How SAP S/4HANA Simplifies the Business Partners Functionality

The business partner functionality in SAP S/4HANA is the single entry point for maintaining business partner, customer, and supplier master data.


A business partner can be a person, a group of people, or an organization. While SAP ERP offers business partner capabilities, the new positioning in SAP S/4HANA provides a simplified data model, reduced data redundancy, and a leading role in master data management.


Capabilities of Business Partners in SAP S/4HANA

The new approach to business partners ensures easier maintenance and harmonization of master data. In SAP ERP, only one customer can be associated to each account group, but with business partners, multiple roles can be associated to the same business partner. This makes it unnecessary to create the general data for each business partner role, since the basic or general information maintained for a business partner automatically extends to other business partner roles in SAP S/4HANA. This is possible because of the integrated nature of data and information flow in business partners, which results in the elimination of a large amount of data redundancy. After maintaining a business partner’s general or basic information, a company can maintain or extend the existing business partner’s general information into various areas.


In the finance area, a business user maintains specific information such as the company code associated with a business partner (either a vendor or customer). Some available options in this area of a business partner include business controls, such as reconciliation account maintenance, tolerance limits, reminders for payment, tax details, legal data, and specific or overall blocking of business partners.


A business partner plays an important role in the procurement processes of the materials management area of SAP S/4HANA. Some of the business controls available for maintaining or extending purchasing information include purchasing organization, order currency, payment terms, dunning procedures, average delivery time of a product by a business partner, automatic purchase order creation, evaluated receipt settlement, and confirmation controls.


The sales, delivery, and billing processes in SAP S/4HANA is another vital area for a business partner. Some of the business controls available while maintaining or extending sales information include a sales area (comprised of sales organization, distribution channel, and division), order currency, payment terms, dunning procedures, shipping, and billing.


Master data synchronization in an SAP S/4HANA system harmonizes the business master data objects that are similar from both a technical and functional standpoint. In this way, a company can integrate different SAP applications seamlessly into its business processes.


About the Business Partners in SAP S/4HANA Book

With the arrival of SAP S/4HANA, the importance of business partners has increased. Our Business Partners in SAP S/4HANA book will help readers configure and maintain vendors and customers as business partners.


The book introduces the business partner and customer-vendor integration (CVI) functionality in SAP S/4HANA. You’ll learn how business partners and CVI help to create consistency when managing master data, while reducing data footprints and data entry errors.


You’ll get an understanding of customization settings for managing both vendors and customers as business partners. You’ll learn the CVI customizing settings that need to be in place using a structured and step-by-step approach.


Technical and functional prerequisites are covered in Chapter 5, along with the steps required to transition vendors and customers from SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA as business partners during a brownfield implementation.


Get in-depth coverage of the business partner/CVI master data creation process, business processes, and reporting for both vendors and customers. Then wrap up with details on relevant SAP Fiori apps available for business partners, vendors, and customers.


Who Is This Book For?

This book is intended for readers who use vendors or customers in the SAP system, such as team leaders, implementation project team members, integration managers, master data managers, and business users handling the creation of vendors/suppliers and customers in SAP S/4HANA. It will also benefit SAP customers and their support professionals who are either transitioning to or intending to transition to an SAP S/4HANA system.


About the Author

Jawad Akhtar is an SAP logistics and supply chain management expert with a focus on business sales and delivery. He earned his chemical engineering degree from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in the United States. He has more than 20 years of professional experience, 16 of which have been spent working with SAP systems. He has experience working on several large-scale, end-to-end SAP implementation project lifecycles, including rollouts. He works with SAP clients to help them identify the root causes of business issues and address those issues with the appropriate SAP products and change management strategies. He now focuses on next-generation SAP products such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP Integrated Business Planning, SAP Ariba, and SAP Customer Experience.


How to Purchase

If you’re interested in purchasing Business Partners in SAP S/4HANA, follow this link and choose the format that works best for you: e-book, print edition, or bundle (both e-book and print).


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Learn more about the business partner structure in this post.


Business Partners in SAP S/4HANA: The Comprehensive Guide to Customer-Vendor Integration
Business Partners in SAP S/4HANA: The Comprehensive Guide to Customer-Vendor Integration

The distinction between “customers” and “vendors” is now a relic of the past—jump into the future with this all-in-one guide to business partners in SAP S/4HANA! Learn how to set up business partners from start to finish for greenfield implementations. Or, if you’re transitioning from SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA, walk through customer-vendor integration (CVI) with detailed instructions. With guidance on maintaining and validating business partner data, this is the only book on business partners you’ll ever need!

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