Monday Aug 15, 2016

Did someone say Oracle certification exams free of charge?

Happy Monday, OPN.

We cordially invite you take advantage of free of charge certification exams at this year's OPN Test Fest at Oracle OpenWorld. OPN Test fest will run from Monday, September 19 - Thursday, September 22 at the Courtyard San Francisco Downtown (Marriott).

There are ten testing sessions to choose from which hopefully accommodate your busy schedules, and more than 70 exams that span a wide selection of Oracle Solutions. With cloud being the focus, of course. By passing any of these exams, you will earn an OPN Certified Specialist credential and a digital badge, along with the achievement of an OPN Specialization.

We encourage you to register for this special opportunity; you can select up to two seats for your desired session(s).

Contact us with any questions/comments.

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!
Oracle Partner Communications & Enablement Teams

Wednesday Aug 10, 2016

Feedback: WIIFM?

Several weeks back while checking out at a nation-wide home improvement store, I was asked to fill out an online survey when I got home for the chance to win some money, but to also be sure I rated every aspect of my customer experience a 10 out of 10. In my head this translated to, "Please go home, remember this conversation and keep track of your receipt. When you get there, turn on your computer, pull out that receipt we told you not to lose, go to the survey site, provide us some personal information and then send us some tainted survey responses in exchange for a sliver of a chance to win a store credit you may or may not need." I drove home wondering whether these guys understood just how much they were asking me to do and if they did, how would doing all this possibly improve my future experiences. I drove home wondering, "What's in it for me?"

Businesses consistently ask their customers for insights. Any economist will tell you these come at a "cost" to the person providing them, even if it's a small one. In order for this to be perceived as being a fair exchange, the customer needs to receive something in return. One way a business can make this unspoken transaction more equitable is to lower the "cost", while using the data to improve the customer experience. For us this meant starting with one basic question: What can we do so that our customers truly see the value of sharing suggestions and feedback?

We knew we needed to do better than CSAT surveys. This type of customer listening path, at least when used in isolation, is archaic and minimally effective. Text analytics can be tremendously useful, but with the growing popularity of self-service options, there surely will be fewer opportunities to gather them. So, what is left? We understood that for a listening path to be successful, it must feel almost effortless, be available in real-time, be responsive and most importantly, it must be demonstrably effective.  With those characteristics in mind, we designed our new Support Suggestion Box.

The Support Suggestion Box is a clickable icon that, when logged into the Oracle Service Cloud Support Portal, can be found pinned to the upper left of any page. All a customer has to do is click the envelope, type whatever they happen to be thinking and hit submit without any additional navigation. This creates a support ticket assigned to our Support Experience team; the team that drives CX improvement efforts. Then, each submittal is provided a personal response and, when appropriate, reviewed by the management team for value and feasibility. Finally, the submitter is notified whether we can or cannot implement the idea. If we can't, we make sure to explain why.

Initial returns have been highly encouraging. In the first 6 weeks, this qualitative closed-loop feedback tool has led to more suggestions than we had received in the prior twelve month. Several of these have either been implemented or in the process of being implemented. As an early adopter, Sara K, an Oracle Service Cloud Administrator wrote us saying, "It was very easy and convenient to share my thoughts right away, rather than making a note or sending an email and it was great to know my suggestions went to an individual who actually responded, rather than a black hole. The fact that I'm being heard is very satisfying."

Without quality insights from the people who use whatever it is you provide, customer experience improvement efforts are, at best, presumptuous guesswork. You can't optimize your CX without learning from your customers, and it's difficult to gather actionable data without making it worth their while. Any organization interested in gathering constructive intelligence needs to make the value proposition clear for their customers. The goal should be to aspire to never leave them asking, "What's in it for me?"

By Edward Hobart, CCXP, Oracle

Monday Aug 01, 2016

The Top 100 Executives Of 2016

Each year, CRN's annual Top 100 Executives list singles out the IT channel’s most effective leaders who play an integral role in shaping the industry - whether by driving cultural shifts or forging new routes to success. This year, CRN has recognized Oracle’s Bill Swales, GVP of North America Alliances and Channels, as one of those leaders.

Bill earned this recognition for the profound changes he's implementing in the Oracle Channel, which include increased training & enablement resources as well as expanded lines of communication by garnering necessary partner feedback via "Listening Tours" and the Partner Advisory Board. Bill’s energy and enthusiasm is quickly spreading throughout the North America partner community and his presence was very well-received at the FY17 NA Partner Sales Kickoff held at Oracle Headquarters in June.

Join us in congratulating Bill on this impressive achievement with CRN. And learn how Oracle is facilitating new levels of support & resources to help partners evolve their business models and increase revenue.

Oracle PartnerNetwork

Wednesday Jul 27, 2016

Oracle Service Cloud Support Goes Mobile!

One of the primary objectives of any customer support organization should be the reduction of effort a customer feels they have to contribute to the resolution of their problem. This is of even greater importance for technical support teams, where customers generally want nothing more than a quick and painless solution to the issue they've encountered. Running a technical support customer experience program, I work daily to identify and drive customer effort reduction initiatives. When evaluating our customers' journeys, one of the most prominent pain points related to effort was the lack of a distinct mobile experience. Well, this is no longer the case!


If you aren't already using a mobile device at work, it's almost a certainty that you will be soon. And as the millennial influence becomes a considerable force in the workplace, it's important to understand that 50% consider their phone to be more important than their computer (Center for Generational Kinetics). When you also consider that 63% of U.S. adults use mobile devices at least several times per month to seek customer support (Software Advice), it's clear the experience would be greatly diminished by the lack of a viable mobile service channel. Conversely, as people become increasingly reliant on their mobile devices and more comfortable with self-service options, providing a quick and easy way to resolve customer service problems is paramount.

A customer service leader's schedule rarely adheres to a predefined set of hours. It's just as likely that catastrophic issues will arise while you're out to dinner, at a child's game or at 2am as it is to happen at 10am on a Tuesday. Having the proper tools to address these types of situations regardless of where you are or what you're doing has the potential to save substantial time and frustration.

Our initial mobile experience design is deliberately simple ( With an eye on reducing effort, we want to make it easy for people to quickly access core support functionality, while stripping away some of the more elaborate bells and whistles. This means you can do things like search the knowledge base for an answer, submit a service request, track a service request, manage your contacts and even read this blog via your smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately, this isn't true for all areas of our site. For the time being all the community areas, such as discussion forums, will still just display as the desktop version does on mobile devices.

Customer service delivery expectations have been rapidly rising. Gartner is expecting customer service cases initiated on mobile devices to increase by a whopping 249x in the four years between 2014 and 2018. While purely mobile customer service interactions may never be the dominant choice, general customer experience trends are telling us the future; customers want to interact with businesses in whichever way best suits them at that specific moment. For Oracle Service Cloud, this means reducing the effort you need to make by giving you the mobile enabled tools you need to accomplish your mission critical tasks.

Edward Hobart, CCXP, Oracle

Friday Apr 15, 2016

Yep. It’s That Time of Year.

The industry's leading business and technology conference - Oracle OpenWorld 2016 - is set to take place in San Francisco, California September 18–22, 2016. Sessions will be focused on cloud strategies and implementations, marketing, sales, supply chain, ERP, finance, and much more. Oracle OpenWorld has something for everyone – so make plans now to join us!

Registration & Call for Proposals Are Now Open

Register now and take advantage of Super Saver rates. They will be available through May 1, 2016. The Call for Proposals submission process is also up and running with applications being accepted through May 9, 2016.

We look forward to having our Oracle PartnerNetwork community participate in this amazing annual event. This is your one stop shop to learn everything you ever wanted to know about Oracle and then some. You will:

  • Hear directly from Oracle’s executive leadership team
  • Discover new product and technology solutions
  • Improve technical proficiency and knowledge
  • Understand where the industry is headed
  • Network with peers from across the globe

Visit the Oracle OpenWorld website often to keep up to date on the latest and the greatest updates pertaining to the event. Yes, it's still a few months away - but it will be here before you know it. So start planning now.