Functional vs Technical SAP S/4HANA Consultants.

2nd March 2023

Blog post

SAP is a popular business management software used to help businesses streamline their operations and gain valuable insights into their data. SAP consultants are the experts that implement, configure, and maintain SAP solutions. In the contact of S/4HANA, there are two primary types of SAP consultants: Functional and Technical. While both types of consultants work with SAP software, their roles differ in terms of the tasks they perform and the skills they require. Continue reading to find out the difference between Functional SAP Consultants and Technical SAP Consultants in the context of S/4HANA.

Functional SAP Consultants in S/4HANA:

Functional SAP S/4HANA consultants are responsible for understanding business processes and requirements and translating them into SAP system configurations. They work closely with clients to understand their needs and provide solutions that meet those needs. Some of the roles that fall under Functional SAP Consultants in S/4HANA include:

  • SAP Finance Consultant: Working with S/4HANA Finance modules, they help clients configure their financial and accounting systems to align with their business requirements.
  • SAP Supply Chain Consultant: Working with S/4HANA Supply Chain modules, they help clients manage their inventory and procurement processes, ensuring that they have the necessary materials and supplies to meet their business needs.
  • SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Consultant: Working with S/4HANA SD module, they help clients manage their sales processes, from order entry to delivery.
  • SAP Customer Service Consultant: Working with S/4HANA Customer Service module, they help clients manage customer service processes and enhance the customer experience.

Technical SAP S/4HANAConsultants:

Technical SAP consultants are responsible for the technical aspects of S/4HANA solutions, including system installation, customisation, and integration. They work closely with clients to understand their technical requirements and provide solutions that meet those needs. Some of the roles that fall under Technical SAP Consultants include:

  1. SAP Basis Consultant: Responsible for the technical infrastructure of S/4HANA systems, they manage system installations, upgrades, and maintenance.
  2. SAP ABAP Consultant: Working with S/4HANA's Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) language, they develop custom applications and modify existing SAP applications to meet client needs.
  3. SAP Security Consultant: Responsible for the security of S/4HANA systems, they implement security protocols to protect client data and prevent unauthorized access.
  4. SAP Integration Consultant: Working with S/4HANA's integration tools, they help clients integrate S/4HANA systems with other applications and technologies.


Collaboration between Technical and Functional SAP S/4HANA Consultants:

Although functional and technical S/4HANA consultants have different skill sets and responsibilities, they must work together to ensure the successful implementation and maintenance of S/4HANA systems. Functional consultants provide the business context and requirements, while technical consultants provide the technical expertise and capabilities needed to translate those requirements into a functional system. Collaboration between these two types of consultants is essential to ensure the success of S/4HANA projects.

For example, let's consider an S/4HANA project. An S/4HANA project involves implementing SAP's latest enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Functional SAP consultants would work with the client to understand their business requirements, such as the need to streamline their financial processes, improve supply chain management, or enhance customer service. They would then configure the S/4HANA system to meet those requirements.

However, the success of the project depends on the technical SAP consultants who implement the system. Technical consultants would be responsible for installing and configuring the S/4HANA system, including database administration, system architecture, and system security. They would also work with the functional consultants to ensure that the system's configuration aligns with the client's business requirements.

Throughout the project, technical and functional SAP consultants must work closely together to ensure the system meets the client's needs. For example, if the client requires a custom report to track sales by region, functional consultants would define the requirements, and technical consultants would develop the report using SAP's programming language, ABAP.

When it comes to an S/4HANA migration, no project is the same. There isn’t one size that fits all.  The one thing that remains the same though is that technical and functional must work together for the overall goal. Collaboration between functional and technical consultants is essential to ensure the success of SAP projects, as illustrated by the example of an S/4HANA project.

Whether you are a Functional or Technical SAP Consultant, RED Global has the SAP roles available to help you on your SAP career journey. If you’re looking to get ahead in your SAP career, explore the different roles available and see which one aligns with your skills and interests.

Contact RED Global to find out how we can help you take the next step in your career.

Your Cloud Career Toolkit


Finding your dream job and navigating your way through a successful career can be challenging.

When it comes to finding a cloud job and dealing with the challenges that may arise in your cloud career, we’ve got the expertise to ensure your success.

In this Cloud Career Toolkit, we'll explore the exciting world of cloud computing and show you how to take the first steps towards a rewarding career in this dynamic field.

If you have any feedback about the toolkit, we'd love to hear from you. 

To download our free Cloud Career Toolkit, fill out the form and click 'download'.