The new Configurator User Interface (UI) has been built from the ground up to empower the manufacturing sales roles in doing their work in a simple, lean and effective manner. Watch this short video to familiarize yourself with the new user interface and transition easily from old to new user interface.
This feature was first introduced with the 21/02 upgrade, more than a year ago. Now with the 22/05 upgrade, all end-users will switch to the new configurator UI by default, which can be accessed through the Configuration icon on the right of the product name on each quote line. (See details in section Configuration)
Note: There will be a toggle to re-activate the old configurator for business continuity. This would enable access to the old configurator by clicking the line item number as usual. Clicking on the Configuration icon would always lead to the new configurator. If re-activated for any product gaps, do let us know why – via the support channel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To reactivate, click on the profile page at the top right-hand corner of the Digital Sales Platform. Then, select the 'Preferences' tab > toggle 'Enable Old Configurator' Yes/No
Setup: Sales Items Configurator
To reduce the number of clicks when using the new configurator UI, after adding the products, you can complete configuration work across all configurable line items without navigating back the to line-item table (Sales BoM) view. Once you are done with the configuration you can switch to pricing to review the same.
Go to 'Administration' > 'Master Data Management' > 'Setting Boolean' > 'Return all sales items on the configurator'
Setup: Progress Visualization
Go to 'Administration' > 'Master Data Management' > 'Setting Boolean' > type 'progress' > the following results will show
Tip: To improve the overall performance, it is recommended to enable Manual Refresh of Quote's status and progress on the configurator. This way, every change made during configuration will not result in re-calculation; saving time on every round trip.
The new Configurator UI can be launched directly from the quote line item’s Configuration icon .
After configuration is complete and the Bill of Material is generated, you can click on the position number to finish the other details like Partner and Pricing details.
The concept of Configuration Navigation allows a user to focus and complete a related configuration process swiftly. In other words, the user starts with a configuration of any configurable quote line item, manages its required configuration, and then continues the process until all the sub-line items that may have exploded and until all child line items have been configured. Each configurable line item allows intuitive navigation through its groups and subgroups and allows the user to jump directly to a specific field. Some examples to demonstrate the behavior and assistance of focus:
The configuration navigation indicates the user where the user is currently working on the configuration by highlighting the respective position (group and subgroup). The mandatory field must be set”_ indicates an inconsistency error where a field must be configured before the quote may reach a valid state. An incomplete mandatory field(s) will be marked in red with the status "Incomplete". The user(s) can navigate which field(s) via the configuration list on the left-hand side of the panel.
Mandatory fields must be defined to get a correct base price or a valid configuration. Mandatory fields show a vertical red bar in front of the label of a characteristic. It is a permanent visual helper that cannot be hidden.
Once you have configured the mandatory field(s), the red field(s) will disappear with the green status shown as "Complete".
User vs System Defined Configurations
A new concept within our SaaS solution is the usage of User Defined and System Defined inputs. It allows the user to see which configuration was important to the customer once they are talking about the offering. This also works in cases where someone else did the initial configuration and passes it along to a sales representative or manager for example and it allows a great entry point for additional questions to the prospect. Whatever the reason may be, it also helps to understand what configuration is done by the human and what proposals the system has set based on the user input.
System Defined inputs are configuration effects that can be triggered via script or triggers or any other system provisioned change. Such a change can be overridden (if the model does not permit it) with user input and will then be marked accordingly.
Fields that have a dotted blue border are the System Defined inputs. The system changed some of the previous configurations used to any other changes based on human interaction.
Fields that have a solid blue border are the User Defined inputs. These inputs come from human interaction.
This works with any control and does not require any setup by an administrator. Subsequently, in the Filter Settings section, we will find a way to also filter according to those input types giving us a great way to look at the right data point at the required point in time.
While looking at the process of configuring line items, the navigation concept allows the user(s) to consistently access navigation-related items on the left-hand side portion of the screen. Navigation for the system and the line item configuration are brought closer but are still separate from each other.
To hide the system’s main navigation bar, click on the navigation icon at the top left-hand side of the Digital Sales Platform.
Another option via profile settings under the "Navigation" category:
Line Item ID
Line item IDs can be displayed or hidden based on the user’s preference:
For more information on pricing configuration, refer to 'Internal Pricing Configuration (Excel)'.
Bringing characteristics of various groups into the same bucket of process relevancy or business segmentation the characteristics can be marked with certain flags. It allows the user to focus on a portion of the configuration work. Assuming that for example if a user is working on a tender and tries to optimize the pricing, it would be helpful to display only characteristics that affect the price or costs.
The Digital Sales Platform supports mandatory, quote, cost, price, and relevant tagging of characteristics. This allows assignment besides topic-wise grouping of characteristics to set tags according to the sales configuration process. This is a setting that needs to be performed by the administrator of the product knowledge base either via UI Administration or Excel Upload.
This allows the user to parse the screen easily and follow the business categories' color. This makes the user proceed with the configuration in a faster manner without having to read every single attribute’s name or label. The workspace can also selectively represent only the desired categories via the field tags:
There are two new major types of assistance that Side Panels now offer and assist the users with their configuration and they are as follows:
- Manage UI workspace & the configuration of UI
- Get additional help while configuring
Side Panels are launched primarily using the tool icons, where a highlighted tool icon shows which panel is currently opened and active. The side panel will keep the existing configuration open and provide additional assistance or interaction.
Side Panel - Filter and View Settings
This Side Panel combines two functionalities in one panel. On the left-hand side, the characteristics tag and configuration input filters are available. On the right-hand side, the view options can be set to match the need a user identifies for his/herself.
The user can control the appearance of the UI-based requirements by either temporarily or permanently storing them in the profile. To save the newly made settings and change the modification for future UI configuration, click on the "Save as Default" button.
Groups & Subgroups
Users may decide to not show groups, resp. subgroups and leverage more characteristics on the real estate. Turning off titles will automatically turn off images and comments.
Group images may lead to a more intuitive user visuaforport of the category of aggregated characteristics. Turning off images will just hide the image. Group images are only available in CPQ.
Comments, also known as short descriptions, enrich the information beyond the label of groups and subgroups.
Attribute PositioThe user
The user may show the attribute positions in front of the characteristic’s (attribute’s) label.
In some cases, experienced users relate more to attribute names rather than a localized label.
Therefore in such a case, the data models’ or ERP characteristic’s name beside the localizeonceabel one the attribute name is turned ON.
Comments, also known as short descriptions, enrich the information beyond the label of characteristics.
Filter tags are shown with colored bullets next to the label to increase certain relevancy.
The configuration filter sections show the enabled filters on the workspace:
Filter tag bullet for _Mandatory Field_ has been removed. The mandatory “filter” is shown at the beginning of the label as a vertical bar. The other filter tags are shown as filter tag bullets at the end of the label’s line.
The filter tag _Order Relevant_ has been added.
Note: Order relevancy is tagging characteristics relevant during the order stage in the sales process, but may already be configured during the quotation phase. Please ensure to understand this concept to make the right choice in determining the business phase. All order relevant attributes will not be calculated into the configuration progress (neither on the line-item level nor the quote progress).
Based on preferences and use the layout can be changed with different layout options.
Multi-column node allows users to bring as many characteristics onto the screen as the screen permits. The width of the screen defines the number of columns that can be displayed. This view is the standard MX CPQ view for Multi-column column mode is turned ON by turning Single Column Mode OFF.
Single Column Mode
Characteristics can be aligned as a single column with various options to cater to all tor preferences and give the user a more configuration web client configurator look and feel. Sales representatives may more likely use the multi-column mode. The single-column node is the default MX Commerce view.
The screenshots below show the Single Column left-aligned labels:
The screenshots below show the Single Column Model with the Center aligned:
The screenshots below show the Single Colum Mode with indented labels:
The workspace allows two modes of pagination. When Paginate by Sub Group is on then there is a page break after every subgroup attribute is printed on the same page.
The number of Attributes defines the page size and can be set to 10, 20, or 30 attributes. This setting is applicable irrespective of Paginate by Sub Group is On or Off.
This screenshot shows that the Pagination mode is switched ON.
The following image shows how the Configurator looks like when the Paginate by Subgroups is toggled:
The following image shows the page size: number of attributes per page:
Comment and Formatted Help
The platform allows administrators to improve the documentation for better assistance.
The UI workspace is of utmost value if it can cater to all business processes and data entry. In addition, it always prompts the user(s) with a few options. Filtering the workspace gives several advantages in doing the right work at the right time. Filtering increases focus and effectiveness touching only the required data points. The side panel portion denoted to the filtering provides a few filter options ready for applying.
The filters may be selected in multi-selection mode. All filtered categories will be displayed. After a certain stage within the configuration process, the user might want to see unconfigured (“empty”) fields to compile the configuration fully. The unconfigured (“empty”) category is a calculated field representing the difference/remainders of the already configured fields
Mandatory: Indicates the mandatory fields in this configuration.
User-Defined: Indicates the characteristics that have been set by a User.
Default Value: Indicates what comes from the knowledge base and defines the initial value that is being loaded when opening a new configuration or resetting it.
Empty Value: Indicates untouched characteristics that do not have a default value or are still unconfigured.
Applying filters is straightforward and enriches the workability of the product configuration. Applying filters on business categorization and configuration-based definition underlie the AND / OR principle. Within one category the filters are applied as OR operation, whereas bringing both filter categories together, the AND operation is applied.
Filter does reduce form fields to selected tags. Without pagination, it collects all form fields across the product (groups & subgroups). Groups and Subgroups sections displayed within the workspace are discarded.
The user sees on the workspace also which filters are applied and how many fields are shown out of how many in total within the configurable line item.
With pagination, it collects all form fields across the selected subgroup (or in extrema the group or product if the subgroup, resp. group is not present in the KB). Groups and Subgroups sections displayed within the workspace are maintained (Since pagination allows clear location indication).
The Help Panel provides documentation with sophisticated rich text and visual content accessible from anywhere in the configuration workspace – by a single click and can be done while the user is configuring a product.
Besides assisting, as shown in the image below, the user may easily upload important files via drag & drop and attach those documents in a hassle-free manner to the quote from anywhere during the configuration process.
There are several options to visually support the user performing configuration and making sure the choices can be fast. In this section, the new configuration user interface elements are presented.
First of all, the behavior of certain controls may change slightly on the operational interaction by the user depending on whether multiple or single selections are available. E.g. the Default value search control allows double click in a single selection case whereas the multiple selections enabled require the OK button to be hit.
Default Value Search Control
This UI control is most suitable for characteristics that have more than 6 values, and require search capabilities across the localized range values and their ERP IDs. Normally to be selected where a lot of options and/or more experienced user and/or incomplete visual support is given.
Tip: <div> The Best use cases to use for this are, <ul><li> Values that will load many range values >> 6. </li><li> Searching the range values or ERP ID will get you done faster. </li><li> Searching across two domains. </li><li> Images are important but are not main selection support. </li><li> Image material may not be too appealing or evenly present. </li></ul></div>
Segment Value Control
Configuration values that do not require image support and usually provide 3-5 static options.
Tip: <div> The Best use cases to use for this are, <ul><li> Values that will offer a choice of a few (more of static selection) short-named options, usually 3-5 options. </li><li> Different options at a glance: e.g. lens diameter, SSD size, RAM sizing, options (small, medium, large, …) </li><li> Images are not supportive in this context. Control is equally understandable by all users. </li></ul></div>
Note: <div>Be aware that as an Administrator the UI Controls can potentially be configured to defeat their purpose.</div>
Image of such an example
- too many values are being offered, or
- too long-range values
are defined for the segment control.
Matrix Value Control
Some characteristics offer a few options only and characteristics range values may additionally lead the user when those are being enhanced with images – in short images that are further specifying the options provided. It offers a kind of a webpage experience to the user.
Tip: <div>The Best use cases to use for this are: <ul><li> Offer a choice of a few options, usually 1-9 options. </li><li> The image is THE helper and accelerator and main driver making the right choice.</li><li> For choices that are more commerce presentable.</li></ul></div>
Configuration is simple, the administrator sets the optimal matrix column and row count for the optimum presentation of the values.
Open Display ValCharacteristics
CharacCharacteristicsprovide variants that are easy to understand and show those directly within a small portion on the screen. The textual options are clear and easy to consume.
Tip: <div>The Best use cases to use for this are: <ul><li> Text does it. </li><li> Plain and simple. </li><li> Low real estate usage. </li><li> Text is clear and image or anything else than a list is distractive. </li></ul></div>
Simple Drop Down
Some characteristics offer a few options that allow to quickly select from a dropdown. The dropdown provides type-ahead support and if desired also ERP ID support leading to enhance further efficiency to search for the term the user knows.
The form field control allows to type directly and reduce the list by typing ahead.
Multiline String Control
Some configuration items require several lines of text to be added. The text can be entered with the option to display several lines. The control supports automatic scrollbar enabling.