Wednesday Sep 03, 2014

6 Sure-Fire Tips to Finding Solutions in MOS

Oracle’s knowledge base has 520,000+ active and 500,000+ archived documents – it’s no wonder it’s hard to find solutions.

Each month we search about 5.3 million documents and read about 5.8 million – WOW - there’s a lot of activity going on but still 50% of documents that will solve issues are NOT found.  O-M-G!  Does that mean every time we search we only have 50% chance of finding our solution?  I sure hope not.  Use these 6 sure-fire tips to search like an expert to find answers quickly and efficiently.

1. Search Using Complete Sentences, Error Codes or Message Descriptions and be specific.

Now this is a complete U-turn in thinking.  Searching on keywords has been driven into most of us since birth however MOS has had some major changes over the last year and now the Knowledge Base, Knowledge Base Archive and Community searches use the Oracle Knowledge search engine where natural language work best.  Basically, the more grammatically rich a phrase the better.  That means entering full error codes, full messages descriptions and specific details of the issue or information you’re after.  You can also make use of exact matching by highlighting important terms using “double quotes”.  Vague terms such as Error in Form or APP-SQLAP-10000 isn’t going to cut it anymore, searching is no longer a case of less is more.

For example:  you’re getting an ORA-01403 no data found error when trying to open the transaction details form.

  • Good search: Cannot open the Transaction Details Form
  • Better Search: Cannot open the Transaction Details Form getting ORA-01403 no data found.

2. Refine Your Search

Although we’d like it to be, the search engine isn’t a mind reader.  It doesn’t know exactly what you’re after when you enter your search string – it’s making a best guess.  After you’ve performed the initial search, you can easily let the engine know what you’re thinking by using refinements.

  • Knowledge Source Filter:  Click to display results from other sources.  If you’re using a prior release, the content you’re after may be archived or you may want documentation on a feature.  (The Knowledge Base and Community return by default.)
  • Product Filter:   Enter a product, product area or product group OR click on the product under a document to limit your results to the documents for that area. 

3. Use Powerview

Let’s be honest, you don’t really care about ALL of Oracle’s products.  So why would you want to search on them all?  Using the Powerview functionality allows you to create filters that confine searches into defined areas of the Knowledge Base.

PowerView is available next to the My Oracle Support heading and are quick and easy to setup.  Once completed they are immediately enabled.  A search string entered will produce results confined to the values set in the PowerView. 

NOTE: Selecting a recent product in the single product selector takes precedence over the Powerview.  If the Powerview is set to Product = Order Entry but the single product selector is set to Database, the results will be filtered on database.


4. Make use of Community Threads

There is also plenty of information available within the MOS Community and the search results provide easy access to the Community Threads.  Every search will display Community Thread results by default so you don’t even have to do anything extra to get this information. 

Get used to reviewing the results in the Community list and don’t rely just on the knowledge base.  If you are not able to find what you are looking for, try asking your question in a MOS Community.

5. Attend a My Oracle Support Essentials – Finding Answers in MOS Session.

Each month there are several LIVE sessions which takes users through the My Oracle Support Essentials Webcast – Finding Answers in My Oracle Support (Doc ID 1540338.1)

This 45 minute session is great for anyone wanting to gain expertise in the searching options available in My Oracle Support, understand how to select the best searching technique for specific information needs, as well as recommended best practices for participating in My Oracle Support Community to ask questions and find solutions.

6. Celebrate!

Finally, after all that, get searching and CELEBRATE the results.  Soon you’ll become the office hero with all the solutions!

For more information check out:

  • MOS: Find Answers. Resolve Issues - Searching Effectively in My Oracle Support (Doc ID 1622660.1)
  • How to use My Oracle Support - Searching and Browsing - Part 1 of a 2 Part Series [ Video ] (Doc ID 1543724.1).

Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Logging an SR for Payables? Choose The Correct Problem Type For Faster Resolution

Did you know that you can affect how your SR is routed based on the Problem Type you choose in My Oracle Support?

The initial routing of your SR to an engineer is all dependent on how you choose to classify your issue.  If you don't understand the problem type options and choose the incorrect one, your SR will still get routed to the correct team but it will go the scenic route - around the houses instead of as the crow flies!

Choosing the best problem type means it's routed to the correct group working those issues first time which means the engineers with the skill set to handle your issue or question will get working on it right away.  If it goes to a different team, they will review the issue and decide which is the appropriate group for that issue and transfer that SR.  So speed up the resolution of your issue by getting it to the right team - first time.


Screenshot


When you are in MOS and you have chosen Oracle Payables as a product, the problem type drop down box (as shown above) contains the following options:

1099 US Tax Reporting
Accounting Issues and Reporting
Payables Payments Issues and Reporting
Invoice Processing and Reporting
Supplier Issues and Reporting
EBTax (Payables) Issues e.g. Tax related processing and calculation
Internet Expense/Procurement Card Issues
Localization Issues
Technical Issues
Patch Application Issues
Other Payables Issues 

You might be unsure what to select if you can't account an invoice or your trial balance is causing you concern.  What about a question about Transfer to GL or Period Close? Well that would always be an accounting issue because the problem is with accounting code.

What about if you have a payment workbench problem, payment reports are wrong, users can't print a check or you have questions about AP/AR Netting? What about PPR problems? Those are all payments issues.  

If you cannot enter an invoice or are struggling to discard an invoice line, have holds you don't understand, cannot match an invoice or mass additions isn't picking up certain invoice distributions and you don't understand why, then those would be an invoices issue. The Invoices team also handles prepayment questions and helps troubleshoot report issues where figures are not as expected. Invoice Approval Workflow is also an invoices area.  Generally, if it's related to processing of an invoice but not accounting or paying an invoice then it would be an Invoices issue.

1099 issues have their own option in the drop down menu as specialist knowledge of 1099 US tax reporting is required.  

Supplier setup, merge or import problems, supplier report concerns and even Supplier Bank Accounts all fall under the suppliers category.

EBTax (Payables) issues is a tricky one, because you might think an error when validating an invoice or a problem trying to match to a PO would be invoices, but if that error relates to the tax distributions or the error message is EBTax related those issues would not be handled by the Invoices team but by the EBTax experts. If the EBTax team decides it's not specifically related to EBTax code they will transfer the issue as appropriate but starting with the EBTax experts is your best bet due to the complexity of tax setup.

The technical team handle anything performance related or issues with invalid objects, locks, flexfield setup, document sequencing and upgrade issues..

If you are using localizations and the piece of functionality you have an issue or question with is a localization specific question or the error indicates the code failing is localization code then that should always go to the localization team for review.

All patch issues are handled by the patching community so that should be easy enough to know when to use that option.

Other Payables Issues is a catch all bucket which should only be used if you cannot find another topic that your issue would fall into.  It will need to be reviewed and categorized and the receiving engineer will then transfer the ownership of the SR to the team they feel would be best equipped to handle that issue.  This may be the correct team but it could take a couple of transfers to find the correct engineer.  Since there is a delay in this review and reassign process, it stands to reason that initial contact with an engineer with the correct skillset will take longer, hence the reason to avoid this option if at all possible.


We hope understanding the Problem Type structure will help you get your SR to the right team quicker but there are additional benefits in taking a minute to choose the correct template:

1) The knowledge documents that you will be shown during the SR logging process are specifically selected depending on the problem type you choose as they are the documents that other customers have found the most useful, when having problems in that area. For example, seeing our Invoice Matching troubleshooting assistant or a technical white paper explaining a new piece of functionality might give you a good chance of finding your answer before the SR reaches an engineer!  

2) If the suggested documents don't help you resolve your problem then at least the questions you are asked in the next step of the SR logging process are specific to that problem type and providing these answers will allow the receiving engineer to get a jump start on understanding your problem.

3) We also request customers to upload diagnostic files that will help resolution so choosing the correct problem type means you are asked for the correct type of diagnostic information.  No-one wants to waste time generating and uploading irrelevant diagnostic files.


If you are unsure which bucket to put your problem, please take a few minutes to review the sub-menus under each option and ensure you understand the types of issues handled by that team before categorizing your issue as 'something else' by using the Other Payables Issues option.


Friday Aug 09, 2013

HCM: My Oracle Support (MOS) Not Just for Technical Users

This is a shout out to Functional Users!

Did you know that My Oracle Support (MOS) is not just for technical users, such as your IT Team (i.e. System Analyst, Software Engineers, and Developers) or for use only by your Support staff? 

My Oracle Support or MOS is for anyone who utilizes licensed Oracle Applications.  To get a Oracle MOS account simply go to the following - support.oracle.com - where you will be asked to register for your personal sign-on.   Registering is as simple as supplying Oracle with an eMail address, setting your password, and providing some personal information including your name and company name.  Oracle will respond to the email provided with a verification link to continue Registration. For additional information on MOS Registration and Setup, please see the MyOracleSupport Quick Reference Guide.

Your next question, as a customer, is "What now? How can I, as a Functional Contributor, use My Oracle Support?" Isn't MOS just used to log and track service requests and to download patches?

Well the answer to the second question is, No!   My Oracle Support (MOS) provides functionality and collaborative tools that are just as useful to our functional colleagues, as they are to our technical ones.  The most important tool for our functional user is the ability to research the following:

Oracle Knowledge Documentation Library

Oracle provides a rich set of documentation for every Oracle product. These documents have an immense amount of knowledge for each product that Oracle provides. These are dynamically evolving documents and contain a multitude of different types of information, such as:

  • Problem Documents - which describe a problem, cause, and solution
  • FAQ Documents - which provide a compilation of questions and answers for a particular subject area
  • How To Documents - which provide Q & A, or 'How To' perform a specific task or function within an application
  • Reference Documents - which document a procedure or reference information
  • Troubleshooting Documents - which explains how to diagnose/debug a complex issue
  • White Papers - which are authoritative documents usually created by development describing a specific functionality

Next time you encounter an issue within the Oracle applications,  I would strongly suggest that your first step in finding the solution of your problem is to search Oracle's Knowledge Documentation.  It is possible that you could resolve your own issue rather then waiting on your internal support team to contact Oracle for you. 

For HCM related Knowledge, I would recommend starting with the following:

This document provides you with a starting point for all HCM Products, and allows you to drill down into documentation specific to an application or function. 

Additionally, from My Oracle Support, one can review Online Documentation, Lifecycle Advisors, and Oracle's Get Proactive Portfolio.

An additional resource is the My Oracle Support Community (MOSC) forums which are specifically designed for Oracle's contracted customers only.  In this community forum, you can post your questions with confidence that they will be answered in a reasonable amount of time. This is a community forum and you are welcome to answer other community members' postings as well! (Read Kenn's Proactive blog Why Use My Oracle Support Community (MOSC)).

act-nowjpg.jpg

Get your MyOracleSupport (MOS) Account Setup Today!


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