Transitioning to S/4HANA: Implications for SAP GTS and Value in Foreign Trade
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By: Krypt Team - May 14th, 2021

Author: Vijendra Kargudri

SAP Global Trade Services (SAP GTS) is an SAP application for foreign trade used by 2,000 plus customers over the last 16 years. By 2025, S/4HANA described as SAP’s biggest launch in 23 years, possibly ever, the support for standalone systems will be withdrawn, companies will have require transitioning to SAP S/4HANA.

SAP serves over a quarter million businesses and is keen to have a large chunk of them use its database rather than any other. Earlier, SAP worked with several databases, including Oracle, but businesses migrating to the new system will require to migrate their entire database.

Let us explore the implications for companies transitioning to S/4HANA.

Key implications for SAP GTS and value creation in Foreign Trade

For companies involved in Foreign Trade, transitioning to S/4HANA must be measured in context to the functionalities attributed to it. Any downtime due to disruption can be challenging.

Over the last 2 decades, all the below mentioned paper drawn import & export notifications have switched over to electronic communication and are consolidated with existing foreign trade functionalities in the SAP GTS. Thus, SAP GTS has been the SAP customs & foreign trade go-to platform.

  • Intrastat: Helps log the international movement of goods
  • Legal Control: Helps monitor Export permit requirements
  • Preference Management: Helps observe Trade Agreements for import duties
  • Letter of Credit: Helps provide promissory note for payment from the importer to the executing companies

Benefits of SAP GTS and further developments

Customs & Foreign Trade Platform: SAP GTS is frequently enhanced and remains SAP’s customs & foreign trade platform. Customers using SAP S/4HANA can start using foreign trade functionalities in SAP S/4HANA. Based on its SAP GTS experience, SAP has selectively built foreign trade functionalities in SAP S/4HANA.

INSTRASTAT Functionalities: Firstly, SAP redeveloped the Intrastat functionalities in SAP S/4HANA. Users utilizing both SAP S/4HANA & SAP GTS, can use the newly coded Intrastat functionalities. A major advantage is that status updates on international goods movements can be quickly & precisely produced. Secondly, before export management is made available as an SAP S/4HANA functionality for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Edition, SAP has provided legal monitoring of export activity (Legal Control). In SAP S/4HANA, all the foreign trade functionalities are grouped together under SAP S/4HANA for International Trade. Every company that is on SAP S/4HANA, and that used the previous Intrastat functionality in SAP ECC gets to run the new Intrastat functionalities with SAP S/4HANA.

SAP users using the classic SAP GTS get to deploy SAP GTS alongside SAP S/4HANA on premise. Following are key things to be noted:

  • SAP continues to develop customs & foreign trade functionalities in parallel for SAP GTS and S/4HANA.
  • SAP GTS will remain the core solution for customs & foreign trade for SAP users deploying multiple ERP and logistics systems, as the data comes from various systems. One of the major strengths & advantages of SAP GTS is the logistical data can be extracted from multiple ERP & TM systems, for instance to centralize import & export announcements within a single system.
  • SAP GTS architecture provides extensive SD and MM integration. This allows data to be collected from SD and MM processes and can be processed accordingly for communication with customs authorities.
  • SAP users on hybrid IT system environment will experience virtually no changes. As such, in the future, users utilizing SAP S/4HANA and no other logistics systems, can draw on the foreign trade functionalities in SAP S/4HANA.
  • Any company that will implement SAP S/4HANA gets to use existing SAP GTS functions. This is a major added value for SAP customers. SAP S/4HANA gets to have the enormous degree of integration between SAP ECC and SAP GTS. Companies using SAP GTS can continue using it as before or supplement it with SAP S/4HANA.
  • Companies using the standard SAP GTS over the years can continue to use those functions in SAP S/4HANA, provided customer enhancements are implemented using Business Add-Ins (BadIs). User exits use their own coding without modifications, and non-modifying custom code is used in user exits that do not use any data structures from the “old” Foreign Trade.

To facilitate companies transitioning to S/4HANA SAP has deployed new enhancements to its S/4HANA Platform with twelve new AI-powered scenarios. Of these, nine are machine learning scenarios and three CoPIlot-powered conversational UI scenarios. This will SAP users to run their business faster, operate smarter and boost their bottom line.

Many SAP user lack information or are unsure about which specific functionalities are delivered with S/4HANA.

How can Krypt Help?

Krypt is a preferred SAP partner and has helped major Fortune 100 & Fortune 500 companies successfully implement/integrate SAP GTS, SAP TM, SAP IBP, and SAP EWM. Irrespective of your business size or location, if you looking for S/4HANA transition or looking for SAP Global Trade Services implementation/integration, then we are a one-stop shop for all your SAP Implementation. Our team of SAP GTS consultants can deploy the implementation/integration rapidly.

If you wish to know more about our products/services, please request for a DEMO or do Contact Us.

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