Thursday 25 September 2014

My Oracle Open World Objectives

Every year I plan a modest OOW experience, promising myself I will keep time in my agenda, but then reality hits and here I am as ever turning down invites to really cool off-piste sessions and meetings because my dance card is full.

I always explain this is because I am wearing so many hats.

  • Oracle ACE Director*
  • Oracle Applications UX Advocate
  • Usergroup Leader
  • Speaker
  • Partner - My new job
  • With Analysts
  • Just for fun
  • As a mum

It also means arriving earlier and earlier and I am already in Redwood at Oracle HQ. I never get bored of visiting here, sunshine and beautiful walks.

Oracle ACE Director Briefings:

Two days of the best information briefings from Oracle Executives, not PowerPoint normally mainly Q&A, including a kick off from Thomas Kurian for an hour. Just how cool is that? Many of the ACEs come for these briefings and don't stay for all of OOW, this is more valuable use of their time.

Why these work is because we are a group of people who have proved our expertise in our areas through the nominations process and so the sessions are deep, under NDA and certainly not marketing. If I attend a session I don't understand (not being technical) I have a network of ACEs I can go to for the information. To me it isn't really about learning more about my area, I am all ready plugged into development there, it is more about filling in the gaps of my wider Oracle understanding.

Oracle Applications UX Advocate:

Traditionally this happens the day before the ACE briefings and I have found this the best way to understand where Apps development is, is going and how customer feedback influences what they are doing. I talk about UX all the time this is my sweet spot with Oracle.

This year is their biggest audience to date as people in the field are realising UX is the differentiator of Oracle Cloud Applications (Fusion).

The are also UX Exchange events during OOW I will attend.

Usergroup Leader:

Oracle traditionally held their usergroup leader meetings in January but this year have moved to this week before OOW. That clashes with ACE briefings so I am not attending but that isn't a bad thing, UKOUG has 2 representatives attending (James Haslam and Fiona Martin). However throughout OOW I will be thinking about what every announcement means to our members and what we need to be addressing and communicating.

On Sunday which is Usergroup Day EMEA user groups have some cool sessions that end with a double session on 12c database. 12 short talks by 12 of the best of EMEA presenters. What other session is going to have so many experts in one place?

      1. Upgrading to 12c: What Will It Break? Jonathan Lewis, Oracle ACE Director, OakTable
      2. The Optimizer in 12c. Christian Antognini, SOUG, Oracle ACE Director, OakTable
      3. Data Pump Enhancements in 12c. Osama Mustafa, MEOUG, Oracle ACE
      4. Pattern Matching in 12c. Gurcan Orhan, TROUG, Oracle ACE Director
      5. PL/SQL Security Enhancements in 12c. Alex Nuijten, OGH, Oracle ACE Director
      6. Data Redaction in 12c. Oded Raz, ilOUG, Oracle ACE Director
      7. A Case for the Multitenant Architecture, Even with a Single PDB. Tim Hall, UKOUG,        Oracle ACE Director, OakTable
      8. How Does Oracle SQL Developer Manage Multitenancy? Ami Aharonovich, ilOUG, Oracle ACE
     9. Multitenancy: Impact on SaaS.   Kashif Manzoor, MEOUG, Oracle ACE
    10. Oracle Multitenant in Standard Edition: (How) Does This Work?    Julian Dontcheff, OUGF, Oracle ACE Director
    11. What Features Will 12c Offer Traditional Oracle Apps?  Bjoern Rost, DOAG, Oracle ACE Director
    12. In-Memory—Enables Us To?  Dimitry Volkov, RUOUG, Oracle ACE

These are sessions UGF8949 & UGF9221

Oracle Open World Speaker:

I am taking part in two other sessions:

I am a regular blogger for the AppAdvantage team and will be joining them on a panel session, talking about using FMW with Apps Deliver Business Innovation while Reducing Upgrades’ Risk [CON8534]

I have been a UX Advocate for a long time and will be a demo babe showing the Simplified UI in their session - Oracle Applications Cloud: First-Time User Experience [CON7972]

Now I am with Certus I am responsible for enabling their growth into ERP Cloud and PaaS extension apps for ERP and HCM, so these areas are important to me. I am meeting with lots of development and partner enablement people. Hope to learn lots to for this at ACE and UX events.

There are many receptions and events to attend as well, one of the great things about OOW is everybody is there.

I hope to make a partner video about PaaS.

With Analysts:

I work with several analysts throughout the year and will catch up with many and share with each other how we think Oracle are preforming. Ray Wang and Dennis Howlett

Just For Fun:

All these communities have given me many great friends and OOW is a chance to catch up with some of them. Organised fun outside of the official parties are the Bridge Run (which I will walk) on Sunday and swim in the Bay Monday. Depending on my final schedule I will also do Chi Gung each morning.

And as a mum:

My daughter is in the Military and just come home from a long deployment, so she is also going to San Francisco, and celebrates her birthday Tuesday. Not sure how much time we will get together but Saturday we will cycle the bridge, something I have done but she hasn't.

* Oracle ACE Program funds my trip to HQ & OOW


Wednesday 17 September 2014

Sad but Not Unhappy

Ralph C Wood wrote Sorrowful Vision of Joy a commentary on JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and I think it sums up how I feel today.

The Oracle ACE Program is part of OTN and one of the things they do is enable ACE Directors to travel to conferences and speak to audiences who normally struggle to get good speakers across the whole range of Oracle.

Obviously OTN has a budget and one way to make that budget go further is the concept of OTN Tours. This is where a number of user groups agree an itinerary for their events in such a way ACE Directors can present at several over a shorter period.

Francisco Munoz Alvarez is one of the great organisers of OTN Tours, he is president of the Chile User Group and also very active in his adopted home of New Zealand and has arranged many successful tours in Latin America and Asia Pacific. I personally have had the opportunity to take part in several, most recently Latin America 2014.

There have also been tours in India and the Nordics and this year the first Middle East and North Africa MENA tour took place.

Where the user group is not English speaking, it can be over whelming if all content is in English and not all usergroups can afford translators, so they try to get a good balance. I firmly believe that one responsibility of ACE Directors on tour is to encourage local speakers to step up and to identify those who should be in the ACE program, and it is great as these usergroups are able then to have more balanced content. I have nominated or championed several people I have come across this way. It is not just to encourage them to speak, but to blog and write papers in their language to add to the content available for sharing knowledge.

This however means that along with a greater number of ACE Directors applying for a tour, less English speaking slots means there is much more competition. To get funding on a tour you need to have 2 presentations at each of at least two legs. This is always a challenge for me as many usergroups are technically focused and already have very little applications content.

So today I heard I have not been successful for the next Asia Pacific tour in November and I am sad, but also pleased that they now have enough good local speakers to reduce their reliance on us 'foreigners'. It is always sad to be turned down for a conference but like I say to people not successful for UKOUG, it is not about being rejected it is about capacity. I will particularly miss Tokyo as I have spent a lot of time there both with usergroups and in my role with Fujitsu.

To my friends who are going, have a great time. I am busy enough, I am taking part in the Nordic tour in October and will be submitting my papers for Collab and RMOUG over the weekend and hope I judge what people are looking for correctly.

And I have an exciting new job so still a happy wee lady.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Please Vote for Certus in UKOUG PYA

As I’m not an end user I can’t vote in the UKOUG Partner of the Year Awards for my favourite Fusion partner but…..
 Do you remember that advert “ I Loved the product so much I bought the company “ ? Well not quite bought the company, but certainly bought into their offering, I have joined Certus Solutions.

 I have been looking hard at all those offering Fusion or Cloud services and in April I talked about how it was the new niche companies who had stepped up and taken the challenge who were winning in this area and not the traditional big partners.

 I was asked by Oracle to deliver some training to partners and I did this through Certus which led to some great discussions and the more I learn about Certus' plans and their strategy the more I wanted to be apart of it.

I have built my reputation around Fusion , so please if you are an end user (you do not need to be a UKOUG member) please vote for Certus in the Fusion Applications and Training Partner categories of the UKOUG Partner of the Year Awards.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

New Challenge

Today I joined Certus Solutions.

Certus Solutions press release

Setting up DCL was great fun and really helped me to narrow down the areas I want to concentrate on. Having looked at what all the partners in this space were doing Certus ticked all the boxes for me. I  was really excited by their plans and jumped at the opportunity to be part of their success.