SAP S4/HANA Business Partner : Unleash your power

posted in: SAP S4/HANA 2
SAP S4/HANA BP Business Partner

Do you remember the first time you put together a jigsaw puzzle? Do you remember the satisfying snap of the pieces fitting together to form a larger, more meaningful picture? In the same way, running a business can be like putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle, especially when it comes to the intricate landscape of operational processes and customer-supplier relationships. Now, imagine a tool that would help you see the big picture, bringing disparate pieces together into a coherent, streamlined whole. This is precisely where SAP S4 Hana and its innovative Business Partner (BP) concept come in.

Secondly, SAP S4 Hana, the fourth generation of SAP's acclaimed Business Suite, represents a significant advance in enterprise resource planning (ERP). Powered by real-time data processing and versatile cloud capabilities, it offers businesses an advanced, intelligent solution designed to optimize and streamline processes across the board. What makes it truly exceptional, however, is its ability to redefine, and ultimately simplify, one of the most critical elements of business operations: customer and supplier relations.

Indeed, the business partner concept, an integral part of SAP S4 Hana, seamlessly merges the traditional roles of customer and supplier into a single, unified entity known as the "business partner". This revolutionary approach simplifies the architecture of customer-supplier relationshipspaving the way for more efficient management of these vital interactions.

As we delve deeper into the revolutionary Business Partner concept in SAP S4 Hana, get ready to discover how this key component could be the missing piece of the puzzle your business needs to achieve new levels of operational productivity and customer service excellence. Ready to explore the transformative potential of the SAP S4 Hana Business Partner concept? Let's dive in!

Understanding business partners in SAP S4/HANA

A Business Partner (BP) is a person, organization, group of people or group of organizations in which a company has a commercial interest.. The terms "customer" and "supplier" used in SAP ECC will be replaced by the term "partner" as part of a new data model.


An individual person




Group of people

In the previous version of SAP ECC and in earlier SAP versions, a business partner was considered either a customer or a supplier, but not both. Consequently, customer and supplier master data were stored separately in the database.

In reality, data separation is becoming increasingly problematic. Companies may buy from suppliers and sell products or services to them as customers. In this case, as customer and supplier are separated in SAP ECC, the user has to manage the same business partner twice: once as a customer and once as a supplier. This means double data storage, less transparency and a double maintenance workload.

To avoid the problems mentioned above, SAP S/4HANA removes the separation between customer and supplier, and integrates them into a new object: the Business Partner.

Business Patner Concept
Business Patner Concept

Many of the transactions used to create/maintain customer or supplier master data will no longer need to be used in S4/HANA. They will all be replaced by a single transaction: BP.

To clarify this difference, we'll look at a detailed example and compare these 2 aspects in the same view.

Comparison between SAP S4/HANA Business Partner and Customer/vendor



In the BP transaction, we can see that by simply changing the role, the different tabs evolve, offering a panoply of different fields for the same trading partner.

To create a business partner in SAP S4/HANA, you need to make a few adjustments or "customizations" to the system. What's more, these adjustments make it possible to configure the system according to the company's specific needs. Let's explore this in more detail now.

SAP S4/HANA Business Partner : Customizing

Let's take a step-by-step look at customizing together, to understand how SAP has architected this Business Partner functionality.

  • Business Partner Category
SPRO : Cross-Application components - SAP Business Partner - Business Partner
Business Partner
Business Partner

First of all, these points determine whether a PO is an individual, an organization or a group, and allow us to detail the views inherent in each category.

  • Business Partner Role
SPRO: Cross-Application components - SAP Business Partner - Business Partner - Basic Settings - Business Partner Roles
Business Partner Roles
Business Partner Roles

Here, we define the roles played by BPs in the enterprise. In addition, the different roles can be used to distinguish possible views in Master Data. Here are the recommended roles according to their assignment in the enterprise:

business partner role
Business Partner Role
Define BP role 01
Define BP Roles
  • Business Partner Group
SPRO: Cross-Application components - SAP Business Partner - Business Partner - Basic Settings - Business Partner Roles
Define Grouping
Define Grouping

The Business Partner Group is similar to the account group in Customer or Supplier before. It defines the BP group. A BP Group can also be used to assign a number range and decide whether numbers should be defined externally or generated internally.

Next, you need to define a number range and assign it to the right group. Indeed, if the business partner is extended to both customer and supplier in the meantime, the customer and supplier number ranges need to be managed simultaneously. So, in most cases, it's advisable to use the same number for all three number ranges.

And here's the way into customizing:

SPRO: Cross-Application components - SAP Business Partner - Business Partner - Basic Settings - Number ranges and groupings - Define Number Ranges
BP number Range
BP number Range

This Number Range must then be assigned to the correct Grouping:

Define Groupings and Assign Number Ranges
Define Groupings and Assign Number Ranges
Number range grouping 02
  • Business Partner Relationship

It defines the relationship between two POs. For example, a PO (person) is defined as the contact for another PO (organization).

SPRO: Cross-Application components - SAP Business Partner - Business Partner relationships - Basic Settings - Define Relationship Types

SAP S4/HANA Business Partner : Conclusion

In conclusion, the Business Partner in S/4 HANA innovates the management of customer and supplier transactions. Business Partner unifies management, simplifies transaction tracking and increases visibility of business relationships.

However, it's important to note that this article and the associated YouTube video are only an introduction to the subject. We haven't touched on a multitude of complex aspects and nuances to be explored here.

For example, the role of BP in complex scenarios such as long-term contract management, rebate management or the monitoring of contractual obligations. What's more, BP offers customization flexibility, enabling companies to optimize their operational efficiency.

The use of BP across different SAP modules and its integration is also a broad topic. In addition, BP simplifies and unifies management in modules such as MM, FI and EWM, improving coordination and efficiency.

Despite the great scope and flexibility offered by BP, there's still a lot to discover. Indeed, SAP's constant enhancements offer almost infinite possibilities, evolving with each new version.

In short, BP in S/4 HANA can transform the way companies manage their business transactions and relationships. However, mastering this concept requires in-depth exploration and training beyond this introduction.

And don't hesitate to consult SAP's official documentation on this subject too: Business Partner.

Finally, if you're interested in a complete training course on the subject, leave a comment to let us know. Your feedback is invaluable and will enable us to offer content that best meets your needs.

Would you like unlimited access to our entire SAP training library? Test our training platform free of charge for a 7-day trial period.

2 Responses

  1. khira
    | Reply

    merci bcp pour cette explication limpide et en francais lol

  2. [...] Please see our related article: SAP S4/HANA Business Partner: Unleashing your Power. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *