Oracle has added advanced co-browsing capabilities to its service cloud, integrating technology gained through last summer's acquisition of LiveLook.
Co-browsing features are now table stakes for customer-service applications. It's the stuff that lets you pop up a "can-we-help-you" window in a pre-purchase scenario or add a Mayday-style button to an app or customer-service page and then guide customers, sharing their screens, through technical problems or confusing settings.
[ Want more on Oracle's cloud rival? Read Salesforce Sees Upswing In Social Marketing. ]
There are nuances to Oracle's co-browse capabilities that are worth exploring, but first let's revisit the vendor's total service cloud portfolio, which got its backbone from the 2011, $1.5 billion acquisition of RightNow. Part of Oracle's Customer Experience (CX) Cloud, Oracle CX Service has five components:
Other enhancements to Oracle CX Service announced Wednesday include enhancements to skill-based routing, visitor browsing histories, and social capabilites. Skills-based routing is about channeling customer-service issues to the right agents. In Oracle's view, that's easier if you handle it all in one environment, but many customers use have workforce management systems from the likes of Genesys, Avaya, and Cisco. Oracle has added a pass-through mode that allows data from Oracle service cloud to be used to inform routing decisions within these third-party systems.
Visitor browsing histories come in handy any time a customer escalates a service problem to assisted service, either through chat or a phone call. The Oracle Web self-service component can now provide the Web browsing history of a caller or chatter to the agent, so they have the advantage of seeing what the customer was doing and what they were looking at when they got stuck.
To improve social customer service, Oracle has integrated its Social Cloud, which is a separate listening and analysis platform, into Oracle CX Service. Thus, social is now another channel -- on equal footing with email, phone, chat, and so on -- exposed in the agent desktop.
Oracle CX Service is most often deployed as a complement to or part of a complete cloud replacement of on-premises Siebel deployments. The big competitor is obviously Salesforce. Following the script of Oracle's larger cloud strategy, the approach with Oracle CX has been to build out the capabilities and surpass rivals in breadth and depth through acquisitions and organic development. The latest CX Service release follows that script to a T.
If the world wasn't changing, we might continue to view IT purely as a service organization, and ITSM might be the most important focus for IT leaders. But it's not, it isn't and it won't be -- at least not in its present form. Get the Research: Beyond IT Service Management report today. (Free registration required.)Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio