Consultancy vs End User: Where do your skillsets fit best?

Posted on December 2023 By Speller International
We have seen an increase in permanent roles coming through over the last 6 months, so let's look at some of the considerations when deciding whether to take a permanent role with a Consultancy and/or an End User. Every company is different, and you should do your own investigating however these are some of the common differences when it comes to Culture and Relationships, Salary package, Project and Technology.
Working Relationships and Culture:

Consultancy:Will often give you the opportunity to work on a broader range of projects and clients, which in turn can mean more exposure to a wider range of people and projects in the SAP ecosystem. This can be a great opportunity to meet more people, network, learn organically and see different ways of doing things. When comparing to and End User, these relationships maybe more transactional and short lived, and you may have pressure from your consulting company to deliver which can sometimes be at odds with what your customer stakeholder is expecting. Therefore, the relationships, can be more pressurised, time sensitive and bottom line focused. 

Softer skills Consultancies often value;

  • Quick relationship building

  • Sales (or at least the ability to see and communicate an opportunity)

  • Stakeholder engagement while understanding commercials

  • Presenting, workshops

  • Big picture Account management

End User:  You may be working with a set and established group of people, which tends to change less than in a consulting environment. Working in an End User, is about building long-term relationships built on trust and that has the companies' best interests at heart. The legacy of your interactions and performance tends to be felt across a smaller volume of people however is often longer remembered. This gives you the ability to build long lasting relationships and see the impacts of your work (good and bad).The attitude of the stakeholders may be warmer, they don’t feel like they’re getting “sold” to. In a good company culture, you should be and feel like you are all part of the same team and are working towards the same company vision.

Softer skill sets End Users often value;

  • Stakeholder/business engagement

  • Strategic/long -term outlook as well as an understanding and want to resolve current issues

  • Strong business process skills specific to the company you are working in 

  • Adaptability and flexibility even when it comes to a technology you’re not familiar with.

  • Vendor management

  • Overarching culture fit

Salary package: 

Consultancy:Consultancies tend to have a more formalised career path eg start at “Consultant” level and see the activities and time scale to get to “Senior Manager” Level. It is a set rewards/promotion structure. If you are driven by career titles, targets, billable days sales/commission then Consultancies may offer you those goals/incentives more than an End User. However, the business model still requires its consultants to be profitable in order for the company to remain in business sometimes presenting in a less stable environment.

End User:Salaries in an End User are driven by their operational budget. For the same role, some companies can pay more, or less depending on their industry etc. The career path could well be less formalised with fewer “title” changes and minor promotions along the way. There may be more company benefits, and flexibility such as a stronger work life balance, ability for more annual leave, training, a car allowance, healthcare, gym memberships etc.

The career path itself can often be driven more by the individual suggesting ideas, initiatives and by leading by example. SAP roles at End users tend to be more stable and less beholden to sales and outside market pressures. They are investing in permanent employees that will be in the business long term and less to fill a specific Project need. If you enjoy the first hand satisfaction of contributing to a company's success and feeling a greater emotional connection to your work, and End User may be the best option.

Project delivery:

Consultancy: There are opportunities to work on a broad range of technologies and different projects. Across multiple industries and often on the latest technologies. This can provide a stronger depth of knowledge on SAP landscapes and technical setups. 

The flip side of this variety is there may be less room for autonomy, you will need to be delivery focused, you may not have a choice to what project you work on. You may be injected into projects and situations where the Consulting Partner and End User are at odds with each other.

End User: Nowadays companies always have many different projects across different technologies, however your exposure to the much larger transformation programs may be less (it is limited to the one that you company may or may not be doing)


Consultancies that specialise in specific technology or industry will give you the opportunity to become a true specialist. If the Consultancy is more general, then you will be exposed to a wider range of environments. Generally, if you’re working on projects, the Consultancy will be implementing newer technologies, giving you exposure to the latest SAP landscapes. 

End User: Driven by your company's appetite for technology. You will only have exposure to your specific environment. However, you may get the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process, analysing various products and technologies and shaping the long-term environment. Working with an End User may allow you to gain a more detailed understanding within a specialised industry and their challenges, you will likely work with colleagues from other disciplines in the organisation and will be able to see the benefits of the system at work. 

There are many difference features between a Consultancy and End Users, with one person’s positive being another person's negative. It ultimately comes down to what YOU enjoy more and what environment you thrive under while also taking into account external factors eg. do you have a young family?

If you are deciding on your next move, then try the below exercise;

  • Write down your top 3 to 5 top priorities and wants in you life and job

  • Write down the 3-5 things you absolutely do NOT want in your life/job

Using the information we’ve listed above, which do you think is the best match?