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Oracle Service Cloud Review: "Oracle RightNow: the Cadillac of CRMs"
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Mig Ponce profile photo
Updated January 06, 2014

Oracle Service Cloud Review: "Oracle RightNow: the Cadillac of CRMs"

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
RightNow Aug13
Modules Used
Service, Engagement Engine, Knowledge Base

Overall Satisfaction with RightNow

  • Handles and prioritizes emails, chats, and incidents well.
  • Very extensive help documentation and support.
  • Well-organized considering its complexity.
  • Robust in handling different agent skill sets and permissions.
  • Various aspects of service integrate well (e.g. knowledge base and incident handling).
  • Frequent upgrades that are very thoroughly supported.
  • Very robust and customizable analytics..
  • I'd like to see agent skills switched to be agent-based rather than profile-based. (Supposedly this is coming in a future release). Under the current setup, agents are assigned to profiles in a many-to-one ratio. Each profile represents a combination of skills that the agent handles. This limits agent permissions to profiles... we can't just add "Skill X" or "Queue Y" to an agent without creating a unique profile for them. It would be much more scalable and agile to customize skills for each agent... that way, for instance, an agent could get trained on "Skill X" and then start getting emails from the "Skill X" queue while their untrained-for-X peers wouldn't.
  • Better tutorials for absolute beginners. (The tutorials are there; but I mean tutorials for absolute first-timers.)
  • Support is thorough, but for complicated issues it can sometimes take several rounds of back-and-forth.
  • Analytics are robust, but not intuitive, and absolutely require training.
  • RightNow does not currently have an easy way to integrate with some of the big WFM (workforce management) players in the space, without very extensive (and expensive) custom consulting work. Our phone vendor can do it for a few $k. But RightNow can't. This is an increasingly important trend and the lack of an API for this is a big weakness.
  • It is essential for our large-scale customer service operation. It scales well based on load.
  • Provides us with accurate metrics to measure employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
The decision was made well before my time but I know that eGain was one of the others evaluated.

For a more recent integration, we switched a newly-acquired site from Zendesk because we needed it to fit into our larger RightNow ecosystem.
There are cheaper CRM solutions, but evaluate what your needs will be... if you are operating at a large scale, you'll need one of the large players like Oracle RightNow. And it is robust and effective and good for large-scale use. I really, really love using this system!

Other tips: definitely have someone be in charge of analytics, and then send them to the Analytics training course. Expect extra time (and cost) for integration or implementation, because things are always complicated at this scale. And when designing layouts and workspaces, consider foremost the agent experience. Ask the agents what they need and use, and work from there... rather than deciding what they need and then forcing it upon them. Find this out, address it, and then constantly re-evaluate against it.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, a big weakness is that it does not have an API to integrate with common WFM (workforce management) applications. If you're going to need this, this could be an issue. I've dinged it points for this.

Using RightNow

500 - Mainly customer service agents (including hundreds of seasonal agents). We also have product quality people looking at feedback, and analytics people examining statistics.
3 - 1) CRM administrator.
2) Analytics person.
3) It's REALLY helpful to have someone who can administer the portal and portal development.
  • Answering, routing, and prioritizing customer chats.
  • Answering, routing, and prioritizing customer emails.
  • Extensive knowledge base and help center capability.
  • I've used Custom Objects to build a feature that tracks operational incidents (external to RightNow), and how they impact RightNow incidents.
  • We are looking into sales/marketing features for the future.
It has its quirks, but works so well. Near-flawless uptime and scalability; thorough support; and extensive analytics. I'll be honest-- switching costs and historical reporting factor into why to keep a vendor rather than switch. But in the case of RightNow, I'm very happy with it and am not looking to switch. It's organized well and is a very thorough application. The company really takes interest in it clients, as well as in developing its product. But it really needs to address the lack of a WFM API!

Evaluating RightNow and Competitors

Yes - It replaced Kana many years ago, when the nature of Kana's offering changed.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Reputation
  • Vendor Reputation

RightNow Implementation

Be sure to allow more time (and potentially more cost) than you might originally anticipate! Especially if you are switching from another system and you are attempting to duplicate its setup.
  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
We've had Helix Solutions (who specializes in RightNow) do some work before. Other aspects of it, we've done in-house.
Yes - We integrated based on function: chat separate from email, for instance. It was pretty straightforward.
  • Every bit of it seemed to be more complex than anticipated, because of the interdependency of all the components. (Each part affected other parts.)

RightNow Support

Some of the more complicated inquiries can take some time; but in general, the support is very thorough. RightNow doesn't stop working on your issue until it's completely resolved. They have VERY extensive documentation for each version, as well as really thorough help documentation. REALLY thorough.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - We are a large-scale operation and need quick response.
Yes - Some of the trickier inquiries take some time to resolve; but RightNow's system of escalation is very clear and easy to understand. They will keep working on an issue until it's resolved. I've never, ever had an inquiry or incident disappear.
Oracle is exceptional at escalating support to the proper party. Sometimes it can take some time for the really tricky inquiries; but their resolution rate is nearly 100%.

Using RightNow

The learning curve is fairly steep; but for something that has this much capability, it's nearly impossible to make it "easy". The layout and organization are at least reasonably intuitive. The hardest part-- the "weakest link"-- is the portal development (where you can build help centers and other end-user pages.) The capabilities there are significant, but the learning curve for that part is especially steep and it takes a fair amount of expertise to be able to update it.
ProsCons
Like to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Convenient
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
  • Agent account setup.
  • Business rules and routing.
  • Mailbox setup can be tricky.
  • Product/category setup and linking has some peculiarities that are essential to know.
  • Customer Portal (all the customer-facing end-user pages) is really tricky and cumbersome and is the most difficult part of maintaining RightNow.