What is SAP C/4HANA? Somewhere along the line in your search for a CRM system, you came across the name C/4HANA.

This might be the first time searching for SAP C/4HANA or maybe you have searched for it before but you just don’t fully understand it yet.

In this article, we will explain what SAP C/4HANA is, what its key capabilities are, and how it could benefit your company.


What is SAP C/4HANA?

SAP C/4HANA is a customer experience ( CX ) suite designed to change customer relationship management (CRM) as we currently know it. Today’s CRM systems are focused on sales. However, customer relationships do not end once a sale is closed. Customer experience has become the top priority in boardrooms across the globe and with this shift in mindset and strategy, the legacy CRM systems no longer comply.

SAP C/4HANA is a “Next-generation CRM” because this solution modernized the legacy CRM solutions. SAP C/4HANA achieved it by encouraging positive customer experience at every stage of the customer journey, providing a consistent experience across all channels, and also real-time data.

The SAP Customer Experience suite, C/4HANA, includes 5 clouds that will cover and optimize all of your front-office operations.

  • Marketing Cloud
  • Sales Cloud
  • Commerce Cloud
  • Service Cloud
  • Customer Data Cloud

Every cloud has multiple tools and advanced integrated technologies that will help you with your day-to-day operations.

With C/4HANA, companies will be able to automate time-consuming tasks, increase their workforce productivity and better understand their customers.

Clouds and capabilities

1. SAP C/4HANA Marketing Cloud

SAP C4HANA Marketing Cloud

The C/4HANA Marketing cloud helps you to increase the productivity of your workforce and helps you to get a better understanding of your customers. The C/4HANA Marketing cloud offers you multiple tools to achieve both.

But why is it so important for you to understand your customers?

Understanding your customer will help you determine where to focus your marketing efforts and which channels to use. Also, it will tell you what your customers actually want and not just what you can offer.

The C/4HANA marketing cloud gives you the ability to pull data about your customers from any channel and then present this data in the single unified customer view tool. This data will give you a 360° view of your customers and will help you to determine how to best approach them though personalized targeting. You can then launch automated campaigns pushed through various channels such as e-mail, mobile and social media.

Some key features within the SAP Marketing cloud are:

  • Single unified customer view
  • Target group identifications
  • Custom omnichannel experiences
  • Discovery and visualization tools
  • Multichannel campaigns

2. SAP C/4HANA Sales Cloud

The C/4HANA Sales cloud will help you to identify new leads, close more deals, increase productivity and automate your sales process. Moreover, the C/4HANA sales cloud is available to you everywhere, anytime and on any device.

Let’s have a closer look.

Within the SAP Sales cloud, it is possible to find new leads within existing and non-existing accounts. The lead scoring tool Indicates the likelihood of conversion of lead to opportunity and works with the same rankings and principles as the opportunity scoring tool. With the opportunity scoring tool, you can score sales opportunities to determine the likelihood of winning a deal. Hence, sales reps can use these scores to prioritize the opportunities they work on.

Moreover, closing a deal becomes much easier with the help of your colleagues because the ‘influencer map’ application within C/4HANA recommends colleagues that are most likely to help you close the deal. Also, having the ability to sell anytime, anywhere and on any device and the easy and quick access to your back office, will help you win new business.

Other capabilities within the SAP C/4HANA Sales cloud are:

  • Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ)
  • Sales performance management (SPM)
  • Sales overviews
  • Homepage customization.
  • Predictive analytics

3. SAP Commerce Cloud

The C/4HANA Commerce cloud helps you to take control of your sales, customer service processes and communication, across all channels. Therefore, it will help you create the perfect customer experience. Whether online or in-store, your customer is always able to conveniently buy, return or pick up their products.

The C/4HANA Commerce cloud also provides your customers with a consistent view of your content, and products across all of their devices and suggests cross-selling product recommendations, promotions and search optimization.

Besides that, the C/4HANA Commerce cloud includes an Assisted service customer 360° view that will help you offer personalized services to your customers. Thus, you will be able to recognize customers in-store and provide them with the best recommendation based on already collected data.

The video below gives a clear overview of how the ‘Assisted service customer 360° view’ works and how it can personalize the in-store service.

A few capabilities of the C/4HANA Commerce cloud are:

  • Omni-channel storefront
  • Experienced management tool
  • Order management solution

4. SAP Service Cloud

The C/4HANA Service cloud will help you to provide the service that your customers expect while at the same time it will help you increase your productivity.

How is the Service cloud able to increase my productivity?

This can be done with multiple tools within the C/4HANA Service cloud. All the Service cloud tools and platforms are integrated into one interface. Meaning that your agents no longer have to switch between screens to solve issues or create new orders.

Additionally, C/4HANA Service cloud is working hand-in-hand with the C/4HANA Commerce cloud to provide a full overview of the customer’s order history. This way, you will be able to help and provide them with the products and services they need.

Furthermore, the C/4HANA Service cloud includes a field service management tool that provides your customers and field service technicians with the right instruments. With the field service management tool, your field service technicians can quickly fix any issues and provide your customers with the right information. Due to the implementation of smart technologies, your service technicians can find the problem more easily.  The technicians can complete their work without the constant need for an internet connection because of the on-and offline function of the tool.

SAP C4HANA Service Cloud

Moreover, your customers are able to use the self-service capabilities by simply scanning the QR code with their mobile phone. They will have different options such as requesting maintenance and the ability to engage with a conversational AI-chatbot.

5. SAP Customer Data Cloud

Some companies collect data but do not know how to use this data. Other companies know how to use their data but only collect data from one single source such as social media.

So, why is collecting and using customer data so important?

Nowadays, customers are asking for personalized marketing. To do so, a company must understand its consumer’s behavior. With the C/4HANA Customer data cloud, you can build customer profiles and provide your customers with personalized marketing they so desire.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. The collection and use of customer data can only be done with explicit permission from your customer. Besides that, there are lots of rules and regulations that have to be taken into consideration to prevent huge fines and probably even worse, losing your customer’s trust. Furthermore, the C/4HANA Customer data cloud has a built-in permission management tool that gives transparency regarding the collection of data to your customer.

Above all, SAP C/4HANA uses a consent-based customer data model which is fully GDPR compliant.  While companies are struggling with privacy regulations regarding the collection and use of personal data, their customers are running off to their competitors.

A few capabilities of the C/4HANA Commerce cloud are:

  • Customized registration
  • Social Loggins
  • Preference management
  • User engagement and loyalty

Frequently asked questions about SAP C/4HANA

1. Is SAP C/4HANA just a rebranding?

No. It is (formerly known) SAP Hybris + more recent acquisitions of CallidusCloud, Gigya, and Coresystems, and a comprehensive roadmap to be first or second in each domain, delivering one unified (but still modular) suite of cloud solutions and integrate Front-to-Back office in an unrivaled way. SAP C/4HANA is the product portfolio to deliver SAP CX, together with the SAP Cloud Platform and the integration with SAP S/4HANA

2. Is SAP C/4HANA a replacement for SAP CRM?

Well… to a large extent yes. SAP CRM is currently guaranteed to be supported till at least 2025 and SAP has not announced any end-of-life date or replacement for SAP CRM on-premise system. However, new developments will probably be done on the SAP Sales or Service Cloud, as SAP shifts from on-premise to cloud solutions. In February 2018 SAP announced S/4HANA for Customer Management (S4CRM), which is a simplified version of CRM embedded into S/4HANA. Functions therein will probably for focused around service order management (to support the entire service live cycle) and Customer Interaction capability.

3. Is SAP C/4HANA ready now, and can it compete with Salesforce?

Absolutely. The five cloud solutions are available today and there is already machine learning built into the core business processes. There is also a comprehensive roadmap for additional features and functions. While Salesforce has been around significantly longer (and therefore built an impressive industry reference stack), SAP C/4HANA capability is on par, and in some areas even superior to Salesforce. This – combined with a significantly better SAP ERP integration ability and an overall lower TCO for SAP installed base – makes C/4HANA a very worthy contender in a CRM evaluation.

4. Does SAP C/4HANA require SAP S/4HANA?

No. It will integrate with ECC as well as S/4HANA. Additionally can be deployed standalone without an SAP ERP back end. The solutions allow individual deployment with or without integration to any ERP.

5. Do I have to use all five cloud solutions in SAP C/4HANA?

No. They are available standalone or in any combination.

6. Is there any fastest method to determine the best CRM system suitable for an organization?

Yes. We’ve designed a simple quiz to determine the best CRM solution based on your requirements. Answer 12 quick-fire questions and we’ll provide you with a detailed analysis and recommendation.



SAP brings together supply and demand with its new CRM system. The C/4HANA solutions provide companies with the tools and intelligence to carefully collect and handle their customer data. At the same time, it increases the productivity of the workforce and offers multiple tools to improve customer experience.

Instead of every department having its own data cloud or excel sheets, SAP C/4HANA centralizes all the data within the SAP HANA database.

SAP C/4HANA supports the entire end-to-end customer journey. And – using SAP Cloud Platform – will have the ability to personalize, extend and create every app you’ll ever need, allowing you to innovate, integrate and extend all your customer experience solutions.

Comparing Salesforce with SAP C/4HANA? Take the Quiz, and find out which CRM is a better fit for you!

Take the Quiz