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Dog Food Tastes Pretty Good: My Experience Adopting Oracle Cloud as an End-User

Toine De wit
Principal Education Consultant

I don’t know about you, but for me, every December is when I try to wipe my work slate clean so that next year, once and for all, I become the good corporate citizen I aspire to be.

Come year end, nasty chores that have snuck out of sight for months meet a determined procrastinator at last. I read and delete corporate messages, I complete mandatory training, and I verify my file back-up settings.

“And don’t forget to put in your expenses!” My wife’s daily reminder slowly rose in insistence as Christmas crept nearer. December 21st, I took an envelope full of receipts, opened our Expense Report tool, then read this message:

Confessions of an End User - Expense Notification

Hmmm… done with expenses for now, I thought and went on to clean up my old email. There I found three corporate messages in growing states of alarm telling me that expenses had to be submitted by December 15th.

Why the curfew, you ask? We were transitioning Expenses to the Cloud, that’s why. Yes, much like many other organizations worldwide, Oracle is moving systems and processes into the Cloud.

In January, I returned to our Employee Self Service Cloud, with a dual purpose: get my Berlin trip reimbursed and learn from my experience as a first-time user in this part of the Oracle Cloud. After all, getting Cloud users up and running is our core business. It would be instructive to be a newbie for a change.

Confessions of an End User - New Expense Demo

Well, this eat-your-own-dogfood expenses episode was quite positive. An intuitive process altogether, it took me half the time it used to take, pre-Cloud. No more submitting paper receipts in envelopes... there’s innovation for you.

Any snags? A few. For instance, the system claims I used a non-corporate credit card, even though I did not. Also, when I tried to find my submitted report I did not know where to look at first.

Now this is where Guided Learning would have helped me a lot.

Guided Learning is Oracle University’s tool for quick end-user adoption in the Cloud I wrote about briefly before.

Guided Learning sits in the live application, and as an end user you invoke it only if you have a question. The tool then walks you stepwise through the Cloud application up to the completion of the process.

Think of it as a satnav for Cloud end users, who are gently informed where to take a left, or a right, or go straight, till they safely reach their destination.

Confessions of an End User - Expenses Demo

So, Guided Learning helps novel users quickly find their way with little effort. Moreover, it keeps them from learning stuff they don’t need to know.

Don’t take my word for it; we have a live customer, Fujitsu, speaking to the power of the solution.

Simply put, Guided Learning can relieve you from having to ramp up extensive help desks at ‘go-live’ time. It also does a great job with every new user and every next Cloud release.

Check it out here.

Most of all, Guided Learning eases the transition to a new system for users that have something else on their minds. Instead of having to massage away resistance, the organization can focus on getting the full value out of the novel Cloud technology.

If at this point you wonder why Oracle has not yet implemented this solution in house, that makes two of us. I guess corporate just doesn’t want to overfeed the dogs.

PS: But, Toine, why publish this obvious winter tale now, in July? I’m glad you asked. Turns out I really have two major ‘clear my desk’ events every year, the other being about now. My January article drifted to the bottom of the pile, only to be rediscovered today. But that’s good, because now I can report to you that we still need to submit paper receipts (I found out the hard way). Dutch tax auditors simply insist.

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