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Whats New in Oracle Policy Automation November 2017 #1

Whats New in Oracle Policy Automation November 2017 #1

With the regularity of a Swiss watch, the Oracle Policy Automation team have released the latest and greatest version of their flagship natural language business rules and automated decision tool : and as usual it is packed with lots of new things for us to get excited about. Here are just a few of the key points that are in the list this time, along with some examples. Let’s look at whats new in Oracle Policy Automation November 2017, this is part one of a multi-part post.

Load During an Interview (conditionally)

One of the commonest requirements that seems to show up regularly is the need to load, for example, reference data during an interview. And for Public Cloud users, the ability to do just that is now built into the Service Cloud Connection. Let’s look at a very simple example. Suppose that you want to load some product information, depending on some criteria such as the dates of the last few purchases. What you absolutely don’t want to do is load the entire product hierarchy. Just the parts you want relative to your customer scenario : perhaps a customer logging in to the portal.

If you look carefully at the attached image above, you will notice that there is now, on the left hand side, the possibility to add a “New Unrelated Mapping”. I have already added one, based on Product. I can select an unrelated object from Service Cloud and map it into my Oracle Policy Automation November 2017 Project. Although this is delivered as out of the box functionality for the Oracle Policy Automation Cloud Service, it is in theory possible to deliver the same functionality for any Connection, provided you use the newest WSDL (which is referenced here in the documentation).

Filtering the Data Load

Furthermore, the data load can include the equivalent of an SQL where clause. In the Entity Properties, you now have access to a filtering feature.

The filter can use any field from the underlying table, even if it is not mapped inbound in Oracle Policy Modelling in your Project. The syntax is similar to the natural language of OPA. Notice also, you can limit the number of records retrieved.

This is a very exciting feature that has been requested for a long time. Outside of Service Cloud, Siebel CRM for example with it’s incredibly rich data model, this allows for considerable optimisation of data transfer to Oracle Policy Automation. In the next post in this series we will see some new functions relating to default values, which are going to be a terrific time saver!

How Oracle Policy Automation Is Helping Shape the Future of Customer Service [CON6977]

Customers now expect “just in time, just for me” advice. In this session learn how to add conversational experiences to your customer service. Quickly deliver online, mobile, and agent-assisted guidance, fully auditable at a low cost. Oracle Policy Automation isn’t like anything else: if you haven’t seen it before, you won’t want to miss this session.
Speaker : Davin Fifield
Davin Fifield is Vice President for Oracle Policy Automation Product Development. With over 20 years experience leading the development of business software applications, Davin is globally responsible for delivering ongoing innovation in the OPA portfolio, as part of Oracle’s suite of cloud applications. Davin passionately believes that businesses should have the power to deliver powerful, intuitive advice and automated decision making at low cost, while also being able to prove how every decision was reached. Prior to joining Oracle Corporation, Davin held executive positions at RuleBurst and Microsoft.

Getting Started with Oracle Service Cloud : New Book

Getting Started with Oracle Service Cloud : New Book

Oracle Service CloudCo-Founder of the OPA and Siebel Hubs Richard has found the time to write and publish another book in his “Getting Started with” series. After Getting Started with Oracle Policy Automation, here comes Getting Started with Oracle Service Cloud. It’s available now from the usual outlets and from the OPA Hub Shop of course.

Richard explains that the Service Cloud title was a logical addition to the family since Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel CRM are common integration partners for this product. Added to which he said he liked the picture of beetroot and wanted to write a book with it on the cover.

Finally, on a more serious note, preparing for Cloud integrations and hybrid deployments has never been more important to ensure our CRM skills are up-to-date.

 

Oracle Service Cloud Techmail & EMail Filtering

Learn about the Techmail capabilities & Email filtering.

Oracle expert instructor, Phil Franklin will present this live training event to give you an overview of Incoming Techmail capabilities focusing on Filtering configuration and reasons for rejected emails

You will learn how to:

  • Techmail configuration
  • How to set up email filtering
  • How to analyze rejected emails and the reasons for rejection

General Session: Next Generation of Customer Service [GEN1048]

General Session: Next Generation of Customer Service [GEN1048]

Awesome general session looking at the evolution of customer service, the evolution of humans (have you seen how kids use technology today?) and the evolution of channels.

The key theme was organic, knowledge driven customer service. There is so much out there but the next challenge will be to unify all the data, predict and automate decisions, and finally unlocking that tribal knowledge that we can call yelp, TripAdvisor and the masses of other human-driven sites in the data Cloud. What about all those power users out there : in fact most of us would say we are power users of the software we work with.

The demonstration with BeachBody and Directly was a fantastic example of this new concept of being able to systematically leverage the knowledge of the community.

The demonstration was in real time and showed the power of real-time  interaction with experts in the community. In the screenshot below you can see the key points. Chat (right hand side) within the customer portal (centre) handing off to the experts in the community, the expert (left hand side) getting pulled in to the chat with the customer, with Oracle Service Cloud remaining the system of record.

The second major element was , of course, the Internet of Things. For the first time I actually heard someone correctly describe what IOT really feels like today (suggestion, search for cheezoid on YouTube).

Laughs aside this was an AWESOME demonstration of how Contact Center, Policy Automation, Thingworks IOT, Knowledge articles, Commerce Cloud, Field Service all came together in a demo of automated service.

Then came the pièce de résistance : Pepper hooked up to all those components and actually automate the final pieces of the flow.

Virtual assistant, policy automation, commerce Cloud and marketing Cloud all fused together. Awesome demonstrations and a great light-hearted presentation team – but key concepts for any forward thinking company.

 

 

Modern CX : Mundane to Modern : Innovating your Service Cloud Core THT1315

Mundane to Modern : Innovating your Service Cloud Core THT1315

Just time to tell you about this Theatre Session run by Eventus. In all this talk of IOT and super-modern stuff it is nice to get to see somebody focusing on the core application. Oracle Service Cloud core is great but the neat customisation they illustrated were perfect examples of how a step change can sometimes come from a small effort.

  • SMS Channel in Incident Creation and Responses
  • Predictive Searches in the Customer Portal

Eventus also produce a set of enhancements that they briefly touched on : agent desktop extensions, mail merge, credit card processing in the Customer Portal and so forth.

The SMS channel was presented with a cool demonstration (kudos for doing it live guys) and it was th opportunity to consider the uniqueness of SMS : sometimes it is as fluid and frequent as live chat, but it can just as easily segue back into an email-style timescale.
Service Cloud

One of the different tools that was part of the demonstration with Service Cloud was Mightytext.net : Text from your computer, sync’d with your Android phone & number.

I hope to pop on by their booth later.

Anyway it was a good theatre session and I enjoyed the relaxed style.

 

Get the Most Out of Modern Customer Experience in Las Vegas 2017

Get the Most Out of Modern Customer Experience in Las Vegas 2017

The OPA Hub is going to Las Vegas this year to report on the many different Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation presentations and breakout sessions. We should have enough time to at least blog about a few of them in real-time, or if not just with a few hours of delay so that our European visitors can maybe read them before going to bed.

I have decided to attend the conference in two parts. In the first part of Modern Customer Experience I will be attending some of the training events around Oracle Service Cloud :

  • Ignite Your Agents – a Kickstart to Automating Your Desktop
  • Customer Portal for Non-Developers – Sponsored by Helix

I will be sure to give some feedback/ share and titbits I glean on those two sessions. There are lots of presentations and breakouts at Modern Customer Experience that will be of interest, I have added them to the OPA Hub Calendar for reference and list the main ones that we will attempt to report on here:

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Guest Post : Using Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud with Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow): Part 4

We are continuing our Lazy Expert series of posts, with an explanation of how Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud, and the rulebases deployed there, can be used within the Oracle Service Cloud application. In case you have missed out on the original post of this series, you can find it here . With the right Nudge, our Lazy Expert is not so lazy after all.

Part 1  looked at exploring, deploying and verifying the “RightNowSimple” rulebase to work with the Service Cloud Connection. The rulebase was launched directly using the Interview Session URL.

Part 2  looked at embedding this Interview into the Consumer Portal of Service Cloud so that anonymous visitors to the portal can use this same interview in self-service mode. This is accomplished by publishing an “Answer” in the knowledgebase, with the Interview Session URL embedded in an IFRAME, to the Consumer Portal. Optionally you can add some logic to your PHP and conditionally display the Interview.

Part 3 looked at embedding another sample Oracle Policy Automation Rulebase into the Service Cloud Consumer Portal so that “known” (logged-in) contacts can use the Interview Session for an appropriate determination to be provided by the Oracle Policy Automation rulebase. The Interview session will be launched in the context of a known user/contact and hence it is possible to pre-seed the Interview with the data from Service Cloud and, once the determination is completed in Oracle Policy Automation, save the data back into Service Cloud using the Service Cloud Connector.

This article will look at embedding the same Oracle Policy Automation interview that we saw in Part 3, StudentBenefits, and how this can be invoked from within the Agent Desktop. This is an example of using Oracle Policy Automation Cloud for providing assisted services to customers, by Agents, through the Agent Desktop UI.

Pre-requisites:

  • The StudentBenefits sample Rulebase is deployed and the Service Cloud Connector is verified to be working as advertised.
  • Most of the configuration is performed in the Agent Desktop and hence an appropriate credential with sufficient permissions in the Service Cloud is also needed.

Create a Custom Workspace (UI) in Service Cloud, for the Contact record

  1. If you do not already have a custom Workspace in Service Cloud, for the Contact record, you should create one from Configuration -> Application Appearance -> Workspaces / Workflows

In our example, we create a custom workspace named “CustomContact” using the steps listed below.

  • Copy the Standard Contact Workspace as CustomContact into the Custom Folder.
  • Open this new CustomContact Workspace and add a new tab labelled “Student Benefits”

  • Drag and Drop the “OPA” control onto this new tab and specify the control properties that point to the deployed StudentBenefits rulebase, the chosen locale for the UI and the refresh behavior.

  • You should then configure the control, setting the Policy Model, Locale and the Refresh behavior, so that when a new record is created and saved in the Agent Desktop, the Interview shows correctly. When you have done that, save the Custom Workspace.

Assign the new CustomContact Workspace to a relevant user assignable Profile (if required)

If you added the Oracle Policy Automation Control to a new Workspace, then you will need to assign it to somebody, so that you can test it. If you added it to an existing Workspace you can skip this step and proceed to verify the results.

  • Open the “Profile” which should provide access to our CustomContact workspace, from Configuration -> Staff Management -> Profiles, and assign the new Workspace to the Contact record by clicking the Magnifying Glass icon to display the popup window.

Verify the results in Oracle Service Cloud Agent Desktop UI

  1. Login to the Agent Desktop as a user who is assigned the above Profile.
  2. Search / Navigate to a known Contact record and navigate to the Student Benefits sub-tab that you added

You can now work through the Oracle Policy Automation wizard and examine the results in the Service Cloud database.

This explains how the benefits of an Oracle Policy Automation rulebase and the designed Interview sessions can be made available for known Contacts / Users using the Service Cloud Agent Desktop.

This article also concludes my 4 part series of using Oracle Policy Automation Cloud and the provided Service Cloud Connector.

I’ll be starting a new series of articles soon. In the meantime, any comments and/or suggestions on improving these articles are most welcome…

Guest Post : Using Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud with Oracle Service Cloud : Part 3

Using Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud with Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow): Part 3

We are continuing our Lazy Expert series of posts, with an explanation of how OPA Public Cloud, and the rulebases deployed there, can be used within the Oracle Service Cloud application. In case you have missed out on our first part of this series, you can find it here. With the right nudge, our Lazy Expert is not so lazy after all.

Part 1  looked at exploring, deploying and verifying the “RightNowSimple” rulebase to work with the Service Cloud Connection. The rulebase was launched directly using the Interview Session URL.

Part 2  looked at embedding this Interview into the Consumer Portal of Service Cloud so that anonymous visitors to the portal can use this same interview in self-service mode. This is accomplished by publishing an “Answer”, with Interview Session URL embedded in an IFRAME, to the Consumer Portal.

This post will look into embedding another sample OPA Rulebase into the Service Cloud Consumer Portal so that “known” (read logged-in) contacts can use the Interview Session for an appropriate determination to be provided by the OPA Rulebase. The Interview session will be launched in the context of a known user/contact and hence it is possible to pre-seed the Interview with the data from Service Cloud and, once the determination is completed in OPA, save the data back into Service Cloud using the Service Cloud Connector.

Pre-requisites:

  1. Steps in Part 1 are completed and the Service Cloud Connector is verified to be working fine.
  2. Explore / Deploy / Activate the “StudentBenefits” sample Rulebase into the OPA Cloud Policy Hub and obtain the Interview Session launch URL. Be sure to specify the correct Oracle Service Cloud connection to be used by this Rulebase.

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

Do remember to explore the mapped-in and mapped-out attributes in the Data Model used by this Rulebase.

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

After you have deployed the Rulebase to your OPA Hub, don’t forget to note the URL.

 

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

Retrieve the Shared Secret used with the Service Cloud Connection

  1. The shared secret can be obtained from the Service Cloud Connection administration page. This is used for the purposes of encrypting the URL parameter “user”, as it is launched from within the Service Cloud Consumer Portal. If necessary, a new shared secret can be generated from within this admin page itself.

Deploy and configure the sample OPA Widget to Service Cloud

1. The relevant artifacts (for OPA Cloud Nov 2016 Release) and the detailed instructions for installation can be found on the official documentation website.

2. Download and Save the file Oracle_Policy_Automation_Cloud_Examples_Nov2016.zip and Unzip or extract the contents of the file to a local folder. Bear in mind that both of these URLs will probably evolve over time.

3. Verify and, if required, enable MOD_CP_DEVELOPMENT_ENABLED configuration setting for your Service Cloud Instance. This setting is most likely configured by the Oracle team, during the provisioning of your connected OPA Cloud Instance. If necessary, enable this setting under Configuration > Site Configuration -> Configuration Settings and changing the key value to “Yes”. This will enable you to work with the next steps of configuration within the Customer Portal.

4. Upload the required files to your Oracle Service Cloud instance using any WebDAV client, using the following sequence of steps. Tools you can user for this step include Cyberduck V4.4 (free, recommended by Oracle), WinSCP and even the good old “Mapped Network Drive” in Windows, to work with and explore the Customer Portal files available at the URL https://<your_site>/dav, using the WebDAV protocol.#

For the sake of brevity, these next steps are more focused on OPA. Please refer to the Service Cloud documentation, for the specific development process / best practices to be followed.

a. Configure/update the Shared Secret value into the file “…\customer-portal\widget\opa-helper.php” by placing it into the $shared_secret variable, using any plain text editor.

You will observe from the highlighted code snipped below that this shared secret is used to encrypt the user (contactID) parameter that is passed on to OPA Interview Session through the launch URL. You don’t really need to understand the code, just understand that you don’t want URL parameters that are readable with the naked eye.

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automationb. For Oracle Service Cloud version November 2012 and later, we need to use Customer Portal framework version 3:

  • Upload the directory OPAWidget from customer-portal/widget/v3 to dav/cp/customer/development/widgets/custom/opa
  • Upload the file opa-helper.php from customer-portal/widget to dav/cp/customer/development/helpers

Note: You must have incorporated the “shared secret” before uploading this file.

Activate the OPAWidget using the “Development Mode” in Service Cloud’s Customer Portal administration page.

  • Open the Customer Portal Administration site at https://<your_site>/ci/admin.
  • In the menu bar, select “Settings”, then “Set Environment”.

Select Site Mode as “Development” and verify that you are actually browsing the development version of the customer portal:

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

So you should see something like this:

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

Now you are ready to activate the OPA Widget that you have uploaded to your environment.

  1. Navigate back to the Custom Portal Admin Dashboard page.
  2. In the menu bar, select Widgets, then Browse Widgets.
  3. On the Widgets page, select Custom Widgets, then opa, and then OPAWidget.
  4. In the custom/opa/OPAWidget view, with version 1.1 selected, click the “Activate this version” button.

When activated without errors the version drop-down will change to “1.1 (currently in use)”. In the picture below you can see the 1.1 version is activated. You will find it easier to use the search function highlighted rather than scrolling through the myriad of widgets.

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

The final part of this rather convoluted process is similar to what you did in part two, namely you will now insert something into an Answer. Whereas in the previous example you inserted a bit of HTML that you could make yourself, this time OPA will be added to the Answer using the eponymous widget.

Insert the OPAWidget into an “Answer” in the Service Cloud Customer Portal:

  1. Create a new “Public” Answer in Service Cloud as shown below.

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy AutomationSelect an appropriate “Access Level” on your site for this Answer, to ensure that only logged-in users will be able to access this answer from the customer portal. A logged-in user is necessary for pre-seeding the Contact information while launching the embedded OPA interview session.

  • Save the Answer record and note down the Record ID. We will use this Record ID to ensure that the OPA Widget is visible only when this particular answer is accessed by users in the customer portal. In our case, this ID is “134”.

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

  • Edit the Answer Page design to conditionally include the OPAWidget. The page to be edited is detail.php at the path /dav/cp/customer/development/views/pages/answers

I used Cyberduck and Notepad++ as the editor, with the default character encoding as UTF-8. Cyberduck ensured that every save in the chosen editor was updated into the WebDAV development folder immediately. Nice!

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

As an example, here I have edited the file to only display the Web Determination that we want to display, namely StudentBenefits, when we are showing Answer number 134.

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

Verify the results in Oracle Service Cloud Consumer Portal

  • Search / Navigate to the Answer record in the Consumer Portal, as a logged-in contact/user. If you don’t login, you can expect to see the following warning message:

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy AutomationView the details of this Answer and work with the embedded Interview Session. You will observe that some of the contact information is pre-seeded as you work through the interview session and the final assessment / determination is saved back into Service Cloud.

Assuming you have logged in however, this is what you will see :

Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation

Those of you who have followed this sometimes serpentine chapter of our adventures from the beginning will note that I have logged in with a Portal profile of a user called Richard (who might that be?) and the interview has read that information.

Congratulations on getting this far. So we have discovered yet another way to nudge our lazy expert into giving us something useful. In the fourth and final part of this series I will go behind the curtain and work in the Agent Desktop. See you soon!

Raj

Guest Post : The Lazy Expert – Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud with Oracle Service Cloud Part 2

The Lazy Expert -Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud with Oracle Service Cloud Part 2

Introduction

We are continuing our Lazy Expert series of posts, with an explanation of how OPA Public Cloud, and the rulebases deployed there, can be used within the Oracle Service Cloud application. In case you have missed out on our first port of this series, you can find it here. With the right Nudge, our Lazy Expert is not so lazy after all. If you are missing the original post about the lazy expert, here it is.

Part 1  looked at exploring, deploying and verifying the”RightNowSimple” rulebase to work with your Service Cloud Connection. The rulebase was launched directly using the Interview Session URL. In this post, we will be looking at embedding this Interview into the Consumer Portal of Service Cloud so that anonymous visitors to the portal can use this same interview in self-service mode. This is accomplished by publishing an “Answer”, with Interview Session URL embedded in an IFRAME, to the Consumer Portal.

Pre-requisites

  1. Steps in Part 1 are completed and the Service Cloud Connector is verified to be working as expected.

Publish the “Answer” to Service Cloud Portal for anonymous use

In our simple example, we are going to embed the interview from Oracle Policy Automation as a publicly accessible page in a mythical “portal” website. Customers will be able to browse the website without in any way identifying themselves – anonymously.

  1. Create a new “Public” Answer in Service Cloud as shown below.
  1. In the Answer Tab, Source Sub tab, specify the content using an IFRAME tag as shown below.

The IFRAME tag is of the format

<iframe height="580" src="https://server/path/web-determinations/startsession/RightNowSimple" width="100%"></iframe>

where the “server/path” should be replaced with the values appropriate for your Oracle Policy Automation Cloud environment.

Oracle Policy Automation Public Cloud

  1. Save the Answer record. Make sure that the Answer you have created was using Source mode, otherwise your IFRAME will not display properly.

Verify the results in Oracle Service Cloud Consumer Portal

  1. Search / Navigate to the Answer record in the Consumer Portal, as an anonymous user using the keyword or text that you entered when creating the Answer above.
  2. View the details of this Answer and work with the Interview Session as normal. The result will be the same – the Contact is saved in your Service Cloud instance.

Oracle Policy Automation Public CloudSummary

This post explains how the benefits of an OPA rulebase and the corresponding Interview experience can be made available for anonymous users using the Service Cloud Consumer Portal. Check this space when we will continue next with part 3 of this series that focuses on embedding such interview sessions into the Consumer Portal of Oracle Service Cloud for known contact users…