Introducing SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Sales


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Get familiar with SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Sales

Introduction to SAP S/4HANA

Business Challenges

See the following video for a first introduction to SAP S/4HANA:

SAP S/4HANA is SAP's current enterprise application suite, making use of the powerful and very fast HANA platform, with its broad range of features and all of its integration scenarios with other SAP and non-SAP products.

SAP S/4HANA was first released in 2015 and is considered as the biggest change to SAP’s core offerings since the introduction of the R/3 system in 1992.


SAP S/4HANA is available using various deployment methods. For example: both cloud-based solutions and also on-premise solutions are available. A mixed or hybrid solution can also be deployed.

When analyzing the cloud-based solutions, a distinction can be made between the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition. Both of these are available as part of the RISE with SAP solution.

This course focuses on the innovations for the Line-of-Business (LoB) solution SAP S/4HANA Sales as available for the on-premise deployment option of SAP S/4HANA, and that are also (for the most part) available for SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition.

SAP S/4HANA as the Digital Core

In an overview, all components of the Digital Core are presented: SAP S/4HANA with all of its lines of business solutions.

The main features introduced in this course are all part of SAP S/4HANA and are available when deploying the system as an on-premise solution. To be more specific: the 2023 release of this solution. This solution is often referred to as the Digital Core, although this is not official SAP terminology.


Many of the features described in this course are however also available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition.

The Digital Core can be described using the following four characteristics:

  • It is built on an architecture that delivers a scalable foundation to provide transactions at the highest possible automation level.
  • It represents a system of intelligence that supports and steers the business using embedded analytics, simulation, prediction, and decision support to run businesses in real-time.
  • It delivers an end-to-end experience that can be implemented, consumed, and adapted very fast.
  • It provides an open architecture that allows connectivity and adoption of micro-services.

And it is also an intelligent digital core: it acts as a foundation to connect a company's data, automate its key functions, and constantly improve the products and services that the company offers. Companies can use SAP S/4HANA to modernize their ERP environment:

  • It provides a digital-age user experience, supporting a conversational user interface (UI) and natural language processing, targeting for a hands-free ERP environment.
  • It supports automation of business processes, which helps to reduce costs. SAP S/4HANA supports an ever increasing level of automation for core ERP business processes.
  • It contains the next generation of business processes, completely rethinking value creation and service tasks.

The Line-of-Business (LoB) Solution SAP S/4HANA Sales

The following video introduces Sally who works as a Sales Representative at a company called Hybrid Machinery. Throughout this course, she will present some key takeaways from the SAP S/4HANA implementation project she was involved in:

The course focuses on the Line-of-Business (LoB) SAP S/4HANA Sales. There are of course plenty of other innovations belonging to other individual Lines-of-Business that can also integrate with and affect the processes supported by SAP S/4HANA Sales.

An example is integration with the Line-of-Business called SAP S/4HANA Finance: the 2020 release of SAP S/4HANA for example introduced an innovation known as Electronic payments in billing document requests and billing documents, which has a direct link to and integration with SAP S/4HANA Finance:

  • Integration of PayPal authorization data into billing documents and billing document requests created from external billing data.
  • Forwarding of authorization data to SAP S/4HANA Finance for revenue account determination and subsequent settlement.

There are also many integration scenarios available with other SAP products from for example the RISE with SAP solution. An example of this is Selling on Ariba Network (seller-side integration on Ariba Network). This innovation supports integration in Ariba Network for:

  • Sales orders
  • Sales order confirmations and outbound deliveries
  • Billing documents
Ariba Network is part of the SAP Business Network solution. For more information, see

Line-of-Business SAP S/4HANA Sales

Get to Know the Line-of-Business (LoB) SAP S/4HANA Sales

The line of business solution SAP S/4HANA Sales is presented. It mainly consists of Order and Contract Management, Order Fulfillment and Billing.

This course focuses on innovations in SAP S/4HANA that are part of the Line-of-Business called SAP S/4HANA Sales (including also billing functionality) when comparing the solution with the functionality that was available for these areas in SAP ERP 6.0. As stated before: changes and innovations in SAP S/4HANA Sales cannot be considered as stand-alone changes and innovations and must be considered within the overall context of SAP S/4HANA and any other related SAP product offerings (like SAP C/4HANA and SAP Ariba).

Changes and innovations in SAP S/4HANA are discussed in this course up to and including release 2023 of the system.

Many customers that are leveraging SAP's solution called RISE with SAP can benefit from best practices available for SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management. SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, which is a core on-premise solution covering all mission-critical processes of an enterprise, offers pre-configured end-to-end business processes across all application areas, including sample master data and print forms as well as detailed documentation for users.

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management provides major simplifications in all of its areas. Examples areas are Sales, Manufacturing and (Capacity) Planning.

Sally explains the four main categories of changes when comparing SAP S/4HANA with SAP ERP 6.0:

To summarize:

When analyzing the changes in SAP S/4HANA when comparing it to SAP ERP 6.0, four main categories of changes can be identified:

  1. Restructuring and simplification of the data model
  2. A new user experience (UX)
  3. Unifying functionality in the core SAP S/4HANA system
  4. New features and functionality (i.e. innovations) introduced in SAP S/4HANA

These four categories do not cover everything however. Another example of a category of changes would be changes with respect to an enhanced integration with other products within the SAP solution space: in addition to the processes in the core SAP S/4HANA system, extensive integration scenarios are available with for example SAP C/4HANA, SAP Sales Cloud and/or SAP Service Cloud.

Some of these often complementary solutions that affect or integrate with SAP S/4HANA Sales are mentioned in this course, but the emphasis of this (delta) course is on the functionality that is available within the core SAP S/4HANA system.

Unifying functionality in the core means that when releasing SAP S/4HANA, SAP integrated functionality into the core SAP S/4HANA system that in some cases already existed for many years outside of the core ERP system. Examples are embedded Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) and embedded Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS), which are available since release 1610 of SAP S/4HANA.

Another example of unifying functionality in the core is the SAP S/4HANA for advanced ATP (aATP) solution. This is the strategic solution (i.e. the go-to solution) that SAP offers in the area of availability checking. No traditional ATP checking or ATP checking using the Supply Chain Management (SCM) global ATP (gATP) solution are required for the SAP S/4HANA for advanced ATP (aATP) solution to be used.


SAP S/4HANA for advanced ATP is priced separately from SAP S/4HANA.

SAP S/4HANA Releases

The following list summarizes some of the main changes affecting SAP S/4HANA Sales (and its billing capabilities) that were introduced over the years with the different releases of SAP S/4HANA:

  • SAP S/4HANA release 1511: Restructuring and simplification of the data model, introduction of some first new features/innovations.

  • SAP S/4HANA release 1610: New roles and many new SAP Fiori apps introduced, streamlining of the main processes in the system.

  • SAP S/4HANA release 1709: Expansion of the available roles, in-depth analytical and integration capabilities in the system.

  • SAP S/4HANA release 1809: introduction of IoT features and functions (IoT: Internet of Things) integrated into the core sales processes, leading to an improved efficiency.

  • SAP S/4HANA release 1909: further introduction of new features/innovations and an enhanced intelligence within the core processes: e.g. workflows for sales documents with approval flows, monitoring delivery performance using predictive analytics, and so on.

  • SAP S/4HANA release 2020: further introduction of new features/innovations: examples are preliminary billing documents, seller-side integration in Ariba Network, increased confirmation capabilities in advanced ATP (aATP) by using multiple plants and substitution products, and so on.

  • SAP S/4HANA release 2021: more innovations across all areas, release of the Create Sales Order SAP Fiori app, and so on.
  • SAP S/4HANA release 2022: major improvements in the area of intercompany processing (cross-company code sales, intercompany stock transport orders, and so on) and more innovations across all areas
  • SAP S/4HANA release 2023: more innovations (focus on business benefits of using Artificial Intelligence (AI)) across all areas, and an evolution towards a two-yearly release cycle for the main releases of the system

Key Areas for Innovations in SAP S/4HANA Sales

Key areas where innovations can be found in Sales are Analytics, Billing, Order and Contract Management and Pricing and Master Data Management.

The key areas in SAP S/4HANA Sales, where most of the improvements and innovations can be found, are:

  • Order and Contract Management:

    Supports an order-to-cash process, open for integration, which supports fully automated, intelligent exception handling. It is efficient and using a modern user experience (UX): SAP Fiori.

  • Billing:

    Innovations in billing, supporting multiple channels for billing (combining external and internal data) and process improvements like a preliminary billing document (2020 release).

  • Pricing and Master Data Management:

    Efficient and intelligent data management, supporting price planning and optimization. Example: uploading of prices using template-based spreadsheets. You can use the Manage Prices - Sales app to:

    1. Select a specific template for a combination of price-relevant attributes
    2. Download the template to a spreadsheet
    3. Specify values in the spreadsheet for amount, currency, price unit, and unit of measurement for price-relevant fields and validity dates
    4. Create or change condition records by uploading the spreadsheet
  • Analytics:

    Embedded strategic and operational reporting with drill-down capabilities in real time (via SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics).

  • Monitoring:

    Real-time process monitoring and alerting capabilities provide insights to action via a modern user experience (UX): SAP Fiori.

The above figure illustrates the aforementioned improvements and innovations for the key areas of SAP S/4HANA Sales, by providing some examples of these improvements and innovations per area.

A few of these will be discussed in more detail now.

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