With only three days remaining for my 30-day trial, I will finally close these series by discussing my experiences dealing with various levels of support from Oracle. Having used the Oracle Cloud (OCI) both in my day job and as a technology evangelist, I have had the opportunity to engage Oracle support at various levels: sales, customer and technical.
When I first signed up for a trial, Oracle was quick to assign some to ensure that you were making full use of your trial account and credits. While I found their varying job titles confusing, generally, their goals were simple:
- Understand why you have signed up for the cloud trial.
- Are there any technical challenges and if so, how they could setup some calls with inside technical specialists who could help address those issues.
I didn't particularly feel a strong pressure to make any purchases, at least not during the initial calls and email correspondences, but perhaps because I was quick to make clear my intentions for participating in the trial.
Last Friday, I applied for a new cloud trial account on behalf of a non-profit organization. Unfortunately, we had an issue with our DNS MX records and so I was worried that the activation email would be lost. Thankfully, and rather unexpectedly, I was able to locate a button on the to of the Oracle Cloud homepage that gave me several options to start a live chat with a customer support agent. I was close to the start of the chat hours that day and so, was able to connect with a support agent online. He was able to identify my application, but unfortunately, the issue had to be handled by a different department.
Cloud Support Chat Hours: 7.30 pm to 3.30 PM the next day, Pacific Time
Although he wasn't able to help me directly, I definitely appreciated that I could at least "talk" to someone and have some options for next steps, rather than simply just hitting a brick wall. I did eventually get answers as to what went wrong with my trial application and you can read more about this in the last section of this article.
Technical Support (MOS)
While I did not have the opportunity to engage the technical support team, the last serious incident I remember, involved an OCI DB System related to a cascade of unexpected events at the data centre. We had contacted My Oracle Support team as soon as the problem was discovered and were able to have an initial call within a short amount of time.
After providing the necessary details (logs and error messages), the support agent was able to quickly assemble a team made up of specialists supporting the different tiers in the infrastructure. There was never a mention about reproducibility or anything like that, as these systems were running off Oracle's hardware and software systems.
We all have our bad days with support teams in general. However, at least for us, this encounter turned out just fine. The MOS team members were fully committed and eventually able to identify the cause and resolved all issues. The DB System was back online and functioning normally in a matter of hours. Phew!
Three Tries and I'm Out
Just last week, I wanted to initiate a new trial with an intention to progress into a paying account. To my dismay, I was told that it was rejected because I had signed up for one too many trials. Here's how they added up.
I created my first trial to learn the process and also try out many of the different features outside of my regular scope of work. The next one was started to document my 30-day adventures, but then I got busy, had to to take a break and time eventually ran out. Earlier this month, I started my third trial so that I could complete writing up this series.
Each customer is limited to only three trials, so be warned! While you may use different email addresses to sign up, either the cellphone/mobile number that you provide, or credit card information used for verification, could eventually be used to link all your trial accounts. I wasn't aware of this limitation, but while it's coming around to bite me, I do not regret attempting to document a complete 30-day Oracle Trial experience.
This post completes my story and I hope it has brought some value to you. If you were sitting on the fence or adverse to the cloud, I strongly recommend taking the 30-day trial and have any doubts answered. Regardless on what you eventually decide on, I am sure you have much to gain by learning and experiencing the platform of the future.
As an aside, I just wanted to mention that for the trials, I had been using an arbitrary string for the tenant name. It was fortunate that I was able to request a name change that suites the organization I was applying on behalf of. I had also used an unaffiliated email address for the Cloud Administrator/Owner account, and was able to quickly remedy this by creating a new account. Then with a single button click, copied over all the same roles that the original sign-up account had. What a relief!