A few weeks back, Mark Hurd made an announcement to all Oracle Software as a Service (SaaS) customers regarding platinum support.
“Oracle SaaS applications customers will be able to take advantage of the new SaaS Support Services at no extra cost. The comprehensive base-support package features 24/7 rapid response technical support, proactive technical monitoring, success planning and adoption guidance, and a new digital experience platform for on-demand education resources.”
This is a big differentiator against other Cloud SaaS Vendors – which is possibly why Salesforce rushed to ink a support deal with Rimini Street for their Sales and Services offering. It is important to mention that Rimini Street’s primary focus is being the third-party support provider for Oracle’s and SAP’s on premise software products.
If we go a few years back, the so called “Platinum Support” existed for Oracle Customers and was “free” with certain conditions that applied. The definition from a few years back of Oracle Platinum Services was:
Oracle Platinum Services is a special entitlement under Oracle Premier Support that provides customers with additional services—over and above what they already get under their Oracle Premier Support contract(s)—when they maintain a certified configuration and two-way communication with Oracle via the Oracle Advanced Support Gateway.
If we now consider that the Oracle SaaS products, such as Fusion ERP, EPM, HCM, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Sales and Service are running on Oracle Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), we can infer everything will be controlled, monitored and proactively supported by the same cloud vendor (Oracle). But Oracle’s Platinum Support does not stop there - there are a few additions to the former “Platinum Services” that customers will get a huge benefit from.
By making Platinum Services a standard support service, Oracle will be setting new standards for the SaaS products. Let’s go over the details of the new Platinum Services:
24/7 technical support
What is it?: To help customers resolve issues faster, without adding to costs, the new SaaS Support Services will enable all customers to receive a technical support response typically in less than 15 minutes for severity one issues.
Our take: We’ve been very strong on how our customers have to check the Service Level Agreement with their cloud vendor. With Oracle for SaaS, since their products are mission critical, the SLA in place sends a message that says Oracle's got your back.
Dedicated implementation support
What is it? Customers will receive a dedicated, named engineer to provide guidance and hands-on support through the implementation process
Our Take: At IT Convergence we’ve done a good number of Cloud SaaS implementations. Having an Oracle team dedicated to our implementation helps us and the customer overcome any challenges related to the product by having issues assigned and resolved as quickly as possible (or being able to reach out to the right resources within Oracle). In the past, with Oracle E-Business Suite, we had to open a SR to communicate the project - nowadays Oracle is the one asking how the project is going.
Proactive technical monitoring
What is it? Oracle’s technical team will take advantage of the latest machine learning technology to diagnose and resolve technical problems without the customer having to file a service request. In fact, the customer may not even realize there was a problem.
Our Take: Given the current status of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, this is likely the Cloud vendor offering functionality which should be standard at this point. I like the fact that they will be proactively monitoring and letting the customers know only when needed, just like a bank takes care of fraudulent transactions on your credit card and notifies you only when it requires your attention.
Success planning support
What is it? Oracle will work with customers on a technical and business execution strategy to help ensure the successful deployment and end-user adoption of Oracle SaaS applications.
Our Take: I understand that working on a business execution strategy is important, but being an Oracle customer since 1999 and partner since 2006, this might be something that could scare customers since it may lead to Oracle Sales Rep from multiple lines calling. Fingers crossed, it will be organized.
Business process monitoring and guidance
What is it? Oracle will leverage data and process efficiency insights to save the customer time and money by analyzing customer use cases and providing recommendations for business process improvements.
Our Take: This again just makes me feel like, if not used correctly, it might generate friction between Oracle and the customers. Also, this item might define a grey area on the meaning of “data” when data privacy is becoming one of the most important aspects of security. I’m sure this won’t be affected, but we aim to understand the considerations of the scope of support.
What is it? Oracle is investing in free education courses and the creation of a new on-demand knowledge center, which is expected to feature more than 2,000 new training guides, as well as guided learning starter packs, to walk users through how to execute processes in the application. Customers can also attend QuickStart events on the cloud service of their choice.
Our Take: This is a great addition. New generations are strongly oriented towards new formats to acquire knowledge and training. This is a good starting point because we’ve experienced the quality of the material provided in the on-demand education.
Customer Success Portal
What is it? To help customers expertly adopt SaaS and achieve their business objectives, Oracle SaaS Support Services will include a new digital platform where customers can: find Oracle resources such as education, training, technical support and consulting; interact with relevant expert content to help achieve specific business goals; and design personalized training and education paths.
Our Take: I’ve been participating in the Customer Success Portal for quite a while, and I can say based on my experience that it is a good platform to communicate and learn what’s happening with other customers. Of course, I’m a huge fan of User Groups (UG) and this is not even close to what UGs can offer, but you can ask, read answers from product managers or other customers and understand the best ways to educate yourself on existing or new products.
Bottom line is, I do believe Oracle is setting new standards in the Cloud SaaS industry with Platinum Services. I also believe that there are some areas that will require a better understanding to grasp the real value for the customers and lastly, whatever comes free -from Oracle, I’m happy to take it!