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What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is the next-generation business suite, a digital core for your organization. It is a new product fully built on the most advanced in-memory platform today – SAP HANA – and modern design principles with the SAP Fiori user experience (UX). SAP S/4HANA delivers massive simplifications (customer adoption, data model, user experience, decision making, business processes, and models) and innovations (Internet of Things, Big Data, business networks, and mobile-first) to help businesses run simple in the digital economy.

SAP S/4HANA is designed to integrate with and utilize IoT, Big Data, Mobile, Business Networks, third party systems, and more. SAP S/4HANA helps our customers create a truly Live Business:

  • It is immediate – empowering business users with insights to act in the moment
  • It is intelligent – beyond automation to predictive suggestion
  • It is integrated – not only between your departments, but connected to the world

What does the name of SAP S/4HANA stand for? 

SAP S/4HANA is short for SAP Business Suite SAP HANA. It brings the next big wave of SAP innovation to our customers, similar to the transition from SAP R/2 to SAP R/3.  SAP S/4HANA is a new product with a new code line architected for maximum leverage of the unique in-memory platform, SAP HANA.

What are the key benefits for a customer to move to SAP S/4HANA? 

SAP’s vision and strategy is to help customers run simple in the digital economy. To deliver on this mission, we are redefining how enterprise software creates value.
The prevalence of digital technologies is forcing organizations to re-imagine their business models, the way their business processes are designed, and the way their employees work in the digital economy. While this brings a plethora of challenges due to the disruptive nature of digital technologies, the digital economy is also brings numerous opportunities for those who are aware and prepared to embrace digital transformation.

From a business value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to reinvent business models and drive new revenues and profits. First, enterprises can now connect to people, devices, and business networks to deliver new value to their customers on any channel – the Internet of Things and Big Data become accessible to any business. Second, enterprises can dramatically simplify their processes, drive them in real time and change them as needed to gain new efficiency – batch processing is no longer required. And finally, business users can now get any insight on any data from anywhere in real-time: planning, execution, prediction, and simulation – decisions may be made on the fly with the finest level of granularity for faster business impact.

From an IT value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to simplify the landscape and help reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) with SAP HANA as the great simplifier. First, enterprises can now reduce their data footprint and work with larger data sets in one system (for example with industry or application function re-integrated, where it was previously standalone), to save hardware costs, operational costs, time, and reduce complexity.

Second, innovation is also made simple by leveraging an open platform (SAP HANA Cloud Platform) to drive advanced applications – for example, predicting, recommending, and simulating – while protecting existing investments. Third, business users can leverage a simple and role-based user experience, based on modern design principles, which minimizes training efforts while increasing productivity as it combines information from various sources at the point where decisions are made. We also support customers with simple configuration: both setting up the system and during its use. And finally, enterprises get choice of deployment: cloud, on premise, and even support for hybrid scenarios to drive quick time-to-value and reflect the current reality of customer solution landscapes.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

How does SAP S/4HANA fit SAP’s Digital Business Framework?

SAP S/4HANA is the digital core for your business. Only SAP can enable the digital network that connects your entire workforce, suppliers, customers, and assets to the digital core, powered by the SAP HANA Platform.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2046″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Where can I find SAP S/4HANA enablement material beyond this FAQ document? 

The customer journey to SAP S/4HANA has been enriched to provide end-to-end support for business and IT audiences. SAP offers both educational and training materials to enable our customers on their digital transformation journey with SAP S/4HANA. In addition to the primary product website,, we recommend our customers make use of the following materials:

SAP S/4HANA Customer Adoption Journey Map: This interactive, 5 step journey map outlines how customers can establish a digital core and drive shorter time-to-value with our top SAP S/4HANA digital offers to existing SAP Business Suite customers and new customers. It includes our top business and IT audience assets.

There are multiple SAP S/4HANA-specific courses available via open SAP, including:

  • SAP S/4HANA in a Nutshell
  • SAP S/4HANA – Deep Dive
  • SAP S/4HANA – Use Cases, and
  • Implementation of SAP S/4HANA

SAP Community Network, including the SAP S/4HANA Cookbook: This online and living ‘cookbook’ includes frequent updates on functional capabilities, transition options, extensible, adaptation, and integration information as well as education and service offerings by SAP.

What is the current business scope of SAP S/4HANA?

We worked closely with our customers to identify where digitized operations could provide the most value. The result is a massive wave of simplification and innovation in the core that covers critical business processes in finance, sales, service, sourcing and procurement, manufacturing, supply chain, asset management, and research and development, and human resources. The visual below highlights the business scope of SAP S/4HANA for customers choosing an on-premise deployment.

Customers can now drive end-to-end digitized operations across their key business functions via a fully digitized solution, SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management. Additional information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud can be found later in this document, here.

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management covers all mission-critical processes of an enterprise. It represents our foundation solution, natively built on the SAP HANA platform and designed with SAP Fiori UX.

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management covers all core business processes (e.g. order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, plan-to-product, and request-to-service) and core capabilities, such as core finance, as well as a variety of more specialized line of business and industry capabilities. It will also deliver native integration with SAP Success Factors Employee Central for world-class HR functionality as well the SAP Ariba Network to help our customers fully leverage the power of the buyers’ network.

What does the term “Materials Management & Operations” mean? 

The term SAP Simple Logistics (sLOG) was an internal SAP project name. The represented functionality can best be described by the term “Material Management & Operations” (MMO). This is an umbrella term, not a formal product name, used to describe the combination of multiple lines of business including Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Sourcing & Procurement, and Sales.

What is the scope of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, key area Materials Management & Operations?

Innovations in Materials Management & Operations fall into three categories.

The first category is a role-based user experience, with a new responsive design. The UIs run on any devices, desktops, tablets, smart phones, and even smart watches and have been redesigned for exception-bases issue handling.

The second category is a set of innovations in the SAP S/4HANA core, which has been modernized by simplifying & optimizing the technology footprint, and by collapsing Online Transaction Processing & Online Analytical Processing to make the functionality more relevant and designed for data-driven businesses. From a functional scope, the solution covers simplified functionality within the following business priorities:

  • Procure-to-Pay
  • Plan-to-Product
  • Order-to-Cash
  • Request-to-Service

What are SAP S/4HANA Line of Business solutions?

The SAP S/4HANA Line of Business (LoB) solutions are solutions that combine the core capabilities included in the SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management solution with each LoB solution in our portfolio (on-premise and cloud). Examples include SAP Cash Management for finance; SAP SuccessFactors solutions in human resources; the SAP Ariba Network in procurement, and SAP Hybris Cloud4Customers solutions in marketing and commerce and sales/services.

This new branding reinforces the completeness and diversity of SAP solutions. For example, the SAP S/4HANA Finance (formerly SAP Simple Finance) scope is unchanged and covers the portfolio of finance solutions across SAP ERP Financials, SAP solutions for enterprise performance management (SAP EPM), SAP BPC, SAP solutions for governance, risk, and compliance (SAP GRC), SAP solutions for business intelligence, SAP Ariba, and Concur. Some of these solutions may be licensed separately.

What SAP S/4HANA industry solutions are available?

Within SAP S/4HANA we have an “Industry to Core” initiative as the industry value chains are undergoing significant reorganization. For example, we can observe brands becoming retailers and retailers becoming brands. The classical industry definitions are increasingly blurred. Our Industry to Core initiative is driven by a “Principle of One” mindset and releases portions of the former industry solutions as part of the core SAP S/4HANA solution.

Both SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud are open to customers of all industries. As expected, the functional depth and support of specific industry scenarios is larger for the on-premise edition than for the cloud edition, as the latter one focusses on more standardized and streamlined core ERP processes.

Support for industry-specific solutions is planned according to market prioritization for both on-premise and cloud editions. The current status of planned innovation is outlined in the external SAP S/4HANA road-map on Service Marketplace.

What is the product map and road-map for SAP S/4HANA?

SAP customers and partners can access the detailed product map in the respective repositories and the roadmap on the SAP Service Marketplace, here. You will find two separate road-maps, one for cloud and one for on-premise deployments.

Which SAP S/4HANA edition do you recommend for my enterprise?

An on-premise deployment (either traditional on-premise or in a hosted environment) is designed for enterprises across industries that need a deep and broad level of functionality combined with a high degree of flexibility in configuration and customization.

SAP customers can use two main tools to explore SAP S/4HANA innovations. The Innovation Discovery tool gives guidance on existing and upcoming innovations, complements the road-maps on the service market place. The Innovation Discovery page can be found here.

The SAP S/4HANA Business Scenario Recommendation tool is a self-service tool designed to help existing SAP customers identify the most valuable digitized business scenarios for their individual enterprises. The Business Scenario Recommendations report uses your current SAP software usage information and generates a personalized report that will be e-mailed to you within five business days to learn how SAP S/4HANA can help enhance your company’s current performance and competitiveness.

Access the SAP S/4HANA Business Scenario Recommendation tool, here.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is designed for enterprises across all industries that need or prefer a standardized cloud offering primarily covering the core business scenarios of an enterprise or specific business scenarios of lines of business, combined with a fast innovation cycle.

In addition, SAP S/4HANA offers the opportunity for customers to deploy hybrid scenarios – combining on-premise and cloud solutions – for unprecedented IT flexibility and accelerated business innovation.

How can I try SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA Cloud trial: A free 14-day cloud trial is available to help you experience the value of simplicity across key business scenarios: project manager, cash manager, general ledger accountant, accounts receivable accountant, accounts payable accountant, and marketing manager

SAP S/4HANA trial: Explore SAP S/4HANA with a 30-day trial and evaluate digitized business processes – such as order-to-cash or procure-to-pay-across your key enterprise functions.

SAP S/4HANA and the Broader SAP Portfolio.

How does SAP S/4HANA relate to SAP S/4HANA Finance (formerly known as SAP Simple Finance powered by SAP HANA)?

The SAP S/4HANA Finance (originally branded SAP Simple Finance) solution marked the first step in our SAP S/4HANA road map for customers. The solution has demonstrated the value of simplification (for example, no indexes, no aggregates, and no redundancies) and instant insight for Finance. SAP S/4HANA leverages the full scope of SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA included in SAP Simple Finance. SAP S/4HANA Cloud also delivers a robust financial scope.

How does SAP S/4HANA relate to SAP’s existing portfolio of cloud solutions?

SAP S/4HANA is also available in the cloud as a SaaS solution.

SAP S/4HANA will not replace our existing portfolio of line-of-business cloud solutions; rather, it will integrate with and expand upon it. This integration strategy applies to both deployment models, cloud and on-premise.

Our comprehensive offering is planned to allow SAP S/4HANA customers to build hybrid scenarios between SAP S/4HANA and cloud solutions from SAP, including those from SAP Success Factors and SAP Ariba, as well as integration with SAP Hybris, SAP Fieldglass and SAP JAM. This way customers can leverage the cloud at their own pace, based on their needs, while keeping all the integration and business benefits of their existing SAP solutions. In addition, SAP S/4HANA is designed to easily connect with global business networks such as the SAP Ariba Network and Concur (planned).

How does SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (“HEC”) relate to the SAP S/4HANA?

SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, offered by SAP or our partners, provides a private cloud environment for all SAP on-premise solutions running on SAP HANA, including SAP S/4HANA. SAP S/4HANA customers can consider this as a deployment option.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a public cloud offering that leverages the same infrastructure as a service (IaaS), data centers, and security qualities as the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, though the lifecycle management and solution scope is tailored to the needs of a public cloud offering. Updates for SAP S/4HANA Cloud are planned on a quarterly basis, to be consumed by the customer, and managed by SAP in globally available SAP data centers.

How does SAP HANA Cloud Platform relate to SAP S/4HANA?

In the context of SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA Cloud Platform serves as an extension platform and agility layer. It is possible to build specific capabilities extending the scope of SAP S/4HANA by either integrating non-SAP functions or building your own. The cloud platform serves as both the development platform and the runtime foundation for the developed solutions. The extensions built on the cloud platform can run with both cloud and on-premise deployments of SAP S/4HANA.

Does SAP provide prepackaged integration for SAP S/4HANA to the existing cloud solutions from SAP?

Yes, integration is provided as SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA and is delivered with prepackaged integration (for example integration between SAP SuccessFactors and SAP S/4HANA). Additional information can be found in this whitepaper.

How does SAP S/4HANA relate to SAP BW?

SAP BW will continue to represent the preferred solution for strategic enterprise data warehousing to help customers consolidate data from different sources (including SAP and non-SAP data sources) for a consistent view across the enterprise. SAP BW has also been optimized to run on the SAP HANA platform: SAP BW powered by SAP HANA.

SAP S/4HANA delivers built-in real-time operational reporting capabilities covering all typical analytics use-cases in the context of the suite. SAP BW will continue to act as our central enterprise data warehouse solution.

Are SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, Concur, SAP Hybris, and other cloud solutions from SAP included in the SAP S/4HANA product license?

SAP S/4HANA integrates with and complements our existing cloud portfolio offerings. These offerings remain under separate license/subscription.

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