SAP S/4 HANA is a real-time enterprise resource management suite for large enterprises. It is built on the advanced in-memory platform, SAP HANA, and offers a personalized, consumer-grade user experience with SAP Fiori. Deployable in the cloud or on premise, SAP S/4 HANA can drive instant value across all lines of business no matter your industry or business size.

SAP S/4 HANA is the digital core the nerve centre of your entire business. It consolidates internal and external elements into a single, living structure that goes beyond traditional ERP software. In other words, it connects all of your processes, provides you with live information and insights, and seamlessly integrates your enterprise with the digital world at large.

History of S/4HANA

SAP S/4HANA is short for SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, meaning that it is the fourth version of SAP Business Suite, but is designed to run only on SAP HANA.

S/4HANA originated in SAP HANA, the in-memory database released in 2011. SAP HANA made it possible to process large volumes of operational and transactional business data in real time. In 2013, SAP launched SAP Business Suite on HANA, a HANA-based ERP system that included modules for CRM.

S/4HANA and SAP Fiori UX

One of the keys to S/4HANA is that it uses the SAP Fiori UI rather than the traditional SAP GUI.

SAP Fiori is a collection of commonly used S/4HANA functions that are displayed in a simple, consumer-ready tile design and that can be accessed across various devices, including desktops, tablets and mobile devices.

S/4HANA modules

One key component of S/4HANA is SAP Finance -- formerly Simple Finance -- which aims to streamline financial processes and enable real-time analysis of financial data. SAP Finance helps companies align their financial and non-financial data into what SAP refers to as a single source of truth. Some Business Suite users are deploying SAP Finance as the first step on the road to S/4HANA.

  • S/4HANA 1511 -- released November 2015 -- which introduced a logistics module called Materials Management and Operations (MMO).
  • S/4HANA 1610 -- released in October 2016 -- which included modules for supply chain management, including Advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP); Inventory Management (IM); Material Requirements Planning (MRP); Extended Warehouse Management (EWM); and Environment, Health and Safety (EHS).


In March 2017, SAP released S/4HANA Cloud, a cloud-based version of S/4HANA. S/4HANA Cloud is best suited for organizations of 1,500 employees or more that may want to run a two-tiered ERP system, in which a corporate entity runs a full business suite -- such as SAP ERP Central Component or S/4HANA on-premises and implements S/4HANA Cloud at the division or subsidiary level.

S/4 HANA Cloud includes next-generation technology like machine learning through a tool called SAP Clea, and a conversational digital assistant bot called CoPilot. S/4HANA Cloud is a SaaS application with new editions released every quarter -- the naming conventions follow the on-premises model of year and month of release, so SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1709 was released in September 2017.