Saturday, 30 October 2010

UKOUG Spreading the News

My first post OOW presentation may have been for DOUG but I didn't forget my own users. There was a webcast for the partner community 10 days after OOW where I, other partners who had attended and Oracle gave their thoughts. This is the 3rd time we have done this after major overseas conferences and it does seem to be appreciated.

I then presented at the Financials SIG on October 7th. Their agenda that day was around the upgrade question. What should people do, stay, upgrade, re-implement or wait for Fusion? I presented a quick update on the Fusion Launch and then talked about the options. Actually we did the same exactly 12 months before and I think this is a very important point. The choice now available to users, plus not knowing what Fusion was bringing but more importantly economic pressures means that a lot of people have simply not upgraded yet.

Some people are exploiting this and suggesting people don’t need to upgrade, or even more could opt out of oracle support. I strongly disagree with both of these. Yes in some cases it does make sense to stay still and as long as the organisation knows why then that is OK.

 I often talk of my own employer who has stayed still on 11.5.9. Our business is to 'Design, Build and Run, IT Systems' which requires both project and service contracts. In 11.5.9 the functionality required from these modules was not integrated and we had to make a major customisation. In 11.5.10 there were big architecture changes in these areas which would have required a complete rewrite but there was no better functionality. We hoped changes in R12 would give us what we needed but again not yet. When we do upgrade, and I hope this is the upgrade year, we will do the integration external using SOA which was not available at 11.5.9.

Anyway back to the SIG. After my presentation there was an open question time. I love these, I love being able to have a proper reasoned discussion and this is where an in-person, face-to-face session wins hands down over a webcast or any kind of online event. People need to feel connected to have that level of discussion, and I hope they went away with at least some of their questions answered.

I think the audience did realise that waiting for Fusion was not the right option unless they have a real reason to be an early adopter, and if you think you do, get in touch with your account manager or even me.

But I have a question, most people have still not moved to R12, this event was specifically based at those thinking about it and it was excellent, well done Colin and the Team, but what about those who have upgraded. Is UKOUG relevant to them? Or are we just offering them the opportunity to present their upgrade story? As ever let me know.

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