Chris Warticki

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Updated: 16 hours 48 min ago

How APIs help make application integration intelligent

Mon, 2018-05-21 05:47

Artificial intelligence (AI) represents a technology paradigm shift, with the potential to completely revolutionise the way people work over the next few years. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are crucially important in enabling the rapid development of these AI applications. Conversely AI is also being used to validate APIs, themselves, and also to analyse and optimise their performance.

Wikipedia defines an API as a ‘set of subroutine definitions, protocols and tools for building application software’. In slightly less dry terms, an API is basically a gateway to the core capabilities of an application, enabling that functionality to be built into other software. So, for example, if you were creating an app that needed to show geographic location, you might choose to implement Google Maps’ API. It’s obviously much easier, faster and future-proof to do that than to build your own mapping application from scratch.


How APIs are used in AI

And that’s the key strength of API—it’s a hugely efficient way of enabling networked systems to communicate and draw on each other’s functionality, offering major benefits for creating AI applications.

Artificially intelligent machine ‘skills’ are, of course, just applications that can be provided as APIs. So if you ask your voice-activated smart device—whether it’s Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, or any of the rest—what time you can get to the Town Hall via bus, it’s response will depend on various skills that might include:

  • Awareness of where you are—from a geo-location API
  • Knowledge of bus routes and service delays in your area—from a publicly available bus company API
  • Tracking of general traffic and passenger levels—from APIs that show user locations provided by mobile device manufacturers
  • Being able to find the town hall—from a mapping API

None of these APIs needs to know anything about the others. They simply take information in a pre-defined format and output data in their own way. The AI application, itself, has to understand each API’s data parameters, tie all their skills together, apply the intelligence and then process the data.


Everything is possible

That means you can combine the seemingly infinite number of APIs that exist in any way you like, giving you the power to produce highly advanced applications—and create unique sources of value for your business. You could potentially build apps to enhance the customer experience, improve your internal processes, and analyse data more effectively to strengthen decision making—and perhaps even identify whole new areas of business to get into.


How AI is being used to improve APIs

APIs are the ideal way of getting information into AI applications and also helping to streamline analytics—yet artificial intelligence also has a vital role to play within API development itself. For example, AI can be used to automatically create, validate and maintain API software development kits (implementations of APIs in multiple different programming languages).

AI can also be used to monitor API traffic. By analysing calls to APIs using intelligent algorithms, you can identify problems and trends, potentially helping you tailor and improve the APIs over time. Indeed, AI can be used to analyse internal company system APIs, for example, helping you score sales leads, predict customer behaviour, optimise elements of your supply chain, and much more.


GDPR: What are the priorities for the IT department?

Mon, 2018-05-21 05:46

All too often it is assumed that GDPR compliance is ‘IT’s problem’ because having your personal data and technology in order are such vital parts of it. But compliance must be an organisation-wide commitment. No individual or single department can make an organisation compliant. However, in planning discussions around GDPR compliance, there are clear areas where IT can add significant value.


1. Be a data champion

The potential value of data to organisations is increasing all the time, but many departments, business units and even board members may not realise how much data they have access to, where it resides, how it is created, how it could be used and how it is protected. The IT department can play a clear role in helping organisations understand why data, and by extension GDPR, is so important in order to realise the value of such data and how to use and protect it.


2. Ensure data security

GDPR considers protection of personal data a fundamental human right. Organisations need to ensure they understand what personal data they have access to and put in place appropriate protective measures. IT has a role to play in working with the organisation to assess security risks and ensure that appropriate protective measures, such as encryption, access controls, attack prevention and detection are in place.


3. Help the organisation be responsive

GDPR requires organisations to not only protect personal data but also respond to requests from individuals who, among others, want to amend or delete data held on them. That means that the personal data must be collected, collated and structured in a way that enables effective and reliable control over all personal data. This means breaking down internal silos and ensuring an organisation has a clear view of its processing activities with regard to personal data.


4. Identify the best tools for the job

GDPR compliance is as much about process, culture and planning as it is about technology. However, there are products available which can help organisations with key elements of GDPR compliance, such as data management, security and the automated enforcement of security measures. Advances in automation and artificial intelligence mean many tools offer a level of proactivity and scalability which don’t lessen the responsibility upon people within the organisation, but can reduce the workload and put in place an approach which can evolve with changing compliance requirements.


5. See the potential

An improved approach to security and compliance management, fit for the digital economy, can give organisations the confidence to unlock the full potential of their data. If data is more secure, better ordered and easier to make sense of, it stands to reason an organisation can do more with it. It may be tempting to see GDPR as an unwelcome chore. It should however be borne in mind that it is also an opportunity to seek differentiation and greater value, to build new data-driven business models, confident in the knowledge that the data is being used in a compliant way.  Giving consumers the confidence to share their data is also good for businesses.


The IT department will know better than most how the full value of data can be unlocked and can help businesses pull away from seeing GDPR as a cost of doing business and start seeing it as an opportunity to do business better.

Autonomous: A New Lens for Analytics

Mon, 2018-05-21 05:45

Welcome to the era of intelligent, self-driving software. Just as self-driving vehicles are set to transform motoring, self-driving software promises to transform our productivity, and strengthen our analytical abilities.

Perhaps you drive an automatic car today—how much are you looking forward to the day your car will automatically drive you? And how much more preferable would smoother, less time-consuming journeys be—always via the best route, with fewer hold-ups, and automatically avoiding unexpected road congestion—where you only have to input your destination? The technology is almost here, and similar advances are driving modern business applications.

AI and machine learning are finally coming of age thanks to the recent advances in big data that created—for the first time—data sets that were large enough for computers to draw inferences and learn from. That, along with years of SaaS application development in cloud computing environments, means that autonomous technology—harnessing both AI and business intelligence—is now fuelling self-driving software… for both cars and cloud applications.


Autonomy—beyond automation

Automation has, of course, been around for years. But autonomy—running on AI and machine learning—takes it to new levels. Today’s software is truly self-driving—it eliminates the need for humans to provision, secure, monitor, back-up, recover, troubleshoot or tune. It upgrades and patches itself, and automatically applies security updates, all while running normally. Indeed, an autonomous data warehouse, for example, can reduce administration overheads by up to 80%.


Intelligent thinking

But the greatest value is perhaps in what AI enables you to discover from your data. When applied to analytics, it can identify patterns in huge data sets that might otherwise go unnoticed. So, for example, you could apply AI to sales data to identify trends—who bought what, where, when and why?—and apply those to improve the accuracy of your future forecasts.

Alternatively, if you were looking for a vibrant location for new business premises, you might use AI to search for an area with a strong social media buzz around its restaurants and bars. You could teach the software to look for specific words or phrases, and harness machine learning to improve results over time.

AI technology is already widely used in HR to take the slog out of sifting through huge numbers of job applications. As well as being faster and requiring less manpower, it’s able to remove both human bias—critical in the highly subjective area of recruitment—and also identify the best candidates based on factors such as the kind of language they use.


Knowledge and power for everyone

These technologies are coming online now—today—for everyone. In the past, most database reporting was typically run by data analysts or scientists to update pre-existing dashboards and reports. Nowadays there are many more business users who are demanding access to such insights, which is being made possible by tools that are far easier to use.

Anyone can experiment with large samples of different data sets, combining multiple data formats—structured and unstructured—and discovering new trends. They can get answers in context, at the right time, and convert them into simple-to-understand insights, enabling decisions to be made more quickly for competitive advantages.


Smarter and smarter…

Yet it’s the strength of those insights that’s really compelling. As one commentator observed: ‘Machine intelligence can give you answers to questions that you haven’t even thought of.’ The quality of those answers—and their underlying questions—will only improve over time. That’s why it’s becoming a competitive imperative to embrace the power of intelligent analytics to ensure you can keep pace with market leaders.


Discover how…

In my last blog, I shared how organisations can profit from data warehouses and data marts, and how Oracle’s self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing Autonomous Data Warehouse saves resources on maintenance allowing investment in data analytics.


CPQ is an Auditor’s Best Friend

Mon, 2018-05-21 03:00

By Andy Pieroux, Founder and Managing Director of Walpole Partnership Ltd.  

One of the reasons many companies invest in a Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) system is to provide a robust audit trail for their pricing decisions. Let’s take a look at why, and how CPQ can help.

First, apologies if you are an auditor. I’ve always been on the business side - either in sales, sales management, or as a pricing manager. I can appreciate your view may be different from the other side of the controls. Perhaps by the end of this article our points of view may become closer?

If your business has the potential to get audited, I know that I can speak on your behalf to say we all just love being audited. We love the time taken away from our day jobs. We love the stress of feeling that something may be unearthed that exposes us or gets us in trouble, even if we’ve never knowingly done anything wrong. We love the thought of our practices being exposed as 'in need of improvement' and relish the chance to dig through old documents and folders to try and piece together the story of why we did what we did… especially when it was several years ago. Yes sir, bring on the audit.

The reason we love it so much is that in our heart of hearts, we know audits are needed for our organization to prosper in the future. We dread the thought that our company might be caught up in a scandal like the mis-selling of pensions, or PPI (payment protection insurance), or serious accounting frauds like Enron.

It was scandals like Enron in the early 2000s that gave rise to stricter audit requirements and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).  This set a high standard required for internal controls, and much tougher penalties for board members who fail to ensure that financial statements are accurate. The role of pricing decisions (e.g. who authorized what and when), and the accuracy of revenue reporting becomes paramount when evidencing compliance with audit arrangements such as this.

At this point, a CPQ system can be the simple answer to your audit needs. All requests for discount, and the way revenue is allocated across products and services is documented. All approvals can be; attributed to an individual, time stamped, and with reasons captured at the time of approval. More importantly, the ability to show an auditor the entire history of a decision and to follow the breadcrumbs from a signed deal all the way to reported revenue at the click of a button means you have nothing to hide, and a clear understanding of the decisions. This is music to an auditor’s ears. It builds trust and confidence in the process and means any anomalies can be quickly analyzed.

When you have all this information securely stored in the cloud, under controlled access to only those who need it, and a tamper-proof process, that means it is designed with integrity in mind, and makes the process of passing an audit so much easier. All the anxiety and pain mentioned above disappears. Auditors are no longer the enemy. You will find they can help advise on improvements to the rules in your system to make future audits even more enjoyable. Yes - that’s right…. I said it. Enjoyable Audits!

So, CPQ is an auditor’s friend, and an auditee’s friend too. It doesn’t just apply to the big-scale audit requirements like SOX, but any organization that is auditable. Whether you’re a telecommunications company affected by IFRS 15, an organization impacted by GDPR, or any one of a thousand other guidelines, rules or quality policies that get checked - having data and decisions stored in a CPQ system will make you love audits too.



Customer Support: Accelerating Your Business to the Cloud

Fri, 2018-05-18 09:00

Hear from Chris Warticki, Oracle Customer Success Evangelist, on how Oracle is transforming customer support to accelerate your business.

Learn and Connect with Oracle Support at COLLABORATE18

Wed, 2018-04-11 10:24

COLLABORATE 18 is less than two weeks away and Oracle Services will be front and center at this annual user conference to share best practices for adopting and optimizing Oracle technology. Oracle Support experts will be available in multiple sessions, at the exhibition hall, and in networking events throughout the conference to engage with you and illustrate how Oracle offers trusted, full-featured security, and comprehensive support. Find out how you can get more value from your Oracle Support investments.

Oracle Support Experts are Onsite to Talk with You

Don't miss the opportunity to interact with Oracle Support at the Support Stars Bar. Stop by the Oracle booth within the Exhibition Hall at the Mandalay Bay (booth #855) Monday, April 23, through Wednesday, April 25, for answers to your toughest support questions and learn about proactive support tools and services. Concerned about cybersecurity? You can also talk to us about security and steps you should take to help prevent cybercrime. You'll leave with valuable tips and best practices for maintaining, supporting, and upgrading Oracle products—from systems and databases to middleware, applications, and cloud.

Trusted | Secure | Comprehensive

Learn from Oracle Support experts in sessions on popular Oracle technology topics:

The Oracle self-service Premier Support Investment

Wed, 2017-11-15 23:00

Nobody wants to open Service Requests.  I get it.  I don't either.  However, everybody wants to learn to get a Service Request closed faster, how to log a Severity 1 Service Request and how to escalate a Service Request.

The ultimate value of the Oracle Premier Support investment is in utilizing all of the assets in the inventory of resources to prevent Service Requests in the first place.

Nobody is being paid to create and manage Service Requests.  Who would want to do that?

Review and take advantage of everything that's already available.

  1. Ongoing Training and Education from MOS Experts and Cloud Customer Connect - to prevent Service Requests
  2. Proactive Email Alerts and Notifications  - to prevent Service Requests
  3. Customized Dashboards and Product Powerviews in MOS  - to prevent Service Requests
  4. A robust, constantly growing Knowledge Base - to prevent Service Requests
  5. Structured Information Centers of the Best of the Best Support Practices - to prevent Service Requests
  6. Dozens and Hundreds of Tools, Scripts and Diagnostics - to prevent Service Requests
  7. MOS Communities and Cloud Customer Connect Forums - to prevent Service Requests
  8. Subject Matter Expert Networks in our Blogs, Twitter, Newsletters and Events - to prevent Service Requests

.....and of course, there's the ability to create and manage Service Requests.

"I'm FOR the customer"
-Chris Warticki
Global Customer Success Management

How vendor support can help improve ongoing IT operations

Mon, 2017-08-07 11:45

Elaina Stergiades, Research Manager, Software and Hardware Support Services, IDC

The previous discussions (Part 1 & Part 2) focused on how to manage IT problems: either solving IT problems when they occur (reactive support), or preventing IT issues from affecting critical business processes (predictive/preventive support).  There’s no question that reactive support and preventive/predictive support for critical IT systems will remain an important function of hardware and software support going forward.  However, vendor-driven support now typically includes an additional IT service capability that can provide key insight and guidance to CIOs and IT managers.  As business leaders look for more advanced technology solutions that can help improve the customer experience and drive revenue, flexibility and agility in IT service delivery are no longer optional.  As a result, IT organizations are looking to support providers for assurance in helping improve IT operations across their integrated, heterogeneous environments.

As more enterprises look to modernize their IT systems by implementing mobile, social and cloud solutions, IT processes are shifting away from supporting specific technologies to directly supporting business processes.  This is a complex shift for most IT organizations, with far-reaching implications for how support is purchased, delivered and consumed.  Hardware and software support providers are increasingly asked to go beyond reactive support and preventive/predictive support for specific technologies.  CIOs and IT managers are looking for help optimizing operations across the IT landscape, and delivering on the original promise of these systems.  Increasingly, that means considering support providers that can assure a seamless and comprehensive experience across their IT stack.

At IDC, our research shows that hardware and software support providers now include non-traditional support capabilities as part of support offerings.  These services are largely intended to help optimize IT operations, but many are even structured to help with software adoption and utilization across the business.  IDC believes the rapid adoption of cloud technologies is fueling this transformation, as CIOs look to “get what they paid for” from the IT providers – regardless of the deployment. 

With a deeper understanding of the technology itself, and direct visibility into the customer environment, the original hardware and software vendors can offer a comprehensive mix of these non-traditional support capabilities for resource-strapped IT organizations.  Some of these tools require direct access to the underlying technologies, which may only be available from the original technology vendor. IDC recommends considering support providers with a portfolio of services tailored for optimizing IT operations, including:

Planning for migrations and new technology deployments, with deep understanding of the technology under consideration, the current IT landscape and proposed customer roadmap

Fast and efficient contract management, especially when IT assets must be scaled up, scaled down or reallocated quickly to accommodate changing business requirements

Expanded training capabilities to help speed software adoption and utilization

Peer-to-peer best practice sharing, including industry benchmarking

Replacing day to day mundane IT operations with automated solutions, so CIOs and IT managers can focus on innovations that directly affect the bottom line

IDC recommends considering support from hardware and software vendors with these support capabilities, going beyond break-fix and problem avoidance to assuring a full range of comprehensive services that can help optimize ongoing IT operations.

Elaina Stergiades is the Research Manager for IDC's Software Support Services program. In this position, she provides insight and analysis of industry trends and market strategies for software vendors supporting applications, development environment and systems software. Elaina is also responsible for research, writing and program development of the software support services market.

Prior to joining IDC, Elaina spent 10 years in the software and web design industries. As a quality assurance engineer at Parametric Technology and Weather Services International (WSI), she led testing efforts for new applications and worked closely with customers to design and implement new functionality. Elaina also worked in product marketing at WSI, directing an initiative to launch a new weather crawl system. More recently, she was a project manager at Catalyst online. At Catalyst, Elaina was responsible for managing client search marketing campaigns targeting increased website traffic, revenue and top search engine rankings.

Elaina has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Babson College.

Why vendor support is a good choice for deploying predictive/preventive support

Tue, 2017-07-11 08:41

Elaina Stergiades
Research Manager, Software and Hardware Support Services, IDC

The previous discussion highlighted the key potential benefits of purchasing support directly from the original hardware or software vendor to help resolve IT problems quickly – i.e. break/fix, or what IDC calls “reactive support.”  While the need for reactive support will continue to be important in support, recent IDC research shows that most IT organizations are finding that reactive support alone is not enough to manage their complex technology landscapes.  More and more, CIOs and IT managers need support providers who can help prevent IT problems from damaging critical business systems.  Whether it’s reducing true system down situations, or avoiding performance degradations that slow users to a crawl, IT organizations need the assurance that business leaders can do their jobs 24/7/365.

To accomplish this, IT organizations are expanding their use of advanced predictive and preventive support capabilities across their environments.  These capabilities are typically a complex mix of tools, utilities, online websites and IT process improvements that can immediately and dramatically reduce system down issues and performance issues across the IT landscape.  In addition, advanced preventive and predictive support is expanding quickly with recent advancements in artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and machine learning.  IDC expects that advancements like expanded self-healing and automated problem diagnosis and resolution will become table-stakes for support in the next 5 to 7 years.

As more business leaders demand top performance from their IT organizations, often through extreme service level agreements, adopting preventive and predictive support technology is vital.  These advanced tools are a key first step to reducing risk and improving resiliency across the IT landscape.  However, for most hardware and software deployments, preventive and predictive support is best performed via deep integration with the underlying technologies.  Bolt-on tools and piecemeal utilities alone are not as effective as functionality integrated into the hardware and software itself. By purchasing support directly from the original vendors, IT organizations will have access to advanced preventive and predictive support technologies and capabilities – and can take advantage of the many potential benefits they can provide.

When considering support providers for preventive and predictive support, IDC recommends making sure their support capabilities include the following:

Ongoing access to the latest updates and patches for software and firmware, a critical component to reducing risk and maintaining the overall health and security of IT systems

Advanced tools for preventive support measures that are integrated directly into the hardware and software, with protected IP that can solve problems before they affect critical technology

Pairing predictive and preventive support with remote services delivery when problems do occur, which can help ensure faster identification and resolution

Ongoing updates to these predictive and preventive support tools, using machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve problem identification and resolution

IDC also recommends looking for support from vendors with a demonstrated history of significant ongoing investment in support technologies and capabilities over time, introducing new deliverables on a regular basis.  As technology landscapes continue to change very rapidly, having the assurance of the latest innovations in support functionality is an important part of a secure risk-avoidance strategy. 


Elaina Stergiades is the Research Manager for IDC's Software Support Services program. In this position, she provides insight and analysis of industry trends and market strategies for software vendors supporting applications, development environment and systems software. Elaina is also responsible for research, writing and program development of the software support services market.

Prior to joining IDC, Elaina spent 10 years in the software and web design industries. As a quality assurance engineer at Parametric Technology and Weather Services International (WSI), she led testing efforts for new applications and worked closely with customers to design and implement new functionality. Elaina also worked in product marketing at WSI, directing an initiative to launch a new weather crawl system. More recently, she was a project manager at Catalyst online. At Catalyst, Elaina was responsible for managing client search marketing campaigns targeting increased website traffic, revenue and top search engine rankings.

Elaina has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Babson College.

Benefits of vendor support for problem resolution

Tue, 2017-06-20 13:49

Elaina Stergiades, Research Manager, Software and Hardware Support Services, IDC

As business leaders push for faster adoption of mobile, social and cloud technologies, CIOs and IT managers wrestle with the best approach to embracing these new delivery systems and “keeping the lights on” for important production systems.  With the relentless pace of change in technology in 2017, IDC research shows that most organizations have already started their digital transformation journey across all aspects of the business.  However, the reality is that for most companies, IT must integrate these new technologies with extensive production systems – and support them for the foreseeable future.  At the same time, CIOs must meet demanding internal and external service level agreements across the technology stack that can directly affect the bottom line – no easy feat in these complex environments.

With so much complex technology supporting revenue generation and customer-facing activities, business leaders rely on the IT organization to make sure that technology is operating at peak efficiency.  It doesn’t take much for technology disruptions to negatively affect the customer experience and the bottom line – and it can be difficult to repair that damage once it occurs.  As a result, CIOs and IT managers are looking for assurance from support providers that can minimize potentially harmful downtime when problems affect IT systems.

IDC believes that support directly from the original software or hardware vendors can be a good choice when navigating these complex technology landscapes.  Many patches for important software problems and any security update can only be delivered from the original vendor, which can be critical for enterprises with strict compliance requirements. In addition, IT organizations typically try to figure out technology problems on their own when problems first occur.  This self-diagnosis and resolution can be much faster and easier than always reaching out for help – and original vendors can include advanced tools and utilities in the code that other providers can’t offer. 

For CIOs and IT managers considering vendor support to enable accelerated problem resolution, IDC recommends looking for the following support features:

Immediate access to the latest updates and patches when problems are resolved, including security updates – a critical consideration with growing security threats

An extensive library of tools and information for self-diagnosis and resolution, including online portals, knowledge bases with advanced search capabilities, and a robust peer-to-peer community

Advanced remote diagnostic capabilities, including tools with direct ties into the software to isolate and identify complex software issues

Direct access to support staff at the original software vendor when problems occur

Well-established partner networks in support delivery, with the ability to support complex integrations of technology from multiple hardware and software providers

When considering vendor support offerings and packages, IDC also recommends looking for comprehensive offerings that can assure broad access to these deliverables.  Ideally, the support provider will offer add-on services as needed, both for additional support activities and non-traditional support related activities (like optimization services and upgrade services).   IDC research has shown that IT organizations spend considerable time managing contracts and relationships with vendors and suppliers, and anything that can help minimize that time is helpful.  As IT environments grow more complex integrating on-premises and cloud solutions, support deliverables that can help speed problem resolution will be critical for resource-strapped IT organizations.

Elaina Stergiades is the Research Manager for IDC's Software Support Services program. In this position, she provides insight and analysis of industry trends and market strategies for software vendors supporting applications, development environment and systems software. Elaina is also responsible for research, writing and program development of the software support services market.

Prior to joining IDC, Elaina spent 10 years in the software and web design industries. As a quality assurance engineer at Parametric Technology and Weather Services International (WSI), she led testing efforts for new applications and worked closely with customers to design and implement new functionality. Elaina also worked in product marketing at WSI, directing an initiative to launch a new weather crawl system. More recently, she was a project manager at Catalyst online. At Catalyst, Elaina was responsible for managing client search marketing campaigns targeting increased website traffic, revenue and top search engine rankings.

Elaina has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Babson College.

Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support - Part 5

Thu, 2017-01-12 10:10

The following is Part 4 of a 5-part series on Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support.Click here for Part 4 Click here for Part 3 Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 1

I am FOR our customers.

In this final piece I want to leave you with the following image and just ask yourself "Are we taking full advantage of everything from Oracle Support?  Or, are we just creating and managing Service Requests?"

Oracle Support is here to help you maximize your investment and leverage all the available resources
and best practices.

Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support - Part 4

Tue, 2017-01-10 12:21

The following is Part 4 of a 5-part series on Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support.Click here for Part 3 Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 1

I am FOR our customers.

In this section I want to cover What is the Self-Service, Premier Support Investment?

I emphasized the self-service aspect because Oracle Support provides all the necessary tools, resources and assets for customers to stand on their own two feet to configure, manage and maintain their Oracle products.

Let's take a look :

Product Investment11;Product Knowledge and Continued Education -

Support Investments -
Self-Service Tools and utilities designed to help isolate and resolve 11;customer problems quickly.

And, there's a whole lot more.  That's just the beginning.  Depending on the product line, there are many tools, diagnostics, scripts, best practices, communities and resources. 

To begin to explore the Tools and Training Resources - Click here (MOS Login Required)

Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support - Part 3

Tue, 2016-11-08 12:40

The following is Part 3 of a 5-part series on Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support. Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 1

I am FOR our customers.

In this section I want to cover Value Based vs. Cost Based-Decision Making Results.

This is going to be a short article.  In tight economic times, every decision is a bottom-line decision. It's snappy.  It's quick. It makes somebody look like a hero and keeps business alive for a quarter at best.  If it's a matter of making payroll or keeping the lights on, there's nothing I can do or say to help that decision.

Maximizing the Value of the Support Investment is about fully understanding that value and what's included. What I can do, is help our customers dissect what Premier Support has to offer.  Nonetheless, at the end of the day, it's still a choice whether or not to evolve, adopt and utilize everything that is available.

What's the current state?

Answer the question yourself......."Where are we?"

Are we using the Products in the same way we've always used them?  Are we using Support in the same way?  Or, have we taken advantage of all that Oracle has to offer with both the Products and with Support?  Are we experiencing the same interactions?

Take the following inventory as a team, as an organization, as a division and as a company.

  1. Oracle Premier Support: Get Proactive! [ID 432.1]
  2. 8 Habits of Highly Effective Oracle Support Users
  3. Request Support Management Attention (SR Attention)
  4. Oracle Dynamic Toolbox
  5. MOS Catalog of Information Centers
  6. Oracle Support Calendar of WebCasts and Events
  7. PaaS & IaaS Cloud Platform - Support Resources
  8. Fusion Financials (ERP) Cloud Support Resources
  9. Sales Cloud Support Resources
  10. Service Cloud (RightNow) Support Resources
  11. SRM Social Cloud Support Resources
  12. CPQ Cloud Support Resources
  13. HCM Cloud Support Resources

Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support - Part 2

Tue, 2016-10-25 13:53

The following is Part 2 of a 5-part series on Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support. Click here for Part 1

I am FOR our customers.

In this section I want to cover Present Day Realities. The first reality is that I frequently hear from customers, "I can't get Support's attention to my Service Request unless it's Severity 2 or Severity 1, or "Escalated."  Is this a true reality?  Yes, in some situations it is.  It all depends on volume and capacity planning. 

The second reality I want to address is the fact that in the past 10-12 years within the global economic climate, the first budget that got whacked to near zero, if not zero, was employee TRAINING.  (The 2nd budget that got whacked was travel for training purposes) What has your division or line of business training budget looked like over the last year? 5 years? 10 years?  Most audiences comment, "What training budget?" Exactly my point.  This is real.  It IS reality.

You see, without properly investing in training on Oracle products and technologies, you are becoming co-dependent on the Service Request process to learn, implement, install, configure, manage and maintain your products. This is an unfair expectation to have of any support organization. Do you shoulder the burden of training all of your own customers?  Of course not.

Within Oracle's Technical Support Policies - which keep us within the guardrails of working better together, on pg 4 reads, "Your technical contacts must have, at a minimum, initial basic product training and, as needed, supplemental training appropriate for specific role or implementation phase, specialized product usage, and/or migration. Your technical contacts must be knowledgeable about the Oracle supported programs and your Oracle environment in order to help resolve system issues and to assist Oracle in analyzing and resolving service requests. When submitting a service request, your technical contact must have a baseline understanding of the problem you are encountering and an ability to reproduce the problem in order to assist Oracle in diagnosing and triaging the problem."

The global culture of not training one's own people has resulted in a near tripling of Service Requests into Support.  Artificially raising the Severity of Service Requests in order to just get attention, is not the answer.  Utilizing the Self-Service Resources as part of your Premier Support Investment is part of the solution.  Included as part of your Support investment is ongoing training and education.  Oracle Support Advisor Webcasts and the Oracle Learning Library should be part of everyone's Personal and Team Development Plans.  Oracle University also is a big part of your solution. Customers that are trained on our products, log the fewest Service Requests and are generally more satisfied with Oracle Support.

  • 70% of I.T. budgets are spent on supporting current infrastructure.
  • 71% of companies say that innovation is the #1 factor to competitiveness
  • Leading I.T. companies use I.T. to empower their people to drive innovation and change.

However, 70-90% of companies don't use I.T. to it's potential.  This too - is a very, sad REALITY.  Databases that are nothing more than oversized excel spreadsheets.  Numerous product features and functions that are aren't even being used. 

Smack dab in the middle - 80% UNREALIZED ROI.

The story goes like this....Two executives are sitting around and talking about the subject of employee training.  One says to the other, "What if we train our people and then they leave?"  The other turns and responds, "What if we don't train them and they stay?"

Maximizing your Support Investment is about leveraging the continued training and education that is part of the Premier Support Investment.

Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support - Part 1

Thu, 2016-10-20 12:18

The following is a 5-part series on Maximizing the Value of Oracle Support.

I have the distinct pleasure of meeting with our customers all over the world.  I enjoy working with our customers, partners and employees.  I thrive on helping them understand the Value of the Oracle Support investment.  Yes, it is an investment.  It's an investment that needs careful understanding in order to establish expectations and create a meaningful customer-vendor relationship.

I am FOR our customers.

The primary message that I would like to begin with is that Premier Support is a SELF-SERVICE Support model.   That means, Oracle Support provides our customers numerous features, functions, tools, diagnostics, portals, communities, ongoing education and resources, in order to service themselves and stand on their own with great success.

I am student of human behavior and a student of our customers.

The image on the left represents the support experience that customers desire.  The image on the right represents the standard way of using support that customers have become accustomed too.  The image on the left represents proactive and preventative support. The image on the right represents break-fix, reactive support.  

No matter where I travel.  No matter the audience.  No matter the experience level of the audience.......everyone, everywhere wants to learn how to get a Service Request solved by Support faster. Everyone wants to learn  how to 'escalate' a Service Request.  Everyone wants to know what to do in case of an emergency.  Understood, that information is important and part of support best practices.

But, no one, anywhere, has ever asked, "teach my team how to prevent the Service Request", or "teach my team to prevent the Sev1", or better yet "teach my team to prevent the crisis".

Oracle Products and Services have evolved.  Oracle Support has evolved.
It's been my personal experience that most, not all, customers aren't utilizing the full features of Oracle Products (<10%).  And, the same holds true for not utilizing the numerous features of Oracle Support.  More on this later.

Above: Represents many assets within the Support inventory for a customer to utilize.  This is a choice, of course.  We can adapt, leverage and experience all the feature richness of what's included within Premier Support (Self-Service).  Or, we can ignore it and experience things the same way that we've done so in the past. The latter, is a painful relationship with Support. 

Coming soon, Part 2 "Present Day Realities"


Jump Start Your Oracle OpenWorld Experience

Fri, 2016-09-02 12:43
Jump Start Your Oracle OpenWorld Experience
Working side-by-side with millions of Oracle users around the world, Oracle Support has developed a keen sense for solutions that work—insights, tips, and best practices.
Take advantage of our conference sessions, hands-on demos, and special events designed to help you excel in your role and build practical skills. Use this opportunity to network with Oracle Support experts and your peers, all in one place and with one purpose—to help you succeed.
Featured Events
Meet with Oracle University
Oracle University offers preconference trainings on Sunday, September 18, 2016. This includes 20 unique, deep-dive training sessions. Choose from sessions that cover the most popular Oracle technology topics or complete a certification exam cram course from our best instructors. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity.
Monday Mix
Get in the Mix
Join us at the annual My Oracle Support Monday Mix, Oracle Support's unique customer appreciation event that complements the sessions and demos you'll attend all week at Oracle OpenWorld.
This year's Mix returns September 19, 2016 at Fang Restaurant in San Francisco, just a three-minute walk from Moscone Center on Howard Street. Engage with Oracle Support executives and engineers over drinks and hors d'oeuvres from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission is free for Premier Support customers. Visit our website for more details.
Connect Ideas, Get Answers at the Stars Bar and Mini-Briefing Center
Meet us at the Oracle Support Stars Bar this year and bring your toughest technical or configuration questions on any product. Share your experiences and ideas with our "Support Stars" at Moscone West, booth 3451 on September 19–21. Specialists will be available in everything from hardware systems, to database, middleware, applications, and cloud.
Discover the latest product features and a wealth of powerful tools, resources, and knowledge to help you manage your applications and technology. Find out more at the Stars Bars OpenWorld website.

Oracle Field Service Cloud (OFSC) - Support Resources

Thu, 2016-09-01 09:44

First and ALWAYS – the #1 investmentis made in the PRODUCT, PRODUCT, PRODUCT.

Remain a student of the product.

Service Cloud Platform Product Information Page

Oracle Field Service Cloud ProductInformation Page

Training on the PRODUCT - FieldService Cloud Training


Configuring and Using Field Service Cloud Reports

Field Service Cloud Glossary

Field Service Cloud New Features

Using Capacity Cloud Service

Using Collaboration Cloud Service

Using Core Manage Cloud Service

Using Forecasting Cloud Service

Using Mobility Cloud Service

Using Routing Cloud Service

Using Smart Location

Using the Parts Catalog


Administering Field Service Cloud

Configuring ETAWorkforce

Configuring and Using the Daily Extract

Field Service Cloud Release Notes


Integrating with Activity Management API

Integrating with Capacity Management API

Integrating with GPS API

Integratingwith History API

Integrating with Inbound API

Integrating with Oracle Knowledge Cloud

Integrating with Outbound API

Integrating with Parts Catalog API

Integrating with Resource Management API

Integrating with Smart Location API

Notification Configuration Guide

REST API for Field Service Cloud

Understanding Field Service Cloud APIs

Quickly learn about Oracle FieldService Service Cloud key tasks and concepts by watching videos.

Use Field Service (Dispatcher)

Create a sequential routing plan

Assign activities immediately

Assign temporary work skills

Use Field Service (Technician)

Use the notification panel

Use the count down for work progress

Use collaboration

Administer Field Service

Set up collaboration

Use REST for Field Service Cloud

Set up REST authentication

View REST documentation

View Field Service REST API CodeExamples

Use node.js with the Field Service REST API

Use Oracle Social Network to ImproveCollaboration

Explore Oracle Social Network VideoSeries

Oracle Service Cloud Tutorials

Service Cloud Learning Subscription - The learningsubscription is organized into these channels:

· What's New

· Getting Started

· Administer and Implement

· Extensibility

· Use

· Analytics and Reports

· Coexist

· Collaborate

Oracle Cloud Portal (Subscription and Services Admin)

· Demos & Videos

· Service Data Sheets

· White Papers

· Documentation

Service Cloud(RightNow) Support Portal

  • Email Preferences
  • Support Notifications
  • Community Subscriptions
  • Expand your Network

Subscribe to Cloud, CX and SaaS, Newsletters

Join the Cloud Field Service Forum

Service Cloud - Applications Customer Connect

Oracle Mobile App– News, Events, Videos etc

SOCIAL Circles of Influence

· Oracle ServiceCloud

· Oracle Service Cloud Support

· Oracle Cloud Zone

· Oracle CloudMarketplace

· Cloud Café (Podcasts)

· Oracle Customer Experience Blog

Engage with Oracle Support:

· Upload any necessary reports iflogging a Service Request

· Leverage Oracle CollaborativeSupport (web conferencing)

· Better Yet – Record your issue and upload it (why wait for ascheduled web conference?)

Big Data Appliance (BDA) - Support Resources

Mon, 2016-08-29 10:45

Firstand ALWAYS – the #1 investment is made in the PRODUCT, PRODUCT, PRODUCT.

Oracle Big Data Interactive Quick Reference

Oracle Big Data delivers a broad and integrated portfolio of products and engineered systems. It helps you acquire and organize the diverse data sources and analyze them alongside your existing data to find new insights and capitalize on hidden relationships.
This quick reference tool includes: Architecture diagrams with hotspots that allow you to drill down into more details

Remaina student of the product.

 Information Centers within My Oracle Support

Personalize My Oracle SupportExperience

SetupProactive Alerts and Notifications

Customizeyour MOS Dashboard

Engage with Oracle Support

1. Upload ALL reports if logging a Service Request

2. Leverage Oracle Collaborative Support (web conferencing)

3. Better Yet – Record yourissue and upload it (why wait for a scheduled web conference?)

4. Request Management Attention as necessary

5. Know My Oracle Support? Get Accredited