Sunday 6 January 2013

Roundup (Finally) of UKOUG

Exactly a month after UKOUG2012 finished I have finally got around to blogging about it.

Before hand I talked about what we were hoping to bring to the conference and it delivered. Everyone had a great time, learnt a lot, met up with old friends and made new ones; all in the name of getting more out of our Oracle Investment.

Sunday was excellent, The OakTable Sunday returned along with a FMW afternoon and both were full. Unfortunately I was unable to attend either as we had a Council Meeting for most of the day.

The main conference kicked off on Monday with Lisa Dobson as Vice President giving a fantastic presentation on Where UKOUG has been and where it is going. I was very touched by the thank you she gave me for my time as President and Fujitsu for their support.

The Oracle Keynote was Dermot O'Kelly and then the ever funny Andrew Sutherland. Both giving us what we need to know about Oracle but with a local bias.

I led the task force for UKOUG2012 and the whole group simply wanted to deliver the best conference we could. One of the changes made to previous years was to have all the Community Keynotes run at the same time, to ensure each community had a full contingent and clarity of what their stream had to offer, by putting the keynote first. It meant we had slightly fewer sessions available but I think it worked, The Executives appreciated it and I heard good things from the delegates which is the main measure.

Monday evening Martin Corry bought the house down with his witty commentary on his Rugby Life, I loved the fact he said "I'll take questions, but remember I work for Oracle now, so the answer is probably Exadata".

I can't post about everything but things I want to comment on at UKOUG2012 are:

Most of the photos are from the UKOUG collection which you can find on Facebook, and thank you to Liesbeth for permission to share them.


OTN or the Oracle Technology Network, are great supporters of user groups. The ACE program encourages people to share their knowledge and user groups are an ideal platform for this.

Over the past few years OTN have sponsored our IPA Inspiring Presenter Awards and I am glad to say they did again this year.

Oracle Speakers:
    Tech      Grant Ronald
    Apps     Nadia Bendjedou

UK Speakers:
    Tech       Jonathan Lewis
    Apps      Graham Oliver

1st Time Presenters:
    Apps      Duncan Casemore
    Tech       Peter Raganitsch

Overseas Speakers:
    Apps       Andy Donovan
    Tech        Connor McDonald

2012 Judging Scores 
    Overseas Christian Antognini
    Tech        Alex De Vergori
    Apps       Jo Bates

Last Year another great supporter of user groups, Mark Townsend died unexpectedly, not long after being a community keynote speaker at UKOUG, and we asked OTN that these awards were given in his memory for 2012. A great friend of Mark and UKOUG, Graham Wood presented the awards.

Another OTN tradition is the ACE dinner on the Sunday night and again they came up trumps. Great to see old and new friends coming together to support this great program. Thank you Viki and Lillian.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Fusion and UKOUG

This year at UKOUG we split the Fusion Apps content into 'what and why' and 'how'. People are using Fusion now and it is time to talk about their experiences.

Liam Nolan gave the Fusion Community keynote, which unlike all the other communities was held on Tuesday as we knew so many people would be interested. It was a great recap of where Fusion is and covered much of what I what I learnt at OOW.

After his presentation, Liam and I hosted a round table where almost the whole audience remained. Interestingly there is two distinct groups, customers who need to know what Fusion offers them and Partners who need to understand the market opportunities for them. We are looking in UKOUG at what to do with the Fusion Community in 2013 and will be talking to the Partner Forum as to how we can make this happen. We need to ensure we give both communities what they need without smothering the end user.

The best presentation for me was from Standard Life. They haven't finished their journey but have a great approach to it, starting with this brilliant video as to why? What interested me most was that Standard Life like many organisations taking up Fusion Apps are not only doing it in co-existence but also using a SAAS delivery model. This has different considerations for both the customer and their partner (Standard Life partner with IBM); I know in Fujitsu I am working hard with Oracle on what this means for us. Topic for another post I think.

My presentation was based on the article I wrote for Quest and what I think Fusion Applications means to Organisations.

What would Fusion content be without the UX team? We are so luckly with their support at UKOUG. Jeremy Ashley brings his team each year. His presentation was about Fusion Mobility and like at OOW I got to be his demo babe.

There was also a couple of videos made of Jeremy where I interviewed him about Fusion Mobile and UX but he is a pro, turned the conversation around and got me to talk about Fusion. Can't wait to see the edited copy.

If you have anything you want us to look at for the Fusion Applications community this year, contact me through UKOUG.

Friday 4 January 2013

EBS at UKOUG2012

Ever wanted something for a long time? Well I have been friends with Steven Chan for a long time and for many years have been trying to pursuade him to come to UKOUG. However Steven is a very modest man and it has been a long battle, but this year he told me in April he would submit a paper.

Steven did both a presentation and a round table and both were full. Steven's gift as the number of readers to his blog attests is his ability to explain the tech stack beneath EBS simply. And even better news, Steven has promised to come back to the next Apps Conference.

After OOW I blogged about the messages important to EBS customers and these were re-iterated by Cliff Godwin, General Manager for EBS and Nadia Bendjedou and many other great speakers. It was great to see Nadia win an IPA award.

I had the priveledge of interviewing Cliff afterwards about the future of EBS and how customers are looking at Fusion Applications in conjunction with EBS. It was a great interview and can't wait for it to be released by UKOUG.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Fujitsu at UKOUG2012

Following on from Fujitsu at OOW, I thought I would write a seperate post for them at UKOUG, what it does is removes the conflict of interest between the usergroup, speaker and employee dimensions.

Fujitsu are proud to be exhibitors at UKOUG, as well as the phenominal support they have given me in my role, we have two other volunteers; Andy Seferta is on a working party in the Partner Forum and Paul Bainbridge is Deputy Chair in the App Server & Middleware SIG. 

We were also pleased to sponsor the catering staff and photographer.

At conference we had a number of presentations including a great one by Aamer Janjua on SSO with APEX, I spoke on Consolidation and of course Fusion Applications.

We had a stand in the exhibition and sponsored the Mobile App. The theme of our stand was 'No Brainer' - How to make the most of your Oracle Investment, and it really helped that we were clear to delegates what we wanted to talk about.

In time honoured tradition we gave away a prize on the stand and it was a Fujitsu Android Tablet, I have one and have been singing its praises since OOW. The prize went to Paul Gayler of Cronos Group.

We will continue to support UKOUG next year and are looking forward to both the Technical and Application Conferences.

Move Along Nothing to See or is There - Fusion Applications

Quest International Users Group asked me to write an article on Fusion Apps after Oracle Open World, what does it mean to their members, PeopleSoft and JDE customers. The answer is actually the same for all application users so I was happy to write the copy.

It was published in their magazine just before Christmas and then today it was highlighted in the electronic newsletter. I am very honoured.

What is also great is the fact that it agrees with what Steven Miranda said in his interview with Ray Wang, which I think is the best article I have read in a long while.