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Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik

Package Configuration Manager: Getting Started

By Vinod Srinivasan, Abishek Suvarna and Jayendra Bisnik

 

 

In our previous blog post – 7 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Package Configuration Manager for SAP SuccessFactors Solutionswe discussed the capabilities of the Package Configuration Manager tool. The next step is to outline some of the standard Business Scenarios that the SAP Partners can use the tool in their SAP SuccessFactors implementations.

According to our interactions with the SAP Partners, SAP SuccessFactors implementations using Golden Master clone approach have long time to value because of the below challenges:

  • There is a cloning effort of three to four weeks that the project managers have to budget into their timelines
  • A significant effort is required to remove the ‘unwanted’ configuration items in the customer instance
  • Maintenance of Golden Master instance for every new SAP SuccessFactors release
  • With the Golden Master clone approach, the only option is to copy all the configurations (Manual configuration for customers with Brownfield scenarios)
  • No automation for repetitive configuration steps (Manual setup of base configuration)
  • No reusability of Business Configuration across customers
  • Unavoidable human errors

With the Package Configuration Manager, the Golden Master Clone approach will be a thing of the past. If needed, a Golden Master instance can be created on the fly using the tool. Package Configuration Manager provides the capability to divide your packages into smaller Configuration Blocks that can be applied to any instance independently. These packages can be reused and deployed in any customer instance with a click of a button. Since the packages are already validated, they take away the complexity from the projects, thereby reducing risks for the SAP Partners. Furthermore, this approach leads to faster, more transparent implementations with reduced costs.

Below are some common questions that will guide SAP Partners who want to start using the tool for building their business packages.

How can I get access to the Package Configuration Manager?

The access to the Package Configuration Manager requires a record of achievement from the openSAP course Automate Build and Delivery of SAP SuccessFactors Packages. This certification can be achieved individually. However, the registration happens for a partner company. If a partner company is already registered, there is no necessity for this step. The certified individual from the partner company has to reach out to the administrator of their organization to gain access to the tool. For first-time company registrations, follow the example below:

Global company Best Run Inc is looking to have access to the package configuration manager. Based on their operating model, they can choose to register themselves based on their regional setup or a single global account. A regional setup could look like Best Run Inc (USA) and/or Best Run AG (DE), or a single global account called Best Run Inc.

How do I build my Golden Master Instance using the Package Configuration Manager?

You can begin by identifying the smallest configuration units (or Configuration Blocks) from your Golden Master instance. These configuration blocks are self-contained and should be designed to be applied independently in an instance to run a business process. Such a Configuration Block, for example, a localization, will constitute several configuration steps to be implemented in a particular order. Each of these steps has the purpose of configuring (a set of) objects like country-specific fields, business rules, workflows, permission roles, and so on.

It is important to consider dependencies between these Configuration Blocks as well. In the above example, a localization configuration block can be dependent on a common (reusable) configuration block that contains configuration that is shared across all localizations. Such a common or reusable configuration set can be considered as global configuration block.

Each configuration block contains a sequence of steps and their dependencies that can be outlined in a Script. When a configuration block is deployed, the configuration steps in the script are executed in the maintained sequence. The instance is configured once all the steps in the script are successfully completed.

SAP delivers Best Practices content for SAP SuccessFactors modules. It is recommended that SAP Partners build on top of the core configuration blocks provided by SAP Best Practices. This way, the baseline configuration is provided by SAP, and SAP Partners can focus on developing business configuration that becomes a differentiator for them and their customers. These differentiators can include industry flavors or additional localizations or partner-specific end-to-end solutions.

For the benefit of the implementation team, SAP Partners can add any “readme” guides or documents that can guide their implementation consultant through the process of applying the partner package. Also, the configuration workbook can be associated with the configuration block that helps the implementation consultant understand the business configuration after the configuration block was applied in an instance.

 

 

How do I validate my Configuration Blocks?

Configuration Blocks are always created with the Test status. These can be tested by deploying them into your test instance, which should preferably be empty. If you deploy the configuration blocks in your demo instances for testing purposes, this might likely result in errors since some configuration might already be existing in such an instance. While testing, it is not only essential to validate the correctness of the configuration but also ensure that the configuration blocks work together to achieve the desired business outcome.

How do I deploy my Configuration Blocks in a customer instance?

Once the Configuration Blocks have been tested successfully, they are ready to be used in a customer implementation project. These blocks can be assembled to be offered as a solution package by an implementation partner. During customer implementation, a solution package can be scoped and deployed to a customer’s instance in any datacenter.

Can I apply my Solution Package(s) for several customer implementations?

Yes, you can apply your Solution Package(s) for several customer implementations. Also, try to reuse the configuration blocks across several of your Solution Packages, if this is feasible. You develop or script configuration blocks only once, and you can deploy them several times for multiple customer implementation projects in a rapid manner.

How do I maintain my packages across SAP SuccessFactors releases?

It is highly recommended that with every SAP SuccessFactors release, you should perform regression testing for all the configuration blocks within your solution package. Such testing ensures that the configuration and business processes work with the new features and enhancements released by SAP SuccessFactors with every release.

How soon can I create my packages with the tool?

The time required to move your Golden Master configuration to the tool can depend on several factors, like availability of resources, the complexity of the configuration block, and proficiency in the SAP SuccessFactors modules. Please do expect the initial effort to be high to decompose your Golden Master into smaller configuration blocks and to script them within the Package Configuration Manager.

We hope this blog provided helpful insights into what to expect and how the tool can be leveraged within your organization. Do not hesitate to reach out to the SAP Best Practices team at sfbestpractices.support@sap.com if you have any questions. We look forward to our continued partnership for your success and the success of our customers.

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      26 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Shankar Sasikumar
      Shankar Sasikumar

      Hi Team,

       

      Please provide the URL to access the Package Configuration Manager

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Shankar,

      As mentioned in the post, SAP SuccessFactors Partners need to complete the openSAP training before they can access the Package Configuration Manager.

      https://open.sap.com/courses/sf8-pe

      Thanks,

      Jayendra

      Author's profile photo Barney Hearnden
      Barney Hearnden

      That link does not seem to work.  Please advise correct link or new method.

      Author's profile photo Ankit Vasavada
      Ankit Vasavada

      I attended this and really innovative and informative.

      Thanks Jayendra, Abhishek, Eric and entire team.

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks a lot Ankit Vasavada ! 🙂

      Jayendra

      Author's profile photo Roland Marquez
      Roland Marquez

      Hello,

      I tried to access the course but I got this message: You do not have sufficient permissions for this action.

      Do you know why?

      Thanks in advance.

      Regards.

      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      Ditto - Suggestions?

      Author's profile photo Chris Paine
      Chris Paine

      ping Jayendra Bisnik : your suggestions/tips appreciated!

      Author's profile photo Warren Nash
      Warren Nash

      Same issue for me, maybe Jayendra might have an idea why.

      Author's profile photo Ramesh Prabu
      Ramesh Prabu

      Hello Roland,

      I hope you already had found answer for this.

      If not, just try this.

      • Check your openSAP profile and accept the openSAP partner offering consent agreement.
      • Connect your openSAP profile to the SAP Enterprise login. You'll be prompted for your SAP user ID and password. (If you have already connected your openSAP profile to the SAP enterprise login you'll be taken to your dashboard.)
      • You can now view the course details pages and enroll in the courses.

      Thanks.

       

      Author's profile photo Roland Marquez
      Roland Marquez

      Hi,

      Thanks for replying,

      Unfortunately, this neither allows me to access the course.

      Regards.

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Roland Marquez ,

      Are you able to access the below link?

      Automate Build and Delivery of SAP SuccessFactors Packages (Partner

      Thanks,

      Jayendra

      Author's profile photo Roland Marquez
      Roland Marquez

      Hi,

      Not really, I obtain always this message:


      Regards.

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Roland Marquez

      Looks like you might have an issue in your profile.
      Could you please search for the course "Automate Build and Delivery of SAP SuccessFactors Packages" in your profile and try to access it?

      If the above does not work, you can contact the openSAP team by clicking on the 'Helpdesk' link at the bottom of the webpage.

      Thanks,
      Jayendra

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Chris Paine Roland Marquez Warren Nash ,

      You can use reactivate option to start the openSAP course. This option is available on the right side on the course landing page (besides Course Summary). Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks,

      Jayendra

      Author's profile photo Roland Marquez
      Roland Marquez

      Hi Jayendra Bisnik,

      Unfortunately, didn't find a way to access the course.

      Regards.

      Author's profile photo Muhammad Yousuf Ishaque
      Muhammad Yousuf Ishaque

      very useful blog 🙂

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Muhammad Yousuf Ishaque ! ?

      Author's profile photo Chinni Reddygari
      Chinni Reddygari

      Informative and Well-structured ... thanks Jay.

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Chinni Reddygari !

      Author's profile photo Alessandro Re
      Alessandro Re

      Hi!

      I've done the course and the related exam and opened my own instance but it's hard to me understand how this tool works. It has a lot of potential and could be a real accelerator but the PDF shared during the training are an high level explanation and are not enough to really start working on it and have the governance about the different steps and actions...

      Can anyone share materials or business cases?

      I've searched for guides but i didn't find anything...

       

      Thank you!

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Alessandro Re

      You can refer to detailed demos in the openSAP course (listed in the above blog). The demos provide a good overview of how you could start using Package Configuration Manager in your organization for your implementations.

      We have tried to make the tool as intuitive as possible. If you have any specific feedback, please let us know.

      Jayendra

      Author's profile photo Gautham Reddy N
      Gautham Reddy N

      Hello Jayendra Bisnik

      How can I raise request for PCM tool as part of Partner ecosystem. I have completed the course recently.

      Regards

      Gautham.

       

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Gautham Reddy N

      The prerequisite to getting a login is that you should have the Pass Certificate from our openSAP course.

      You can check at the login page of Package Configuration Manager if your company already has a profile. You can check this by typing the name of your organization in the search box.

      If your company is not listed, you can click on the "Request Partner Access" link and follow the steps to request your login. In this case, you will be made the admin for your organization.

      Jayendra

      Author's profile photo Gautham Reddy N
      Gautham Reddy N

      Hello Jayendra Bisnik

      Thanks for the details .

      Could you please let me know if there is any specific URL / access URL where I can check if my Organization already has access to PCM. (or) Am I missing something here related to URL for PCM.

      Gautham.

       

      Author's profile photo Jayendra Bisnik
      Jayendra Bisnik
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Gautham Reddy N

      Please join our JAM group for all the details on Package Configuration Manager.

      Package Configuration Manager for SAP SuccessFactors solutions

      Thanks,

      Jayendra