Our Verdict…

We like SAP S/4HANA’s industry-specific features, real-time data analytics, and machine learning capabilities. It’s a top pick for its predictive accounting, robotic automation, and intelligent auditing. Finally, we found it great for multinational companies needing global compliance and supply chain optimization.

We don’t like that this advanced ERP solution comes with difficult setup and high technical demands. Small businesses are likely to under-utilize its extensive features.

7.9
Our Rating
based on our expert editorial analysis
6.8
User Rating
based on 5 user reviews
Best for: SAP S/4HANA is best for midsize businesses (50-500 employees), larger enterprises (500-10,000 employees), and those with over 10,000 employees. It’s a good fit for corporations looking to expand globally or improve their capabilities in intelligent data processing.
Pros:
  • HANA database
  • Large network of resellers
  • Strong BI tools
Cons:
  • Difficult setup
  • Lack of pricing transparency
  • Relatively new and unproven
Price Range Learn More
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  • Developer SAP
  • Client OS Windows, Web
  • Deployment Cloud or On-Premises

What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is a modern ERP software that adeptly serves a range of sectors, encompassing logistics and manufacturing. With a spectrum of functionalities, it addresses finance, human resources, supply chain, services, and procurement. A noteworthy feature of SAP S/4HANA is its advanced in-memory database, which facilitates real-time processing and analysis. This empowers organizations with an up-to-date and comprehensive perspective of their operational processes.

Pros Cons
  • Real-time data processing.
  • Applicable to many industries.
  • Comprehensive integration with other SAP products.
  • Too complex for smaller businesses.
  • Difficult third-party customizations.
  • Requires technical expertise.

Our Ratings

Usability - 6.1 UI and navigation from module to module could be more intuitive, but system provides extensive capabilities and configurability.
Support - 10 SAP support portal offers phone and live chat; provides 24/7 incident management services; includes online product-specific resources, guides, and community support.
Scalability - 6.2 Integrates with Shopify, Hubspot, Salesforce, etc.; implementing customizations requires technical expertise; modular nature and industry-specific solutions allow organizations to pick and choose functionalities.
Security - 10 Supports multi-factor authentication; includes user roles, profiles, and authorizations to manage access to sensitive data and functions.
Value - 6 High price point but provides significant efficiency gains; some users report experiencing ROI within a couple of years.
Performance - 10 High-speed processing and quick data retrieval; capable of managing large volumes of data; advanced data compression and reduced data footprint further enhance system speeds.
Key Features - 7 Supports serial number management, stock transfers, and advanced analytics in stock levels, movement, and status; supports inbound and outbound logistics, supply network planning, and contract management; may require customizations for highly specialized manufacturing processes and inventory needs.

Who Uses SAP S/4HANA?

We found SAP S/4HANA best-suited for midsize to enterprise-level companies with multifaceted needs and operations. It’s a great choice for corporations looking to expand globally or improve their capabilities in intelligent data processing. For added flexibility, businesses can deploy the solution on-premise or in the cloud, depending on their strategic objectives and budget constraints.

What Features Are Missing?

  • Small business compatibility: SAP S/4HANA is an advanced ERP solution for companies with complex needs. Smaller businesses typically have more focused and streamlined operations and will probably leave most of the platform’s capabilities untouched. However, SAP offers ERP platforms targeted at small to mid-sized businesses. Solutions like SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign are more accessible while offering comprehensive business management tools.

  • Simple implementation: The software’s depth and complexity are one of its greatest strengths, delivering extensive customization and features for a wide range of business processes. However, this also means that implementing and maintaining SAP S/4HANA may require a dedicated team of IT professionals, which could be a barrier for smaller businesses with limited resources.

SAP S/4HANA Pricing

SAP S/4HANA does not have a standardized public pricing model. The total cost of ownership factors in many variables, including company size, user counts, specific modules, and the preferred deployment method.

The software requires thorough planning and potentially the assistance of consultants or SAP implementation partners. This process includes data migration, customization, user training, and testing before the system goes live.

What is the difference between SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA?

SAP HANA is an in-memory database management system for high-performance, real-time applications. Rather than reading data from a disk, HANA stores the data in RAM, enabling faster data processing. SAP S/4HANA refers to the enterprise resource planning software designed to run on the SAP HANA in-memory database.

What does HANA stand for?

HANA stands for High-Performance Analytic Appliance, a relational database management system developed by SAP. It’s designed to handle high transaction rates and complex query processing, all on the same platform. These attributes make it a potent tool, not only for real-time analytics but also for developing and deploying data-driven applications like SAP S/4HANA.

Alternatives

Oracle ERP Cloud
Oracle ERP Cloud Screenshot
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$175/user/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
What We Like
100% online services
Automated and controlled financial planning and reporting
Bundles financials with a robust accounting engine
What We Don’t Like
Additional costs for integrated products
Basic reporting tools
High implementation costs
SAP Business ByDesign
SAP Business ByDesign Screenshot
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$22/user/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
What We Like
Advanced reporting capabilities
Extensive user manuals, videos, and articles
Easy integration with other SAP products
What We Don’t Like
May be cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses
Initial learning curve
SAP Business One
SAP Business One Screenshot
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$410/user/year
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
What We Like
Highly customizable
Improved decision-making capabilities via extensive BI
Multi-currency/multi-language support
What We Don’t Like
Requires phone consult for pricing
Setup usually requires help from a Value Added Reseller (VAR)
No payroll module

Summary

We recommend SAP S/4HANA for medium to enterprise-level businesses with in-house technical expertise to operate and customize the software. Popular industries using the software include manufacturing, retail, financial services, utilities, and healthcare. It works with customers across verticals and offers 25+ industry-specific software solutions.

We think smaller companies will likely find the system cost-prohibitive and too advanced for their needs. Not every company can take advantage of all the functionalities available in the suite. Overall, SAP S/4HANA is best for businesses that have outgrown smaller ERP systems or are expanding into multinational operations.

SAP S/4HANA
★★★★★
★★★★★
(5)
SAP is a major developer in ERP software. SAP S/4HANA is a modern solution offering financial management, human resources, procurement, and supply chain management. Its advanced in-memory database facilitates real-time processing and analysis.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Client OS
Windows, Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises

User Reviews of SAP S/4HANA

★★★★★
★★★★★
Submitted on March 30th, 2023 by Jonathan Cooper

I am a consultant who was assisting a global biomedical business who was doing a global install for SAP. While I think SAP is a solid program for large enterprises, the company doing the install is not ready for a platform like SAP.

SAP does a little bit of everything and if you are a large company it can be implemented well. But if you are not able to hire a team to run the software you will have issues getting the most out of the program.

The Good…

Great for Large Global Enterprises

Does everything under the sun.

The Bad…

Need a team to set up and run efficiently.

Lots of leverage with the SAP name

★★★★★
★★★★★
Submitted on August 21st, 2020 by Anonymous

SAP S4 HANA is the best

The Good…

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) With the SAP S/4HANA Finance processes for FP&A, We can accelerate planning cycles, increase profitability, and make finance functions more efficient. Accounting and Financial Close Close the books faster, improve compliance and control, and reduce closing workloads and costs — with SAP S/4HANA Finance processes for accounting and financial close. Treasury and Financial Risk Management With SAP S/4HANA Finance processes for treasury and financial risk management, we can accurately forecast cash flow, manage liquidity, and mitigate risk. Integrate cash flows, transactions, commodity positions, and market data. And optimize straight-through processing with full-view and real-time analysis, audit trails, and compliance reporting. Collaborative Finance Operations With SAP S/4HANA Finance processes for collaborative finance operations, we can rapidly respond to fluctuating market dynamics. Automate receivables and payables processing, revolutionize shared services delivery, and streamline travel management — all while reducing costs. Enterprise Risk and Compliance With SAP S/4HANA Finance processes for enterprise risk and compliance, we can automate risk, compliance, and international trade activities. By proactively minimizing risk and compliance violations, the software makes it easier to optimize business operations, protect assets, and improve financial performance.

The Bad…

No

★★★★★
★★★★★
Submitted on November 11th, 2019 by Anonymous

I’m using S4HANA atm, I find it clunky and annoying!! So slow, and turned on without the correct data in place. After just over 2 months it’s improving but it’s certainly causing a lot of problems. I hate the purchasing screen in 3 parts where all the date isn’t visible at a glance. Anyway, I’ll check some more info out too see if i can learn more and improve my skills. FAMMIS was much more user friendly.

★★★★★
★★★★★
Submitted on March 11th, 2019 by Anonymous

Every customer I know of that is trying out sap s4 hana is absolutely struggling. Still aren’t able to remove the enormous number of sap data silos. Sap hana isnt an open architecture and doesnt share information with other systems well. And the costs, wow, customers I have spoken to trying to implement Hana are already 200-300 percent over budget and no value has been achieved yet from the project. Several have now scraped their move to hana as cost prohibitive delivering little to no value and creating a closed loop when organizations are demanding more open architectures and for technology platforms to play nice with each other. Sap are trying the single silver bullet approach one platform for all, and so far it’s not working

★★★★★
★★★★★
Submitted on May 23rd, 2018 by Anonymous

They have been developing this platform in SAP for some time now, since 2011 is when they first rolled out the architecture and platform for HANA.

From 2012 to 2015 is where they migrated more SAP applications to the HANA platform making it cloud enabled and providing a SaaS option as well. Overtime, they brought modules and functionality over and wrapped it up in 2014/2015 by providing more consolidated data and financial l insights and a simplified data model and a simplified database.

From a maturity perspective, it’s been years in the making. I’ve been in this business for 20 years and I’d say SAP has 3 core “immature” products which I don’t mean in a bad way, but they are newer products with out a lot of case studies and data available on them. A year or two for now, this probably won’t be the case anymore.

The most recent version has a lot of different functionality that has been brought over. It handles a lot of predictive analytics and “smart” computing, which gives ways for machine learning for your financial processing. Definitely a big focus in advanced functionality.