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Oracle RightNow CX Feature Focus: Fusion Sales Integration

For our fourth installment of the 2012 RightNow CX feature focus, we are going to talk about Fusion. Rest assured this type of fusion does not require an advanced degree in physics. If you missed any of the previous installments you can find them under the CX category: http://blog.evergegroup.com/?cat=56

 

eVerge is an early adopter of Fusion CRM and Fusion HCM and are the first organization to have a live implementation of Fusion HCM. You can read more about it here: http://blog.evergegroup.com/?cat=11. As such we are huge proponents of Fusion in all flavors so I was extremely excited to have the chance to do this integration personally on one of our partner demo sites. It is admittedly a work in progress but one word comes to mind when looking at the potential it has, “Powerful” just like the nuclear kind.

 

 Oracle Fusion Sales Integration

From the release notes:

RightNow CX can now be integrated with Oracle Fusion Sales so that RightNow CX staff members can see existing Fusion Sales opportunities. This provides awareness of Fusion Sales history for those staff members handling incidents to help prioritize issue resolution and identify cross-sell opportunities.

  • When a sales account is created in Fusion Sales, an organization is automatically created in RightNow CX.
  • When an organization is created in RightNow CX, a sales account is automatically created in Fusion Sales.
  • RightNow CX staff can view Fusion Sales opportunities in an OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) report that displays on a workspace.
  • Fusion Sales staff can view RightNow CX incidents as an OBIEE report.

This first phase of Fusion Sales integration gives RightNow CX and Fusion Sales staff member’s visibility into the corresponding application’s data to help guide communication with prospects and service requests. When your organization leverages both sales and service history, you can identify new opportunities and increase deal size as well as increase conversion rates with targeted, personalized offers.

Why is this new feature important?

The Fusion Sales Phase 1 integration expands the functionality currently available in RightNow Sales. It is not meant as a replacement for RightNow Sales, which is being rebranded as Opportunity tracking. I have always believed that Opportunity tracking was a solid piece of the RightNow CX software; however, for mature sales organizations who are interested in doing deeper dives and trying to anticipate pipeline in an intelligent way, this integration moves them toward that. Service agents will be able to see what clients have purchased as well as their service history. On the other side of this integration Sales staff using Fusion SFA will have the ability to see service history of clients.

Providing both the sales and service sides of an organization with a 360 degree view of client history is a huge milestone in customer experience. Coming from a call center background I can attest to how useful this will be for any organization. Clients have better relationships with organizations that don’t have information silos because they feel like the company they are doing business with really cares and understand their needs.

How hard is it to implement?

This is a very difficult question to answer because everyone has a different skill-set and not all organizations have staff dedicated or trained in both RightNow and Fusion. There are configurations changes that need to be done in both systems to get them talking as well as some reports and workspace modifications. This is where eVerge can help, as all of our staff are trained/Oracle certified professionals. Many have been trained across multiple Oracle products.

 

 

 

 

 

Useful Links:

You can read more about this integration in the May 2012 documentation. https://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/may2012/olh/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm

Cloud Service Capabilities: http://www.oracle.com/us/media1/cloud-service-capabilities-benefits-1632971.pdf

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about the Fusion integration for RightNow CX please contact me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for over five years.

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eVerge Group goes live with Oracle HCM Fusion Benefits

 eVerge Group is live with the full suite of Fusion HCM products – HR, Benefits, Payroll, Compensation, and Performance.  Keep reading to follow the path we took to get there — focusing here on Benefits.

HR went live in the Spring of 2012.  We have two Legal Entities – one in the US and one in India.  We have multiple business units, departments, locations and jobs with a centralized HR function.  

Benefits was on target to roll out in October 2012; but as payroll testing efforts ramped up for the January 2013 target, it was quickly learned additional Benefit configurations and related enrollment data would be needed to support payroll.  These included items like GTL and LTD imputed income calculations, as well as changes to element configurations to support payroll deductions.  The decision was made to roll out Benefits and Payroll simultaneously to ensure cross module integration.

 Here are some of the lessons we learned while configuring Benefits:

  • Configure the basic plan types, options, plans, rates, eligibility profiles, programs, and elements one at a time and test as you go.  It is easier to “undo” and revise your benefits structure with only a few existing values rather than a full suite of benefit options during early testing.   Once good test results are obtained, configurations can be expanded and then replicated in the production pod as appropriate.
  • Be diligent in documenting the configurations you have built and tested.  In the early releases of Fusion, current Functional Setup Manager (FSM) functionality does not allow migration of benefit configurations from pod to pod.  This means manual re-entry of configurations – which can be complex depending how complicated your benefit offerings may be.
  • Fusion Benefits offers great flexibility in administering plan eligibility and processing – realize this translates to additional configurations and testing!  While there is sometimes a need for such complexity, try to keep configurations as simple as possible.  This may eliminate additional technical support later in the process.

We used the File Based Loader (FBL) functionality to convert in current Benefit elections.  We did not include any historical election data.  We did, however, include Original Enrollment Dates for the various elections to ensure this data is available when we begin automated interfacing with vendors.

  • Data formatting is critical to successful FBL loads.  We started by consolidating all of the necessary employee and contact (dependent) data from our various vendor sources.  A program was then written to “transform” this data into the FBL format.   Allow sufficient time for testing.  Depending on the size of your organization, this will likely be complex and needs careful analysis to ensure desired results.  Take time to get it right!
  • Decisions need to be made in advance of the level of election data you want available in Fusion; i.e. Waive rows for various plans if the employee does not have a current election, etc.  This dictates the number of plans/rows that need to exist in the FBL source file to load related elections.
  • Contact information was entered manually before we could successfully load benefit election data that included dependent designations (i.e., attaching dependents to various plan coverages).  There is some available functionality to convert Contact data but we did not utilize this for our project.

 Here is a glance at what our HR/Benefits Administrator can view online to get a quick summary view of current benefit elections.   Employees are able to see similar information through delivered self service via My Portrait > Benefits.

 

Working closely with Oracle on pod management, refreshes, patching, etc. is critical.  You want to ensure you are always testing with the “latest and greatest” configurations.  Sometimes this was based on new configs being added/tested in a Staging/Test pod followed by migration to production.  Other times this meant entering data in production (i.e., Contacts) to have it available when a pod refresh was taken so the data would exist for the next level of testing.

 Benefit self service will be used during our upcoming Open Enrollment period.  We have a different plan year for our main benefits (medical, dental, vision, and life plans) as opposed to FSA elections which naturally follow a calendar year.  We are currently testing the OE functionality in Fusion with a target of a 2 week OE period in March – ensuring all data is in place for April 1 when new rates will go into effect.  In conjunction with OE being completed via employee self service, employees will also be able to initiate Life Event changes online for things such as marriage, new babies, etc.

 Watch for an upcoming blog about our Fusion Payroll go live.  We are also live with Compensation Management and Performance … one good experience after another …  Keep coming back to see more blogs over the next few weeks!

The author of this article/blog is Laurie Long.   Ms. Long is a Senior Fusion HCM Implementation Consultant resource for eVerge Group with more than 20 years of HCM implementation and support experience.

 To learn more about Fusion and how we can help implement Benefits for your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973.

 

 

 

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eVerge Group experience with Functional Setup Manager (FSM) for internal implementation

We want to take a few minutes to review the benefits eVerge Group has recognized leveraging the Functional Setup Manager (FSM) within Fusion during our own internal implementation of HCM.

Oracle’s Fusion Functional Setup Manager is a new feature in Oracle Fusion applications that provides a “launch pad” to perform all tasks related to application setup.  FSM produces pre-packaged, sequential task lists based on the responses to a list of functionality questions. The task lists allow project managers and implementation team members the ability to plan and manage configuration activities.

FSM is a separate module within Fusion, which manages all the setups of the various offerings you have licensed (been provisioned) within the application.  This includes various pre-defined and configurable checklists for project resources to setup and monitor.  Tasks can be assigned to various Fusion project users; status of task completion is reported at parent task and implementation project level.  This functionality also allows users to migrate configurations from one instance to another (Test/Production).

 

 Some of the key functions and benefits of the Fusion Functional Setup Manager are: 

  • Setup Offerings:  A built in decision tree to fine tune your configuration requirements which creates pre-packaged, extensible setup plans and tasks.  This results in personalized setup needs down to the business user level. 
  • Setup Manager:  An easy to use interface that is used to manage all aspects of functional setup in one single point of entry that includes task assignments, due dates and delivered dashboards. 
  • Setup Export & Import:  FSM allows users to identify the configuration that they want to package to move setup across systems, primarily used for Export & Import of setup data. 
  • Setup Reporting:  FSM offers built-in collaboration and reporting.  This is used for reporting on the status of functional configurations and the validation of those configurations and setup data.

 Whether you are implementing Fusion applications for the first time, or you are adding a new module to an existing implementation, or perhaps changing the existing setup data, any implementation project will go through Planning, Implementation and Deployment.  Fusion FSM manages and facilitates all 3 phases of configuration.

 So, why should your organization fully utilize Fusion’s Functional Setup Manager?  It minimizes time to deploy with predefined setup offerings, guided and sequential task lists, and the ability to set up once and import or export to other instances.  Your organization will reduce implementation time using the rapid start that FSM provides.

 To learn more about Fusion and how we can help empower your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973.

 

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Oracle RightNow CX Feature Focus: Chat Availability Controls

Welcome to the third installment of the 2012 RightNow CX feature focus. In the last installment we discussed the updates to Cloud Monitor in the February 2012 release. If you missed the review you can find it here: http://blog.evergegroup.com/?p=521

Today let’s talk about a major change to Chat from the May 2012 release. I have worked on several projects implementing Chat and at one point I worked very closely with some folks at Oracle/RightNow to do a proof of concept app (very cool) for mobile devices that was demoed at the last RightNow summit at the Broadmoor in Colorado. But I digress, back to a very cool piece of PHP code: the ConditionalChatLink widget that will truly help customers on their quest “To Rid the World of Bad Experiences”.

 

 

Chat Availability Controls

From the release notes:

The new ConditionalChatLink widget for the customer portal lets customers know whether chat sessions are currently available, if agents are available, and what the expected wait time is. When customers click the link, the Live Help page opens. By default, the widget checks for agent availability every five seconds for the first ten minutes, then every minute thereafter. In the reference implementation, the widget appears in the sidebar, but you can place it on any customer portal page. A syndicated ConditionalChatLink widget is also available to let you add a chat link to any external page.

How does this change impact the customer?

The ConditionalChatLink widget provides visibility to the customer and prevents the frustration that comes from thinking chat is available and clicking only to find out that their efforts were in vain. Providing  the customer with an almost real time status on the availability of Chat Agents goes a long way in solidifying a company’s status as one focused on Customer Experience. It is these types of simple changes that pave the way for the future of customer experience.

 

With this widget you can now also extend the ability of the syndicated chat widget and have the status update on external pages as well as those hosted on the Customer Portal.

The following configuration options are available for the ConditionalChatLink widget. You can read more about what each feature does and how to configure the widget in the May 2012 documentation. https://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/may2012/olh/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm

 

  • Detect incident ID automatically
  • Open a different chat launch page
  • Hide the link when agents are unavailable
  • Ignore chat session pre-routing information
  • Initiate the link by event
  • Configure additional attributes

Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service is both a powerful and effective live communication channel that is continuing to grow dramatically alongside the newer less traditional social channels like Facebook and Twitter. The Oracle team published a great best practices guide that I have used many times when implementing chat for clients. It was written between the February and May 2012 releases but much of it is still quite relevant. It is a fairly quick read of about 12 pages and I would strongly suggest it for anyone looking to build a business case to implement or to improve a current implementation.

 http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/best-pratce-chat-deploy-wp-1560487.pdf

 If you are interested in learning more or have questions about  the Chat widget feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for over five years.

 

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Oracle RightNow CX Feature Focus: Cloud Monitor

Ladies and gentlemen: welcome to the second installment of the 2012 RightNow CX feature focus. In the last installment we discussed the introduction of the Knowledge Foundation API in the February 2012 release. If you missed the review you can find it here: http://blog.evergegroup.com/?p=496

Today I would like to discuss the updates to Cloud Monitor from February 2012. This feature has been around for a few years now. In fact I even did a presentation to the New York CX user group back when it first came out. I was still a user and I was so excited to see it in action that I became an early adopter. Cloud Monitor has evolved quite a bit since then but still provides valuable insight into non-traditional call center channels and even allows support agents to respond back to users proactively via the same channel. I use social media quite a bit and on the few rare occasions where companies responded directly to me as a result of a comment I made out into the ether, it made me feel like I had a personal connection to the entity. Cloud Monitor is one of the tools that can help companies realize and achieve this level of social maturity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud Monitor subscriptions

From the release notes:

RightNow Cloud Monitor now supports subscription-based cloud searches to capture the entire thread content of a Facebook page or an RSS feed on a recurring basis. Subscriptions return all content available from the selected channel, including any comments associated with Facebook posts.

• The Cloud Monitor now conveniently displays favorite searches, subscriptions, and Twitter private messages together in a single dashboard.

• Subscriptions can be enabled for any custom Facebook or RSS channel.

• The redesigned Add Cloud Monitor window now allows multiple searches to be added to the monitor at once.

• Subscribed search results are automatically updated every fifteen minutes.

• For Facebook subscription results, comments are grouped by thread.

            Below are my thoughts and their impact on the above five bullet points:

1.    The Cloud Monitor now conveniently displays favorite searches, subscriptions, and Twitter private messages together in a single dashboard.

In previous versions, reports were separate but now all the above information is conveniently packaged in a dashboard. Dashboards are great for power users and supervisors as they provide key information that is actionable in a convenient snapshot view. I have designed many such snapshots both as a user of CX and as a partner. Clients that appreciate the power of good analytics reports always walk away happy when they have a few shiny new dashboards in hand and in this case the report comes standard with no customization required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.    Subscriptions can be enabled for any custom Facebook or RSS channel.

This increases the robustness of Cloud Monitor exponentially. A feature allowing monitoring of multiple pages across Facebook and RSS, how can this not be good?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.    The redesigned Add Cloud Monitor window now allows multiple searches to be added to the monitor at once.

In previous incarnations of CX having to add a search, click OK and then add a new search was just, in a word, annoying. Being able to add multiple searches at once may not seem like a major technologic advance but it goes a long way to increase usability. Let’s face it if the software is not user friendly rolling it out to your organization and getting buy-in from key stakeholders would be challenging to say the least. (If CX was not usable it certainly would not maintain its leader spot in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for contact centers http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1A4Y5NW&ct=120416&st=sb)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.    Subscribed search results are automatically updated every fifteen minutes.

All I have to say about this added feature is THANK YOU Oracle! I love not having to hit refresh to get updates.

 5.    For Facebook subscription results, comments are grouped by thread.

This is another very useful addition to Cloud Monitor. Grouping results by thread allows the person monitoring to understand the full context of the conversation. Having this information available to agents who are interacting with end-users will make interactions more intuitive and provide the end-user with best of breed customer experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for over five years.

 

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CX, Oracle RightNow CX … A year of features in review

With February quickly approaching I am sure all of us loyal Oracle RightNow CX users, administrators, developers and solutions consultants are looking forward to what goodies are in store for us in the new February 2013 release. As such, I thought now would be a perfect time to reflect on all that was CX in 2012. So I started thinking how could I share what I view as the Top Ten New Features of 2012?

 Here is the answer!

 This will be the first in a series of eleven blog entries with each one dedicated to one of the ten features and a final blog entry summarizing the year. Each feature will be presented by release date not my order of importance so I don’t sway anyone’s opinion as I truly believe that they are all equally great and may have different significance depending on your business needs.

 Without further ado, I bring you the first feature.

 Knowledge Foundation API

             This was a brand new API released in the February 2012 product release. I had the exciting opportunity to see the API in action before it was generally released and it is impressive. There are improvements and enhancements planned in the pipeline but it really extends the way clients can use the knowledge in their databases.

 From the release notes:

RightNow CX now contains an API that enables you to retrieve and manipulate answer data in ways that are not available through other RightNow Connect APIs. Using the RightNow Knowledge API, you can search the knowledge base, retrieve specific answers, rank search results, and use SmartAssistant. You can also use the knowledge foundation API to update answer properties such as solved count and rankings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does this mean exactly?

 According to Chris Omland, the RightNow Product Manager in charge of the Knowledge API in his presentation at Oracle Open World last year the vision for this feature consists of three main points.

 Support knowledge as a service in any application, device or other service

  • Expand knowledge beyond RightNow knowledge
  • Support eco-system of application services that leverage the RightNow KF API

 Some of you who are familiar with the RightNow Syndication widget might be asking how the KF API is different. The Syndication widget can do a basic read the same as the KF API however the similarities stop there. The KF API is capable of so much more enabling developers to provide even richer knowledge content to sites, devices and even applications. It supports conditional sections, variables, answer links, search, SmartAssistant and the updating of knowledgebase properties.

 

 

I would strongly recommend any business that currently has Oracle RightNow CX implemented or is in the process of implementing take a look at this robust feature.

 If you would like to learn more about the Knowledge Foundation API you have quite a bit of supporting documentation and other resources available.

 

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

 

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for over five years.

 

 

 

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Oracle Names eVerge Group as "Specialized Partner of the Year"

 

eVerge Group was presented the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award for Specialized Partner of the Year – North America in the Communications, Media & Entertainment Industry for its highly successful CRM implementation at a major satellite communications company.  This is the fifth time in the last three years that eVerge Group has earned the prestigious award for implementation excellence.  According to eVerge Group’s company president, Esteban Neely, “eVerge Group hires and develops some of the best consultants in the industry and applies its proprietary PrecisionFit implementation methodology to ensure that we deliver the results our clients expect.  We are pleased that this focus on client success continues to be recognized by Oracle.”

 

Mike Burns and Ajay Pandey accept the “Specialized Partner of the Year” award on behalf of eVerge Group.

 

 

 

This award was previously known as the Oracle “Titan Award”, which eVerge has won five times previously:

2011 – Titan Award: Energy and Utilities Industry Solution

2011 – Titan Award: Education Industry Solution

2010 – Titan Award: Financial Services and Insurance Industry Solution

2010 – Titan Award: Financial Management Solution

2006 – Titan Award: Partner of the Year – Small and Medium Business

 “eVerge Group has demonstrated an outstanding level of innovation in delivering proven, Oracle-based solutions that solve our joint customers’ most critical business challenges,” said Lydia Smyers, group vice president, Worldwide Alliances & Channels Programs and Communications, Oracle. “We congratulate eVerge Group in achieving the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award for Specialized Partner of the Year – North America in the Communications, Media & Entertainment Industry. This achievement is a testament to their dedication to excellence and to providing customers CRM, ERP, BI and MDM solutions that drive real business value and results.”

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