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Case Studies

Responding Around the Clock

Priority problem resolution supports ViaSat's goal of great service.

By Monica Mehta

July 2007

Communications Story Art
ViaSat, Inc., a digital communications manufacturing company, manufactures satellite ground systems and other digital communication products for commercial and military markets. To avoid revenue losses, it is critical for the company to stay on schedule and avoid even a few minutes of downtown. When ViaSat planned an upgrade from Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.8 to Release 11.5.10, executives focused on ways to minimize employee downtime caused by technical issues related to the upgrade.

ViaSat's solution was Oracle Priority Service, one of Oracle's Advanced Customer Services offerings. ViaSat benefited from a highly integrated, personalized service partnership with Oracle to ensure priority problem resolution and expert technical and application guidance. An Oracle manager was assigned to the company to help employees with issues pertaining not only to the upgrade but also to Oracle products used throughout the business.

Learn how with the help of Oracle Priority Service, ViaSat employees experienced virtually no downtime due to the upgrade and were able to perform the entire upgrade over a single weekend.

For companies in the communications industry, staying on schedule is critical. Even a few minutes of downtime can result in a serious loss of revenue. ViaSat, Inc., a digital communications manufacturing company based in Carlsbad, California, manufactures satellite ground systems and other digital communication products for commercial and military markets. ViaSat's products enable fast, secure, and efficient communications—and the company expects its business to function at the same level of speed and efficiency.

Snapshot
ViaSat, Inc.
Employees:
More than 1,400

Oracle products and services:
Oracle E-Business Suite, including Discrete Manufacturing, Financials, Human Resources Management System; Oracle9i Database; Oracle Application Server 10g; Oracle Priority Service; OracleMetaLink

So when ViaSat planned an upgrade from Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.8 to Release 11.5.10, executives realized that the employee downtime caused by upgrade technical issues needed to be minimized.

Enter Oracle Priority Service, one of Oracle's Advanced Customer Services offerings. A set of enhancements to Oracle Premier Support, Advanced Customer Services provides customers with targeted expertise and proactive guidance to help align technology strategies with business priorities. Oracle Priority Service offered ViaSat a highly integrated, personalized service partnership with Oracle to ensure priority problem resolution and expert technical and application guidance. With Oracle Priority Service, an Oracle manager assigned to the company would help employees with issues pertaining not only to the upgrade but also to Oracle products used throughout the business. With the new service, issues would be resolved faster with front-of-the-line problem resolution.

With the help of Oracle Priority Service, company employees experienced "virtually no downtime" due to the upgrade, says Gordon Dankberg, director of information systems at ViaSat. "We were confidently able to perform the entire upgrade over a single weekend. We brought the system down at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon. It was up for user acceptance testing on Sunday morning, and by 6 a.m. Monday morning, we were open for business." The results have extended beyond the Oracle E-Business Suite upgrade. Before the new service, ViaSat's average resolution time for system issues was 21 days. Within just three months, Oracle Priority Service reduced ViaSat's average resolution time to 3 days. "ViaSat is a name associated with cutting-edge satellite and networking technologies, which often require cutting-edge business processes and systems," says Dankberg. "Oracle Priority Service helps mitigate the costs associated with being the first to implement and enables us to reap the benefits of next-generation technology without the associated risks."

Expert Guidance

All priority service requests submitted to Oracle Global Support receive priority handling and routing to the analyst with the highest skill level for a particular problem. If necessary, Oracle developers get involved to provide the expertise necessary for rapid response.

A Priority Service Manager (PSM) was assigned to the ViaSat account to provide personalized support management. The PSM understands ViaSat's business and technical priorities as well as how to navigate the Oracle organization—calling on an extended team of support analysts, developers, and other subject matter experts as needed. When ViaSat hands over a production-critical issue to Oracle's support engineers, the PSM makes sure that process goes smoothly. "The severity 1 and severity 2 issues are the ones that can affect our production operations," says Dankberg.

Photography by Shutterstock