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Unpacking Customer Central, an Introduction

Updated: Apr 17

Amongst the final, frenzied weeks of a Go-Live or submerged in a Community "What’s New Post", customers may hear the term “Customer Central Tenant” but not all may have the context or confidence to understand fully what Customer Central is and how to use it. With the rollout of Object Transporter (“OX”) 2.0 deprecating OX 1.0 last year, suddenly more customers started hearing the term Customer Central in release content, from partners, and within their own tenant alerts.


But where does a customer, with busy to-do lists and a plethora of content to absorb, start? In this first blog of a three-part series, we will unpack what Customer Central is and it’s use to you, the customer, both in deployment and afterwards.


What Is Customer Central?

Included in all Workday subscriptions, the Customer Central tenant is an environment residing above non-production and Production tenants that houses a number of tools to streamline the implementation and tenant buildout process.


Originally, Customer Central was built as an implementer-only warehouse of tools for initial deployment and the loading and migration of customer data across the implementation tenants and accessing Workday-delivered configuration from the WDSetup demo tenant. In 2021R1, Workday enabled Customer Central for Production access, expanding the applicability for customers to migrate configurations from Sandbox to Production. As of 2023R1’s replacement of OX 1.0 with OX 2.0, it became significantly more imperative for customers to ensure they had Customer Central enabled for migrating configuration and to have the right roles enabled to provision access quickly to users.


Customer Central simplifies the process of transferring configuration (think custom reports, business processes, and calculated fields) between environments. This saves time and effort by eliminating the need for manual reconfiguration. Instead of rebuilding configuration in Production, users can easily transfer them from Sandbox with just a few clicks. For instance, prototyped Onboarding Business Processes with custom condition rules and document review steps can be seamlessly moved from Sandbox to Production, ready for immediate use.


There are a variety of tools available in Customer Central, which we’ve broken down below in two ways:


(1)   Tools to migrate content from WDSetup (Workday’s demo tenant of delivered configuration) to the customer Tenant



(2)   Tools used in Initial Deployment by Implementers and Tools useful for Post-Deployment by customers and Implementers alike.


Customer Central in Initial Deployment

When customers first deploy Workday, Customer Central is essential to the Data Migration teams of their implementation partner. Workday consultants utilize Customer Central to build the framework of your initial foundation tenant, loading in what Workday terms as “Foundation Recipes,” or baseline sets of delivered configuration setup. Like a recipe being cooked in the kitchen, we evaluate each ingredient a customer needs for their specific scope. Core HCM? Check. Financials? Check. UK Payroll? Out of Scope.


They also leverage Cloud Loader and Advanced Loads to load all the information from your data workbooks into your first early tenant iterations for testing and validation. These tools are similar to EIBs, in that they allow massive amounts of configuration and worker data to be loaded via a spreadsheet. In fact, that’s why the format of the data workbooks can be so regimented – the format correlates to exactly the setup we need to load thousands of rows of your data into the tenant quickly and efficiently.


As you move through the phases of your implementation, from unit testing, to end-to-end and all the way to your final gold build, your Data Migration team is leveraging Customer Central to migrate all the custom configuration and requirements from one prototyped tenant to the next, fine tuning your configuration and leaving behind any discarded “Do Not Use” values. The main vehicle for transporting this information is via Migration Recipes, which are custom groupings of configurations that can be migrated from one tenant to another on a large scale.

 

Customer Central Post-Deployment

Now, as you enter post-deployment, when your initial Workday implementation team has rolled off and you’re suddenly finding yourselves the primary owners of your Workday system, you may find Customer Central is itself no longer relevant. But that leaves untapped potential on the table. Even though you’ve made a massive investment of money and time to build your Workday environment and take it live, there may still be a roadmap of opportunity areas and additional SKUs that lie ahead of you. Customer Central can be pivotal in helping you take your Workday tenant to the next level.


When it comes to a Phase X Deployment, your implementation partner will once again ask you, the customer, for access to Customer Central. Because now we’ve enhanced that original recipe, or custom tenant, for you and are ready to add additional ingredients. For example, an implementer will leverage the Configuration Catalog to migrate in the Talent and Performance SKU for a future rollout. Quickly adding a baseline set of configurations to your tenants that did not previously exist, creating a launchpad to make your own. Without Customer Central, we could spend hours and hours of precious time trying to build the right security mix for the Talent Administrator, which could otherwise be migrated in a matter of minutes.


Saving the best for last, the hidden gem of Customer Central, is the Configuration Catalog. The buzzwords that stick with Human Resources and Finance teams since their first Workday demo: “dashboards,” “reporting,” “analytics,” “optimization.” Configuration Catalog is a repertoire of pre-built solutions that you can readily import into your own environment. We’ll take a deeper dive into what’s in Configuration Catalog and how to import it into your own tenant in an upcoming blog.

 

Conclusion

Have we bored you on the merits of Customer Central yet? Admittedly, as implementers, our first-hand experience and hours saved leveraging Advanced Loads and Object Transporter (OX) make us a bit more passionate than our customer counterparts. But we hope we’ve built a baseline case for why Customer Central shouldn’t get lost in your Go Live checklist notes. Like your Preview and Sandbox tenants, there is accountability and merit in maintaining your Customer Central environment to get the most out of your Workday subscription.


In the next blog of our series, we will unpack the various roles and types of Customer Central accounts and how to set up your environment for success. We’ll parse apart the terminology to boil down exactly what each role does and who in your organization should be granted permission.

 

Sources:


Author: Dia from Ohio



 

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