Thursday, 19 July 2018

Thank you to all at UKOUG

My time on the board of UKOUG came to an end in March, and although I am still an active volunteer and have not left the organisation, I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you.

First for the opportunity to grow both as an individual and in my professional career. I would recommend volunteering to anyone in our community, it will motivate and educate you.

I was very touched to receive a generous voucher from the board to say thank you for my service. 

I spent the money on a bench and some plants, so that I can enjoy the view from my house. 

As I said I haven't left, currently very busy with the Apps18 committee and hope you will agree we have a great agenda and will be joining us in Liverpool.  

I have also just applied for a role on Oracle Scene. You don't get rid of me that easily!

Saturday, 26 May 2018

OUGF 2018 - Kiitos kutsusta

Last Oracle Open World, Pasi Jaakkola the President of the Finnish User Group asked me if I would like to give an Applications keynote at their 2018 conference, their 30th Anniversary. 

I have spoken for this usergroup twice before, their 20th Anniversary Event and as part of an OTN Nordic Tour in 2014.

This year the event was held in Vanajanlinna just over an hour from Helsinki. Not only was it a fantastic location but it was unseasonably hot for Finland and just wonderful. I had a suite overlooking the lake and would love to take a holiday there sometime.

They provided a bus from the airport and we were given a little tour of the countryside including a visit to Pasi's home where we drank champagne as his family played music for us.

I had three presentations:
  1. My keynote - Cloud Applications, back to basics
  2. Extending Cloud Applications with VBCS
  3. Should I move to Cloud Applications, route to the Cloud
The Back to Basics session was the first of the conference, and as is common in Europe it was a predominately technical audience but they did seem interested. I talked about how the technology enabled the application and what components were used. I know Oracle tell you it doesn't matter, you are buying or rather subscribing to a solution, but organisations who have had on premise applications do want to know.

And even if the audience are not Oracle applications users, the principles of design are relevant to any development. As ever to me the measure of success was the number of questions I had, both during and after the presentation.

After lunch I had my other two presentations, one after the other.  The VBCS presentation was the first time I had used release 2 in a session and on the whole it behaved well, except for a small glitch at the very end on the mobile app. I had been more concerned about the wifi which had been patchy, but all worked out well. I really enjoy this presentation as I can make it relevant to the event, so we collected data on those intending to use the sauna. 

Then my final session was the 'route to cloud' that I gave not too long ago as community keynote in Dublin, and based on my Oracle Scene article at the end of last year. This prompted some questions around data centres and organisational strategies especially around cloud @ customer. 

Part of the reason I had such a great day was that the audience were interactive. Also there were some great speakers who asked questions and added answers to the conversation. 

That evening after a wonderful dinner it was time to enjoy the grounds of this amazing location. Finland is so far north it was way past 11pm before it was dark, and such a great time to relax and get to know people.

The Wednesday I had finished my sessions. Pasi works for Accenture, who you will remember have just acquired Certus and their global lead for the database, a fellow ACE Director Julian Dontcheff is also based in Finland. Also speaking were new colleagues from Enkitec and in total about 10 Accenture people in attendance so I was able to learn a bit more about how the company and specifically Oracle work.

This was a great conference, and I loved that I was able to present something new to a traditional audience and yet they all learnt and appreciated. The location was amazing and I'll certainly be back.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

UKOUG Applications Conference 2018

We need your input!

The Oracle Applications world as many different answers as there are user organisations. So what content do we need to include in our UKOUG_APPS 2018 Agenda?

When I first got involved with UKOUG, we simply has E Business Suite, sliced by the different modules. Today we still have EBS, but we also have those looking at Cloud, and those who have already moved. 

The apps tech community is busy supporting these applications at all levels of the stack and to extend them. 

Business Analytics and some Hyperion based solutions are now mainstream with Applications.

We have users using 3rd party tools to get the most from their Oracle investment. Reporting solutions, archiving, configuration management, tax and foreign exchange.

You can see where I am going, our communities can be sliced so many different ways. 

Then we also want to bring you off piste content, like innovation, business challenges and emerging subjects.

So please reach out and tell us what you want to hear about, comment here, on my twitter , linkedin, however you can find me. 

Even better share your story, submit before 4 June. Let us know if you need help turning it into a presentation, or coaching if it is your first attempt. We can help.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Thinking About Oracle Cloud Applications Support

Last week Oracle announced a revision to their Cloud Applications Support . At first glance it looks great, anything that gives the customer more is welcome.

I haven't seen a lot of commentary on this but I like this from Denis Beagle from my friends at Diginomica oracle-announces-autonomous-services-media-day, he talks about it being paid for from the actual subscription costs. I totally agree with that statement but actually think Oracle is moving some of the role of implementation and customer success into support. This makes sense, when Oracle only had a few customers they could have named people in these roles but as the size and quantity of deals has grown the roles have been stretched. Smaller customers are now managed off shore and to move some of their remit into support is an obvious step.

More of interest to me is the paid for support. The company I work for has a post go live support offering for Oracle Applications and have found it very appealing for those to want to continue taking up the continuous innovation and have a consultant at the end of the phone.  This is especially important during upgrade times and the new move to quarterly updates will change the way customers look at their systems.I don't think Oracle is offering that but time will tell.

Thanks to Tim Warner Certus-Solutions

In fact I am currently on a tour of our customers talking about the key changes relevant to them in the last major, traditional upgrade to R13. Knowing their implementations we can filter out the changes we don't think are relevant to them and it makes it a much more focused conversation. But for all of them understanding the new regime takes a little getting used to. 

Finally in this look at support, I also read about an agreement between Rimini Street and Salesforce for their cloud applications . It was a big surprise but made me think, would we ever see one between Oracle or SAP and Rimini Street?

VBCS Goes Technical - but i still love it

Last weekend VBCS was upgraded and in this new version (18.2.3) it is so much more technical to look at.

I first saw this release at the PaaS Forum in March and was deflated, I loved that the product was so easy to use and felt that it did have a market in the system support teams as EBS customers moved to Cloud Applications.

The Product Management team were very helpful, at the PaaS Forum, John Ceccarelli gave me an in-depth demo of the product and whilst I absolutely see the value to developers I felt it was going to be too technical for the user base I was looking at.

John and Angelo Santagata  explained the changes were based on feedback from customers, and although I suspect they were talking to IT, I have to accept that.

I tried to get a beta version of the system that didn't work out until just a week before the upgrade, but as I am a paid user of VBCS I got the upgrade last weekend anyway.

My interest in VBCS is for extending the applications, although it wasn't ADF the technology the applications are written in, it did have an apps UI template, so was ideal for this use case. Oracle are now investing a lot in enhancing the applications user experience, the first of which can be seen in the current R13. This initiative which is ongoing is based on JET, the technology behind VBCS, so this is going to be an even better way to extend the applications.

A few weeks ago at Collaborate 18 I presented my low code version of VBCS twice to application users and cemented my view that there is a market here. When I got back from the Forum in March I also spoke to a local Business Development Manager in UK and I haven't changed my mind.

I took the opportunity at Collaborate to visit the demo grounds and the VBCS stand. I didn't get a chance to speak to Shay Shmeltzer but I would like to say, look at his blog, he has always had good training material and I see he has added some great back to basics concepts for people using the new VBCS. 

I did speak to Brian Fry, who finally got me the beta demo sorted and explained to me that this was the technology being adopted more and more by internal development. So long term this is the right answer.

Brian also told me the most important thing, that the no code isn't going away it has been rebranded 'classic' and I can still use it. There is no upgrade (as far as I can see) from classic to standard, so if you create an app using classic you need to use classic to amend it.

So the upgrade happened and I opened the app with a little trepidation.  There were some issues previously with upgrades but this time all was well. It opened in 'Visual' mode and there were no applications. 

However once I selected 'Classic' they were all there. This weekend I had a chance to test and amend them and happy to say, all is well. 

I am a member of the Vsual Builder Cloud Service "Design Advisory Board" and regularly take part in UX projects around this product. Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program I have great access to product management.

For developers the increased functionality in VBCS is excellent, but they haven't switched off the low code which I and some of my customers are interested in. I suspect the Visual side will grow and grow but that is OK, because as that maturity grows, so will the need to extend applications cloud and then it will be over to the developers.

If you want to have a go, try it with a cloud trial account. Try Oracle Cloud for Free

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Sharing in Success - The Next Chapter in Certus

Mergers and Acquisitions are all the rage at the moment - Yesterday's Financial Times reported deals are now higher than before the 2007 crash.

On Monday amongst several high profile deals (Sprint, T Mobile ; Marathon Petroleum,  Andeavor : Sainsbury, Asda) you could be forgiven for missing the very exciting announcement: Certus is joining Accenture

This is all about the success of Certus and whilst the future looks great and full of opportunity for us all, I want to talk about why Certus were so attractive to Accenture.

The Certus story is about 2 people who believed that there was an opportunity to enter the Oracle Applications market when it was first announced Fusion would move to cloud and caused disruption for the existing partners. 

In turn Certus disrupted that market even further.  They surrounded themselves with like-minded experts to grow, and again at each stage of their success, they added another layer. 

They reached out to Oracle Development and spent many months, learning and proving their commitment. Then they used their learning to train people, becoming an Oracle Education partner. Customer projects followed and soon their first full Fusion implementation. They grew and grew.

There was no shortage of people wanting to join Certus, anyone who wanted to work with Cloud Applications knew Certus had real work.

Their reputation grew with their success and was recognised by customers, Oracle and other ecosystem. This week after the announcement I have had many congratulations for Certus - another great testament.

So proud to have been part of this success and to be part of the future. Accenture have bought a great team. 

Sunday, 29 April 2018

2018 Collaborate - Women and the ACE Program

My final post from Collaborate.

There was a WIT lunch and I really enjoyed it. My fellow #UGR Michelle introduced the speaker Heather Parks who I thought was very nervous. She had a great story to tell as a successful #WIT in Las Vegas and once she started to take questions all the nerves disappeared and she was much better.

She told a couple of jokes, one which I can't put in print! But the one I loved was 

'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... in a database to be used to get you to come back and spend more money'

Then there was a #WIT Panel which Michelle facilitated. What I loved was how positive it was, no moaning, just positive stories and advice on how to get on.

The ACE Program had their traditional reception on the Monday evening and it was great to see a new Woman Seems Satapathy in the ranks and a new female ACE Director, well done Michelle Kolbe. However this isn't about targets or quotas and I'm equally pleased to see the men succeed in the program as well.

Mia Urman created an impromptu #WIT breakfast which was quite a feat considering the restaurant wouldn't reserve a large table. In fact they were very unhelpful and Michelle and I almost missed out, but we joined them just in time for the photo.

It was a good conference and great too see so many women taking part.

2018 Collaborate - Feeling Good

I had a great time at Collaborate 18 even if it was in Las Vegas (not my favourite destination).

I had plenty of sessions to deliver and even had time to attend several. The best one was from an old colleague in Fujitsu who did a comparison of EBS and Cloud Finance.
It was great to spend time with old friend, make new friends and room with the other 2 thirds of #UGR.
One of those was who worked with me on a project in Belfast probably 8 or 9 years ago and is now living in the US.

I took the opportunity to get a new profile picture since I have recently stopped colouring my hair and need one that shows the grey. Thank you Quest for the opportunity.

It was also good to see this man back speaking. My great friend Floyd Teter.

I had more fun with the ACE Program and several #WIT events.

See you next year in Texas.

2018 Collaborate - Certus Presentatons

Certus had 5 sessions at Collaborate, with both Quest and OAUG.

My first presentation was on Chatbots with HCM Cloud. This isn't the concept of internal chatbots with HR Helpdesk, but using Oracle Mobile to create a chatbot. Thank you again to Grant and Rohit for all your help.

I had a good crowd for what was the first delegate session after the main keynote. Tim Warner, my boss was my assistant and thanks to the audience gave me a 100% pay rise to keep me after I threatened to resign via the instant app in the chatbot. Great fun.
Then there was something new, Turbo Talks. Here OAUG had small areas in the exhibition hall. They had cardboard seats and using a mobile app could tune into one of 4 simultaneous talks. Mine was on the different ways you can extend Cloud Applications, and the pros and cons of each. There were a couple of technical blips but it was great fun and I would certainly do it again.

The third presentation was Tim's - he talked about the new UX in HCM Cloud Release 13 and the new patching regime. We validate or test the releases in advance for development, and have done 3 upgrades internally. There are a lot of changes, R13 is a real big upgrade but them we move to quarterly updates. It is really difficult to get your head around it and I got back to our first quarterly upgrades and they weren't exactly as expected!!

Then I had one more presentation to give, my VBCS presentation, with my now 'legendary' live demo to create a new app, link it to a HCM API, integrate it into the HCM menu and then top it off with a mobile app. It was so popular I did it twice! This presentation is based on the original article I wrote for Oracle Scene.

My Mobile App

I had a great time presenting and hopefully all the attendees learnt something.

UGR - User Group Royalty

A irreverent look at life after Leadership.

Just a few weeks after my term ended on the UKOUG board I was at Collaborate in Las Vegas with two other past presidents, Michelle Malcher IOUG and Sue Shaw Quest

Conferences can be expensive and over the years I have taken to sharing accommodation whenever possible to cut down the costs, and this time the 3 of us shared a room. A lovely room. We got us a suite at a very good price at the Mandalay Bay and it was very nice, thank you.

It was so nice we referred to it as the 'Palace'. It was at the end of a very long corridor which we called the 'Royal Mile' and very soon we had called ourselves 'User Group Royalty'. I loved it, we have each worked very hard for our respective groups and are all still very involved.

We have each had the opportunity to meet many people over the years, been involved with international user group meetings (IOUC) and become very good friends. All three of us were speaking at the conference and Michelle (despite having said she would never write another one), had a new book to promote - DBA Transformations

Michelle and I kicked off the week with the Gospel brunch on Sunday at the House of Blues

So we worked hard, but we also had the chance to have fun. All 3 of us are in the ACE program, and joined Jennifer at the ACE reception on the Monday.

Tuesday we were back at the House of Blues to hear the Conference Room Pilots, a vendor band that were really good. And then Wednesday we went to the beach for the conference Party.

Thursday evening, Sue's husband Ian joined us and we went to the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur and then before leaving on Friday, Michelle and I did the Shark Reef. 

Life is Good. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Chatbots - A Public Apology at Collaborate

One of the first sessions at Collaborate 2018 is my chatbot presentation
Last year at Oracle Open World I blogged about a chatbots session I had seen when visiting Oracle's User Experience labs the week before. 
The blog was about how the idea of a chatbot seemed alien to me as a reason to use Oracle Cloud. I did recognise that this is a common reaction to new technology and that I had been caught out before with voice recognition.

Anyway roll on 6 months and it's a real hot topic, something at Certus we recognise the need to be on top off. We have to keep up with the continuous innovation that Cloud brings. There is no cushion of time, whilst you wait for a customer to upgrade.

I saw lots of chatbot demos, and even did an online chatbot training course through Oracle Alliance & Channels. However the content was hard coded and not coming from a database and certainly not from Oracle SaaS.

I knew I had to learn this and so I had employed my favourite tactic, I submitted a presentation for a conference. And it was accepted! Thank you Quest for giving me the opportunity to publicly apologise for my earlier scepticism.

So if you are at Collaborate - please come along
Session ID: 105380  Reef F 0945 Monday 
Abstract: Do chatbots have a place in your HR department? This session deconstructs the chatbot to explain how it works

Through the ACE program we have fantastic access to Product Management and so I contacted Grant Ronald and asked him for some advice. There was also a delay in getting the cloud instance built and time was running out, but Grant had an answer.

Rohit Dhamija a Principal Product Manager working for Grant, was happy to work with me. I got a chatbot built and he got to learn all about Cloud HCM. 

The demo of the will return details quicker than logging into the system, deliver an FAQ and even allow me to resign online!

So come along and see our presentation and learn how it is actually done, and what is happening behind the exciting demo.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Passing on the Baton, Still Supporting the Team

As you will have seen in today's UKOUG eBulletin my participation on the board has come to an end. The time has come to hand over the baton to Neil Chandler and leave the organisation in the very capable hands of our current board.

It is a little bit sad. I know it right to go but I also feel there were things I had not finished however the board are perfectly capable of taking over.

As I start the hand over I had the chance to reflect on what I have achieved in all my time on the board, both this period and the earlier period which ended with me being chairman and then president:

  • I have worked hard to welcome our 'acquired' communities of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Hyperion, Siebel etc into the wider user group world.
  • Bringing the User Experience team and their labs to UKOUG
  • I've bought Women in Technology and Next Generation initiatives which although we are always looking for better ways to make a difference are at least on the agenda.
  • On a personal note, UKOUG gave me, as it has many other members of the Oracle ACE program, an opportunity and stage, to learn my craft as a presenter and the opportunities to share my Oracle knowledge. I will certainly continue to do so.
  • I also grew my career through UKOUG, many years ago when first joining the board I undertook Director training from the Institute of Directors, jointly funded by UKOUG (in the main via a grant) and my then employer Fujitsu. Through that and many, many hours of hard work I gained my Charted IT Professional, Chartered Engineer (Software) and Chartered Director. 
But it hasn't all been easy, user groups have many challenges, I have seen Oracle change beyond recognition, both through acquisition and their move to Cloud. The global crash put great pressure on training of all kind and usergroup events struggled with both attendees and exhibitors. Digital disruption has also bought social marketing which now competes with in person marketing. Oracle are a big competitor too, not a month goes by that they don't have an event or meetup. More personal to UKOUG, we have had a succession of interim leaders since James Haslam left and now with James Jeynes having moved on there is again lots to think about. I still believe user groups have a big role to play, our independence from and our ability to influence Oracle are a big benefit to our members and the meeting of like minds to learn from each other should never be underestimated.

Paul Fitton our President has talked about the current Project Reach which looks to address the current challenges and I know that those involved will all work to overcome them with exciting new ways of working. My most recent job at UKOUG was to revise and re-issue our Mission and Values.

I want to thank all those who I have served on the board with, Ronan Miles for his mentorship, Burt Spence for his original encouragement and more recently Fiona Martin. I also want to thank the staff led by Karen McCormack. It hasn't always been easy but we have always delivered.

Most of all I hope I have encouraged others and that I don't need to be on the board to do.
I'm not leaving UKOUG, I am still leading the Applications conference this year, and hope to volunteer in a number of other areas so you haven't heard the last of me.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Women in Technology - Paying it Forward

At the UKOUG conferences in December I had the pleasure of inviting Caroline Apsey to talk about what Oracle are doing supporting the Bloodhound project.

Afterwards I asked Caroline if she would consider an interview with Oracle Scene about being a WIT with such a high profile and she was happy to do so with her colleague and Oracle Intern Lahini Sivaganeshan.

This Oracle Scene was so successful we are going to do a series of interviews and I already have women lined up for the rest of the year! We hope to include two of the students who attended OUG Ireland a few weeks ago.

Then Caroline asked me if I would talk about UKOUG and how we select papers for conferences and how that includes encouraging women. This was at a meetup she arranged in Oracle just before Easter.

Career Developer: CFPs + Presentations + Life Coaching!

Abi Giles-Haigh
Another speaker was Abi Giles-Haigh, a great UKOUG speaker who has won both a highest judging paper and best new speaker with us, as well as being recognised for her work by Oracle.

In fact Abi has an article on her work again in this edition of Oracle Scene.
Helen Cottee

The evening finished with a life coach Helen Cottee talking about confidence and I loved it.

WIT groups should be about this, encouraging each other through our networks and hopefully in just these few examples you can see how one thing leads to another.

2018 OUG Ireland

This year on 22 March we had OUG Ireland. Sometimes it is hard to let go. I have been the project lead for Ireland for many years, but this year Tony Cassidy took the lead. He and his volunteers (of which I was still one), did a great job and we had a wonderful couple of days.

This is the third year it has been at the Gresham and was a case of 'last chance' for the hotel owners. On paper it is ideal: Central, easy to get to, right size, right cost, but the first year there were lots of problems. Last year they promised everything was fixed and although better, still not quite right. But then the hotel was sold the the RUI chain and I have to say I was impressed with the changes.

Again we had a two day format which does work really well here. The day was opened by Tony and then John Donnelly & John Caulfield, from Oracle spoke about the Irish market for Oracle.

After the keynote we had another first at OUG Ireland. Last year each sponsor was given a few minutes in the exhibition hall to say what they did and why they were there. It worked much better than expected and so this year, it was repeated but this time on the main stage. It is the sponsors who make these events possible and they loved the opportunity and delegates could hear the message without being 'sold to' and if they wanted could follow up with the vendors afterwards, and many did. 

I did the kick-off for the Applications stream which I was very proud to be asked to do. I wrote an article in Oracle Scene just before Christmas on 'What Route to Cloud'  which I presented. Looking at all the different scenarios and some of the options. 

We took a detour from the normal, Q&A being at the end of the day, and did it after my kick off. The idea being then all speakers would have an opportunity to know what people were looking for and hopefully answer their questions during the two days. We had hoped that oracle would join Tony and I on the panel, but for logistical reasons that didn't happen but I think we answered most of them. 

During the run up to the event we had a larger than normal number of selected speakers cancel. Part of this was our fault, call for papers was before the date was announced and that meant some had to say no, but others canceled for different and valid reasons right up to the last week. So many of the speakers picked up free seasons and I think did UKOUG proud, although someone not at the event suggested I did too many, which upset me as I didn't ask for them and was helping out. I wasn't the only one, I know of at least 3 others who at the last minute stepped up. Perhaps I am simply just too sensitive.

My extra session on day one was about the different ways you can extend SaaS. This is based on a short session I have been asked to present at Collaborate in a couple of weeks. So a new presentation for me and one that was really well received. I even had an Oracle sales person photograph some of my slides as he said it was the first time someone had compared the pros and cons of the different options. 

I felt the audience wanted to hear about cloud. Like in Apps17 people are keen to understand, and perhaps not all are actively planning, they know it is now relevant to all.

At the end of the first day we had our annual ACE Dinner and again I had been replaced as the organiser, by the local Brendan Tierney and he did a great job. We were back at our favourite restaurant and it was a lovely evening. Tim Hall and I left before the real drinking started, I'm simply too old to party when there is more work to be done.

On the second day I had a 'Back to Basics' session. This was my original Fusion architecture presentation almost 8 years ago and revised on behalf of hroug last year.
Again I think it was well received.

We also had some Irish students who were here as guests of Oracle Academy, thanks again Brendan for arranging. 

Since it was a Friday, I was finished my sessions, apps was over and Dublin is only 3 hours by bus home and no flight. I took the opportunity to leave a little early and started my great adventure home. Bus from outside the hotel and it was trouble and stress free.

I hope I'll be back again next year, as both a volunteer and a speaker. Ireland was my first event I sponsor when I joined the board originally, and it is my home event.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

2018 PaaSForum Budapest - The Content

I'm a member of several advocate communities within Oracle and the leaders are a special breed, ensuring we had the product access we need to be up todate and to keep us motivated. I'd like to call out Jennifer Nicholson and Lori Lorusso in the ACE Program and Misha Vaughan in the Apps UX Advocate Program.

Normally these roles don't extend to the sales side of the business, but there is an exception, Juergen Kress who runs the EMEA A&C PaaS Community. Every year for his partner community Juergen holds two events; his spring Forum and summer Boot Camps.

The Boot Camps are full on training and not relevant to my role but the Forum is a 'not to be missed event'. The week is divided into 3 parts. The first day is partner case studies; what have they done with their customers. The next two days are product and program updates which are the key to what I need to know. I need that 'how' not just 'what' around the ever increasing product portfolio. Then the last two days are the hands-on labs. Normally these are too technical for me but the VBCS and Chatbot sessions were a must for what I am talking to customers about. More important than all this I have the chance to speak face to face to product managers.

This year the Forum was back in Budapest. We were there 3 years ago when #PaaS4SaaS was only DaaS and JCS with a promise of SOA and BPM to come. Certus had recently announced we would work with customers when the time came on the #PaaS4SaaS concept, and along with our development partners eProseed had just completed a PoC with Oracle on what was possible. Jurgen gave Lonneke and I an award for taking this on and sharing it with the community.

This year, to our surprise, Lonneke and I were called up to the stage again, and given another community award this time for SOA CS with SaaS. This is a project we are well into, with a global customer who is integrating all their employee data from their existing portfolio into a new instance of Cloud HCM with the business moving into using the system when it suits them. It is a complex integration but will give business value much quicker to the customer. For us it was great to be recognised, it took quite a while for customers to actually want #PaaS4SaaS up front but is now becoming more widespread.

There was more business content this year at the forum and one I really appreciated was the session on Universal Credit licensing. Not so much about what it costs today but about how we can help customers who have existing investment and the best way to move them forward.

From the Oracle A Team Deepak Arora gave us several sessions on #PaaS4SaaS adoption models and what they are seeing in presales engagements. Deepak talked about architectural changes between R12 and R13 which affect the way PaaS consumes data from SaaS which isn't immediately obvious. He also talked about future plans. Well worth the visit alone.

I have a chatbot I have had lots of help building by the OMCE product team, so was very interested in their sessions and was brave enough to divert from the script and set up my own messages.

John Ceccarelli from VBCS Product Management had a few sessions based on the soon to be released V2. There are some great enhancements to the product although some of the simple wizardry that suited people like me is rather hidden now, but I'll comment again later once I've had a chance to play with it more. I also attended a UX session on future ideas for VBCS and am very keen to see them get into production.

There was a 2 day integrate and extend SaaS workshop but I didnt attend that. It was very CX centric and very technical but I did sit down with the lead Wolfgang Herdtle and he went through a couple of Finance and HCM use cases.

Once everyone had left I spent an hour with Nicolas Damonte looking at Process Cloud and their ideas for exposing complexity via wizard driven templates. I am absolutely sure I have described that wrong, but I liked the user experience.

For a few years I have been looking at how to extend SaaS with little applications that co-exisit with the applications. Some of the constraints are still there but when you can see the roadmap and where both tools and applications development are working together, there is a lot to be excited about.

I have a session at Collaborate on how can you build these extensions. Not how to code, but how to approach them. This includes what to me is one of the best initiatives, Universal Credits, which allows users to consume what they need, even if what they need changes.

I was videoed talking about my thoughts for Oracle sound bites.

Thank you Juergen for another amazing PaaSForum, for the award, and for a great time in a wonderful venue. See you next year.