Before You Start
Before you dive in and begin working, there are a couple of things that you will need to check and understand about your OSvC environment and the associated applications. So let’s get started by calling out the components of the OSvC world.
Components of Oracle Service Cloud
Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) is all about giving great service to your customers. Whether it be on a self-service basis or on the phone with your contact centre, OSvC ensures that the speed and efficiency of the responses your users make provides a great service experience for your customers.
The Self Service capabilities of the application allow your customers to find answers on their own – as and when they need to. The features that customers mostly need – searching for information and browsing, getting to community features, accessing automated solutions to get what’s needed without having to wait for a human to become available – are all part of this solution.
The Customer Portal is part of your Oracle Service Cloud solution: you have a customer-facing portal ready for your use. At the heart of the Customer Portal is the list of Answers, the knowledgebase your customers will be searching through. It is, of course, empty when you first get hold of it, and you will definitely need to make some configuration changes to it, so that it better reflects your corporate style. It might look something like the example below.
For times when the customer needs to be able to interact with physical resources from your company, the OSvC solution provides total channel capability: email, phone, chat and social networking. In addition, the platform allows for the rapid creation of incidents and follows the process of solving the issue, noting down the different conversations along the way.
When your staff need to interact with OSvC they can easily work with records and search and edit information (for example, customer data). At the same time, administrators need a place to easily create users, build custom layouts, and perform maintenance activities. The Agent Desktop is a Windows application that is downloaded to the agent’s machine. It can be customized and configured, is available in local languages, and can also be downloaded as a Mobile Agent App for Apple devices such as iPad and iPhone.
In the screenshot above, the agent is viewing a tabular report of incidents organized by contact. Depending on your role in an organization, you might use the Agent Desktop for searching and editing customer data, for configuring and administering your OSvC knowledgebase, or for performing other administrative tasks as you will see.
You should note that the Agent Desktop, when it is first downloaded, will have very limited navigation options. You will need to configure it, as required, to release the extra functions your users need. This book assumes that you have sufficient permissions to undertake those tasks, as you would if held the Profile of Administrator in OSvC.
The OSvC platform, and the Agent Desktop particularly, contain effective tools to design and deliver business automation, making it easier to optimize the experience for the agent. Here are just a few of them:
- Scripted interactions that drive efficient data capture.
- Workflows that dynamically render the user interface.
- Business Automation for the routing of incidents, escalation, and more.
- Multi-lingual interfaces available within a single customer instance of OSvC.
The Agent Desktop contains lots of tools and functionality to create a configured workspace for the end user.
Many of the tools are used to configure (meaning that no programming knowledge or coding experience is required) rather than to customize (meaning that technical knowledge is required) the environment to meet your requirements. As a simple example, designing dynamic workflow processes is done within a graphical editor as part of the Agent Desktop, as the example below illustrates.
TIP: The Agent Desktop is thus not at all limited to contact center agents. It has a dual role as both the place for end-user activities like updating records, as well as administrative tasks like building new Workflow.
Download and Install
The last few paragraphs have made it clear that you need to download and install the Agent Desktop in order to undertake many tasks as you go about setting up Oracle Service Cloud. There are fundamentally two things you may need to download, and a number of technical prerequisites to consider before you do so.
Before you download, you will need to also ensure that you have a Windows machine available for the installation, and Internet Explorer or its effective successor, Microsoft Edge, as well as an updated .NET Framework. The installation process will prompt you to install any relevant update.
The Agent Desktop is a client-side application and as such is not well-suited to users who require accessibility features such as a screen reader, for example. For this reason, it is also possible to install a non-graphical interface that works with assistive technology. This is offered on the download page as shown above.
Oracle Service Cloud is installed on your Windows computer using a download link provided by Oracle, linked to the instance you have been assigned. Installation of the Agent Desktop requires a Windows-based machine and a Microsoft browser. The Agent Desktop application allows for both end-user and administrative activities to happen under one roof.
In the following chapters, we will guide you through the different steps needed to configure the application, and the portal, to meet the needs of your different users. We start by learning about the basics of navigating and working with records in the Agent Desktop, before moving on to more complex tasks.