Sunday, 19 July 2015

Almost Too Technical

I bet you saw the title and thought I was talking about myself, well I wasn't, I was talking about the recent UKOUG ERP Community Applications Innovation Day held in London.

This was the 2nd of three events where the relevant SIGs came together to look at what opportunities there are to move forward with their applications. The first event was the HCM Community Applications Innovation Day at the end of May and this was a great success with this article in Oracle Scene telling you why? The day was exclusively around Cloud HCM and very well received.

Anyway back to ERP, and the volunteers for the event, taken from the SIG committees, decided on a wider remit. I have to admit I was a little concerned, they asked for an APEX session, and then also selected a PaaS and a Cloud Extensions session, as well as cloud presentations. The agenda looked really random and wide to me, but we worked hard on the marketing to ensure that those attending knew what to expect.

Julie Stringfellow
At the HCM Day we had 3 customer case studies, which I know is what SIGs love best, but ERP Cloud is behind HCM on the adoption curve, although there are lots of organisations currently implementing there are very few references today, but this will change quickly. That meant we had a lot of Oracle sessions, but I still wanted a customer to endorse what they were saying. I approached Julie Stringfellow of Reading Borough Council, who has been live on ERP Cloud for quite a while now but she was unavailable for the whole day, however she did say she would pop in if she could be first on.

Julie talked about the benefits Cloud had brought Reading, and why she thought people should consider this.

Alex Nuijten

Next Up was Alex Nuijten from Ordina in The Netherlands talking APEX with EBS. Alex is an APEX ACE Director and last year I asked him to speak in Liverpool on this subject. He said yes and then looked at EBS for the very first time. He has since given the presentation at several events around Europe and every time he gets new questions.

    Adil Khan

Next up was Adil Khan, FulcrumWay who came from the US and talked about moving to a role based security in EBS, which is the way security is also handled in the Cloud.

Adil had lots of questions too, as many in the audience have used the traditional EBS security model for many years and it takes a little bit of unlearning before this concept makes sense.

Adrian Griffiths

At the Oracle Modern Business Applications Day in May, KPMG had people turned away from this session on what the Cloud meant for Finance, so I was really pleased to be able to have Adrian Griffiths come along to this session.

Liam Nolan

One of the great things about Cloud is the continuous innovation with updates twice a year. Liam Nolan who is no stranger to UKOUG was on hand to tell us what is new in the next release of ERP. Whilst none of the audience has yet to move to cloud they are a pretty knowledgeable lot, their communities within UKOUG have a watching brief on Cloud.

Tracy Bishop

Another great favourite with this community is Tracy Bishop and she came along to give a demo on Accounting Hub Reporting, the cloud service that sits above an on premise ERP system and gives you the amazing essbase and analytics reporting that are embedded in the ERP Cloud. This is a product I think that along with Planning Cloud, every ERP customer should be looking seriously at.
Peter care
Next up was Peter Care from FXLoader. Peter has a product that looks after the maintenance of your foreign exchange rates. He has developed this to work with ERP Cloud as well and here has used PaaS4SaaS and even got his product listed on the Oracle MarketPlace.

This tied in very nicely with the presentation from Alex as the development tool here is APEX. This was not a direct product pitch as Peter was sharing how he did it, rather than what it did.

Peter and I have given #PaaS4SaaS sessions along side each other at a few events recently, my session is looking at extending SaaS rather than feeding into it as Peter's does. I hope I will get to present mine at the next Apps Innovation Day as well as at APPS15.

Richard Bingham

Finally was old favourite Richard Bingham, who talked about how we could extend Cloud Apps. The content was great but I was frustrated about how many times Richard said customised. It isn't his fault, Oracle are using the term when changing artefacts in the Cloud, but the traditional concept of customisation is NOT allowed. There is a lot of ways to tailor and I will continue to push those subtle differences.

It was a great day, and as I mentioned at the start of this blog, much more technical than I expected, but the audience were very engaged and I was able to relate back to what Julie had said about their experience of Cloud, at every stage so the story did come together.

The final in this series of 3 is the Tech Community Applications Innovation Day  on 6th October, where the agenda's of the co-located Apps Server and Development SIGs will have a third tangent looking at how their disciplines can add innovation to Applications.

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