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SAP GTS from the Cloud: More Security in Foreign Trade

Brexit, trade disputes, sanctions lists: The risk is high that companies unintentionally violate customs and foreign trade laws. Why they are on the safe side with SAP's Global Trade Services (GTS) software and why they should obtain GTS from the cloud. Interview with Siegfried Klein, Sales Lead SAP GTS at PwC Germany
Siegfried Klein, PwC Germany
March 30, 2020
PWCG KOM KOM 002 19 E3 magazine cover 2003092
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

In international trade, regulations and laws change almost daily. How do companies deal with this?  

Siegfried Klein: Sometimes more, sometimes less professional. Some companies still work manually, shuffling through printed lists and legal texts. There is a great risk that they will unintentionally violate customs and foreign trade laws. Others use software, but do not have a uniform system. There is then one software for sanctions lists, another system for customs communication and finally one for import and export management. This undermines any claim to efficiency.

So you see a high need for consulting?

Small: Absolutely. Companies need software that maps customs and foreign trade processes holistically. With a system like SAP's Global Trade Service - GTS for short - companies can handle global trade in a compliant and digital way. For example, they can automate sanctions list checks or embargo controls and automatically take advantage of preferential trade agreements. They thus fulfill all compliance requirements for import and export.

Small and medium-sized companies in particular are likely to be investment costs are a deterrent.

Small: This is the reason why they should rely on the cloud. Especially if they use the software only irregularly. Because in the cloud, costs can be billed on a usage basis. If companies obtain SAP GTS from the PwC cloud, they can save up to 50 percent because both the license costs and the operating costs of the cloud solution are lower. Expenses for updates, which are particularly urgent in customs and foreign trade, are also shared among all clients. In addition, companies save on personnel costs - we provide them with the necessary expertise in the form of our IT experts and our "Tax and Legal" specialists. Another advantage is that those who obtain SAP GTS from the cloud can narrow down very precisely which processes they really need and do not have to order the entire package as they do with the on-premises variant.

Why do you differentiate between SaaS and on-demand cloud solutions? and on-demand?

Small: Because we always take a very close look at what our customers really need when it comes to our digital offerings. With the on-demand solution, the total monthly number of transactions is capped. In addition to the monthly basic fee, usage-based costs are incurred. With the SaaS variant, on the other hand, we do not set a cap; there is a fixed monthly amount. Here, we have the larger medium-sized companies in mind. However, if a company still wants to purchase a license from SAP, we can of course also operate the solution on-premises from our data centers.

Isn't the cloud still a sensitive topic for medium-sized companies? medium-sized companies?

Small: Data security and data protection are top priorities for many companies. And that's a good thing. But it is not an exclusion criterion for the cloud. As an auditing and consulting firm, PwC is bound by extremely strict legal requirements. It is therefore absolutely clear that we also protect our clients' data with state-of-the-art technology. Anyone who chooses us as a partner for SAP GTS knows that we process their data in our own data centers in Germany. All our processes comply with EU data protection legislation.

But can't all those companies that are now switching to SAP S/4 HANA now, can't they just forget about SAP GTS anyway?

Small: No, because SAP will not be integrating GTS completely into S/4 HANA for the foreseeable future - and the International Trade module there is at best a light version of GTS. With its slimmed-down functions, the module is not a real competitor. It does not map complex customs and foreign trade processes.

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More information about SAP GTS:

Siegfried Klein, PwC Germany

Siegfried Klein, Sales Lead SAP GTS at PwC Germany.

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