies are actively seeking to bolster their talent pool with entry-level tech roles. In just a year, these roles have more than doubled, surging from 6,596 in November last year to over 15,000 this year. This surge reflects a concerted effort by businesses to cultivate a new generation of tech talent and nurture them into future industry leaders.

The landscape of tech opportunities is expanding, providing a gateway for individuals of all backgrounds to enter the tech world. Whether you’re a recent graduate, a career changer, or someone eager to upskill, the UK’s tech ecosystem is poised to guide you towards a rewarding and successful future.

The Potential Impact of the Investment

The impact of this investment is expected to be wide-ranging. In terms of the economy, it’s set to secure the UK’s position as a science and tech superpower, spurring economic growth and creating better-paid jobs. As for society, it could lead to breakthroughs in everything from climate change to healthcare, improving the quality of life for people in the UK and potentially around the world.

Technology Secretary Chloe Smith, said:

We’re investing in our AI talent pipeline with a £54 million package to develop trustworthy and secure artificial intelligence, and putting our best foot forward as a global leader in tech both now, and in the years to come.

The £54m investment will drive the government’s ambition to position the UK as the world’s most innovative economy and establish a technology ecosystem that solidifies the UK’s position at the forefront of global tech advancement.

Key Takeaways

  • £54 million investment in UK AI research demonstrates the government’s commitment to technology and innovation.
  • AI has vast potential across various sectors, from healthcare to climate change mitigation.
  • The investment focuses on building trustworthy and secure AI, led by the Responsible AI UK consortium.
  • Funding supports practical AI projects for sustainable land management, CO2 capture, and resilience against natural hazards.
  • The UK is a global leader in AI research, with a tech sector valued at $1 trillion.
  • Funding also supports the development of AI talent through training programs and fellowships.
  • The Investment is expected to secure UK’s position as a science and tech superpower, driving economic growth and improving quality of life.
  • The government aims to make the UK the most innovative economy and establish a leading global tech ecosystem.

About the author

Whitehall Resources is the leading specialist SAP recruitment agency in the UK. Through our expansive network, our teams keep a close watch on trends and developments in the AI sector. This article is a part of our initiative to spread awareness and insights into developments within AI.

Working as an SAP consultant in the Middle East

The Middle East, comprising various Asian and African countries from Egypt to Iran, offers many opportunities for SAP professionals. In this article, we focus on Middle Eastern countries with the most prospects for SAP, which tend to be situated in Arabic nations, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Kuwait.

SAP consultants are presented with many advantages towards working in the Middle East, including the enticing combination of high income with zero income tax, immersing yourself in a new culture and, of course, a favourable climate.

SAP Opportunities in the Middle East

There are a variety of industries in the Middle East that are on the lookout for SAP professionals, although the level of experience varies. SAP projects in the Middle East generally require a specialised skill set, with the ideal candidates knowing the latest SAP developments that may not be available within the local talent pool yet. Our clients in this region are consistently pushing to adopt the newest technologies, so consultants must stay up to date. As a result, contractors with experience around the world are very desirable in the Middle East, as they can bring the latest practices and technologies from around the world.

Junior roles tend to be filled locally or via neighbouring countries due to cost considerations. Whilst cost is one of the significant factors, there are also more benefits for businesses to recruit locally for these roles. For example, SAP consultants with regional experience may integrate within the company faster due to their understanding of the region’s cultural differences, project environments, and work dynamics. Therefore, if you already possess regional experience, it can be highly beneficial for securing an SAP role in the Middle East.

All of these roles, whether junior or senior, could be fixed-term or permanent, and the daily rates are similar to those in the UK. Contracts may also require travel and accommodation, which the client may provide and organise. However, levels can vary regarding the accommodation type, flights and expenses.

SAP Day Rates and Salaries in the Middle East

Remuneration for SAP roles in the Middle East varies depending on experience, seniority, and expertise. Permanent salaries in the region are generally lucrative, but the true allure lies in the comprehensive benefits package accompanying these positions. Such benefits may include housing, vehicle provisions, education allowances for dependents, bonuses, visas for the consultant and their family, and health insurance. The same benefits offered depend on the hiring company.

Income Taxes in the Middle East

Many countries in the Middle East have no personal income tax, such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, which also happen to be some of the most popular destinations for SAP consultants. In Egypt, consultants are required to pay taxes after residing there for half a year (183 days) within a 12-month period. It is also worth noting that consultants may still have to pay taxes in their country of origin, so research must be done beforehand to ensure you understand all tax implications.

Getting a Visa to work in the Middle East

Rules for attaining a Visa will vary depending on which country you are looking to work in, but generally, you will be expected to have a business as a sponsor for your Visa. You may also be able to go through a Visa partnering agency to work in the Middle East. In some countries, such as UAE and Saudi Arabia, Visas are valid whilst working for the company sponsoring you. However, you may also be able to work elsewhere with permission from your sponsoring company. Those considering SAP roles in Egypt can apply for a residence permit and work Visa in the country or from abroad.

Clients often prefer candidates from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region to streamline the Visa process. Still, as mentioned above, the priority for these businesses tends to be on getting the best person for the job for senior and niche roles. Expertise and experience is the most critical factor for any potential candidate.

5 Key Considerations for Living in the Middle East

  1. Language

There are many places where English speakers will not have any problems on a day-to-day basis, such as in Dubai, where English is spoken by a majority of residents. English is also a primary language for many businesses across the region, especially those with Western influences. Modern Arabic is the main language used across all of these countries, although there is a huge diversity within the region, and as such, there are many languages in which it would be useful to learn the basics. This includes Hebrew, Kurdish, Persian, and Turkish, amongst many others. Of course, the level to which learning these languages will be beneficial varies depending on the country in which you will be residing. Generally, you will be fine with English, but locals will appreciate it if you show an effort to speak their languages.

  1. Location

The Middle East is rich in ancient history and breathtaking locations, making it an ideal base for adventures and sightseeing. From Petra in Jordan to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, from the Great Pyramids of Giza to the bustling beauty of Dubai, there’s always more to see.

Not only can you explore the rest of the Middle East, but you are also much closer to other exotic locations, like the rest of Asia and Africa. You can see even more of the world without the extended journey times we have in the West.

  1. Culture

There is a big mix of cultures and religions within the Middle East, particularly within the big cities. It is a great place to experience many cultures all in one place. This has also led to a diverse food culture, with Middle Eastern cuisine featuring bold flavours and aromatic spices. From kebabs and mezze platters to baklava and kunafa, you’re in for a treat! Explore the local markets (souks) to discover fresh produce to recreate your favourite dishes at home!

Speaking of the markets, the larger cities are major shopping and cultural hubs, featuring many of the big brand shops you see across Western civilisation, with local brands adding to the ensemble. There are also restaurants, bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues to keep visitors busy. If you’re wondering about drinking alcohol in the Middle East, some of these countries have strict bans on alcohol consumption, while others have more relaxed rules. It’s best to check on a per-location basis, as the rules can even change depending on which city you are in.

  1. Climate

You won’t be surprised to hear that the climate across the Middle East tends to be either hot or, depending on the time of year, very hot. In the summer months in Dubai, it is common to rarely venture outside during the day, when temperatures can reach the high 40s. Even the sea temperature averages at 33 degrees in the hottest months. However, other countries, such as UAE or Yemen, have lower temperatures whilst remaining nice and sunny all year round.

  1. Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Middle East tends to be lower than in the rest of the world. Only one city in the Middle East enters the top 50 most expensive cities to live in worldwide, with Tel Aviv at 48th. In comparison, London is 16th, being about 30% more expensive. Combining this with high salaries and no personal income tax, you can expect to live comfortably in the Middle East.

Fancy making a move?

Considering the myriad of advantages, it is no wonder that working as an SAP consultant in the Middle East holds immense appeal. The opportunity to embrace a new culture, enjoy favourable climates, benefit from competitive salaries and comprehensive packages, and gain valuable professional experience make the Middle East a compelling destination for those seeking rewarding SAP roles. Explore our latest vacancies and embark on a transformative journey in the Middle East. Check out our SAP jobs in the Middle East.

About the author

Whitehall Resources is the leading specialist SAP recruitment agency across MENA. We have curated an expansive network of SAP talent drawn from direct relationships and personal referrals. Consequently, we are renowned and respected among the most seasoned candidates in the market.

Working as an SAP Consultant in Dubai

Dubai, the UAE’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, is more than just a captivating place to live. Known for its impressive safety records, wealth, superior quality of life and education standards, it’s the perfect locale for SAP consultants. Moreover, with equality and mutual respect forming the foundation of its workplaces, Dubai’s burgeoning economy offers many opportunities.

Contrary to popular belief, the oil industry isn’t the primary source of Dubai’s wealth — it’s the intelligent investments and vibrant tourism industry.

The Meteoric Rise of Dubai

Originally a humble fishing village trading in pearls, Dubai metamorphosed into a bustling metropolis thanks to the innovative investment programme spearheaded by former ruler Sheik Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Following the discovery of oil in the 1960s, the Sheikh astutely channelled oil revenues into accelerating the city’s development, firmly cementing Dubai’s status as a sought-after destination for businesses and tourism.

The Business Landscape of Dubai

In essence, doing business in Dubai parallels conducting business in renowned Western cities such as London or Paris. Industries spanning construction, tourism, and financial services contribute to Dubai’s extraordinary wealth, and the city’s diverse cultural fabric makes it an exciting place to work.

The etiquette in the business world is considerate and inclusive, with common practices including exchanging business cards (preferably with one side in Arabic) and being punctual for meetings.

SAP Opportunities in Dubai

Numerous industries — from oil and gas to manufacturing, retail, banking, and airlines — are on the lookout for SAP Consultants. The contractual terms may be fixed-term or permanent, with daily rates comparable to those in the UK. Many SAP consultants opt for contract extensions, owing to the appealing work-life balance offered by Dubai. The working pattern usually entails three weeks on-site, with one week to work remotely from your country of origin.

Salaries for permanent European workers tend to surpass those in the UK due in part to the exemption from income tax. Contracts for locals align with the local rates, and most contracts include the reimbursement of all expenses, which can vary based on the contract.

Living the Dubai Dream: Key Considerations

Before packing your bags and jetting off to Dubai, consider these crucial aspects:

  1. Respecting the Dress Code: Public decency is paramount, with modest attire covering shoulders and knees recommended in public spaces.
  2. Local Laws: Familiarise yourself with the local laws concerning public behaviour, alcohol consumption, and language use.
  3. Climate: Temperatures can fluctuate between 20°C and 45°C, but air conditioning is widespread.
  4. Ramadan Observance: During this holy month, refrain from eating or drinking in public during daylight hours out of respect for those who are fasting.
  5. Women in Dubai: Dubai champions gender equality in pay and rights, but women, especially those under their husbands’ sponsorship, should stay abreast of the relevant rules.

Navigating Daily Life in Dubai

Language barriers are virtually non-existent in Dubai. While Arabic is the local language, English enjoys widespread use, making communication hassle-free for expats. However, learning a few Arabic phrases can foster deeper connections with the locals and other Arabic migrants.

Life in Dubai offers something for everyone. From indulging in retail therapy at the world’s biggest shopping mall or standing in awe of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building globally, to experiencing the world’s largest choreographed fountain system — there’s never a dull moment in this city.

Community is at the heart of Dubai, a city that has embraced foreign investment and tourism since the 1960s. With a population mix representing an array of cultures — the locals make up around 15% of the population, while the rest predominantly hail from other Asian countries and a small proportion from Western nations — Dubai is truly a melting pot of cultures.

metro station dubai

Making Dubai Your Home: Practical Aspects

When considering relocating to Dubai, several factors play a crucial role:

  1. Cost of Living and Accommodation: The cost of living in Dubai is approximately 35% lower than in London, a relief for many expats. When seeking accommodation, consider factors like commute times, the level of congestion and noise in the area, proximity to essential amenities like shops and schools, and the potential inconveniences in areas still under construction.
  2. Currency: The local currency is the Arab Emirate Dhiram (AED, Dhs, or DH), with notes marked in Arabic on one side and English on the other.
  3. Work Visas and Permits: Typically, the employer or the recruitment agency arranges visas and work permits. Whitehall Resources, for instance, often facilitates this through visa partners.
  4. Transport: Dubai boasts an efficient and modern transport system, with an air-conditioned underground network and abundant taxis. If you plan on driving, ensure you convert your driving license to a local one.
  5. Tax Implications: As an SAP consultant in Dubai, you enjoy a tax-free income. However, you might be liable to pay tax in your home country or previous country of residence, depending on local laws.

Making the Most of Dubai: Leisure and Entertainment

With an expansive range of leisure activities — from world-class restaurants, shopping malls, and nightclubs to even indoor snowboarding — Dubai is a city that never sleeps. For a dose of tradition, the old town offers vast markets and a unique ambiance. Despite strict alcohol laws, socializing is still a key aspect of life in Dubai, with foreigners often congregating in hotel bars at night.

Keeping abreast of local events is simple thanks to social media and the Dubai Calendar app. Don’t forget to use @lovindubai or #MyDubai to stay in the loop!

Ready for the Leap?

Are you enticed by the prospect of working as an SAP consultant in Dubai? Start your journey with us! Explore SAP Recruitment in the Middle East.

About the author

Whitehall Resources is the leading provider of specialist SAP recruitment services across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the US. We have curated an expansive network of SAP talent drawn from direct relationships and personal referrals. Consequently, we are renowned and respected among the most seasoned candidates in the market.

SAP and Google Cloud Revolutionise Data Management for Enterprises

Discover how the collaboration between long-time technology partners SAP and Google Cloud is transforming the way businesses harness the power of AI and machine learning.

Breaking Down Barriers with a Unified Data Foundation

Google Cloud and SAP have joined forces to streamline AI and machine learning applications for cloud clients. By working together, these technology giants aim to empower enterprises to fully utilise the value of their data in real-time, making it more accessible and valuable for AI-driven applications.

SAP and Google Cloud Collaborate
The SAP-Google Cloud partnership is set to break down data barriers for businesses worldwide.

Seamless Data Integration for Accelerated Digital Transformation

The partnership involves the roll-out of a joint open data offering, allowing enterprises to view their entire business data estate in real-time seamlessly. As long-standing technology collaborators, Google Cloud has a proven track record of helping businesses migrate their on-premise SAP applications and data to its public cloud data centres.

With a focus on building an end-to-end data cloud, SAP Datasphere will be utilised to gather data from across the enterprise and integrate it with Google’s fully managed, serverless data warehouse, BigQuery. This integration enables organisations to accelerate their digital transformation whilst maintaining a comprehensive business context.

AI-Driven Insights with Google Cloud’s Cutting-Edge Tools

As enterprises continue to invest in complex data integrations, custom analytics engines, and generative AI and NLP models, the SAP-Google Cloud offering aims to reduce data duplication and minimise data siloes. Customers will have access to their business-critical data in real time, enabling them to make data-driven decisions more efficiently.

By leveraging Google Cloud’s AI and machine learning tools, enterprises can train models on data from both SAP and non-SAP systems. The collaboration is designed to help businesses unlock the full potential of their data and drive innovation.

Christian Klein CEO SAP Bloomberg
"Our customers not only benefit from the business AI already built into our systems, but also from a unified data foundation." - Christian Klein, CEO of SAP SE talking with Bloomberg.

Empowering Enterprises to Achieve AI Ambitions

The expanded partnership between SAP and Google Cloud is set to help enterprises realise their AI ambitions more quickly. Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian explains:

“By deeply integrating SAP data and systems with our data cloud, customers will be able to utilise our analytics capabilities, as well as advanced AI tools and large language models to find new insights from their data.”

About the author

Whitehall Resources is the premier SAP recruitment agency dedicated to connecting high-quality specialist professionals with some of the world’s most renowned and respected brands. Discover more about Whitehall’s expertise and commitment to excellence.