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.