Interview – S/4 TM Partner Enablement Workshop, Palo Alto
From February 20th-23rd, the SAP TM Partner Office from St. Ingbert held an S/4 TM Partner Enablement Workshop in Palo Alto where we hosted 15 participants from six different companies.
The agenda consisted of presentations and hands-on exercises in the system.
In the presentations, we introduced the Basic Shipping scenario as well as the differences between S/4 HANA TM Basic Shipping, Professional Shipping and Side-Car TM.
Throughout the workshop, we received very positive feedback from the participants with regard to the solution. They believe in its potential and will surely position it at their customers which was indicated by their questions and the direct feedback they provided.
The participants appreciated the event and its organization, receiving a lot of information and gaining hands-on experiences at the same time.
Read our interview with the workshop’s instructor Carsten Abel from STI Transportation Management:
Michael Haase (SAP TM Partner Office and host of the workshop):
What kind of event is the Partner Enablement Week?
Carsten Abel: Basically, the Partner Enablement Week is intended for consultants to gain hands-on scenario configuration experience. In general, the entire event is based on the Basic Shipping Scenario in the SAP S/4HANA Supply Chain for Transportation Management. The participants work together in small groups of three while all groups are welcome to collaborate in order to solve upcoming problems by themselves. Thanks to you [Michael Haase], I was involved in the preparation of the event, the pre-configuration of the infrastructure and acted as on-site instructor to help resolving severe problems.
By the end of the week, the participants were able to test the Outbound Transportation as well as the Stock Transport Order Basic Shipping scenario. Overall, we had 15 participants from six partner companies on board.
Haase: How was the feedback of the partners on the workshop and on S/4HANA Supply Chain for Transportation Management in general?
Abel: The feedback regarding the workshop setting and organization was very positive. The partners liked having access to a current system and seeing new functionalities such as the direct integration between SAP ERP and SAP TM, the harmonization of Master Data, Customizing tables and many more.
The main benefits that the partners see is, on the one hand, the consolidation of all solutions in one platform and, on the other hand, the direct assignment of SAP ERP documents to SAP TM documents. With such a direct integration, partners have reduced integration efforts within projects which is a main driver of the project duration for them.
Overall, I would say that the partners are very happy with our new solution and with having the possibility to get in touch with the system, with other partners as well as with SAP employees.
Haase: What is special about the North American market?
Abel: Integration has always been one of the strongest value propositions and selling points of SAP. Therefore, customers expect from SAP that our applications are highly integrated with each other. In addition, standardized integration scenarios should be easy to set up and operate. As I already mentioned, integration aspects are also one of the main drivers of the project duration and thus of the project costs. Since the embedded TM solution in S/4 HANA can be implemented with less integration efforts for connecting other components such as SAP EWM, SAP CRM and SAP ERP, overall implementation and projects costs will be less than for other products. In my opinion, this could be a good chance for the product placement of our S/4HANA Supply Chain for Transportation Management solution in North America.
Another important point is the integration of carriers. For small carriers the collaboration portal was used which is no longer available with S/4 TM. Therefore, LBN is highly appreciated by the partners for all functionalities that have been delivered by the collaboration portal in the past. Further expectations are that the LBN could ease the EDI integration of big carriers since this takes a lot of time in all projects.
Basically, the transportation management market in North-America is steadily growing. This shows that we are on the right track regarding our investments.
Haase: What is your take-home message after the event?
Abel: The event took place with different partners, giving us the possibility to gain insights into their knowledge and skills as well as their project experiences. As I already mentioned, the SAP TM market in the US is steadily growing and there are a lot of project requests. Therefore, we need more qualified resources that have to be trained in advance. Fortunately, we benefited from the networking opportunities and are thinking about creating a training setup in collaboration with the partner companies.