You will not be surprised to hear that this year Cloud was the main theme and it is certainly the Oracle mantra. When did exadata, engineered systems stop being the answer to everything?
This year Cloud Apps, my area, have I think reached maturity and I am really pleased to say I heard less presentations that added to any confusion, and in the main the name Fusion was unused.
In the past few years I was very disappointed in the number of vendors who were suggesting Cloud was not the right answer and that you should (stay with them, the vendor and) remain on premise. EBS, PeopleSoft, JDE etc may be the right answer for you, because you have a specific reason to stay but there is no generic reason why now organisations shouldn't at least be evaluating it. The sessions I did see seemed to have more clarity and less spin from both sides of the argument, that pleased me.
As you would expect all the Oracle sessions were Cloud focused and there were lots of cloud customers in attendance as well.
I gave a presentation entitled 'What's the Weather Like Where You Are? Are Cloud Apps the Same Around the World' - talking about localisations, regional challenges and translations, hygiene and motivational issues. I wanted to talk about the challenges we have had with global implementations and how the configurability of Cloud means they can be overcome.
Getting more out of the applications is what we love about what we do.
There is a push from Oracle for partners to have a fixed price offering. The problem with this is to be competitive you have a fixed delivery, and that means you deliver the basics only. One of the users who spoke to us said his implementer had 'simply switched the lights on' and nothing else.
This saddens me, people deserve to get the most out of their investment, and that is what user groups are all about, but we in the leadership roles need to make sure we are delivering content not just for users moving to Cloud but also those who have already made the move.
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