Wednesday Dec 11, 2013

Oracle Systems Log Their Own SRs

Give yourself or your Sys Admin an early holiday present by using Oracle Auto Service Request (ASR). This is a tool that was developed at Sun and it just keeps getting better. More on that in a bit. ASR is available to Oracle Premier Support customers at no extra cost and it can save you a lot of time, stress, and money by removing work from your plate and speeding the resolution of hardware issues.

ASR automates service request (SR) creation and handling for key hardware faults. It enables your system to automatically identify issues and then transmit this information directly to Oracle Support so we can take action. Click on the image below to see a short demo video on YouTube.

ASR video

Since acquiring Sun, Oracle has applied its R&D to making ASR even better. Most recently, improvements have been made to how Oracle interprets and acts on incoming telemetry. As a result, a large percentage of automated SRs are now “auto-dispatched”. This means it has become very common for a replacement part to be shipped or a request for a field engineer site visit to occur within only 20 minutes of receipt of an SR. So, the SR creation time is minimized and so is the response time. Pretty cool.

Oracle places a great deal of focus on this kind of service automation. In fact, Oracle was very recently recognized for this engineering in winning the 2013 Innovation in the Delivery of Support Services STAR Award. Oracle received this award from the Technology Services Industry Association. TSIA members represent the world’s leading technology companies and we are certainly honored.

Innovation in Support Award

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this technology. ASR has become a powerful support tool and another great reason to choose Oracle server and storage systems.

Tuesday Dec 10, 2013

Take the IT Complexity Survey

IT complexity is something most organizations can relate to and that's unfortunate since complexity can stunt innovation and dramatically increase day-to-day maintenance and management costs. As you might expect, in working with hundreds of thousands of organizations around the world, our support team sees a few companies that have really lost their way. Some IT environments have become a maze of hardware and applications from countless sources and different decades and they simply don't work together anymore - not well anyway.

Through Oracle Premier Support, we provide our customers with assistance and proactive support tools to help them minimize time and labor spent on maintenance and operational tasks. We also provide ongoing software enhancements, new integrations, and cloud alternatives which can play a big part in simplifying IT and modernizing your environment. Still, it's hard. Everyone, to some extent, struggles.

Where does your organization rate on the complexity scale? What can you do to simplify IT? Now you can find out. Oracle has developed a cool (and simple) assessment tool that's worth a try. Click on the image below, answer a few questions, and away you go!

IT Complexity Assessment

Wednesday Nov 20, 2013

COLLABORATE14, Vegas and You

Registration for COLLABORATE14 is now open. As winter sets in for many of us, what better time to start thinking about spring! Next year's event will be held April 7-11 at the Venetian and Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I'm sure this popular event (which is produced by three independent Oracle user groups: IOUG, OAUG and Quest) will once again be chock-full of valuable education spanning Oracle applications and technology. I'm also sure it will be fun - always is. Earlier this year, COLLABORATE13 took place here in Colorado. Sure there was a little snow, but otherwise it was a huge success. I enjoyed talking to customers, working with our Oracle Support stars, and attending council meetings. They had some great keynotes too, including Aron Ralston whose harrowing story was told in the film 127 Hours.    

For Oracle Support, we see this event (like Oracle OpenWorld) as a great opportunity to share insights gained from supporting 400,000 customers around the world. We see patterns that enable us to tell you what potholes to watch out for and, as importantly, what you can do to stay out of trouble in the first place. We are always at COLLABORATE in force and presenting sessions as part of our greater Get Proactive! initiative which promotes awareness of Oracle support tools and best practices. I noticed today that OAUG's COLLABORATE14 web page features a picture of a past "Get Proactive!" session!

Speaking of pictures, here are a few of Oracle Support at Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco. I should have shared these earlier. It has been two months, but I think I am just now recovered. Oracle Support brought a lot to the event including some of our best and brightest support stars (aka senior product support engineers) and some great demos. We had over 1,700 people attend our sessions and many stopped by to visit the Oracle Support Stars Bar where we answered technical questions, offered 15-minute mini-briefings, and shared dozens of informative videos related to maintenance, upgrades, and getting the most of Oracle products. I hope to see you in April at COLLABORATE14.

assisting customersstars bar

Tuesday Nov 19, 2013

JD Edwards Innovation & Support

Staying on the theme of upgrades, here's a great one - JD Edwards. Today marks exactly two months since the general availability of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 Update 2. Oracle Premier Support customers are welcome to come download this update now from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.

Haven't had the chance to look into update 2...or 9.1 for that matter? I'll provide a few quick links here. I urge you to check it out. Living near the "home base" of the JD Edwards team here in Colorado, I admit I'm a big fan of this product and its customers. I was very happy to contribute to their 2013 Profit Magazine Special Issue where I talked a little bit about innovation spanning mobility, the UI, in-memory capabilities and other fruits of Oracle's R&D investment. I just skimmed the surface though. Here's where you can find more:

Saving the best for last, here's an informative video about JD Edwards innovation that Julie Wiebeck on my team put together with Denise Grills (JDE Strategy) a little earlier in the year. Rich Schwerin from Marketing interviews Denise, but our objective with this video was very much to spare you a marketing pitch and just speak to our current customers about the latest in JDE innovation and support. Click on the image below to open the video on YouTube.

JDE innovation video

Friday Nov 15, 2013

Upgrading? Save 20% on Training.

We've had a number of significant software releases lately, so let's stay on this subject of upgrades for a bit. ...LOTS of interest here. Today, I'm going to focus on training. Obviously, keeping skills updated is important. That said, it is something that's easy to neglect when you're busy. For many, product upgrades provide the perfect opportunity to refresh and augment skills.

If you're upgrading (and even if you aren't right now), you should know that Oracle Premier Support customers can receive 20% off Oracle University training when purchased in conjunction with an annual support renewal. We are thankful to our Oracle University friends for making this possible. The idea here is pretty straightforward - when you have the ongoing support and training you need, you can "drive" your product safely and in top gear while also taking advantage of all its latest and most powerful features. 

Here's a document which provides more details on this offer:
20% Training Discount Datasheet. Information about available training is easy to access at education.oracle.com. You'll find a few thousand courses to choose from which span the entire Oracle stack and Oracle Cloud solutions. Oracle University offers numerous training formats ranging from classroom training to online learning. They haven't figured out how to download knowledge directly to your brain yet (a la The Matrix), but there are some pretty smart engineers running around here - give it a few years!


Thursday Nov 14, 2013

Oracle Upgrade Advisors

Oracle Premier Support helps our customers maintain their Oracle solutions on a day-to-day basis and over many years. Of course, as the years roll by, things change. Industries evolve. Customer expectations evolve. Technologies evolve. Your competitors evolve. The simple fact is that if you're not moving forward, you're falling behind. ...nothing you didn't know already.

The good news is that Oracle's 35,000 developers and engineers have your back. Oracle has a strong commitment to its products and provides ongoing enhancements based on customer input, market dynamics and the latest, most capable technology. These enhancements, including major new releases, are provided by Oracle Premier Support.

Upgrades have also become less daunting thanks to new software packaging, new methods, and better tools. I'll try to come back to each of these topics later, but for now I'd like to share one specific resource (a "tool" if you will) that's been getting rave reviews from our customers. It saves time and makes upgrading easier so you can sleep at night and your business can quickly adopt improvements. This resource is called an Oracle Upgrade Advisor. It is available on My Oracle Support and includes steps to guide you through an upgrade between specific versions of a product or suite. These advisors are part of a broad and growing family of Oracle Lifecycle Advisors which provide guidance on a range of tasks from installation and patching to upgrades and performance optimization. They are included in Oracle Premier Support and are ideal for those with strong technical proficiency who are interested in leveraging the power of self-service tools.

A directory of advisors is available on My Oracle Support (login required) at: https://support.oracle.com/rs?type=doc&id=250.2

Click on the image below to see a short video on YouTube describing Oracle Upgrade Advisors:

Upgrade Advisor Video

Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

A Quick Introduction

Hello and welcome!

If you've read the header above or the "About" description to the right, you already get the gist of this blog, but I thought a more complete description would be helpful before we dive in.

Oracle Premier Support provides a wealth of resources, but we know you are busy and it can be hard to keep up with everything that's available. This blog serves as a way to bring your attention to some of the best things you have access to through Oracle Premier Support. It's worth noting that these resources exist to both 1)help you achieve success individually and 2)help your organization get the very most of its investment in Oracle products. We named this blog "Get Ahead. Stay Ahead." because our objective is to help you and your organization do exactly that.     

So, what comes with Oracle Premier Support? More than you may realize. At the highest level, Oracle Premier Support includes three essential components - software updates, tools, and servicesSoftware updates include patches, security updates, enhancements and major new releases. Tools such as My Oracle Support and product-specific capabilities are vital to proactive maintenance, support and upgrades. Services including 24/7 technical support and 2-hour hardware service (for covered systems) help ensure that you get the expert assistance you need, when you need it. In this blog, we'll take a closer look into each of these areas while also providing suggestions for how to take advantage of the integration between them.

I expect this blog will ultimately offer a variety of product-specific tips and general tips (which apply to any/all Oracle products including applications, middleware, databases, infrastructure software, and systems). We'll try to mix it up. In our roles within Oracle Product Marketing focusing on Customer Services, my team and I are fortunate enough to work closely with some very smart and enthusiastic people in Oracle Support and across Oracle's different product teams. We hope to bring the "best of the best" to you.          

About

We created this blog to help people take better advantage of the software updates, tools and services that come with Oracle Premier Support.

Whether you use Oracle software, Oracle systems or both, we hope you will find information here that helps you and your organization to get ahead, stay ahead and experience the full value of all that Oracle offers.

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