xLSO is an add-on to the SAP Learning Solution - SAPs Learning Management System - to support clients in driving education, compliance or user adoption in their entire business network from supplier to end-customer. Its official name is "SAP Learning Solution, option for the extended learning community".
You can find some further background in this SCN article - I will focus on the e-commerce part in this article.
The xLSO backend is based on SAP Learning Solution with several extensions for managing learning of external targetgroups - and uses the ERP based e-commerce scenario. The front end is based on SAP NetWeaver 7.30 and reuses SAP Web Channel Experience Management 1.0 components — SAP’s new e-commerce solution. As there are some differences in the business of selling training to selling products - e.g. the time dependency of classroom trainings - some extensions needed to be done on top of the Webchannel framework.
How does the solution work?
As part of SAP Learning Solution, users can create courses, catalogs, resources. There are some new infotypes (e.g. the sales information infotype), which lists the targetgroup for the course — either an internal employee, an external learner, or both — and where prices and discounts can be maintained.
Automatically product masters are created depending on the settings - and then courses can be grouped together as a product catalog (with an adapted WWM3 transaction). This is useful when specific customers or countries require other settings — for example, when there are discounts being offered, or you want to brand catalogs differently by customer brand. The product catalog is then published via TREX to the external learning portal.
When users are self-registering or are being registered by their administrator or manager, a system user is created for them. Regardless of how users are registered, either by self-registration or when they are registered by the administrator or manager, a system user is automatically created for them. The
system user (SU01) is also the object that finally books the courses.
Based on their specific learner profile the learner’s system user data includes information about his or her respective catalog, as well as other features, such as the learning manager role. To configure the front end, you can use the Webchannel Builder, which can also be used to configure shops and catalogs and also assign themes. These themes can then be used to define the look and feel of different shops and catalogs. The front-end system works as standalone and uses the SAP ERP system as the back end.
Additional features to SAP WebChannel are next to the time-dependent products (events) things like
- access codes or e-vouchers for distributing and accessing learning products.
- Learners can personalize recomendations based on their interests, admins can push advertisments, related courses are shown as recomendations incl. "courses booked by other users who booked that course".
- An lightweight admin role - the learning manager - was introduced who can sit at your customer site to book & buy on behalf, report and register on behalf.
- For social learning - the learning with and from others using social media - an integration with SAP Streamwork was built to book learners also into a autmatic created collaboration activity - so they can e.g. discuss exercise between courses.
Please find here a screenshot showing the catalog view.
Example of course catalog view via WEC based xLSO
First feedback to the solution was that customers especially love the nice and usable UI - which is based on SAP Webchannel Experience Management - next to the rich e-commerce processes and the integration into SAP ERP. Interestingly as a little sidenote: for some scenarios - e.g. training contractors in compliance - some customers cut-off the entire e-commerce functionality as they are just interested in tracking user bookings. However - we are glad that we were able to "reuse" the WEC framework for xLSO.