As a Practice Manager in Oracle Consulting, I find myself on the receiving end of a panicked phone call or urgent email often. Oracle Consulting boasts a talented team that can support an array of requests. We provide guidance on new Service Cloud implementations. We customize sites if the out of the box product doesn’t quite meet a client’s needs. We coach. We configure. We know the product inside and out and listen to our clients to help them use Service Cloud to achieve their business goals. We pride ourselves on our ability to respond to urgent requests by staffing a team of knowledgeable consultants tasked with helping our clients maximize the value of their Oracle Service Cloud investment.
We also get urgent requests to help fix a site when it breaks. The reality is that a Service Cloud instance grows and transforms daily as it accommodates new product features and evolving business processes. Rules are modified, integrations are updated, data is imported and exported, add-ins are developed and modified. The possibilities are endless, which is part of the incredible value that Service Cloud brings to an organization. However, endless possibilities also introduce risk. When something goes wrong, Oracle’s Technical Support team is there to help make it right.
But sometimes Technical Support doesn’t offer the services required to get a site fully operational. For example, Technical Support won’t address a customization related issue unless it is directly related to a product defect. And that makes sense. If I buy a new car and replace the factory stereo with a bigger, better custom sound system, the warranty on my factory stereo is clearly void. I can’t go back to the dealership to address an issue with my updated stereo. They’ll send me to a specialist. And Oracle’s Technical Support will do the same thing if the concern you bring to them is related to a customization on your site. They’ll refer you to us, Oracle Consulting, and we’ll gladly help! But keep in mind that, for our clients’ protection, Oracle absolutely must have a contract in place any time we perform work on a site. And that makes sense too. Our client’s Service Cloud instances are complex and involved. When we work on a site, our clients have Oracle Consulting’s commitments clearly articulated and documented. That way, we all have clear expectations and are set up for success.
So here’s where things get tricky. Let’s say Acme has a custom add-in on their site and it breaks for an unknown reason. This integration is critical to business operations and every hour that it’s not working, time is lost. Money is lost. Acme executives are turning up the pressure to resolve the issue. Acme’s Service Cloud administrator quickly logs a ticket with Oracle’s Technical Support. Technical Support jumps on the incident, performs a fitting investigation, and quickly gets a response back to Acme’s site administrator: “The issue you are experiencing is related to a customization on your site. Oracle Technical Support cannot address customization related concerns. Please engage Oracle Consulting to assist you with troubleshooting and resolving your customization issue.”
That’s when my phone rings or my inbox lights up. Acme has a critical issue. Can Oracle Consulting help save the day? You bet! The first thing I’m going to do is look for a contract. Fortunately, Acme worked in advance with their Oracle Sales Rep to put a Customization Support package in place with Oracle Consulting. With this Customization Support option, Acme quickly gets the support they need. They go to the front of the line and one of our top consultants is engaged to address the issue - even if Oracle Consulting didn’t develop the customization! That’s right. Oracle Consulting will help with a customization related issue regardless of who developed the customization. Oracle Consulting engages immediately, the add-in gets updated and the critical production issue is addressed. Acme’s executive team is happy and operations return to normal. Calamity averted.
Acme is protected by having a Customization Support package in place with Oracle Consulting. If they didn’t have that insurance, their experience would have likely been much different. If the incident was routed to Oracle Consulting, and I went to look for that Customization Support contract only to find that one didn’t exist, the first thing I do is engage a Sales Rep to help get a contract in place so we can support Acme. Our focus suddenly shifts from resolving the issue to getting an agreement in place. And this agreement takes time and money. Both of which haven’t been planned for to address this unexpected production issue. It’s easy to see how this quickly becomes an escalated situation for Acme and for Oracle. It’s an escalation that could have been avoided if Acme opted to have a Customization Support policy in place specifically to accommodate emergency situations such as this.
The most satisfied customers that I work with are those who have put the proper insurance policies in place to ensure that timely support is available when it is needed. Because Oracle Service Cloud is constantly growing and evolving, it’s impossible to know when these urgent needs might sneak up. It is imperative to have the right support model in place to help prevent a customization related issue from becoming a much bigger, escalated and painful issue. Do yourself a favor. Contact your Oracle Sales Rep and review your support policies. Make sure you have the right protection in place when your Oracle Service Cloud implementation requires unplanned maintenance.