The days of legacy, on-premise software applications are numbered. With the recent announcement of the end of life of the much popular Oracle User Productivity Kit (Oracle UPK), it’s pretty clear that the billion-dollar software giant acknowledges the fact that cloud computing is the future.
Oracle has been re-spinning their legacy software into the cloud growth game for a few years now. Quite recently, on the opening day of their chief rival SAP’s SAPPHIRE conference, Oracle introduced its new Soar program.
For starters, the Soar program encourages Oracle application customers to shift to the cloud faster from the company’s legacy, on-premise E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and Hyperion ERP applications.
With this shift in the paradigm, Oracle could possibly turn a blind eye to all their legacy, on-premise application. Maybe the end of Oracle UPK is just the beginning.
Well, as an Oracle UPK user, this should raise a lot of alarm and concerns for you. As per Oracle’s initial statement, post-April 2019 there will be no more development on the Oracle UPK. To close it all, they will be releasing the last update, i.e, Service pack 5 (188.8.131.52) prior to the shutdown.
Edit: Oracle recently extended the Premier Support end date for Oracle User Productivity Kit (UPK) from April 2019 to December 2022. This announcement is applicable only to the 12.1 version of the impacted product IDs.
Albeit, the customers who have purchased the extended support with version 11.1 will be supported until March 2020, provided that they upgrade to 12.1.
To add to this, Oracle has also officially stated in their release that they not have a replacement product!
So, what does all of this mean?
The only upside – you still have all your content within the UPK.
From our perspective, this is not the time to panic. In fact, it’s time to begin planning your transition into an Oracle UPK alternative that’s robust, long-lasting, and flexible.
To make things easier for you, in this article, I’ll introduce to you the Web-based Performance Support Platform, Whatfix.
Whatfix’s Digital Guidance Platform is used by businesses across the world to provide just-in-time on-demand training and help on web applications. Whatfix does so with its core technology of real-time interactive walkthroughs which is much more robust and interactive in comparison to UPK’s simulations.
For better understanding, let’s stack Oracle UPK and Whatfix against each other.
RecordIt! And TestIt! has been the core of content creation on the UPK. In which RecordIt! Streamlines the capture of the screens and TestIt! To test the behavior of each case/step before publishing.
As a solution that supports web-based application, Whatfix’s Editor works on identifying the HTML elements on any web page/application. Whatfix Editor works on point-and-click on any element, capturing it instantly while populating the suggested action for the step.
On an average, a 10-step Whatfix walkthrough can be created, tested and published in 5 minutes.
In addition to this, much like Oracle UPK’s single-source authoring, Whatfix will allow you to generate content that reflects across all its supported formats.
Whatfix’s interactive walkthroughs once created is automatically generated into:
Any changes or edits made to the interactive walkthroughs are automatically propagated to all outputs simultaneously, making content maintenance a simple task.
One of the most popular learning and training methods of Oracle UPK is its simulations. With this Oracle UPK alternative, you can take a leap from the simulation to training your end users in real-time on the live-application.
Whatfix’s interactive walkthroughs handhold users in real-time, helping them perform tasks from beginning to its successful end. Whatfix’s training revolves around the idea of ‘Learning By Doing’ which reduces the time to productivity for the end user by large.
Oracle UPK has basic usage tracking and reporting. But in comparison, Whatfix provides deep insights into the user behaviour and product usage all integrated into its Smart Analytics.
Whatfix analytics gives you in-depth data on how your users are interacting the various Whatfix widgets and walkthroughs. If you are already using the 3rd-party analytics for your web application, then you can also integrate it with your Whatfix account.
If you have always relied on Oracle UPK context-sensitive help for supporting your end-users then Whatfix’s proactive support widgets could be your best bet.
Whatfix has dedicated support widgets that allow you to create an always available, proactive context-sensitive help section.
The self-help widget is your go-to place for all the content on Whatfix. The widget which is available 24/7 can list the content of all types like text, link, video, and interactive walkthroughs.
With the interactive segmentation* of Whatfix, the content listed in the widget will be available on the basis of the page your end-user is working on.
The self-help widget can also be configured to raise tickets, email or call support with specific integrations in the absence of the searched content.
*To learn more about Whatfix Interactive Segmentation, click here.
Whatfix’s Smart tips are specialized tooltips created for the sole purpose of engaging users on long forms and static pages which have a lot of elements that require attention. As an alternative to the commonly used Info icon, the Smart Tip will help users navigate the page with proactive contextual help on mouse hover over.
Powerful localization and translation capabilities is a key feature of the Oracle UPK. But with the end to the UPK support, this could be one part where it might hit you real hard.
Whatfix, on the other hand, supports about 60 global languages which can be configured and translated as required.
Do you use an LMS to streamline your Employee training? Then you can directly integrate Whatfix inside your LMS. This gives you an additional edge over UPK which is a standalone application.
You must be already scrambling around to justify the ROI on a solution like Whatfix. So, to help you just quickly here are some of the comparative use cases and advantages.
Whatfix is an end-to-end Performance support platform that fits across your users’ lifecycle. It helps you standardize the system processes and to increase the possibility of employees understanding, improve product adoption and also embracing and even driving change.
To list down a few, here are the major use cases of Whatfix.
Whatfix addresses both User Onboarding and Training in a similar context. Being available as an in-app guidance system, the interactive walkthroughs can be tailored to hand-hold the end-user across all the pivotal in-app process right from the start. The adoption of the application can be further fine-tuned with on-demand real-time training that helps users breeze through the difficulties faced while using the application.
When there is a transition from one application to another, the end-users are always the ones in peril. With the axe of time-to-productivity looming over their heads, they are often under a lot of pressure to get the handle of the application in a shorter time span. Whatfix’s streamlines this pain-point with dedicated in-app help that can quickly assist the users to learn any application from scratch. This can be tailored in terms of Product Tour, Task List, etc., which can also be measured and tracked through the analytics as required.
Reduce your support queries extensively with Whatfix’s on-demand, always available contextual help. This allows you to lower your support costs empowering your users to self-serve themselves when in need. The self-serving modules allow users to use the available content in real-time helping them perform the tasks on the platform.
Interested in trying out the Oracle UPK alternative Whatfix? Click here to sign up a for a personalized demo.
Are you an Oracle UPK implementation partner? See how Whatfix can help you boost your client’s productivity.