Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

Using a Soft Enter to Make Calculation Rules More Readable

Jasmine Lee | Oracle Policy Automation Expert @ Oracle

As calculation rules get longer they become more difficult to read. Consider the two example rules below.

The rule below is short, has few inputs, and thus is very easy to read:

The rule below is longer, has far more inputs, and is a little more difficult to read:

You can make a long calculation rule easier to read by using a 'soft enter' (Shift+Enter). A 'regular enter', i.e. just hitting the enter key, inserts a hard enter which moves the remaining content to a new line and also indicates a new paragraph. This means that all formatting associated with a new paragraph will apply. From an OPM rule perspective it means the remaining content would become detached from the start of the rule, and the rule would be broken.

A soft enter moves the remaining content to a new line, but it does not indicate a new paragraph. This means you can make the rule appear like the example below, without the rule being broken.

In the example above, a soft enter was inserted between each item in the calculation, making it much easier to read. Below is a screenshot of the same rule with the formatting marks displayed. Notice that the only paragraph mark (  ) appears at the very end of the rule, whereas the other lines end in a soft enter (  ).

Oracle Policy Automation Personalizes the Customer Experience

Peter Still | Executive Director, Policy Management and Strategic Decisioning, Oracle

Earlier this year, Oracle announced that Oracle Policy Automation is now available as a Cloud Service. This was an important announcement—partly because it means that OPA is now readily available to a much wider range of organizations, with SaaS flexibility and with Oracle providing the required IT infrastructure—but more importantly because it enables a shift in the way large organizations write their Customer Experience strategies.

Customer Experience has become a high priority area as both public sector organizations and private companies work hard to empower citizens and customers—by alerting them to relevant programs, services or products; by enabling 24/7/365 self-service; and by offering citizens and customers the ability to switch between difference service channels, including call center, web and in-person interactions. Often Customer Experience discussions focus on the cost and resource load of handling a single interaction. For example, some organizations measure the cost of handling a call center inquiry in the range $10–30 per call, so they will focus on offering online knowledge portals to customers, and encouraging lower-cost modes of interaction such as online text-based chat or service requests.

Oracle supports just such a multi-channel service model, and we do so with full support for both SaaS (Oracle RightNow Cloud Service) and on-premises (Oracle Siebel) options—both with productized Oracle Policy Automation available.

But Oracle Policy Automation allows us to take the discussion a step further. Oracle Policy Automation offers a powerful, cost-effective and rapidly deployable way for organizations to personalize citizen and customer interactions. Personalization is an important step in delivering a next-generation Customer Experience solution. It can help organizations to respond to calls quickly, and to enable self-service.

But even more than that, Oracle Policy Automation also plays an important role in driving accuracy and consistency. Citizens, customers—even customer service representatives—can find it difficult to answer complex questions about unusual circumstances, but Oracle Policy Automation can deliver specific, generated advice that is tailored to an inquirer’s situation. This is an important step beyond presenting generalized information to citizens and customers and asking them to interpret it. As a result, Oracle Policy Automation can enhance a Customer Experience strategy by driving higher levels of citizen and customer satisfaction, while also reducing repeat contacts from citizens or customers who may otherwise have received inconsistent advice.

Oracle Policy Automation has long offered both public and private sector organizations the ability to transform complex legislation, regulations and policy into an executable format—made available as online wizards that only ask relevant questions and explain the advice they generate; or integrated with other applications to automate all manner of complex determinations and calculations. The Oracle Policy Automation Cloud Service makes this approach more readily available to a wider range of organizations, and it includes productized integration with a leading Customer Experience Platform, the Oracle RightNow Cloud Service. Oracle also continues to support OPA integration with the Siebel platform for on-premises deployments.

We have been very pleased at the level of interest that the new Oracle Policy Cloud Service is generating, including a recent report, “Oracle offers Change “On the Fly” for Human Services Policies” by Adelaide O’Brien of IDC Government Insights. We’re looking forward to discussing this new solution with you at this week's Oracle OpenWorld conference, and at numerous other conferences and events. 


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Happy reading! 


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