Sunday, 31 March 2019

#OUGN10 - Not THAT Norwegian Cruise

Last Saturday I disembarked the Color Magic and the Norwegian Oracle User Group annual conference.

Ever since then people have asked if I was on 'that cruise ship'. It wasn't, they were much further north and it appears much rougher seas. We did have terrible fog and missed under the bridge was poor visibility which is normally my favourite part of the trip, but this time it was watching the sunrise on Saturday morning.

I love this conference and it was my 5th time. I previously attended first in 2010, then 20142015, 2016, and most recently 2017.

As I have a European role at Accenture I popped into the local offices before the event and love that their building is part of the Technopolis Campus built on top of the old Fornebu Airport Terminal.  They even have the original badge reclaim floor in the restaurant. What a wonderful way to recognise the past.

I stayed in a little hotel in Oslo - Guldmeden which Alex Nuijten recommended a few years back. Other speakers staying there were Stew Ashton, Francesco Tisiot and Christian Berg.

I had 3 presentations. Should I move to Cloud, Extending SaaS with PaaS and Chatbots with SaaS. The last two much updated as the technology develops. As this was on board ship, internet is not a given so the demos were recorded, but my skills in that area are improving. I don't record as a video on its own, but simply without sound so I can continue to talk as if part of the presentation itself. 

I always get nervous when Product Managers attend my sessions, especially if we haven't spoken about them first. Geertjan Wielenga, PM of Oracle Jet was in my extend session, this is the technology behind VBCS. Afterwards he told me he liked my positioning of the different options and the use cases I gave. That always makes me feel appreciated.

Being greedy and having 3 sessions meant I had one during the 4 hour stop in Kiel, Germany. I normally try to avoid speaking at this time as I like to have a quick run into town and have the obligatory currywurst and some quick shopping. However the only other slot available was at 6pm and that is when we go under the bridge which I may have mentioned is my favourite bit. This amazing Danish bridge is such an experience, so I decided to forgo the shopping.

As the boat docked I was first off, almost run to the Bahnhof or train station and had my currywurst, I also took a selfie and tweeted as part of a competition for one of the exhibitors NovoShore. Love this idea, near shore resources for Oracle Maintenance and Development. Thanks to all my friends, I won the prize of a Norweigen Airlines travel voucher. I think I might fly North next year and try and find some Northern Lights.

The Apps stream on the boat isn't too big and most users are staying on EBS but looking at how technology can help them, either replatforming on Cloud or developing outside. Turid Harborg, an Accenture colleague and Adrian Melsom, an Accenture Summer Intern (what a fantastic idea) talked about one such development using Oracle Jet. I didn't attend the session as it was in Norweigen but did get them to tell me all about it.

I had a good conversation with one user who is happy with EBS but worried about being pushed to Cloud Applications, I was able to confirm Oracle has no plans to do that anytime soon.

This conference cruise has a lot of networking including two amazing dinners but I chose to miss the Thursday night dinner as I felt a little unwell and had 2 sessions to present on Friday. However I was back in form and enjoyed the Friday Dinner.

The theme for this year was 'Tiki Tours' and I'm not sure what the link between a Caribbean and a Norweigen cruise is, but I loved the effort they and the exhibitors put into it and I loved the cocktails especially.

Then it was off to bed before the after party started as I wanted to get up early to see the sunrise having missed the bridge in the fog!! However I should have attended as I kept getting messages to tell me I have won the prize.

After the uneventful disembarkation, I said my goodbyes and spent a lovely few hours in Oslo before flying home. 

This is an amazing conference, both the content and the experience. thanks to all who made it happen and to those who attended my sessions. Thanks especially to my employer for the time and the ACE program for funding.

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