Tuesday 26 July 2011

Highlights and Thoughts from OTN Latin America Tour

I have just come home from my OTN Latin America tour and wanted to share my highlights and thoughts


Quito, Ecuador – my first glance of South America filled me with excitement and loved the thought of being so high and on the equator. The Angel was so majestic, very moving, and the hills so unique.

Cartagena, Columbia – didn’t want to leave, the relaxation and the sunshine were heaven, Robin was a wonderful host despite the boat incident. The walled city was wonderful.

Lima, Peru – so full of history and what I actually expected South America to be like. Not brave enough to try the guinea pig but won't live to regret it.

Sao Paulo, Brazil – amazed at the size and the strong investment. Never expected the Japanese influence. Enjoyed the football museum, and again surprised by that.

Montevideo, Uruguay – the hospitality and the gorgeous coastline. Their football game and the atmosphere, loved the new airport architecture.

Santiago, Chile – the breathtaking views of the Andes and later the ocean. Oracle supporting IT in universities.


The Latin America usergroups may not be very old, but they are every bit as dedicated to their members. The hospitality from each group was fantastic, they kept saying what an honour it was to have the speakers on the tour but I felt I was the honoured one.

OTN is encouraging this growth with their Spanish and Portuguese content which Pablo was marketing at each event.

The translators were fantastic; really don’t know how they do it especially with acronyms and technical content.

Another thing you notice is that in these conferences there has been a much higher number of young people and % of women. They are appealing to grass roots and that is something we in the West need to achieve. However a trend in South America is that it is difficult to retain staff, most work as contractors, but once you reach age 40 it is difficult to find work, people want the youngsters, a problem that might bite them back in a few years.

I was also had the priveldge of representing UKOUG and sharing ideas with the different user group leaders. Ronan and I had met them before at IOUC Presidents meetings and they all have that raw energy that drives success. It was wonderful in some small way to help by bringing content. I have many ideas to take back to UKOUG.

Thank you Oracle ACE Program and Fujitsu for letting me take part. To the Oracle UX team for my content on Fusion Apps and all who contributed to my 42 Real Life Examples of FMW with Applications presentation. To Francisco for organising the event and to everyone I met; I made lots of new friends on the tour and definitely want to do it all again.

Santiago, Chile

I had to hold my breath as the flight approached Chile, we flew over the Andes and the view was unbelievable. The sun shone and our flight was quiet enough that Graham, Kai and I had a row each and the best views ever. This was the #1 highlight of the whole tour experience.

The shuttle Graham had arranged turned out not to be, but we soon had that sorted and speed towards the city. We stayed in the Marriott and I asked firmly but nicely for a mountain view and they came up trumps.

We arrived early afternoon and quickly went back out to take a bus tour of the city. It was very interesting, more modern than most of the cities we had been to, but still had its old world and traditional charm. 

 After two weeks on the road, and another time change, the 3 of us decided we didn’t want another restaurant meal, so when the bus dropped us back we went to a supermarket, bought bread, cheese, ham and of course Chilean wine and had a picnic in my room with the intent of watching the sunset; except in Chile sunset and sunrise lasts approximately 1 minute, like a switch being thrown. It was great to have a relaxed evening and an early night.

Hans arrived later that evening and we caught up with him at breakfast. The user group event was held in a nearby private university, which is important as there were protests at the public universities about the introduction of fees, we had seen riot police in the city during our tour. The university was beautiful and we saw most of it as we were led through a rabbit warren of stairs up and down by our host Filipe, we finally ended up just 50 metres from were we started; poor Graham had dragged all his luggage around.

The day was good; we were met by the Dean of Engineering from the University, who wants to make the university the home of the user group. His top student Ricardo Pérez was presented with a bursary from Oracle to enable him to complete all the OCP exams. The facilities were great and although the audience wasn’t the biggest they were very attentive.

We had lunch close by in a very traditional Chilean restaurant and a quick chance to see a local market before the afternoon sessions. Graham left to go home after his session and Hans, Kai and I went back to the hotel. We wandered around the fantastic shopping centre for a while but had a quick McDonalds before another early night.

I finally managed an early morning swim the next day before meeting with Kai and Hans at breakfast, time to say my last goodbye as they were leaving. I had one more day, Chile is were Francisco who organised the whole tour is from, and I wanted him to show me the city. Unfortunately for personal reasons he had had to pull out of the tour, but I found a tour to Valporise and Vina del Mar, which was a great day out. Valporise is a UNESCO heritage town, built literally into the hills all 41 or 42 of them (depends who you ask), and many escalators (funicular railways). We did a lot of walking, and came down to the harbour on an escalator I am sure has not had a safety inspection in years.

Then we went to Vina del Mar and had lunch by the ocean, and I had the chance to try a Chilean Pisco Sour. They believe they came up with it, just like the Peruvians do. Which was best? Not sure would need to do more research. All too soon it was time to go back to Santiago; another walk around the shopping centres which was full of outdoor restaurants and live music on a Saturday night. Then I had to pack for my long journey home the next day. 13 hours to Madrid, 5 hours wait till my flight to London and another 5 hours before my flight to Belfast; but a small price to pay for the most wonderful experience.

Friday 22 July 2011

Well This is Embarrassing....

Just a few minutes ago I posted about the disappearance of useableapps content, and then I looked at email to receive this:

After a migration effort, I'm happy to report that our external website on Applications User Experience at Oracle is now operational again!

Please feel free to visit:  http://www.oracle.com/usableapps

Lots of useful information about what we are doing, by product line and much, much more!
Please feel free to pass it on to anyone you feel would benefit.

I could just of deleted my posting but I won't instead I leave it as a reminder about how the web is a powerful tool, a place to share concerns as I did, but more importantly a place to share knowledge, like the UX team do.

Global Warming at Oracle?

There are worries that as the ice caps melt through global warming, we will loose a whole continent of natural history, putting many many animals in danger of extinction.

This is a disaster we can stop if we the world want to enough. Easier to fix is the threatened extinction of content at Oracle:

I have heard from friends that usableapps.oracle.comhttp://blogs.oracle.com/usableapps/entry/usableapps_web_site_down is down. I hope I have heard wrong because just as the interest in Fusion Apps is ramping up and people are seeing the real value of the UX program, the ability to look at the postings made during the development process is so important. In this blog I tried to explain why the questions about Fusion Apps are asked over and over again, and just like needing to answer a user’s question when it is right for them to ask, they need to have the information you have been posting.

My Product Development Committee are working on a user group guide to available information, and we certainly intend to include this blog as part of it. Simply moving the content would not be the same, it is about how the process developed in real time.

The UX Advocates training for the ACE Program is also very linked in here,and my colleagues Sten Vesterli and Ron Batra have also commented here.

My company Fujitsu are a member of the European Oracle Usability Advisory Board (OUAB) and the content for that is unavailable.
At the recent ODTUG I arranged for Madhuri Kolhatkar from UX team to present on design patterns used in Fusion Apps, it was one of the most successful presentations of the day. Design patterns are also missing.

Back to the Tour - Montevideo, Uruguay

The journey to the airport seemed so long and we were late leaving as the driver had to pick up Pablo first, and so I nodded off in the taxi, but that could be more to do with falling asleep at 7pm after the football (or rather the drinking), and then waking up at 11pm and working for 3 hours before trying to go back to sleep.

At the airport our airline Pluna appeared to be a no frills Easyjet equivalent, if you wanted to get on the bus first there was a charge of $4. I have to say Brazil was the most expensive country so far. My daughter has a large collection of havaianas flipflops which are made in Brazil and yet they cost $16 a pair there, scandalous.

On board the aircraft I paid $8 for the worst sandwich in history, it was advertised as salami but honest it was the pits, with more stringy, spongy, wet gherkin than any meat.

However Montevideo was a real surprise, the airport is very modern and beautiful to see. A taxi driver was waiting to collect us and when they saw our luggage decided that we didn’t need the van that was booked we could fit in a taxi so gave us money to give back to our hosts. A very welcome surprise. The hotel too was very nice, a Tryp Hotel which we had also stayed in whilst in Brazil, but a much nicer hotel.

Our hosts (L-R) Pablo, Nelson, Edelweiss, Bruno and Daniel were fantastic, nothing was too much trouble for them, and they certainly went out of their way to make us feel so welcome.

The first night we went out to dinner to a very small restaurant where we had our own room, and for one stop only we were joined by Patanjali from the UX team. We have often spoken together and our content overlaps so we had to have a quick check we were not doing so in Montevideo.

The conference was in their telecom tower and if was a very impressive auditorium. One thing that has struck me throughout the tour is the length of the days, this one started at 8.30 and went through to 8.30pm, which is good as Uruguay were playing in the semi finals of the COPA cup that night. Cindy went out to buy football shirts and we ate that night in a Pizza House and the atmosphere was what we were hoping for in Sao Paulo and even better because Uruguay won. So Sunday I will wear my shirt again even in Chile for the final.

The event was very well organised and a good crowd attended, I had a number of EBS questions and there was an interest in accelerators which I only mentioned once; but being asked questions is the real value of presenting, when people get the information they need.

We ate a local dish of Chivito which is referred to in guide books as a Heart Attack on a Plate, and yes it looks like it. One of our hosts Bruno is a national Tango dancer and has to eat a lot, and he did. This picture is from a traditional BBQ the last day, and I think he ate more than the other 11 of us put together.

 Montevideo sits on the coast, although not really as it is actually a river not an ocean that separates Uruguay from Argentina. But the coast line is stunning and this is a must, must go again place. The only down side is that it was winter and with the wind, freezing, I had to go buy warm clothes.

Our hosts also showed us around the city and invited us back to their home, it was wonderful, very relaxed and a really welcome change from another restaurant, although to be fair, at lunchtime we went to a traditional BBQ house which I loved.

Then this morning it was time to say goodbye to Cindy and Ronald who are leaving the tour but travelling home via Argentina. Graham, Kai and I flew out together and Hans joins later today. Chile is our last stop on this tour.

OTN Photo Album of Montevideo

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Quick Update on Fusion Applications

This article from Chris Maxcer, Techtarget suggests Fusion Apps are on General Release rather than Controlled Release which I commented on last month, and actually I don't care. Whoever buys a new product and doesn't have a conversation with the vendor to ensure they have the right skills does not deserve to have a successful project.

What I do want to comment on are the thoughts on the price list, yes it is very confusing and I have seen a few other reports on that. I urge Oracle, and I am very pro the product (just in case you were in doubt), to make the price list simpler. To me one the best features of the product is the User Experience, the ability to do everything from one place with a superior User Experience, yet the experience of reading, let alone understanding the price list is anything but. I have asked on behalf of all users to have this explained to us.

I present about how intuitive the product is and how you wont need to have long training sessions to use it, however we may spend that saved time, understanding the price list, and more importantly what features you loose if you chose not to take an optional element of technology. My great friend Floyd who is quoted in the article puts it very well - “I don't think we've heard the last of the story on Fusion Apps pricing."

Monday 18 July 2011

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Next stop Sao Paulo; Graham Wood and I arrived in the evening, arrivals and immigration were simple (being non American we did not need visas), and our driver was waiting for us. The journey into the city was at dusk, and I was actually a little disappointed, so far my impressions of South America have been how different it is and yet Sao Paulo is very much like any city in the US; having said that, it was very impressive.

The next day, Saturday was the conference and we were all very impressed with the event. It was the biggest by far so far and very well organised. There was a speaker room which is so important when you are there for the whole day.
Regular readers of this blog know I work for Fujitsu, and they have an office in Sao Paulo, so I was really please that my colleague Armando Yoshicatsu Miyoshi was able to attend the conference and meet with me. It is so much easier to be part of a global team if you have physically met people. It was really good to understand the economics of Brazil which are so different from US and Europe; it is a rapidly expanding economy with a lot of investment. This is important for Fujitsu as Sao Paulo has the biggest Japanese population after Tokyo.

I had starting having issues with my laptop which kept freezing, and by Saturday (the day of the conference) I was not confident I would be able to do my presentations, so my friends Hans and then Kuassi helped out by letting me use their laptops as they were immediately after my presentations. Thank you friends.

My presentations went well and almost half the room knew what 42 meant, I thought they might as my friend Bruno Souza who runs the Brazil Java Usergroup has a blog call Life, The Universe and Everything Java. I had hoped to meet up with Bruno, but he had to be out of the city this weekend.

After the event which lasted 12 hours (very impressed that delegates give up 12 hours of their time on a Saturday), we had dinner with the board. It was a great evening and I thank Eduardo and his board for their hospitality. 

On Sunday the board had arranged a tour guide for Graham, Kuassi and I who were still in town, (the others had their tour Friday). We got a tour around town and some of the history explained, and a visit to the football museum which the boys really wanted to do. I was not so keen but actually really enjoyed it, they had a history section that showed photos and events of each world cup, put the football into context. There was also a kind of virtual pitch that we all had a go on. Cameras were not really allowed. We didn’t do very well at it and the only goal was an own one from me! 

One thing I noticed was that every street corner had a phone box, and photographing anything without them in the shot was a challenge. What I did like though was that they have some great community initiatives such as cycle routes and lanes on Sundays where many people participate, and the main link road through the city is closed to traffic on Sundays and used by cyclists, skate boarders etc.

The entire time we have been in Latin America has been the COPA Americas competition, and Brazil was to play Paraguay that evening. Graham and I wanted to find a bar to watch, our hotel recommended one in the local mall, and we headed over having had lunch and saying goodbye to Kuassi and Arup who were leaving the tour from Brazil. We were actually surprised that for a sport loving nation such as Brazil the bars were empty. The actual match was not exciting; Brazil played better but just never scored. When it went to extra time we rushed back to the hotel and carried on in the bar. Always keen to try the local delicacies I had another Caipirinha. The game went to penalties and Brazil lost.

OTN Photo Album Sao Paulo

Lima, Peru

Having eked another day out of our stay in Columbia our flight to Lima was late evening via Bogota again and arriving in Lima at about half past midnight. The normal queues for check in, exit visa, security etc was as in every place we have been, a lesson in patience. We had time in Bogota for some pizza and it was good not to have just airplane food, although I must say I am quite impressed with the airlines here, I think I was expecting 2nd class and I would actually say they are more like the good old days before our carriers discovered low cost, low frills.

The taxi driver was waiting for us in Lima and had a very comfortable van for the 6 of us, Hans, Kuassi, Ronald, Cindy, Murali and I. It was a good 40 minutes to our hotel but it was not too bad, we arrived at 1.45am, Ronald and Cindy then went on to their different hotel where the conference was being held. However then we met with the worst check in experience so far. The girl behind the desk tried to check in all 4 of us together and it took over half an hour! At one stage I had to ask for a glass of water I was so tired and faint. Eventually I got in my bed a little after 02.30 and my presentation was at 9am.

When I woke up, I took in my room for the first time, it was a nice big room with a lovely Jacuzzi spa bath and lots of space, then I noticed an open door at the end of the room, as if it was a connecting door. I gingerly approached it as it was ajar, worried about what or more importantly who I would find on the other side. But what I discovered was a suite. Very nice.

We walked to the conference hotel which was about 15 minutes, past the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site, belonging to pre Inca Peruvians. The event was kicked off by Miguel Palacios from PEOUG and then Pablo who is working for OTN gave a quick presentation on OTN resources in Latin America, a very slick and clever demo, it is obvious he is in marketing. I was up next as the keynote in Lima and the audience were great with one exception. In a packed room a women in the front row, took 3 calls on her cell phone during my presentation and not only did she not care, no one else seemed to either.

I think this was the best organised event of the ones I have done so far and there was a great crowd. As I had gone so early I had a few free hours and Cindy and I went exploring. The area we were in was pretty high class with a lot of shops, The Rodeo Drive of Lima. After finally locating a post office for postcards we treated ourselves to manicures. Then we found a starbucks that had a valet parking!

Back at the conference in time for lunch, I was on afterwards. Throughout the conferences as I said in the previous post it has been difficult to get people to ask questions. I am also struggling in my 42 Real Life Examples as no one seems to have heard of Douglas Adams so I have a lot of scene setting to do at the start. Still they seemed to be interested and I got one question, about the white paper. I told the person to see me after to get a card from me so I could send her more information, and when I finished I had a queue so I think that is another lesson learnt.

That evening Miguel and Wendy took us to an International Buffett for dinner, you could have anything to eat. We were joined by Graham Wood, who is a long time friend and great to catch up with.

Apparently a delicacy in Peru is Crunchy Fried Guinea Pig or Cuy, which is served whole, no thank you. But I did try stir fried llama, and although a little gamey it was actually quite nice. It was a nice relaxed dinner were we all ate too much there was just too much to choose from.

Most people left early the next day, Ronald and Cindy were skipping Brazil to stay on and visit Machu Picchu, I am so jealous but just couldn’t afford the time. I had promised to do Brazil and Fujitsu have an office there and I wanted to meet my peers. Hans and Kuassi flew to Brazil. Graham and I had another day in Peru and wanted to look around. Murali was flying home later that evening so e joined us.

We started by visiting the archaeological dig which was great to see. These pyramids are solid and unlike the Egyptian ones which are for the dead, these are for death and used for human sacrifice. The structures look a bit like bricks but are upright in adobe style or like library books, this was to survive earthquakes. They also had on display llamas (I felt guilty then for having had one for dinner), guinea pigs (felt even better for having skipped these), and a Peruvian dog which is completely hairless, these are now an endangered species but apparently very good for people who have respiratory problems as no hair means no allergies.


After the dig we took a city tour. Cindy and Ronald had done it the day before (his sessions finished early enough and they really recommended it. We did a little tour in the bus and then went to the main square where we alighted the bus and started walking. Our guide (another Cindy) took us around a museum and told us about the Peruvian history and showed us lots of artefacts. I just love the drinking vessels, even the more erotic. We then went for a bit more of a walk to the Franciscan Monastery where we visited the catacombs. These were in essence the public cemetery and when unearthed the skeletons of over 25,000 people were found. Today the bones have been sorted by bone type and size and I kept thinking my OCD cleaner had had something to do with that.

The tour finished at 6pm and then we were to be dropped off at our hotel. Murali needed to catch a 10pm flight, seemed ok but we hadn’t planned on the Lima traffic, not sure if it was to do with the civil unrest in the centre (we saw lots of riot police arriving as we were leaving – I felt at home, Belfast style). Anyway we didn’t get to our hotel to 7, but with a manic taxi driver he got there just in time.

Graham and I went to a local restaurant for dinner and again I avoided the Picante Cuy (we even saw it being sold on the street during the tour). Apparently it is served with head and legs looking up at you. But I did have my first Pisco Sour, my is that strong.

We left about 9.30 the next day, and the opposite experience of our fellow travellers, we had a simple drive out to the airport and simply flew through all the officialdom, thank you Star Alliance Gold program. We even had time for another Pisco Sour in the lounge before boarding. The flight was 4 ½ hours and I had my penance to pay. The guy in front of me was Peruvian Champion of the world in fidgeting, and despite asking him many, many times to sit still he continued his in-flight trampoline routine the entire time!

OTN photo album of Lima

Saturday 16 July 2011

Cartagena, Columbia

Stop 2 of 6 Cartagena. Fell in love with this city, I love sea so it had me simply by being on the coast, the weather was hot and humid with a thunderstorm each day, but also thanks to Ronald Bradford we had maximised the time there.

We left Quito hotel at 4am, flew to Bogotá and then onto Cartagena, both flights just a little over an hour with a very rushed connection, although I think flights to Bogotá are like buses they seem to run every hour.

Leaving Ecuador was a little stressful, lots of paperwork and no one spoke English, we had no idea what we were meant to do, but luckily I was travelling with Hans, Ronald and Cindy. Kuassi started with us but had a later flight from Bogotá.

At Cartagena airport we were met by Robin, who like Paola in Quito I had met a few times in Redwood and at OOW. Robin always smiles and just makes you feel good. In the taxi I felt like I was in the Caribbean, many roads with large storm drains and actually we were, Cartagena does sit in the Caribbean sea.

We arrived at our hotel about 11 and my hhonors got me a very nice room right next to the exec lounge, were we hung out a lot of the time, enjoying the food and drinks. We had gone early to get the most from the day, which included lazing by the pool, catching up with the day job and just enjoying our first rest.

That evening Robin collected us and took us to the walled city which was just phenomenal, absolutely beautiful and worth the visit all on its own. It had its own atmosphere and although dusk still warm but not oppressive. We walked around the wall all the way to see the castle, a very long walk but just wonderful. Back in the wall city square we ate outdoors, the square was so alive, hawkers and dancers and although they tried to pester you they soon left if you waved them away.

On Sunday Robin organized a boat trip for us. Our OTN liaison Pablo was going diving and I so wanted to go with him but I had a head cold so had to miss out, but a boat trip sounded great. All the speakers were on board and the boat was quite full, but we did all have life vests. There is an archipelago off Cartagena and the boat was taking us out to see them, but the boat went too fast and when ever another boat appeared there seemed to be a race been the pilots. I really got scared and Robin asked the guy to slow down but he was simply indifferent. However when we finally stopped looking at islands and stopped on a private one for lunch it was fantastic. First we had a swim and then Kuassi and I tried to canoe, except our kayak had a fatal flaw - it had a hole, so we had capsized before we had left the beach. After a great lunch we all retired upstairs to have a siesta in hammocks. Going back we had to go fast to try and beat a thunderstorm but we did get caught by the rain but it was quite refreshing although it did feel like rapid gunfire.

That evening Cindy shared with us the Lonely Planet guide to the boat trips from Cartagena “On the small boats, you are confined to your seat, but you get around quicker and can see more. Reviews are mixed but overall, travellers prefer the big boats for their quality of service. Readers report that pilots of small boats rush around too quickly and safety may be an issue – some small boats have sunk.” – a perfect description of our day!

The next day was the conference and ASOUC were very welcoming, again it was held in a university, Universidad Tecnológica de Bolivar ,perhaps this is something we should learn for other user groups. My first presentation was in the English track and the audience was quite small but they all seemed to enjoy it, in the afternoon the tracks were combined and I had a lot more people for 42 Real Life Examples and it was much better.

Robin had T shirts to give away to the audience and he had us all up on the stage, it was intended that the audience would ask questions to get one but I thin they are intimidated by the language and kept quiet, so Ronald solved the problem, rolled up his T shirt, turned away from the audience and threw it over his shoulder, everyone loved it and so we all did it. It was really good to finish on a high.

There were a lot of storms that day and the roads were flooded but it didn’t seem to deter or even slow down the taxi drivers. That evening we had a quiet dinner relaxing in the hotel and Robin joined us. We made friends again, I forgave him for the boat trip.

On the last day we had a really chill out, knowing that Peru was to be manic. We sat around enjoying the Hilton Executive Lounge breakfast for a long time and then lazed by the pool. This is the life.

OTN Photo Album of Columbia

Monday 11 July 2011

First Stop Quito, Ecuador

My journey was long but quite uneventful, London to Miami and then onto Quito. I fly a lot but this trip is a One World journey and I have no status with them, and did find myself queuing a lot which made me appreciate my Star Alliance Status rather a lot.

I have never been to South America before and was not sure what to expect. Many of my fellow tour stars were here last year so I think were better prepared.

Quito lies on the equator, and was neither hot nor cold, in fact a very nice temperature. The buildings surprised me, there were just so many. When looking up at the hills on all sides from my hotel there looked to be simply millions. And those hills, so so steep.

I got a hotel shuttle from the airport and the first thing I noticed was how people drove. I have heard the sayings ‘as long as the horn works you are ok’ and that was defiantly their mantra.

Kuassi, Paola and Christian
On the streets electricity supply just seemed to be wires on what appeared to be quite low poles, I guess there are not many high vehicles. In fact apart from taxis and what appeared to be excellent bus service there were few private vehicles. The streets were though very busy, with road sellers, yes in the road not on the sidewalk, sellers who sold everything. At one place I saw many vehicles turn up with furniture and a market suddenly start up in the road!!

Our hosts were Paola Pullas and Christian Pazmiño from ECUOUG and the event was held in the Universidad de las Américas where we were made to feel very welcome. This was the first time I had presented via simultaneous translation and you unconsciously slow down so I had to skip some of the content but I had questions so it seems to have gone down well. It was probably just as well as my sore throat came with me from the UK and I was quite worried I might not even have a voice, I was a bit croaky but it was fine.

Ronald Bradford showed me a picture he had taken at the equator and I so wanted to visit, although I know I had already physically crossed it travelling. We asked if I could go straight after the event, but the park where the sign is located shut at 6pm. then after a while I realised I would finish my 2nd presentation and have 3 hours before the meet the experts panel session, so Paulo and Christian arranged with Mr Gracia, a local taxi driver to take me out there, or so I thought. He charged $8 an hour which is fantastic, and he started by taking me to the city and showing me a few of the sites, the most impressive being the Quito Angel and the view of the city from San Francisco Park.

We kept seeing sign posts for ‘Mitad del Mundo’ so I was convinced we were going, he took a few side roads which I thought just meant a short cut and then 45 minutes early he dropped me back at the university. I was disappointed I didn’t see the monument although it is actually not on the official equator line, but I did see a lot of Quito which I wouldn’t have seen without Mr Garcia, and I was able to buy a T shirt in the airport the next day (or should I say night, we left our hotel at 4am).
Those hills I mentioned, in a taxi they are quite scary, but in my next posting I can tell you about something more scary!

My speaking companions on this leg are Ronald Bradford (with his wife Cindy), Kussai Mensah (Oracle), Hans Forbrich, Murali Vallath and Tom Kyte (with his daughter Megan). We also have Pablo Ciccarello from OTN Latin America travelling with us. After the conference we had a quiet night in the hotel. (because of the early start the next day).

Think I am going to like this tour :-)   OTN Photo Album of Quito

OTN Latin America Tour

What a fantastic opportunity, being allowed to travel through Latin America combining my joint passions of travel and education.

Yes I got that opportunity through the Oracle ACE Program and the OTN Tour of LAD. The tour just makes me feel like a rock star

5th July       San Jose, Costa Rica
8th July       Quito, Ecuador
11th July     Cartagena, Columbia
13th July     Lima, Peru
16th July     Sao Paulo, Brazil
19th July     Montevideo, Uruguay
22nd July    Santiago, Chile

My employer Fujitsu, who believes in the value of the trusted partner, supports me in this role and I am very excited that I will get to meet Fujitsu people in Brazil who are just starting their Apps practice.

Basically the local user groups, encouraged by Francesco Muñoz who runs the Chile (and NZ user groups and ACE Director of the Year 2010), arrange their events in a calendar that works for touring speakers.

OTN then approve a number of ACE Directors for travel funding to move through the conferences giving a good range of topics. Each speaker is expected to give two presentations. No one is doing all 7 venues but  Hans Forbrich and I are managing 6 (I was unable to do Costa Rica but you can see the OTN Photo Album here).

The events are fairly technical and my two presentations are around the use of FMW. The first is the Fusion Apps UX story, how and what is sued in Fusion Apps that includes the demo, I so love giving, audience feedback is always so good about the look and feel. Then I give my 42 Real Life Examples of FMW with Apps to show how FMW is being used today.