Thursday 30 September 2010

Wrap Up on Oracle Open World

I never have time to blog during OOW, and by the time I got home it was Sunday. By the time I cleared my inbox it was Monday.

My mum then died very unexpectedly on Tuesday and my priority is with my family.

Normal service and catch up will resume shortly.

Monday 20 September 2010

I was worried

If you read my blog  regularly you know I try not to be a direct marketing tool for Fujitsu. But today I make no excuses.

I have been many Oracle Open Worlds and am very privileged through my role in the global user group community to have priority seating for keynotes. It is a great model that you make the audience sit through the sponsor keynote before the top billed Oracle keynotes, and I have sat through more than my fair share. I have not myself fallen asleep but have watched others, ( including Oracle people), I have tweeted through my boredom, updated Facebook and cleared my emails ( wifi permitting). 

So when Fujitsu told us internally they were going to be Marquee sponsor I was worried.

I don't pretend to be the best in this community but I do have a reputation I hope of being honest, employed by a partner but not direct sales. My value to Fujitsu, I hope is my ability to work with all areas of Oracle, understand and share that knowledge within the community and in turn to my colleagues and our customers. That Trusted Voice.

I don't stand up and say Fujitsu, Fujitsu, Fujitsu but people do know I work for them, and the freedom they give me is phenomenal. I have worked for them since they acquired ICL who I joined 21years ago.

So what would happen to my credibility and my personal pride if Fujitsu became one of those keynotes remembered by it's boredom or professionalism rating? But I didn't need to worry, the story of Fujitsu was told through the Japanese culture and I challenge anyone not to have learnt something out our heritage or current initiatives. 

I have seen good tweets and I have seen ones calling it an informercial, well perhaps that was the angle it took, but they talked customers, staff and plans.  Responsive, Genuine, Ambitious. Isn't that better than drone, drone drone? 

I am biased, but I am also proud, very proud and very relieved, rather than negative comments being said by delegates attending, you will remember 'Shaping Tomorrow with You'.

Now I can get excited about Fusion Apps.

Sunday 19 September 2010

Welcome from Fujitsu

So how excited am I. Fujitsu my employer are as I have said Marquee Sponsor for OOW, and today as the conference gets underway there are signs everywhere.

OOW attendees have bags with Fujitsu pride of place, love that.

I don't have time to be on the Fujitsu stand but have been part of the planning process so am very keen to see how it comes together. So I have added Exhibitor to my embarrassingly long set of ribbons and went onto the show floor to have a look.

Cheery Pickers, ladders, men on stilts, and more duct tape than I have ever seen in my life, and by tomorrow it will be the polished exhibition. Lighting is going up, orders being yelled and lots of innovation for the last minute details.

It is lovely that Oracle have selected the same colour scheme as Fujitsu and the red is very striking. I believe there is also a nice red carpet but that will be last thing that goes down. Look tomorrow when you pop by, we are booth #1311, tell them 'Debra sent you'.

We are obviously sponsoring the marquee, that tent city between Moscone North a South.  And tonight, the welcome party, we are sponsoring that as well. The stage is also branded Fujitsu. Come and have a drink on us.

The Buzz Begins

Having had a great week at Oracle HQ, I along with the other ACE Directors made our way into the city ready for Oracle Open World.

Two buses of people arriving at the Hilton, and mine was the last bag out the coach. Nice queue! When I got to the front finally, the guy says "you have a gold card, you should have walked up to the front". Perhaps I am just too British, but that wouldn't be fair to my friends.

Then it was off to a quick bite to eat, at 'Mels', the centre of the OOW Universe. I went with Richard Foote, Chris Muir, Dimitri Gielis and Alex Nuijten, it was a quiet meal most were still jet lagged, expect Richard who thought he was very brave calling me "Debbie" all night, but hopefully has the bruises today to prove it was not a good idea.

In bed by ten, I was up early to start my chores. These included trying to finish my presentations and paper, but the first 30 minutes was wasted trying to stop the bloody phone from flashing red. If I picked up the message it said I had something to collect from the front desk, but the computer was down so no one had any idea. However later I found out it was an excellent ACE Director bag, with ACE sweeties, OTN water and a great new ACE fleece. The fleece is awesome and far too nice to be a threat to Stanley.

I ironed all my clothes, ate my free Starbucks breakfast, and setled down to write my completely unstarted presentation I am giving tomorrow. Then I got a text from Dan Norris who had a break from building Exadata demos in Moscone. I went down to meet him for lunch and ran into Oraclenerd.

After lunch I went clothes shopping with Marcel and resisted the urge to buy too much for me, just one little, pair of shoes.

Quick walk down to the Marriot to meet with Mary Lou Dopart and met up with lots of other friends in the lobby. Mary Lou and I were looking at how the EMEA users group meeting which is only 3 weeks away should lookm and then sharing ideas for the global meeting in Jan. No rest for the wicked.

Then off to dinner with Nadia Benjedou, Steven Chan and Elke Phelps. This is the cream of EBS technicians, and I would normally be in awe of them, but Nadia has a wierd issue with her iPhone that none of them could fathom out. Me, the mere, mortal amongst them, solved the riddle. YES, I am worthy.

ELke wrote the 'Oracle Applications DBA Field Guide' and has just released the updated R12 version. I am so honoured to have a mention in her acknowledgements. Thank you Elke.

We had a great evening at Chez Papa and shared our 'what stupid things have you screwed up when travelling?' tales, turning up with no reservation at a hotel, or a day early at airport, or even getting a taxi from an airport and realising it was a connecting flight you needed.

Now back in the hotel, quickly blogging this and hopefully up really early to finish those pesky presentations.
The fun all kicks off tomorrow, breakfast with yet more friends, lunch with Ray Wang before his analyst event, my first presentation and then the big keynote before the ACE Director dinner cruise.
 And this was my day off!

My Unconfernce Session Cancelled

I intended to have an unconference session on Thursday -Discussion Around What Fusion Applications Really Mean - ACE Directors Debra Lilley, Floyd Teter. However Floyd has been asked to take part in the Oracle User Experience S318247 that clashes. We were also concerned that The Unconference sessions are too far from Moscone where most of the Apps stuff is happening, so we have decided to cancel.

But if you want to talk to us about what you have heard meet us outside rooms 2001/2002 Moscone West on Thursday.

 Apologies, but we thinks it is the best solution

Saturday 18 September 2010

ACE Directors' Briefing

Twice a year OTN offer briefings for ACE Directors From Oracle Product Managers. The program covers a large part of the stack so not every session is going to be your area. In fact there are only a few of us in the Applications area so we can't expect a lot of direct content. However I love these days because you get to hear the broad spectrum and where it is going.

Over time the PMs have learnt we don't want full presentations, just the main points and then discussion. This is the real value, ACE Directors are by their very membership of the program, experts in their field, and the questions are well articulated and thought out. Yes I may not understand it all but there are people in the room who do, and they are happy to share.

Product Managers and ACE Directors are passionate about the tools they use and that means the debates can stray into the contentious but this level of debate helps Oracle to 'touch base' with the best of their users. Relationships are formed and the discussions continue well beyond the event. Remember this is the last two working days before OOW and these PMs are very busy people and yet they still make the time to come and tall to us.

This week has surpassed all the previous briefings, we are under NDA so the content can't be talked about yet. The run up to Oracle Open World does mean there are announcements to be made there and the briefings kicked off with Thomas Kurian sharing these with us. This man really cares about what he does and it was great to witness. What a way to start the two days! Then we had a succession of PMs telling us the highlights and answering questions from the floor.

I also want to point out that if our particular specialism is covered we are already plugged into Product Management and these sessions are probably not a lot net new for us. The real value is learning about the other areas that touch you, or may do in the future. So we join the ACE Program as an expert in a particular area but we get the same high level access most of the Oracle. Thank you Oracle, we appreciate it.

Big thanks as ever to Justin, Vikki and Lillian

Friday 17 September 2010

What Sessions will you be attending at OOW?

Lot of people have blogged about the sessions they will attend or at least recommend for OOW, but my problem is they are all good; ask anyone who has been turned down, they quality is very high.

So what area are you interested in? If it is an area catered for by a conference within a conference like 'JDE' or 'PeopleSoft' or Java then it will be easier to find your sessions in the main agenda schedule. But the best way to get the most out of OOW is to join the online communities that interest you? Most of these have published their own 'must see' list.

My interests as you may guess are around Fusion Apps and it's Technology and there's a few links I would recommend:

Fusion Applications demos, there are several during the week and lots in the demo stations but look out for S318344.

But Fusion Apps for existing Apps customer is not the whole story, you need to see this session where all the executives including Steve Miranda will talk about the way forward S318344

I think the User Experience for Fusion Apps is fantastic and recomend you attend S318247 to see this.

Fusion Middleware for apps and the 'top' session being recommend here is around SOA.

I hope to make some of these sessions but I will be busy enough with my own

Fusion Middleware for business - Stay away if you are technical. I just want to he people understand what this is all about without the 'geeky' stuff. Understand the possible value and then go and attend a deep session on how it is done

This blog from my friends in user experience explains more - thanks Misha but the room is now full!

42 Real Life Examples of Fusion Middleware for Apps is I hope my best session. If it works I have 2 special friends to thank or to take the blame if it doesn't.
I keep saying how I now have many technical friends and Lisa Dobson who is passionate about helping newbies tells me that every presentation has to have a geek reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. She helped me come up with the title. That was fine and then I had the paper selected, great but how do you fit 42 examples into 60 minutes? Then my great friend Mogens Nørgaard came to the rescue, take the reference further, just talk about Life, the Universe and Everything.I also need to thank Marco Gralike who reached out to others when I started to panic about the examples.

So I have 3 great examples to demonstrate Life, The Universe and Everything and my point that you don't have to do all FMW to get value for your Apps. the The Fusion Middlware with Applications Excellence Awards are fantastic for showcasing great implementations but what if your needs are more modest?

I hope people won't think I am short changing them, and I do have a white paper with 42 examples that they can download later, and I have to that all my friends in the Oracle ACE program and the IOUC who have helped out. They include people like Lucas Jellema Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook, .

My third presentation I on What to Look for in a Systems Implementor, S319349, I hope this will show the considerations you need to think about when planning your projects that require a partner. I will use lots of examples from projects I have worked on and hope to have my boss Andy Seferta help me out ( as he will on the 42 examples).

But that isn't the end, in fact before the conference even gets going I am proud to be part of a panel at the Alimeter pre conference briefing along with Floyd.

I hope you can join me for at least one session

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Fujitsu at Oracle Open World

This is my blog and my thoughts and not Fujitsu's but in this posting I want to indulge them.

I thrive on pride and passion, Proud of what I have achieve for users groups and for myself as a presenter and the recognition it has brought me, this all comes because of the passion I have for sharing knowledge. In my work life it is the same, I am extremely proud of what I do and how Fujitsu has supported me doing this.

Why, do they? I don't earn any revenue when at a conference or user group event, and I hope I don't just stand on the stage with 50 slides all saying 'Fujitsu' - we have all been to vendor presentations which are like that. It is about thought leadership, if I am known and respected in the community and you know who I work for you don't need me to spell it out that Fujitsu is a great Oracle Partner.

We are great, but again I am not comfortable will the whole selling angle, I want my knowledge and that support they give me to be testament to Fujitsu as an employer and partner, but let me tell you here something which again I am very proud off:

Fujitsu have always been a sponsor of OOW but this year we are marquee sponsor, why have we stepped up a gear? Well mainly because of the Sun acquisition and the partnership we had with them, as I wrote in an earlier posting "Fujitsu provides SPARC64 processors and SPARC Enterprise M-series servers for Sun and the acquisition we hope will be good for us". So now we are a global Hardware and Services Partner.

So this year there is a keynote, at the same time as the new Mark Hurd so that will be very interesting, we also have an executive session, we had one last year which I actually gave, and then there are number of sessions being given by Fujitsu employees including myself.

Read all about what Fujitsu are up to at OOW including which are my sessions. Look at our supplement in the magazines. Better still come and see what we do at Booth #1311 in Moscone South.

What is nice is we get to entertain a lot of customers and especially those from Japan and as marquee sponsors we have a VIP area at the appreciation event, my first time after all these years attending OOW. We are also sponsoring the welcome party, so think of this as me buying you all a drink. 

So this year I am very proud of what I and Fujitsu do. Come have a look yourself but most of all enjoy yourself

Saturday 4 September 2010

Will I ever be Ready for Oracle Open World?

I love presenting, I love to share knowledge with people and if even just one person tells me afterwards they learnt from my presentation I am happy. So when I submit papers I am excited by the opportunity, and as I constantly talk about here in this blog I like to push myself to talk wider than my comfort zone. However Oracle Open World is unlike any other conference, there is so much going on and so many things I am involved in or want to catch I simply can't fit it all in.

   Last year I submitted 3 presentations and to my surprise but also great joy they were all accepted. Fujitsu asked me to repeat one in their Executive session and then I was asked to do a live SOA demo in a SIG and signed up for 2 unconference sessions. That is just too many. So this year I submitted just two and 1 unconference.

Again I am very honoured to have had both accepted and then I was asked to do another for Fujitsu as part of their Marquee Sponsorship. What I should do, is have one or two presentations and continuously update them, but I want to have fresh material and so decided to try something new. I have been speaking about the technology behind Fusion Applications, and how it relates to business. I have been looking at it from both the applications and technology angle, but this time I am trying it from the business side itself.

My first presentation on User Group Sunday is RE: S315685 - Stay Away If You Are Technical: This Is Oracle Fusion Middleware for Business 16:30 - 17:00 Moscone West L2 Room 2010; but this is not my first OOW duty. I have been asked to take part in a user panel for an Analyst Preview of Oracle Open World hosted by Software Insider and Altimeter Group.

Then on Monday its is S315677 - 42 Examples of Oracle Fusion Middleware in the Real World 11.00 - 12.00 Moscone West L3 Room 3018. Perhaps I am becoming a geek, some people have asked me how I will fit 42 examples into an hour and don't understand the reference to Hitchhikers Guide . Obviously I cannot cover 42 in the presentation and will be keeping to the Traditional 'Life, Universe and Everything', but I do intend to have a back up paper with the 42 examples listed.

Later the same day I have my third presentation S319349 -Safe Hands - What Do You Look For In a System Implementer.15:30 - 16:30 Moscone West L2 Room 2012. This presentation is a collection of case studies to back up the Fujitsu approach to customers.

On Thursday at 10am I have an Unconference session with my great friend Floyd Teter in the Lombard room Hotel Parc 55: Discussion Around What Fusion Applications Really Mean. It is also the morning after the night before and I have a VIP ticket this year, but I will be there.

Of course by then I believe Fusion applications will have been launched and I have the honour of introducing Steve Miranda's demo session on Tuesday (11am Moscone West L3 Room 3002)where I hope User group input into fusion will be acknowledged.

As I have no sessions to deliver on Wednesday I hope to get to the Closed World - oops there I go, being all geeky again.

Understanding The Economic Impact

UKOUG and Fujitsu recently carried out a survey on the economic impact on Oracle projects. This is the 2nd time the survey has been run, the first one being last year. A second and subsequent survey is always more valuable because it gives you the opportunity to compare year on year.

The news is full of doom and gloom about spending cuts, but simply cutting all budgets is not the answer. Good systems should save money through efficencies and improved service. 'Spend to Save' is something we hear a lot from organisations now. So it is good to step back and ask people what exactly is happening in their areas.

Fujitsu is an important Oracle partner and needs to decide where to invest and what services to offer so they derive value from the survey which they have paid for. All partners need to understand the market they are operating in and this is one way that we used to help us.

The value for the user group is to understand the challenges of their members and see if there is any thing that we can do to educate, assist or seek information for our members. As our chairman Ronan said "The results are very interesting and reflect many anecdotal conversations we have with our members."

For me personally I was disappointed that more than half didn't understand Fusion or what it meant to them. UKOUG has been at the forefront of user group participation with Oracle, and we had an incredibly successful day at our last TEBS conference in Birmingham. We will repeat that this year and look at more webcasts and perhaps a special event. Fusion technology is here now and the applications are expected by the need of the year. If you have any thoughts on what you want to know and how best it can be delivered to you, let me know.

Read the press release from Futjitsu and the actual report.