A nugget I took from a management class I attended years ago is "You can't manage what you don't measure". Meaning that without good operational metrics in place, it's impossible to accurately measure the impact of process improvements and other initiatives. Therefore, I've always been a big fan of good metrics.
My colleague, statistician, and 110.5% good guy, Chuck Malovrh, has been crunching data on the impact of Oracle Installation Services on customer issue rates.
The results are very interesting indeed.
Nerdy bit: Normalizing metrics so we're comparing like-with-like is the difficult bit. So Chuck focused on M6 installs, as it's a relatively new system (minimize data staleness / hardware changes / wear-and-tear factors), yet powerful (people don't buy M6's unless they intend to run them hard - very high load, typically with high performance & redundancy requirements). By focusing on all instances of a particular system model, we eliminate variabilities between system types, Geographical factors, Customer experience factors, etc. Chuck normalized results by looking at the Service Request rate per 1,000 days of server operation. That is, how many issues did customers report per 1,000 days - so let's call our unit of measurement Software Service Requests (SRs) per Kilo System Service Days (KSSD*). "Bugged SRs" are Service Requests for which an actual Bug was identified, as opposed to say a configuration issue or user error.
Less issues are obviously better, both for customers and for Oracle.
This is the win-win for which we strive.
| Oracle Installation Service || Percentage of Total || Number of Software SRs per KSSD* || Number of Bugged SRs per KSSD* |
|None||22% ||9.9 ||3.3 |
| Hardware Only ||66% ||6.5||2.9|
| Hardware & Software ||12% ||2.6||1.3|
From the table we can clearly see that Oracle Installation Services have a dramatic impact on reducing the number of Customer Software Service Requests and Bugs encountered.
Oracle's Hardware Installation services leverages Oracle's Enterprise Installation Standards (EIS) which is a mature, tried-and-trusted best practice process, including recommended software and configuration checklists, so it's not a surprise that Hardware Installation Services have a positive impact on customers subsequent operational experience.
It should also come as no surprise that the additional Best Practice Software Installation and Configuration available with the Oracle Software Installation Service have a significant positive impact of further reducing the number of issues which customers subsequently experience - over 70% fewer issues and 60% fewer bugs per 1,000 days of subsequent operation than customers who didn't purchase an Oracle Installation Service.
These are really impressive figures.
I have long felt that customers' lifecycle experience is intrinsically linked to the quality of the initial installation and configuration. Once a sub-optimal configuration is deployed to production, it's usually impossible to take it back out of production and reconfigure it properly. Instead, it becomes a question of mitigating issues over the System's lifecycle, which is unlikely to result in an optimal customer experience.
That's why my team and I have been so focused on Best Practice Installation and Configuration over the last number of years, including the development of the Installation and Configuration utilities for SuperCluster Engineered Systems.
But this is the first time I've had reliable metrics on generic systems to back up my gut feel.
So next time you've purchasing servers, please consider purchasing Oracle Installation Services for them too.
It'll save you time and money in the long run and save us all from dealing with unnecessary issues once the servers are deployed to production.
Nice work Chuck!