Transformation: the journey from ASSIST4 to your new AEB solution

AEB will begin incrementally phasing out its ASSIST4 solutions, including ASSIST4 Dispatch, ASSIST4 Freight, ASSIST4 Import and ASSIST4 Export. Maintenance, development, and support of these solutions will be gradually discontinued over a period of five to eight years. Here you can find important information on how to migrate to the new AEB solutions. And our experts will work with you to develop a personalized transformation strategy.

Your options for a new AEB solution

AEB’s new software generation is based on three technology platforms that live in the cloud, offering you simple and secure access from anywhere using an internet browser. The software can be quickly integrated into any workflow, eliminating the IT headaches normally associated with the setup and operation of new software. You’ll also enjoy maximum functionality, including internationalized software.

AEB Cloud Products

With AEB’s standardized, domain-specific software products, you’ll be up and running in no time and enjoy a sophisticated, feature-rich experience – with all the latest enhancements.

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AEB Cloud Platform

With the AEB Cloud Platform, we work with you to create an IT solution customized to your needs and integrating the functionality of the AEB Cloud Products.

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AEB Plug-ins for SAP®

Whether you’re running SAP® ERP or SAP S/4HANA® , AEB’s plug-ins integrate the AEB Cloud Products into your SAP® system. The best part: You can easily set up these self-service plug-ins on your own.

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How does the transformation unfold?

Switching to AEB’s new generations of software is not an update, it’s a transformation to an entirely new solution. This calls for re-examining your current needs – and above all, anticipating your future needs – to find AEB solutions that check every box.

An iterative approach to the migration is generally possible and preferable: That way, you can ease into the changeover incrementally rather than in one big bang. During the transition period, the tried-and-tested ASSIST4 system can keep supporting processes. And naturally, we’ll define the pace of the transformation and the milestones along the way based on your needs and capabilities.

How difficult will the migration be?

The difficulty depends on your individual solution. Please make an appointment right away  to discuss the details with our experts.  

Most of our customers have already taken the first steps in this process, however – often without even knowing it. If you are already using our cloud-based Business Services for specialized functions such as Compliance Screening or Carrier Connect, you’ve already laid the groundwork for your transformation.

More questions and answers in the Transformation FAQ

Reasons for phasing out the ASSIST4 software generation

It would be nice if the ASSIST4 systems could continue running for years to come. But IT systems have had to rise to entirely new challenges in recent years – especially the need to easily accommodate customized processes and offer cloud-based applications. By these two measures, the essentially 20-year-old solutions were no longer current. Often, we found ourselves unable to satisfy customer requests using these systems.

For us at AEB, it’s also very difficult to maintain multiple systems – to ensure seamless communications with customs authorities, for example. And naturally, we don’t want to run into technical glitches if the ASSIST4 systems are no longer compatible with future operating systems.

Several years ago, AEB began building a portfolio of modern, forward-looking solutions to succeed the ASSIST4 generation of software. We want to work with you to find the best roadmap for your own transformative journey into the future with these AEB products and solutions.

FAQ: More key questions and answers about the ASSIST4 transformation:

What is the exact timeline for the migration?

It’s possible to migrate to the new solutions right away. They have already been extensively field-tested, even in large systems with complex demands on performance, scope, and integration.

A period of five to eight years is planned for the transformation. That means we’ll be approaching you within the next three years to coordinate your migration.

What are the benefits of the new generation of AEB solutions?

The new AEB technology platforms live in the cloud, offering you simple and secure access from anywhere using an internet browser. The software can be quickly integrated into any workflow, eliminating the IT headaches normally associated with the setup and operation of new software. Other key benefits:

  • Applications adapted to your unique needs that run on whatever device is best suited to each workplace environment
  • Intuitive, innovative UX and UI design
  • Specialized applications fully internationalized with maximum functionality
  • Seamless integration into your system environment through cutting-edge API technologies and custom plug-ins
  • State-of-the-art cloud technologies running in AEB’s data centers in Germany
  • Modern identity management, including the option for a single sign-on from your company network

Will it still be generally possible to run on-premise installations of AEB solutions – that is, from our own data center?

There are many benefits to having your AEB software run in the AEB data centers (details here). Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which an on-premise solution makes sense – for example, if the software is integrated with multiple interfaces to several different host systems.

  • The AEB Cloud Products were developed in Java and can also be run as an on-premise solution.
  • The AEB Cloud Platform (based on our technology framework nEXt) is currently available only in the AEB Cloud, but we might consider offering an on-premise option in the future. Solutions based on the AEB Cloud Platform generally use the AEB Cloud Products.
  • The AEB plug-ins for SAP® are designed to be installed directly in your SAP system – whether you’re running SAP S/4HANA® or SAP ERP. Wherever your SAP system is running, that’s where your AEB plug-ins will run. The underlying Cloud Products can be run either from the AEB Cloud or as an on-premise solution, as mentioned above.

Does it still make sense to adapt current ASSIST4 systems or move them to the AEB data centers?

Given the end-of-life announcement and the time and money such decisions would involve, we do not recommend investing in existing ASSIST4 systems or moving them to the AEB data centers. It’s better to invest these resources into transforming your solutions sooner rather than later.

What will happen to my custom adaptations or extensions when I migrate?

When you migrate to the AEB Cloud Platform, your standard AEB Cloud products such as Compliance Screening, Carrier Connect, and Freight Cost Management will continue to run as before. Custom adaptations to ASSIST4, however, cannot be ported and will need to be redesigned and rebuilt. Our experience shows that this is also a great opportunity to rethink and streamline your processes.

The AEB Cloud Platform also features a wide selection of templates for typical logistics processes, and more are being added with every project. These templates allow us to quickly copy and paste the right foundation, then easily customize a solution tailored to your specific needs.

What does the transformation mean for licenses?

Migrating to the new solutions means switching to AEB’s current, transaction-based pricing model. That means, for example, that the number of users and connected carriers no longer affects the software fees. The result is a much more transparent and flexible pricing model.

What is AEB’s strategy in the interaction with SAP® ? How long will the current ATC :: plug-ins still be supported?

We have further enhanced the intercompatibility of our solutions with SAP® software in recent years and are now an official SAP® Silver Partner.

The AEB plug-ins for SAP® will continue to be developed, maintained, and supported as usual – with a special emphasis on the plug-ins for the SAP S/4HANA® environment. Only the name ATC :: has gone away.

What this means in practice: Earlier plug-ins are always backward-compatible with one series of feature packs. New plug-ins, on the other hand, are developed by default to interact only with SAP S/4HANA® . In some cases, however, new plug-ins will still be backward-compatible with SAP®  ECC 6.0, where feasible. The same applies to the interfaces, where Fiori apps are added as an option but do not replace existing GUIs.

The main advantage with all plug-ins: The actual Business Services such as Compliance Screening and Carrier Connect run completely independently of the SAP® releases.

What does the migration mean for EAI, data integration, and interfaces? What will happen with the ASSIST4 Communication Management System (ACMS)?

The new generations of AEB software exchange data primarily through state-of-the-art APIs. Your host systems can simply call the API to push the requested data or pull the needed results.

The ACMS is based on the same technology as the ASSIST4 systems and will therefore be phased out in the course of any migration. Besides the option for exchanging data via API, the AEB Cloud Platform also includes an Integration Manager that can serve as a data platform. The Integration Manager runs in the AEB data center and does not require a separate license.

Still have questions? The AEB transformation team is ready to help:

Matthias Kieß, Geschäftsführer und Cloud-Plattform-Experte

Matthias Kieß

Susanne Baldenhofer

Susanne Baldenhofer 

Bulcsu Karsa, Projektleiter bei AEB

Bulcsu Karsa

Jonny Dambrowsky, Cloud-Plattform-Experte bei AEB

Jonny Dambrowsky

Isabel Hecker, Cloud-Plattform-Experte bei AEB

Isabel Hecker 

Tim Poser, Cloud-Plattform-Experte bei AEB

Tim Poser

Dirk Reinhardt, Cloud-Plattform-Experte bei AEB

Dirk Reinhardt

How the transformation of your AEB solution package unfolds depends in large part on which software you are running and how it currently supports you – and above all, what you want your future processes to look like. Most businesses use the transformation as an opportunity to rethink and streamline their workflows.

So make an appointment with our experts and learn about the functional implications, timeline, and cost of your transformation.