Sunday 5 February 2017

Oracle Modern Business Experience

I spend a lot of time at conferences and expected to enjoy the Oracle Modern Business Experience last week, I didn't expect to be simply blown away.

The targeted marketing obviously worked they say there was over 6,000 registrations, however I still had an advert for it on my Facebook today 3 days after the event.

As you know my area is the Cloud Applications (formerly known as Fusion) and probably 75% of this event showcased customers who have made the move. It is amazing that to think there are so many users today, just a few years ago it was a struggle to get a reference customer and when one did speak you saw them rolled out at every event. Today there is a abundance.

As ever I was like a mother hen, proud of my several Certus customers who gave presentations about their projects and took part in customer panel sessions.

I was privileged to attend the Oracle Women's Leadership event on the first afternoon and the speakers were so inspirational. 

The first session was a panel session 'Grab the Power to make the Change': 

Safra Catz talked about being a tiny women in Wall Street and not being taken seriously, so instead of fighting it she went after customers from the emerging tech industry, and then eventually moved to Oracle.

Joanna Fielding from HSBC and Kimberly Ellison-Taylor talked about how they had sponsors who held them be recognised for their talents. Later I spoke to Kimberly for quite a while on the value of the afternoon to men, however would women have been as candid if they had been there? Perhaps they should have a video link :)

Emma Codd from Deloitte talked about Respect and Inclusion and the work she has done in her organisation, the video she had made for their program is brilliant.

Then there was another panel on "marketing to Millennials' with Amanda Jobbins VP of EMEA Marketing at Oracle, Catherine Walker from Vodafone and Maria Topornicka from Middlesex University and Alex Broadley from Hang Technologies, who inspired us that at only 22 she was doing so much.

There was a lot of thought leadership sessions that were not Oracle specific and I enjoyed several of those but, and if you follow me on twitter you already know, my favourite session of the two days was Dr Brian Cox. It was amazing how much he packed into a standard presentation.

I heard many people say that this event was better than Oracle Open World for Cloud Applications and that shows it was a game changer. They will be posting some content here

And remember if you are interested in what it takes to move to the Cloud Applications, UKOUG have just the content you need 

Saturday 4 February 2017

UKOUG Member Advocate Election

If you are a member of UKOUG, you may have just been asked to vote for our next Member Advocate for the board. If you are not the main contact on your membership can I ask you to contact whoever is and lobby them to vote.

There are two candidates, and I have had the pleasure of working with them both over many years. Both have equal amounts of passion for the aims of the usergroup, but I have only one vote and have to make a decision. I am asked who to vote for, and not just for UKOUG, I have spoken up as to who I have supported in other usergroups.

Fiona Martin has been on the board for 4 years, stepping in when it was at its most broken and has worked tirelessly to take the steps to ensure UKOUG has turned around most issues and is taking baby steps for the future.

Brendon Tierney is a very important part of the Irish Community and we have worked together on every one of the 12 years we have held OUG Ireland conferences, he is also the editor of Oracle Scene one of my favourite offerings from UKOUG.

I am declaring with you the fact that I am supporting Fiona for this election, Brendon is a fantastic volunteer and great friend, he knows I am writing this post. Here are my reasons why:

This position is a board position, it is not about individual parts of the community. There are only 3 advocates, and they must balance representing ALL members with the running of the company that supports that Community. Fiona has been involved as board sponsor with many communities and lead the Tech Conference for 3 years before stepping up as overall conference lead in 2016.

UKOUG is in a much much better place than it has been, the strategy work that Fiona has been responsible for over the last few years has begin to bear fruit and we can see that project teams have delivered. This volunteer strategy has allowed members to step up perhaps for an event project rather than a long term committee position, and this has been invaluable to our organisation.

Fiona and I are both Alliance Directors, which basically means our day job is to look after the relationship between our own organisation and the unbelievably complicated Oracle. That means we have a wide understanding and have learnt to how to navigate Oracle. Skills really needed for UKOUG. It also means we have the flexibility to give the time and input your usergroup demands.

Fiona also has core skills in Sales and has mentored the UKOUG staff, this has been invaluable as we have recovered slowly from a big loss a few years ago. Her commercial acumen is for me the number one reason I would ask you to vote for her. Remember UKOUG is a company, with staff and the board is not just about what to deliver to members but the business of doing so.

In the past two years we have had an interim Executive Director and a period of time with a vacancy during which Fiona stepped up with even more time and expertise given to UKOUG. James Jeynes was appointed in November and Fiona and I with our experience on the board have been helping him to get up to speed with not only UKOUG but also the entire Oracle ecosystem.

Today the board has both an Executive Director and Finance Director with less than 5 months experience, and a new Non Exec Director that will be appointed at the end of March, as Bryan Foss completes his appointment. On the elected side Paul Fitton is getting to grip with his upcoming Presidency, and therefore I am the only person with experience of UKOUG and the board. I AM stepping down next March, I thought I should have done last year but I couldn't walk away when UKOUG needed the support.

Fiona being elected for another 2 years will be the best thing for the governance of our board.

Obviously I would like you to vote for Fiona but the most important thing is that you ensure your vote is used.