Authored by: Vijendra Kargudri
Globally transportation plays a key role in facilitating the global trade up and the down the supply chain eco-system. Even more critical is the transportation management across different scenarios and business models. With increasing complexities, the Transportation Management tool needs to be upgraded to add teeth to the existing/outdated functionalities.
In this Part -1 of the 2-part blog series, we will explore the available SAP TM Deployment Options, Migration from older version of SAP TM to new version of S/4HANA TM and EL-TRA vs. Basic Shipping.
The Figure below, depicts the current state of Transportation Management and the various deployment options available to address different business requirements and process functionalities.
The current state of Business Suite TM is on NetWeaver stack that started with 8.0 followed by the last release 9.6 couple of years ago. Currently we have two models of deployment viz., the Embedded Deployment – wherein SAP TM is embedded or decentralized in S/4HANA with availability of all the functionalities and Side-Car Deployment – with TM application within S/4HANA that talks to an instance of ECC or another instance of S/4HANA in a side-by-side mode.
When it comes to the cloud options for TM, a commercially S/4HANA cloud extended edition for TM is offered , which is an on-premise TM solution in a hosted environment by SAP with subscription pricing. It is available in two different flavours as depicted in the figure below –
The Extra Stack
Here, the user gets a full instance of SAP TM 9.6 as a standalone solution and can be integrated with remote ECC or S/4HANA instance that a user might have on premise or cloud.
Essentially it is standalone best of brief TM in S/4HANA box with all other components along with embedded SAP TM.
Which Deployment Options is right for you?
With multiple deployment options the question that comes to your mind is – what is the right deployment option for your business? To arrive at the right choice and decision, you check the qualification criteria as shown in figure below of SAP TM in S/4HANA cloud or premise/HEC based on the questionnaire below to choose the best deployment option for your business scenario:
As depicted in the figure below the migration is necessary and provides a business to be on the path of implementing the latest SAP TM solution.
For Business Suite Solution option of 8.0 to 9.6 there will be no subsequent releases of the Business Suite anymore and its maintenance. For SAP TM 9.5 & 9.6, the mainstream maintenance is still 2027. Beyond which the extended & user specific maintenance will be available. However, since the strategic direction is towards S/4HANA, there will be subsequent releases of TM on S/4HANA.
For users to move to the latest version of TM and follow the upgrade path, there are migration tools available to move the Business Suite instance of TM to the latest instance of S/4HANA TM starting from 1809 onwards. The point to be noted here is that the migration tools are available for SAP TM 9.5/9.6 release. Hence, for those using lower release edition of SAP TM say 8.0 to 9.4 will need to
For users of lower version of SAP TM, they copy production system, upgrade that to TM 9.5/9.6 and only then migrate that to S/4HANA instance of TM.
As part of migration this will include migration of master data, customizing, and settings. This does not include migration of transactional data. So essentially any documents open in the older system need to be closed in the old system themselves after the cutover.
The consulting note can be found at – https:// launchpad.support.com/#/notes/2769186 related to FAQ, migration strategy, scope, tools along with enhancement guide for SAP TM migration tool.
LE-TRA vs Basic Shipping
LE-TRA end of life – what you need to know?
We used to have LE-TRA component, which was Transportation Capability in the core ECC that existed in the very first release of S/4HANA. This continues to be available till 2025 in compatibility scope and will not be available beyond 2025. From release 1709 of S/4HANA, TM was also introduced as additional component in S/4HANA. LE-TRA represented basic transportation capabilities and TM offers not only basic capabilities but also advanced transportation capabilities. So, if a user has S/4HANA Enterprise Management License, they can use LE-TRA. Some subset of TM functionalities, which we call basic shipping can also be used by the user if they have S/4HANA Enterprise Management License. While if the user is looking to use the more advanced capabilities of TM, they need to procure the advanced S/4HANA TM License. Going forward, after 2025 the user using LE-TRA will be required to move to S/4HANA TM to use the basic shipping functionality available without license, which corresponds to similar functionalities in LE-TRA. User can procure S/4HANA License to use the full functionality & advanced features of SAP TM.
It needs be noted that the basic shipping and S/4HANA TM are not 2 different systems. Essentially these are set of functionalities in SAP TM itself hey. So, the user can implement TM, start using basic shipping and if they need additional features in the same application, which requires advance license, they can just activate that or use those by procuring the additional license that they need. This is not any sort of a system migration or any major activity that needs to be done for moving from basic shipping to the full S/4HANA TM. There is no offering for technical migration from LE-TRA to TM because the underlying solution design is different and many users using LE-TRA, would have customized the solution heavily. Hence user must manage that on their own.
There are some services offered to help users to move from LE-TRA to S/4HANA TM and are mentioned along with Best Practice content Related Notes in the figure above.
The following figure compares LE-TRA functionalities with Basic Shipping and S/4HANA TM. It helps you understand the benefits/advantages of S/4HANA TM over LE-TRA or Basic Shipping.
In the concluding PART-2 of this 2-part blog series, we will explain about – Basic vs. Advanced Shipping, TM highlights in S/4HANA 2020 and the Roadmap ahead.
How can Krypt help?
Krypt is an SAP preferred partner and has assisted in the success of global businesses across industries & geographies. We have helped businesses through successful integration & implementation of SAP TM, SAP EWM, SAP GTS, and SAP IBP.
If your business operating in the supply chain landscape requires to follow the upgrade path of latest S/4HANA TM implementation or you wish to explore more about our products/services, please request a DEMO or do contact us.
Follow us on:
Image Credit: SAP