Legacy OSvC console end-of-life

Some of you might already know, but most people are not aware that the legacy Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) console is reaching its end-of-life.

From Feb 2017 the only console available in OSvC will be the enhanced console, which was introduced in the May 2014 release, but not adopted by all users.

Therefore all organisations using OSvC that are still using the legacy console are advised to migrate to the enhanced console as soon as possible.

That might be as easy as enabling the enhanced console (see how to Enable the Enhanced Service Console) but it could also require significant effort.

The reason why some didn’t adopt the enhanced console was because customisations (add-ins, integrations…) would stop working, and that would force re-developments.

With the deprecation of the legacy console, there is no alternative and you will have to re-view – and potentially re-develop – configuration and customisations.


Legacy console (left) vs Enhanced Console (right)

Our specialist team, at Capventis, can not only help with a smooth migration/transition to the new console, but also do a health-check and review/amend configurations and customisations.

P.S. – For more information see the official announcement from Oracle in answer id 4814

Self-deception on Contact Centres

The “Effortless Experience” presents some key findings around Customer Experience, and prove that there is a correlation between Customer Loyalty and Customer Effort. One of the interesting findings is that Customer Service interactions tend to drive disloyalty, not loyalty; and another extremely important finding is that the key to mitigating disloyalty is to reduce customer effort.

And in the middle of some great insight, the author puts the finger in the wound: “Most metrics used in contact centres today suffer from a kind of myopia: They take a very narrow view of things that tend to make service organisations look much better than they really are (…) an example: Most companies measure transfer rates by relying on switch data, which is captured when calls are handed from one agent to another. But when you interview customers, it turns out they have a different definition of a “transfer”. What if the customer started on the web – maybe in a chat session – and then had to call the contact centre? In the customer’s mind, that is a transfer. If the customer started on the IVR and then bailed out to speak to a live person? Transfer. Same thing with repeated contacts, repeating information, channel switching, and so on”.

It is true that many contact centres and service organisations are still looking too much at themselves, and (intentionally?!) forgetting the customer. But the truth is that they aren’t doing anyone any favours. Self-deception will only cause customers to leave, the company to lose and thence the self service organisation to suffer.

The author concludes by saying what any good consultant would advise: “we’ll argue for reengineering customer service metrics to better align to the customer view of things. It’s not a beauty contest – these measures will likely make you look much worse than your old ones, at first – but the important thing is that you will have reoriented your dashboard toward capturing what really matters to customers (…) and ultimately that’s where loyalty, and disloyalty, come from“.

Attachment Bulk Download

Oracle Service Cloud allows the attachment of files to all standard and custom objects. The most common uses are when staff attach files to Contacts, or when customers attach files to Incidents.

But in order to access those files a user would normally have to search for the desired record, open it, go to the “Attachments” tab and open or download the file attached.

This was not manageable for one of our clients. They were asking many of their customers to upload a file through the portal, and then they wanted a specific team to analyse all files uploaded by the customers. Obviously it was not feasible to go into each and every record, download the file, etc.

So they asked us, at Capventis, if it was possible to bulk download all attachments. Actually, they wanted something even more clever. The ability to search in an object, for all records that had attachments, by date range and type, then select only the ones they wanted, and download the files to their local/shared drive.

Our team discussed and it was definitely possible to build such capability using an add-in. But why re-invent the wheel, when we were certain that our long-standing partners in Holland, WeSquare, surely had something similar or that would fit, as they dedicate themselves to develop add-ins for Oracle Service Cloud.

We were right, and in a few days WeSquare had developed an Attachment Bulk Download add-in perfectly aligned with our customer’s needs. Once more the partnership was a success and WeSquare demonstrated their specialism and knowledge.

Open the add-in from the Navigation Set.


Search for all records that contain an attachment, by date range and type.


Select only the records from which you want to download the files attached. Ability to “Select/Unselect All”


Click “Download” and select the location to where files will be downloaded.



File Attachments – Open vs Download

As you know Oracle Service Cloud has a capability that allows users to attach files to any object, standard (e.g. contact, incidents) or custom object.

This causes some security concerns as hackers can attempt to send files with attacks. And despite all attachments are scanned for malware, some hackers could be able to evade detection.

That is why there is a configuration setting that prevents users of Oracle Service Cloud from opening files, and forces them to download the file if they want to open it.

This configuration setting is set to “No” by default in order to protect not only Oracle Service Cloud but also its data.

FATTACH_OPEN_ENABLED is the key/name of the configuration setting, with the following description: “Enables the option to open file attachments in the Oracle Service Cloud Console. If disabled, file attachments can only be downloaded“.


As it says on the description, if this configuration setting is set to “Yes” users will be allowed to open the file directly from the console (having the “Open” link active on the attachments report/control.


But if the configuration setting is set to “No” the “Open” link in the the attachments report/control will be disabled (greyed out) and users will only have the option to download by clicking the “Download” link.


Gartner Magic Quadrant “CRM Customer Engagement Centre”

Gartner recently published their latest Magic Quadrant for “CRM Customer Engagement Centre” (CEC), where Oracle Service Cloud is amongst the Leaders.

This magic quadrant, says Gartner, reflects “the growing demand for cloud-based customer service applications to support agents who engage with customers through multiple channels”, but even though there are a few good choices “no vendor offers a suite that meets all global and cross-industry needs”.

The report points out that the selection of SaaS platforms to support complex business processes is increasing, and will become key to all organisations. Gartner envisages “an ecosystem containing at least four types of product will be required to build the ideal CEC, the core of which will be an intelligent system for CRM case management”.

Key, for Gartner, is that this platform has “knowledge-enabled service resolution, social media and community management, interaction assistance tools and service analytics dashboards” as well as tools for both agents and customers, designed on a common platform – and this has Oracle Service Cloud written all over it.

20160501 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Centre

Oracle Service Cloud is amongst the 5 leaders – alongside Salesforce, Pegasystems, Microsoft Dynamics, and Zendesk – and here are the key strengths Gartner found in Oracle Service Cloud:

  1. offer good cost of ownership
  2. has very good complementary applications, such as for field service, mobile customer service, analytics, co-browsing, policy automation, chat, email and knowledge management
  3. delivered as a subscription service using a cloud model, is straightforward to set up and configure, and does not require deep involvement from IT staff
  4. has a strong global presence

But, for Gartner, not everything is pink when it comes to Oracle Service Cloud, and says that customers “have encountered problems upgrading, performance issues, the need for a Microsoft .NET client”.

The truth is Oracle has addressed these recently, reforming and enhancing their upgrade processes, making it easy and smooth to upgrade, and have invested heavily – since Nov 2014 release – on the Browser UI which will eventually replace Smart Client (.Net client).

Gartner is also worried that it “see no evidence that Oracle is committed to creating more seamless integration with other Oracle business applications”.

Well, the truth is Oracle has not only built seamless integrations between Oracle Service Cloud and other products that are part of the CX Suite (Sales Cloud, Social Cloud), but has invested in the Accelerators (integrate Oracle Service Cloud with CTI, Oracle eBus Suite, Siebel, Sales Cloud), the Cloud Adaptors (integrate Oracle Service Cloud with Oracle Fusion Middleware/SOA suite platform), as well as Oracle Integration Cloud Service (easy integration SaaS-to-SaaS and SaaS-to-On premise).

Lastly, Gartner says it “has seen only emerging evidence of large deployment teams or configuration teams among the largest SI’s and global consultancies (such as Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte and IBM) for the CEC or traditional contact centre desktop”.

For that, it would be a pleasure to have Gartner visit Capventis and talk to our team that currently supports and implements Oracle Service Cloud in our client’s Contact and Customer Engagement Centres.

Capventis is not a large SI, but a 30 people company whose mission is “To enable exceptional, sustainable value for all our stakeholders – customers, employees, partners and investors – by delivering brilliant solutions for Business Intelligence (BI), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Experience (CX), using our specialist knowledge and experience. By brilliant, we mean Fast, Innovative, Relevant, Successful”.

May 16 release now available

The May 16 release of Oracle Service Cloud is now available and a set of new features and functionalities has been added, enhancing even more the power of the platform.

Browser User Interface (BUI)

Oracle continues to improve and develop the BUI, in the journey to enrich this UI with all the features and functionalities available today in the Dynamic Agent Desktop (DAD). This new release adds the following:

Workspace Controls – “Button” and “Title Bar” controls are now now supported in the BUI and available to add to workspaces.

BUI online help – A new icon in the global header takes the user directly to the BUI online help, which opens in a separate browser window.

Data modified warning on browser close – A warning pop up window will displayed when a browser window or tab running on the BUI is closed explicitly from the browser itself.

Change Action menu item labels – The label text of the items displayed in the BUI Action menu can now be changed (using the DAD Ribbon designer).

Browser compatibility dialog window – The browser compatibility dialog window that displays when the workspace designer is opened will now also display when the report or dashboard designer are opened.

Enhanced Quick Search – A new persistent text field was added to the Quick Search feature, allowing users to enter a value for that single filter and click the search icon to initiate the search.

Collaboration Enhancements – Agents using BUI can now see the conversation re. the incidents on the My Incident Conversation report – providing Oracle Social Network (OSN) is enabled on the site and the My Incident Conversation item is added to the navigation set of agents with collaboration permission. An administrator can also designate a profile or set of users as “tenant administrators”, who have permission to administer OSN.

Chat Enhancements – Additional chat features were added to the BUI, including the ability to conference other agents and transfer chats. Also, there is an improved capability for multi-chat  handling, with the BUI providing information to the agent in the chat panel, when agent has multiple chat sessions open – colour cues, message counts, timers and a wrap-up timer.

Workspace rules – Additional workspace rules actions are now supported, including: Add standard text to a thread, Execute editor command (Copy, Delete, Forward, new, Print, Refresh, Save, Save and Close), and Make the editor read only.

JavaScript API – Using this API it is now possible to extend the BUI, which now supports SaveSave & Close, Copy, extension loading, and editor tab-changing events; browser controls, editor commands, and workspace refresh methods; workspace properties; using ID or name of an object when updating a field value.

Outreach and Feedback

Surprise for those who have been saying that Oracle would not improve the Outreach capabilities of OSvC due to the fact that Oracle Marketing Cloud is the preferred product.

Scalable audience calculation for broadcast mailings – The audience generation in mailings was improved to mine audience members in chunks, as subsets, and then compiling the full list for the mailing’s send step. This ensures time-sensitive content can be sent with minimal impact to your site. The entire process happens behind the scenes, requiring no configuration, and applies to all broadcast mailings.

Staff Management

The Profile editor now includes an option to set the .NET browser control to run in IE11 emulation mode rather than the default IE7 mode. Administrators select the Set Browser Controls to use IE11 emulation mode check box on the Other tab of the Profile editor to enable this function. The check box is not selected by default. In addition, browser controls in workspaces should have the Open popups in new browser control option set.

Co-Browse Audit Reports

Audit reports, with all changes made to the configuration of the co-browse functionality are now available for Administrators, giving information about who/when/what changes were made.

Turkish Language Support

Another language added to the list of almost 40 that Oracle Service Cloud supports. With the May 2016 release, the Turkish language is now fully supported within the Dynamic Agent Desktop (DAD) and Customer Portal (CP). All labels in the CP and message bases in the DAD support Turkish. Turkish spell check is included as well.

Enhanced Email Processing

This is probably the most exciting new feature of the May 2016 release.

Near Real-Time Incident Creation – the processing speed was increased and emails are now processed almost immediately after arriving to the Oracle-managed mailboxes, allowing for a near real-time creation of incidents. (note: this change is automatically available to all customers with Oracle-managed mailboxes on May 2016 versions and later).

Inline Images – It is now possible to add inline images as MIME types to the message templates, instead of linking to a file attachment server.

Policy Automation

The policy automation part of OSvC (powered by OPA in the cloud) continues to be enhanced as well with some important new features.

Interview Checkpoints – Customers and agents are now able to save an in-progress or incomplete interview and resume it later, either starting at the same point they’ve left it or bfrom the beggining. This is available on interviews launched from the Customer Portal or from the Dynamic Agent Desktop. Administrators have the power to configure interview checkpoints on every page or after a set number of pages.

Signatures – It is now possible to add signatures to the end of the online interview.

Oracle Service Cloud Platform

REST API enhancements – This May 2016 release brings enhancements to the REST API including enhanced metadata and new API methods like reset password, send
mailing to contacts, and executive marketing flows.

Encryption/Crypto PHP API – to protect sensitive data in integrations and customisations, the encryption/crypto PHP API in CPHP supports encryption/decryption and other cryptographic functions.


The channel and touch-point rush

Reading the “Experience Effect” from Jim Joseph made me stop and think about this.

Multi-channel, Omni-channel… yes, we have been talking about it a lot, and it is crucial for the delivery of a good Customer Experience, but multi or omni does not mean All-channels.

It is extremely important for companies to figure out and decide which channels and touch-points are most relevant to their customers. There is no point in offering a raft of channels and touch-points that would just not work, or actually not even be necessary. It is a waste of time, money and focus.

And there is only one way companies would be able to define which channels and touch-points work for their customers. It is by truly understanding the customers and how the brand fits their lives. For example, why provide a digital channel to customers that are not tech-savvy.

It would make no sense for a brand like Apple to provide Fax as a channel. I’m sure the majority of Apple customers are tech-savvy and would prefer Live Chat or Twitter. Similarly, it would make no sense for the Department for Work & Pensions not to provide white mail (post) as a channel, and it is probably too early to provide Social Media as a touch-point.

But it is not enough for companies to get to the perfect combination of channels and touch-points, there is another thing that is crucial: Consistency. In order to provide a great Customer Experience, companies need to be able to deliver consistency across all channels and touch-points.

The main reason for companies to fail having that consistency is the lack of a common understanding of the brand definition, and the customer profile, across the teams that define and manage the different channels and touch-points, as well as the fact that the systems that support those are not joined up.

But be aware that consistency doesn’t mean that the experience has to be exactly the same in all channels or touch-points. That wouldn’t bring any added value or leverage the power and capability of certain channels and touch-points.

Companies should be able to tailor the experience to the channel and the touch-point. And, again, they can only be successful in doing that if they understand the role that the channel or touch-point plays on the customer’s life, the whole customer journey, and the power of the technology enabling it.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 125 other followers