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Explaining SAP’s Portfolio of “CRM” and “Customer Experience” Products

SAP is a large company — one of the largest in the world! With 365,000 customers, spread over 180 countries in over 40 different languages, supporting over 25 different industries, in both B2B and B2C, with both from large enterprises and SMB companies… it’s not surprising that customers and partners can sometimes get a little overwhelmed by the various SAP offerings.

In 2018, SAP announced at SAPPHIRE that it was dropping the “Hybris” branding/terminology in favor of “C/4HANA”. But how does the C/4HANA cloud-based suite of customer experience software fit together with S/4HANA for Customer Management (“CRM Add-On”)? And where does the old SAP CRM on-premise offering fit into the mix?

I’ve done my best below to explain how the various “customer experience” offerings fit together in SAP’s portfolio. Where possible, I’ve also tried to give an indication of which industries, which geographic regions, and which customer segments might be most interested in a particular offering.

I hope this is at least somewhat helpful. Please feel free to leave any questions below in the comments section, and I will do my best to answer them!

  • SAP CRM (preferred solution for companies/industries who still require on-prem solution)
  • S/4HANA for Customer Management (“CRM Add-On” for S/4HANA)
  • SAP C/4HANA (suite of Cloud-based “customer experience” software)
    • SAP Commerce Cloud (formerly Hybris Commerce)
    • SAP Customer Data Cloud (formerly Gigya and Hybris Profile)
    • SAP Marketing Cloud (formerly Hybris Marketing)
    • SAP Sales Cloud (formerly C4C Sales)
    • SAP Service Cloud
  • SAP Contact Center (formerly SAP BCM): legacy omni-channel contact-center infrastructure or “CTI” software used with SAP CRM Interaction Center.

SAP CRM (on premise)
is perhaps SAP’s most well-known and widely-adopted “CRM” offering. The solution is used by thousands of companies throughout the world across a variety of industries including Utilities, Automotive, High-Tech, IM&C, Public Sector, Professional Services, and so on. While the software market is, in general, continuing to move more toward the Cloud and SaaS offering, some companies (and some industries) still prefer an on-premise offering for the time being. Though the bulk of SAP’s new products are of course Cloud based, SAP also continues to maintain and enhance SAP CRM (on-premise).

S/4HANA for Customer Management, also sometimes unofficially referred to as the “CRM Add-On” is a new offering released in 2018, that will continued to be enhanced over the next several years. The offering provides “CRM” type sales and service functionality as part of S/4HANA. The solution is primarily targeted at exiting SAP ERP customers who are not yet using SAP CRM on-premise, and who want to start rolling out some “CRM” capabilities with S/4HANA. Most existing SAP CRM customers should stay on SAP CRM rather than re-implementing their existing CRM projects on S/4HANA. However, customers who are interested in consolidating their landscapes may want to consider a possible migration from SAP CRM to S/4HANA for Customer Management. Check out the new SAP Press E-Bite:

SAP Commerce Cloud is SAP’s new omni-channel commerce solution that offers B2B and B2C commerce applications.

SAP Marketing Cloud is a marketing and campaign management solution which was evolved from SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence (CEI) and SAP Audience Discovery and Targeting (ADT) solutions. SAP Hybris Marketing delivers customer insights and generates segmentation from any data source (both SAP and non-SAP). Campaigns are executed via a wide range of direct digital channels as well as standard integration with other solutions like SAP CRM, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C) and SAP Hybris Commerce. SAP Marketing Cloud also includes the Loyalty Management, which enables organizations to create loyalty programs that deliver a premium customer experience to drive true brand loyalty. It is a loyalty solution that is tightly aligned with your business. It helps you enhance customer retention in a more meaningful way, while encouraging long-term advocacy and referrals

SAP Sales Cloud gives your sales reps the insight they need to engage in meaningful customer conversations and take the right action with a new set of capabilities that go beyond traditional sales CRM software. SAP Hybris Sales Cloud makes it easy for your sales force to engage and win anytime, from anywhere.

SAP Service Cloud lets you wow digitally connected consumers with consistent service across all channels. It give your call center and help desk agents a complete view of customers so they can quickly solve problems and empower field service technicians with the right mobile tools and technology. SAP Hybris Service Cloud includes: SAP Customer Engagement Center (Contact Center and Customer Service), SAP Customer Service Management (Service Management), and SAP Field Service. See below for more details.

SAP Customer Engagement Center is SAP’s new, state-of-art, omni-channel customer contact-center offering. The Service Engagement Center runs on SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) and leverages WebRTC and micro-services to provide a low-footprint contact center that can be up and running immediately with full CTI, email, chat, and video integration. The Service Engagement Center also integrates seamlessly with SAP Hybris Commerce, ERP, IS-U, S/4HANA, and third-party chatbots. Service Engagement Center is a great fit for B2C-focused companies in retail, consumer products, public sector, utilities, travel, sports, or other related industries.

SAP Customer Service Management is the Service Management component of SAP Hybris Service Cloud. Cloud for Service empowers your field service engineers, repair depot technicians, and help desk professionals with the tools to manage complex service requirements including trouble tickets, SLAs, warranties/contracts, returns/repairs, and depot repairs.

SAP Field Service Management is SAP’s newly rebranded CoreSystems offering for field service.

SAP Contact Center, formerly known as SAP Business Communication Management (BCM) is SAP’s native Omni-channel “CTI” software that fully integrates with other SAP products such as SAP CRM Interaction Center, SAP Hybris Service Engagement Center, SAP Hybris Cloud for Service, and so on. SAP Contact Center is currently available in an on-premise delivery, and supports all communication channels including telephony/voice, chat, video, email, SMS, and so on. In addition, SAP Contact Center capabilities are natively included out-of-the-box with SAP Service Engagement Center.

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  • Hi John,

    Thanks! Very interesting overview.

    One of the most difficult choices today for CRM consultants is where orient your career. With all these choices it is becoming very hard to decide what your own way forward should be.

    or when to re-orient to something else than CRM OP when that was your main focus and expertise was for more than a decade.

    kind regards,

    Micha VN



      Hi Micha,

      Yes, good point. I hear this from consultants a lot. I think with S/4HANA for Customer Management coming out in late February, consultants with CRM on-prem skills will see an influx of projects from ERP customers who upgrade to S/4HANA and then want to take advantage of CRM Sales/Service functionality to replace their old ERP CS outdated functionality.

      Warm regards,

  • Hi John,

    Nice blog! I have shared it to our development team 🙂

    I am so proud that I have once been working as a developer for CRM OnPremise, CRM Addon and C4C 🙂

    Best regards,


  • Thanks for trying to answer this question, it's for sure been puzzling me for some time. It's reassuring to note that you say on-prem CRM is still the preferred solution for customers requiring an on-prem system. But for how much longer?

    This is a crossroads for many enterprises right now, and making the right choice for a future platform and at the right time is of critical importance.

    SAP are not helping themselves in this arena with their own multiple offerings . As a market leader, I would like them to come off the fence on a “CRM 2.0” and decide what the future will look like for customers choosing SAP.

    • Hi Shamsul,

      Currently SAP has no plans to discontinue support for SAP CRM on-premise. We still actively maintain and enhance it. And, as part of the SAP Business Suite, SAP has guaranteed to keep the entire Business Suite in mainstream maintenance through at least 2025, if not longer.

      But while SAP has no current plans to stop supporting CRM on-prem, it is pretty obvious that the enterprise software market in general is moving quite rapidly to a Cloud deployment model. So obviously, if customers want to run CRM in the Cloud, SAP has to accommodate them. That is why, in addition to SAP CRM on-prem, SAP is also building a stack of "CRM" applications under our SAP Hybris brand umbrella on HANA via the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP).

      Hopefully this dual approach makes a little more sense in that context?

      Warm regards,

  • Hi John,

    will S/4HANA for Customer Management be available for both S/4HANA Cloud and OnPremise edition or is there any limitation for the Cloud version planned ?

    Best regards,



      Hi Karsten,

      This is a good question, and the answer is a bit tricky. My understanding is that there are currently no plans to offer the "CRM Add-On" in the Public Cloud version of S/4HANA. Rather, most S/4HANA for Customer Management functionality will only be available via on-premise deployment. Select features may also be available for HEC private cloud (which is essentially an on-prem deployment in a hosted environment).

      SAP is still working on the S/4HANA roadmap for the Public Cloud version, but my guess is that it will likely not include any Sales functionality and only limited Field Service capabilities -- specifically Field Service capabilities that compliment SAP Hybris Service Cloud (C4C).

      Warm regards,



    Thank you. Great post which address a question many of us have, I think. I'm still confused though, but perhaps on another level 🙂

    You write under S/4HANA Customer Management:

    "Most existing SAP CRM customers should stay on SAP CRM rather than re-implementing their existing CRM projects on S/4HANA. However, customers who are interested in consolidating their landscapes may want to consider a possible migration from SAP CRM to S/4HANA for Customer Management."

    So, as an SAP CRM OP customer looking for the next step and wondering where to place new initiatives, the recommended alternatives are, as far as I can tell:

    1. Stay on SAP CRM OP for now
    2. Add a suite of cloud applications alongside your OP


    How about Loyalty? I do not see YaaS up there, for OP will Loyalty move into Hybris Marketing or S/4 Customer Management (or will it evaporate into the cloud completely)?


      Hi Peter,

      You raise a good question. The reason that I suggest that most happy SAP CRM on-prem customer keep their core business processes on SAP CRM and innovate "around the edges" with Cloud solutions (e.g., SAP Hybris Commerce, SAP Hybris Marketing, SAP Hybris Loyalty Management, SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud, etc.) is because most SAP CRM customers have done quite extensive customization and enhancements to the standard SAP CRM solution to support industry requirements and customer-specific requirements; for most such customers, a significant and painful business-process-reengineering effort would be required in order to move to an off-the-shelf multi-tenant Cloud solution.

      And yes, SAP does indeed offer a new Hybris Loyalty Management solution (originally built on YaaS but currently being migrated to SAP Cloud Platform on HANA. Sorry, I'd initially forgotten to include that one. I've updated it now though. Thanks for the reminder!

      Warm regards,

  • Hi John,

    Great information but would it be possible for you to provide any source either URL, BLOG or PDF where "S/4HANA for Customer Management (“CRM Sales/Service Add-On”) is explained in more detail?

    I am keen to know how this will be hanlded in S4 Hana and how do we analyze what will be best for client for new deployment or for upgardes ?


    Thnak you



  • Hi all

    Thank you John this is great stuff. Highly appreciate it. Finally a starting point to sort out and differeniate all those Hybris/SAP products.

    Would you or anybody be able to help me in understanding the main difference/purpose of Hybris Service Cloud vs. Hybris Service Engagement Center? Which kind of companies should be choosing which option in general? Is there a general guideline by product management, e.g. one solution better suited for mid-sized companies? In the post there is a mention Hybris Service Engagement Center works best for B2C.

    In particular, I am currently working with a customer already having both Hybris Sales Cloud and Hybris Service Cloud in place within the same tenant. The customer is both doing B2B and B2C service on a global level. Could you imagine a setting in which one would run Hybris Service Cloud and Hybris Service Engagement Center in parallel? Are there any standard integration flows available? Or would one actually go for Hybris Service Cloud only if possible?

    Kind Regards

    • Hello Stefan,

      Great question! Hybris Service Cloud is a great fit for companies who need to provide technical service (including field/mobile service), particularly for B2B companies with complex service processes. And while Service Cloud does have the possibility to integrate third-party CTI systems to provide inbound/outbound communications, it wasn't necessarily designed to support high-volume contact center scenarios. Service Cloud is perfect for industries like IM&C for example.

      Service Engagement Center on the other hand has been architected from the ground up to support high-volume contact center scenarios -- perfect for high-volume, low-complexity customer service issues such as B2C retail, consumer products, public sector, banking/insurance, telco, utilities, etc.

      Hopefully that helps with positioning. And, regarding your last question, yes it may sometimes make sense for a single company to run both solutions (Service Cloud and Engagement Center) together in a connected fashion with Engagement Center being used as the Omni-channel customer engagement front end, and Service Cloud being used in the back office for complex service management trouble ticketing and mobile/field service resolution. For this very scenario, SAP has built out of the box integration between the two solutions.

      Warm regards,

      • Hi Jon

        Thank you for your reply. It is very helpful, indeed. Allow me to ask one follow-up question: Is there really already standard integation available from SEC to C4C? I was not able to find anything except the info that this is supposed to come in May with the next releases of both solutions. Any chance you can push me to the right page?

        SAP Help Portal is obly mentioning SAP Business Suite and Hybris Commerce:

        Thanks and regards

        • Hello Stefan,

          We are in the process of migrating the Engagement Center from the YaaS platform to SCP. It is correct that the old version of Engagement Center did not include out of the box C4C integration. However the new Engagement Center on SCP will have C4C integration, which we are currently working on. I believe it is targeted for the 1805 release as you mention, though it's probably still too early to confirm.

          Best regards,

  • What a great compilation! I was looking for something like this and I finally found it 🙂

    Here some additional links for the Technical guys like me:

    S/4HANA for Customer Management 1.0 introduction from technical point of view

    CRM One Order Model Redesign in S/4HANA for Customer Management 1.0 – Part 1

    Thank you John!



  • Thank you for your blog, very interesting clarification about SAP offer according to CRM Solutions.


    So if i my client had already install SAP CRM and he want to keep hus CRM on-promise, the only option available is to run CRM under the add-on?

    And is this add-on part of the SAP offer in long term strategy or the support will be not available over 2025 ?

    Can we found this product in SAP Tranformation Navigator ?

    Thank you again.




    • Hello Farid,

      Actually, if your client already has SAP CRM they can of course continue using SAP CRM. There is no need to migrate to S/4HANA for Customer Management. Currently, SAP Business Suite 7.0 (which includes SAP CRM 7.0) is guaranteed by SAP to stay in mainstream maintenance until at least 2025.

      Warm regards,

  • Thank you John,

    What this the best way to understand SAP CRM Road Map, can you share useful link or document abour thi topics.



  • Hi John,

    Thank you so much for sharing valuable information. Information on SAP CRM HANA migration is pretty scarce, especially with the changes in the last couple of years.

    Per the product availability matrix, SAP suggests end of mainstream maintenance for SAP CRM EHP 7.4 or the Business Suite on HANA by Dec 2025. Does that mean that on-premise customers, who have made extensive customizations, need to switch to either SAP S/4 (with the customer management add-on) or C/4 HANA cloud by Dec 2025?


    • Hello Vinod,

      I'm not sure if you are aware or not, but I did write an e-book for SAP Press that focuses on migrating from SAP CRM to S/4HANA for Customer Management. It's called, "CRM in SAP S/4HANA".

      Regarding your other question, yes it is the case that the SAP Business Suite (which includes ERP and CRM 7.0)  is in mainstream maintenance through 2025. As you may recall, the original planned date was only through 2020, but SAP extended it to 2025. Perhaps SAP will extend it again, but I don't have any insight into this. However, even if it doesn't get extended again, that doesn't need that you necessarily need to move off the solution by 20205. I expect some companies will likely stay on and pay the increased maintenance. However, at some point, companies likely need to make the decision whether to migrate to S/4HANA and/or C/4HANA.

      While some companies might try to simplify their business and move everything to the Cloud with C/4HANA and S/4HANA Cloud, most existing SAP CRM customers will likely want to migrate to S/4HANA for their main CRM "back-office" processes (like Service Management, Order Management, etc.) and move their customer-facing "front-office" CRM processes to C/4HANA for things like e-commerce, marketing, and customer service.

      I hope that helps!

      Warm regards,

      • Thank you John for providing the information. The book was really helpful - It helps us understand the exact impact to our systems. That is really important because there is so much information available on S/4 HANA and it becomes difficult to understand our impact in the whole ecosystem of changes.

        Just a side question. The book says that Case Management will not be available in the S/4 HANA Customer Management module and asks us to leverage the Complaints management functionality. However, the SAP Transformation Navigator and your recent presentation at SAPPHIRE hint at Case Management being available. If possible, can you please elaborate?

        • Hello Vinod,

          Yes, you are correct! I confirmed with my colleague Oliver Frick that the old CRM (non-Fiori) Case Management has indeed been re-activated in S/4HANA  a couple months ago for the September 20, 2019 release (S/4HANA OP 1909 FPS00 (20.09.2019) / FPS01).