SAP S/4HANA Embedded TM - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Author's Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness to cover S/4 HANA 1809 release.

With the release of S/4HANA 1709 SAP customers have been able to run SAP Transportation Management functionality on the same instance as their ERP solution.  S/4HANA 1809 release has made the embedded TM option even more appealing, by closing most of the functional gaps that S4/HANA 1709 release had with the AnyDB stack TM release 9.5+. The embedded TM option certainly looks very appealing, as it reduces the complexity of several interfaces and data duplication.  However, the embedded SAP TM alternative has its limitations that are important to understand and take into consideration.

We have compiled a number of frequently asked questions and answers in regard to embedded TM offering in SAP S/4HANA and published them for your reference below.  Please note that the information provided below is accurate as of the writing of this post (August 2019) and relates to S/4HANA version 1809.

What is "embedded TM" in SAP S/4HANA?

S/4HANA 1709 introduced an additional deployment option for SAP Transportation Management where TM functionality runs on the same S/4HANA instance as the ERP functionality.  In other words, it is no longer necessary to have a separate set of systems/servers/databases for SAP Transportation, as is the case with the classic side-by-side deployment option of SAP TM that we have seen to date. 

Can I still choose to implement S/4HANA TM in a side-car scenario?

Yes, absolutely. You can implement a standalone S/4 stack TM system that is then connected to other SAP ERP systems (ECC 6, S/4, etc.) or non-SAP ERP systems. This side-by-side deployment option is often appealing to customers that have a number of SAP ERP systems that they want to connect to a single TMS. This can also be a good option if you are currently not in a position to move your SAP ECC environment to S/4HANA but still want to take advantage of the latest S4 stack TM system.

In fact, any new SAP TM implementations that have already determined to use the side-by-side deployment option should seriously consider implementing an S4 stack (1809) standalone TM solution instead of the AnyDB stack TM 9.5 or 9.6. Based on latest information from SAP, TM 9.6 will be the last AnyDB stack release and all future improvements will be done in the S4 stack TM solution, with the next release S/4HANA release 1909 scheduled for general availability in Q4 of 2019. SAP has been pretty clear that the future of TM is on the S/4 stack.

Keep in mind that there are still some differences between functionality of AnyDB stack TM 9.5+ and S/4 stack TM, that might prove to be critical for your implementation. These apply to both the embedded and side-by-side deployment options. See the “What key SAP TM functionality is not yet available in the embedded TM option in S/4HANA?” section below.

What SAP TM version is the embedded option in S/4HANA based on?

Generally speaking, the embedded option is based on SAP TM 9.5 with a few restrictions (see more below).

Does S/4HANA embedded TM support both Shipper and LSP scenarios?

Yes.  As of S/4HANA release 1809 the embedded TM option supports both the Shipper and LSP scenarios.

What are the main advantages of the embedded TM option?

The main advantages can be summarized as follows:

  • Smaller database and hardware footprint

  • Reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) due to smaller replication and monitoring effort

  • Enhanced user experience leveraging S/4HANA "look and feel" and Fiori UI

  • Remove the need to duplicate ERP customer, vendor and material master data into business partners and products in TM, thereby removing the need for the Core Interface (CIF). ERP and TM share a single set of harmonized master data objects.

  • Real-time embedded analytics

  • Integration with new S/4HANA Enterprise Management for managing transportation-related equipment

  • Remove the need to duplicate ERP orders and deliveries into Order-based Transportation Requirement (OTR) and Delivery-based Transportation Requirement (DTR) documents in TM. OTR and DTR documents are no longer necessary. Orders and deliveries are able to convert directly into Freight Units, Freight Orders, etc.

What SAP licensing is required for embedded SAP TM functionality in SAP S4/HANA?

As always, please contact your SAP Account Executive to get the most accurate information.  But here is a high-level overview of what the licensing normally looks like:

S/4HANA divides TM functionality into 2 main buckets - Basic Shipping and Supply Chain for Transportation Management (SC for TM).  As the name implies, Basic Shipping includes basic transportation functionality, whereas SC for TM includes advanced TM functionality.  Basic Shipping functionality is included in the "Digital Core" licensing of S/4HANA which basically means that no additional licensing is required.  However, SC for TM is a separately licensed SAP product that does require additional licensing to be purchased.

What is included in Basic Shipping in S/4HANA?

Technically, Basic Shipping was introduced in S/4HANA with release 1511.  However, back then Basic Shipping was based purely on the old ECC Logistics Execution - Transportation (LE-TRA) functionality, utilizing ECC shipments and shipment documents.  Implementing such functionality is strongly discouraged, as it is based on highly outdated code base and already subject to end of life of the Compatibility Scope, which is currently set to 2025. 

S/4HANA 1709 brought the possibility of implementing Basic Shipping functionality using the modern SAP TM code base.  The following basic functions are included:

  • Main transportation network master data (zones, lanes, etc.)

  • Manual carrier selection and tendering

  • Freight agreements

  • Delivery based planning

  • Dangerous goods management (with some limitations)

  • Output management

  • Transportation execution (without Event Management)

  • Basic charge calculation and freight settlement

  • Analytics in BW

As a general guideline, SAP customers are able to perform the same functions that they could using the old LE-TRA shipment/shipment cost document functionality, but utilizing the new SAP TM objects, transactions and code base.  However, if the functionality was not included in the scope of the old LE-TRA solution it is likely not covered by Basic Shipping in S/4HANA either.

What advanced functionality is covered by S/4HANA Supply Chain for Transportation Management (SC for TM)?

SC for TM adds a wide range of functionality on top of Basic Shipping that some SAP customers have already experienced in side-car SAP Transportation Management offering:

  • Order and delivery based planning

  • Transportation Cockpit UI

  • Optimizer-based planning

  • Automatic carrier selection and tendering

  • Advanced charge calculation (consolidated, event-based, air/rail/ocean functionality)

  • Analytics and reporting via CDS

  • Load planning and optimization (TLB)

  • Integration with:

    • Event Management

    • Global Track & Trace (EM future replacement)

    • Logistics Business Network

    • Enterprise Warehouse Management (EWM)

    • Descartes GLN

    • Enterprise Asset Management

    • Geographical Information Systems (PC*Miler, HERE, etc.)

    • Global Trade Service (GTS)

    • S/4HANA Credit Management

What key SAP TM functionality is not yet available in the embedded TM option in S/4HANA?

Refer to SAP note 2663403 for a comprehensive list of differences and limitations between SAP TM 9.5 and S/4HANA 1809. The summary follows below:

  • Carrier Collaboration Portal

    • SAP is currently developing a replacement portal solution with a product called Logistics Business Network (LBN). Keep in mind that LBN requires separate licensing from SAP.

  • The usage of Package Building functions for Freight Order and Transportation Unit is not released for S/4HANA TM 1809 until further notice

  • The following functions are discontinued for the purposes of “Simplification” and are not available in S/4HANA TM 1809

    • Integration with SAP CRM

    • Integration of TM Resources to Enterprise Asset Management Objects

    • Prepayment of Forwarding Orders

    • Selected Planning Functionality

      • Condition-Based loading and unloading duration determination

      • Fixed Loading and unloading duration determination per requirement document

      • Condition-Based filtering for Transportation Cockpit (via Profile)

      • Take away Load Cost Function from UI (Usage is possible via BAdI)

      • Option for Time-Related Selection of Documents based on All Stop Times

      • Transportation Proposal for multiple Freight Units at once

  • Compared to SAP TM 9.5, the following functions are not yet released in S/4HANA TM 1809:

    • Internal Settlement for Resources (other Internal Settlement Management scenarios are released)

    • Group Logistics is only supported for side-by-side scenarios, but not yet for system internal processing

    • Creation of Freight Units out of Scheduling Agreements (inbound and outbound) is only supported for side-by-side scenarios, but not yet for system internal processing

    • Sales Order Scheduling

    • Business Partner hierarchy

Can existing side-by-side SAP TM customers move from their current AnyDB stack TM system to S4/HANA SC for TM?

Technically, the answer is yes.  And SAP will even work with you to provide a credit for your original SAP TM licensing and convert that to S/4HANA SC for TM licensing.  However, keep in mind that this will technically be a re-implementation of the TM system, not an upgrade. SAP has recently release some tools that help with the migration of configuration and master data from an AnyDB stack TM system to an S/4 stack TM system. This, however, requires your AnyDB TM system to be on version 9.5 or later. For many customers this translates into a 2 step process:

  1. Upgrade your existing SAP TM environment to 9.5 or later

  2. Perform the migration from AnyDB stack SAP TM 9.5+ to S/4HANA 1809 TM solution. Like mentioned before, this can either be done via embedded or side-by-side deployment options.

Refer to SAP note 2769186 for the list of available migration tools and their limitations.

One key limitation is the current absence of tools for migration of historical transaction data (Freight Units, Freight Orders, etc.) You will need to deal with the conversion of open documents in the same manner as you would do so with any other TMS implementation, doing so either manually or using custom scripts/programs to help with the conversion.

Do you still need to install the Optimizer executable separately from SAP TM or is it included in the S/4HANA environment?

In S/4HANA SC for TM the Optimizer executable is still a separate engine that has to be installed in the same manner as it was installed for the side-car SAP TM offering.

Is SAP Event Management (EM) embedded in S/4HANA 1709?

No.  SAP EM is not embedded in S/4HANA, does not integrate with S/4HANA and is not planned to be integrated in the future.  Instead, SAP EM will be replaced with the new SAP Global Track and Trace (GTT) public cloud solution in the near future.

Is embedded TM available in the S4 Public Cloud offering?

Not currently.  SAP has a long-term plan to bring embedded TM to S4 Public Cloud.