Discussing SAP S/4HANA modules without first defining SAP HANA and the evolution of SAP Business Suite is a bit like eating dessert before the appetizer. The modules are an innovation that arrives atop a series of foundational shifts in the nature of SAP products. To understand S/4HANA modules, it’s first necessary to review how SAP HANA and S/4HANA came into existence.
What Does S/4HANA stand For?
SAP S/4HANA is the next generation of ERP software from SAP. It is a simplified version of SAP ECC, built to take advantage of SAP HANA and other new age SAP software products
What Are S/4HANA Modules?
SAP S/4HANA modules are individual components of an S/4HANA implementation. Each offers functionality for a specific business purpose like General Ledger, Logistics, Materials Management and so forth. They essentially break the relatively monolithic SAP suite into simpler, more manageable components.
Simplicity was one of SAP’s major goals in the creation of S/4HANA modules. Over decades, SAP ERP had transformed frequently. It was updated to take advantage of new computing capabilities, third party applications and business use cases. The result of this approach was a great deal of customization. The further result was a tendency for these one-of-a-kind SAP landscapes to be challenging to update. Modules make the process of changing SAP quite a bit easier.
SAP S/4HANA modules harness the full power of the underlying SAP HANA database, but at the same time, they standardize the technology stack. Upgrades become easier. Customers can thus quickly take advantage of new features as soon they are released by SAP. They can also integrate third party applications without the kind of project that usually entails with legacy SAP landscapes.
S/4HANA Modules List
S/4HANA modules are proliferating. There are literally dozens of them, under a handful of categories. One of the most popular is SAP Finance. This was previously known as Simple Finance. It streamlines financial processes, making possible real time financial data analysis. In S/4HANA, with the database integration, SAP Finance enables “single source of truth” between financial and non-financial data. Additional modules include:
- Plant Maintenance (PM)
- Product Life Cycle Management (PLM)
- Human Capital Management (HCM)
- Production Planning (PP)
- Project Systems (PS)
- Controlling (CO)
- Sales and Distribution (SD)
- Investment Management (IM)
- Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Logistics Information Systems (LIS)
- Supply Chain Management (SCM)
- Customer Service (CS)
- Materials Management (MM)
- Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)
- Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)
- Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)
- Industry Solutions, e.g. Aerospace, Automotive, etc.
SAP ERP Modules
Several S/4HANA modules fit into the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) category. For example, under the Material Management Module, the following sub-modules are available:
- Extended Warehouse Management
- External Services Management
- Inventory / Valuations
- Inventory Management
- Invoice Verification
- Logistics (General)
- Logistics Information System
- Materials Planning
- QM in MM
- Warehouse Management
The Right Implementation Partner for SAP S/4HANA Modules
While the SAP simplification strategy is bold and helpful, it does not cover every use case. Nor does it deal with the full scope of SAP deployment. Beyond basic adoption of modules, there are decisions to be made regarding hosting, support, security, compliance and so forth. Factors that affect outcomes include competencies, investments, timelines and budgets, industry trends, even the corporate culture.
The right SAP partner can help find cost-effective and competitive options. It can follow through with and successfully implement S/4HANA modules as part of a broader migration to S/4HANA. This migration encompasses an assessment of the current SAP landscape, creating a roadmap, thinking through the architecture, training and ensuring connectivity with third parties.
An effective business partner will make a difference in planning and realizing the use of S/4HANA modules. Make sure your provider brings experience in cloud and hosting, IT consulting and SAP managed services and that they are known for working closely with clients on every phase of the journey.