17D Release now available (Part II)

The 17 D release of Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) is now generally available and it brings fantastic new features and enhancements. You can read Part I here.

OSvC Platform – Element Manager

This is probably the feature that most system integrators (SIs) and admins craved for. The ability to “package up” configurations and release them to another environment, in an automated fashion.

It is particularly useful when deploying changes from DEV to TEST or from TEST to LIVE environments. Or, when you have many interfaces (e.g. due to different languages) and need to replicate changes.

It allows packaging of configurations, customisations or developments, for migration into other OSvC interfaces or instances, managing dependencies automatically, and allowing roll-back of most recently deployment.

Important Note: The Element Manager only works from the Browser UI (BUI) and in the current release only allows the migration of reports, workspaces, workflows, and dashboards.

When fully deployed the Element Manager will not only benefit SIs but clients themselves as this feature will avoid manual replication of configurations across interfaces and instances, which significantly increases deployment time, effort and cost.

The link below includes a step-by-step demo provided by Oracle, on how the Element Manager works, and confirm how easy-to-use and user-friendly it is.

Oracle Service Cloud – Element Manager – Step-by-Step Demo




17D Release now available (Part I)

The 17 D release of Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) is now generally available and it brings exciting new features and enhancements to the ever more exciting Browser User Interface (BUI) – by the way if you’re confused about the release terminology, read this post “Oracle changing version terminology“.

Browser UI – Best and Proposed Answers

The new release allows agents, using the BUI, to select the answer(s) that helped them resolve the incident (from the list of all answers listed). Marked answer(s) will be given greater deference by the SmartAssistant.

Additionally, the well known Propose Answer functionality, available in the console (.NET client) is also available in the BUI now. Allowing agents to propose incident response as a new or potential answer in the knowledge base.

Browser UI – Assets, Agent Scripts, Multi-Edit, Product Linking

17D brings a whole raft of very useful functionality (previously available in the console) into the BUI. The ability to display and work Assets as well as use Agent Scripts is definitely something that many users will welcome.

Product linking is also available now, allowing those who have large numbers of products, categories and dispositions, to avoid going through long lists of menu items to find the appropriate option, simplifying the agent’s job.

Lastly, users can now take advantage of the multi-edit workspaces capability to edit multiple records in one go – something that I’m sure most of you would have been crying for in the BUI.


Browser UI – Input Controls

Continuing to enhance the functionality in the BUI, Oracle has made available in  the 17D release the the following controls:

  • Radio button
  • Text Box
  • Menu
  • List Box

Additionally 17D release supports workspace rule triggers, conditions and actions for those input controls. With this capability the BUI now supports the ability to trigger workspace rules, apply conditions and set the value on those input controls, as well as assign a value of the Text Box control to a field.

Browser UI – Workflows (Phase 1)

Desktop Workflows are widely used by the OSvC community, but so far weren’t available in the BUI. But, the new release supports workflows for workspaces and page navigation., even though it is still at a limited capacity.

The workspace elements supported are: Decision, Set Fields (except relative date field values), Create and Workspace (except assets), and Connector elements (except Exit Guide and Exit/Finish script connectors).

More detail on the Desktop Workflow elements supported by the BUI is shared in Answer ID 9845.

Browser UI – Service Level Agreements

The new release also brings SLAs runtime support to the BUI, adding the SLA container control (Relationship items) and SLA instance view control for Organisation and Contact workspaces.

Agents can then manage customers’ SLAs (type and amount of support you offered), complementing the capability of selecting the SLA instance in the incident (which was already there).

Important Note: The SLA management and configuration page is not yet available in the BUI, thus admins will have to still use the console to create and edit SLA instances, set response requirements, initial response and incident resolution times.

Browser UI – Analytics Auto Filtering and Report Queuing

Auto-filtering is now available in the BUI, and can be turned on and off at runtime. For those not familiar with it: with a report filter only the records that match the filter values are returned from the database and displayed on the report. On the other hand, with the auto-filter records that do not match the filter values are hidden, but not removed from the report’s output.

Auto-filter values selected apply only to the report page displayed, and will be lost as soon as the report refreshes, or when agents move to another report page. Even though, it is possible to lock auto-filter values.

It is also important to know that auto-filter fields are associated with the visible columns on the report, auto-filter values will definitely be lost when agents move to a different report level or linked report. Those will then have their own auto-filter options.

The coolest thing about it is that Oracle developed the auto-filter functionality following concepts of modern web design.


Forrester Wave Q3’17: Oracle leads Digital Experience Platforms

20171118 Forrester Wave - Digital Experience Platforms Q3 2017

Forrester recently published their Q3 2017 Wave for “Digital Experience Platforms“. Having research and analysed the 14 most significant vendors, Oracle came out as leader – the only one.

The assessment was done against 28 criteria grouped into Current Offering, Strategy and Market Presence. No surprise that those with higher scores have complete suites with Content, Commerce, Marketing, Sales, Service, and Analytics capability.

Why does technology work for customer and not for companies?

No doubt. Customer Experience has been shaped by technology. Mostly because customers’ expectations have been rising by the way they use technology on their personal lives. In particular by the way they communicate with family and friends, using messaging apps – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.

No doubt. Customer Experience delivered by most companies has not been up to the standards. Mostly when it comes to engaging customers on their preferred channels (you guessed it, the ones mentioned above). It’s true that customers are adopting new channels faster than companies can establish a presence on them. But that’s no excuse.

Blake Morgan, in More is More, says “Technology doesn’t just enable consumers, it enables brands to evolve their offering as well (…) leverage technology to enhance Customer Experience“. It is surprising how this may sound news to some companies, when it is so bloody obvious! If not more, because technology vendors knock on their doors every day!

The truth is there are some companies that do acquire and implement technology, to try and make their operations more efficient, enter new markets, enable new channels, or even provide a better Customer Experience. But it is also true that those efforts, more often than not, do not deliver the desired results or expected return on investment.

I’ve been a consultant in this area for more than a decade. As I see it, there are a couple of main reasons why companies keep failing in their efforts to improve with new technology implementation. On one hand, those implementations are technology-focused only. On the other hand, there is no technology strategy or governance.

I’ve wrote it once: “technology alone does not solve all the problems, nor turn around a poor performing business (…) technology is one part of the solution and should not be expected to “save the day” in isolation. Processes, culture and people are also critical, and must also be taken into account“.

And when it comes to acquiring technology, companies should have a well-defined strategy and governance, to avoid different departments buying their own technology platforms (as if they were sticking plasters for their own issues or needs), which then don’t talk to each other, and spread crucial customer data throughout multiple (and most times difficult to access) databases.

This doesn’t mean that companies need to be chained to one particular technology vendor, hoping that in its roadmap that vendor has a complete Customer Experience Platform, that serves every business area,  process, department or team, and stores every bit of information into one single (and necessarily monstrous) database.

Companies could (in my opinion, should) buy technology from different vendors. I bet you the Supply Chain Management platform that best suits your business is most likely from a different vendor than the Voice-of-the-Customer platform that better meets your Customer Experience management needs.

But that should not be a problem. As long as those platforms are flexible enough to allow alignment between technology and your business processes, as well as have pre-built connectors or public APIs that enable integrations with each other. And if you choose the right specialist partner to help you implement it.




What Is The Customer Experience Cloud?

In a fantastic article published in Forbes, Blake Morgan (Customer Experience futurist, author and keynote speaker) explains “What Is The Customer Experience Cloud?” without using acronyms or complex words and concepts.

It is crystal clear, and very useful for those business leaders who have been hearing about it and many times misguided by technology vendors. Below are a few key pieces, but I would recommend you to navigate to Forbes and read the full article.

“Essentially, the experience cloud is the infrastructure that allows brands to create useful, smooth experiences for their customers. Instead of having customer data and interactions divided over multiple systems, the experience cloud creates a single 360-degree view of the customer by building bridges among marketing, customer service, sales, and other business groups”.

“The old way of doing business with only a marketing cloud or sales cloud just isn’t enough anymore (…) Without integration, so much time was lost to inefficiency, and brands never truly had a full picture of their customers”.

“Teams within an organization were often siloed and duplicating information instead of working together, which made it difficult to deliver an amazing customer experience, especially one that was consistent across multiple channels. Instead of using function-based technologies, the experience cloud puts the customer at the center of everything the company does”.

“Today’s top brands are focused on the customer, and the experience cloud makes it easier. The goal is to create seamless conversations and interactions across the entire customer journey. Instead of a customer having a different experience each time they walk into the store, visit a website, or talk with a customer representative, the experience cloud pulls everything together to create a cohesive experience”.

How to deploy Live Chat in 3 Steps

Live Chat is a native channel of Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC), and one that is more and more in vogue. Text-enabled, real-time, conversations are the preferred way for many customers when engaging with companies.

One of the most popular ways of deploying OSvC Live Chat is placing the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget in the company’s website. This is done in 3 simple steps:

Step 1 – Placed this snippet of code above any individual syndicated widget script. For performance reasons the recommended best practice is to place the code just before the closing tag and above any syndicated widget instance tags.

< script type=”text/javascript” src=”//yourdomain.widget.custhelp.com/euf/rightnow/RightNow.Client.js” >< /script >

Step 2 – This snippet of code is specific to the syndicated widget instance. For performance reasons the recommended best practice is to place this snippet of code just before the closing tag.

< script type=”text/javascript” >
      container_element_id: “myChatLinkContainer”,
      info_element_id: “myChatLinkInfo”,
      link_element_id: “myChatLink”,
      instance_id: “sccl_0”,
      module: “ConditionalChatLink”,
      type: 7
< /script >

Step 3 – Place this snippet of code on your page(s) wherever you would like the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget to appear.

< div id=”myChatLinkContainer” >
   < div id=”myChatLink” >
      < div id=”myChatLinkInfo” >
      < /div >
   < /div >
< /div >

Once you place the above code in your company’s website page(s) you should be able to see the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget display.

But to deliver a good customer experience, you need to manage customer’s expectations, therefore you don’t want to have the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget available in your website if there isn’t anyone available to respond.

The Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget has various configuration settings, and some of the most used are:

  • min_sessions_avail – Minimum number of open agent sessions that must be available in order for the Conditional Chat Link to be actionable.
  • wait_threshold – Maximum wait time where the customer should still be allowed to launch a chat.

Note: Please notice that min_sessions_avail will always override wait_threshold.

So, for example, if you want to set min_sessions_avail to 2 and wait_threshold to 5 mins (or 300 seconds), you would need to set it on the syndicated widget and OSvC would generate new code adding the following lines to step 2:

min_sessions_avail: 2,
wait_threshold: 300,

In this scenario, where the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget is unavailable, it is also useful to configure the setting label_unavailable_busy_template which is the label to be displayed when chat is unavailable due to agent session (Minimum Sessions Available) or wait time conditions (Wait Threshold).

By default, label_unavailable_busy_template isAll agents are busy but you might want to configure it to something more appropriate.

If you would like to know more information about the behaviour of the Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget, you can use the Conditional Link Stats report, which is used to display Conditional Chat Link syndicated widget statistics.

This report is out-of-the-box and displays the number of times the widget was loaded, the number of times the widget was active, the number of times the widget was clicked, and the respective percentages of each.

Let’s celebrate “CX Day”


Tuesday, 3rd October 2017, is CX Day, a global celebration of everyone (companies and professionals) that strive to create and deliver great experiences for their customers. It is organised by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), and you can see all about it in cxday.org.

CX Day will be celebrated all around the world, with various online events (see here), and c. 30 local events (I will be in London, see others here), which will have different topics of discussion (in London we will have “What is in the Heart of a Successful CX Strategy“).

But the fun will also be at our companies, with usual company celebrations (see here a few examples and ideas – adhere and share your pictures). As well as at the 2017 Impact Awards (see here the judges, the finalists and past winners). It is also very worth to check the fantastic blog posts at the Blog Carnival.

I look forward to celebrate the CX Day, with me fellow CX-zealots in London, in particular as it will be the first one celebration, as a member of CXPA and qualified CCXP.