Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Certus-Solutions, Six Months In

Six months ago in September I joined Certus. They got ‘Cloud’ and had great ideas and success that I wanted to be part off.

I guess most of what I do comes under the title of enablement.

Get the Certus name more widely known, and yes I am speaking, blogging, tweeting and simply being known as working for Certus but it their success with customers that makes them stand out.

They retained, gold for UKOUG partner awards for Training and moved from silver to gold for Fusion, no small feat and much appreciated these are customer voted for awards. In the Oracle partner awards they were short listed for both Cloud Applications and Specialized partner, which for a company that does not resell, and 3 years ago were unheard of, is amazing.

Certus stated they wanted to move into the world of PaaS toprovide extensions to SaaS where it was the right thing to do. This was a major exercise just separating the reality from the marketing in the run up to Oracle Open World, and then digging deep into it. I have spoken at length about where we are on this journey, and you can follow it on my guest posts for Oracle as well as my own and of course on the Certus webpage. Winning a partner award, the first partner award for Cloud at the Fusion Middleware Community Forum was unexpected but much appreciated. Certus does believe that sharing our knowledge is the right thing to do, yes perhaps it does help competitors but it also gives us leads and partnering opportunities.

I am also working on references with our customers and this is so interesting. I came from a world of mainly large public sector and now I am working in all sectors and several mid market organisations that would never of considered Oracle in the past. This is an area I really enjoy, it is so easy just to remember the challenges of a project, but when you look back at what has been achieved you can be really proud.

I come from an EBS Financials background and Certus have depth in HCM so I have been doing a lot of learning, but as I have been a manager for many years I did at least understand what HCM processes were.

As Certus builds its profile that means the website as well and I have been helping marketing with content that helps visitors understand a typical Cloud Journey, and how we have helped others.

When I started on September 1st, one of our customers had not even signed a contractJT, formerly Jersey Telecom, needed a system that could support them today, including all their acquired companies who were not yet integrated, but also support them as they grow. Their people are key to their success and an enterprise HCM system was needed to underpin that. Roll on 5 months and the first two phases are live and I am working with them on submissions to Oracle Open World. They have a great story to tell. Oracle have already asked them to be on the customer panel for the HCM ModernApplications Day, recognising what a great achievement this has been.

JT took us into Australia and we have set up a satellite offering there, training initially but want to work with local partners as they start their journeys to the Cloud.

I love teaching and started with Certus delivering UX education on behalf of Oracle, and hope to do more of that. Certus deliver all the HCM Cloud training for both Alliance & Channels, and Oracle University and we are hoping to do more ERP training as well.

Working with customers at the start of their journey, when they haven't even made a decision to go yet, but want to understand options and strategies, this is the bit I love most. I have worked with a number of potential Cloud customers around ERP as well as HCM.

I have also done some authoring, a bit unexpected but one customer needed very specific training in compensation management, this normally only happens once a year so they wanted to ensure it was captured at a very detailed level to ensure they could do this next year without help. I loved doing it.

I have got involved in a number of partner forums with Oracle, not just FMW but also Cloud and PaaS, Oracle need field feedback and in return you get access to product management who will give you heads up on what is coming, and help you with your ambitions.

Certus also get involved with beta testing of Cloud Applications, which for us is a constant role as there is an upgrade every 6 months. Being asked is an honour and being asked again shows that you are valuable to them.

Certus not only implements Cloud Applications we have an Engage Business Support Services, a wrapper to help customers with coexistence and through upgrades, not because they are difficult, they are not, but to help them understand and decide what new features to implement or use. Our customers trust us to be alongside them as they make each step in the Cloud.

My contract with Certus recognises the need for investment to stay a thought leader and the support from them is phenomenal. Being an ACE director takes effort and time but the rewards outweigh that, the network into development and product management, time and time again pay off, but I have seen so many supported to reach ACE Director but then get swallowed up and loose it a few years later.

Certus is the leading HCM Cloud implementer in the UK and wants to move towards that in ERP. I want to be part of that journey and after 6 months can defiantly say I made the right choice.

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