Monday 13 November 2017

How close is UKOUG 2017?

I said in my last post I’m just off to Asia Pac and actually I return to the UK on the morning of super Sunday

What I label as UKOUG2017 is actually our three conferences co-located in Birmingham.

  • Tech2017 which starts with Super Sunday something has been running for a number of years now and it’s really great to see people who give up all of the weekend to come and learn more.
  • Apps2017 which is what I’m leading this year 
  • JDE2017 All things JDE

I’m going to say it again, please don’t just look at the streams that are titled with your area, as there is so much more content that maybe of value to you. Just last week, Neil Chandler, Tech2017 lead, and I went to a Data Visualisation Meetup. I'm Apps, Neil is Database, and yet we both learnt things that could be relevant to what we deliver. 

In the apps world I was very interested in the new trends that I heard about at Open World, chatbots and blockchain being two that I see a real opportunity for in the applications; despite being labelled a luddite by the UX team. I’m really pleased to say that we have Oracle speaking on both of those topics and chatbots actually appears in several different presentations. We have content on GDPR and on Support,  two subject topics which are very important to all users regardless of what specific applications you are running.

In the tech conference we have lots of first time speakers, who are being mentored, even on stage by experienced speakers. Thanks to Alex Nuijten for the idea.

I’m particularly proud of what we doing with the WIT session and now on my biggest worry is that this is a limited number of places and you need to sign up in the mobile app but I’m really excited about what we doing there. I posted just after open world about wanting to change the title to Welcome in IT and I think your find that the content we've got definitely does says welcome.

This year we have an external marketing company working with us, and they have worked with community keynotes and leads to create a series of blogs. They are a great insight to what is coming and here is the first one they did for me.

I love this event, there is so much that people can learn. I know how busy I’m going to be but and I hope that I will get to a number of sessions and the ones that I really don't want to miss I’ve managed to volunteer as the session chair.

I also know just how much work that goes into this event from the committees who work tirelessly to make sure we get the best content, to the office who provide project management and cross the 'T's and dot the 'I's. They are currently working their socks off to make sure that we get the best possible conferences

If you haven’t yet registered then please do especially those of you that are members don’t waste your allocation, make sure that you’re there. We have some great offers on membership itself, so make sure you register or contact Darren for the right option for you.

Still don't believe me? We look at these great videos from Connor McDonald and Brendan Tierney.

This is my last year on the board so please come say hello and if I’m asleep in some corner, it’s because I'm just come back from Australia; wake me up, I don't want to miss all the fun.

Friday 10 November 2017

2017 DOAG - Thanks to My Friends

I mentioned in my last post that I had been accepted by the DOAG and had to break my commitment as I have extended my trip to Australia to include New Zealand.

I didn't like to let down the DOAG, and I had two presentations. One is a customer case study on DHL, who are owned by Deutsche Post, so lots of local interest, and then my 'Extending HCM with VBCS'.

Luckily Luc Bors from eProseed, our development partner was already speaking at DOAG so he is able to give that presentation, and a colleague of mine in the UK, is going to present the DHL case study. Ramya will be better than me she was part of the implementation team.

DOAG is a great conference, it's fun and I know you will all enjoy it.

2017 ODC APAC Tour

The 2017 OTN APAC Tour kicks off in 10 days, although not sure if it should be called Oracle Developer Community APAC Tour. now they have changed their name.

Last year I had hoped to join this tour, but at the last minute, things didn't work out. So I am really pleased to say I will be going this year.

Originally I had submitted for New Zealand and Australia but it appeared I would only be in Australia, so then applied for DOAG. Then I was asked to do New Zealand as well as it is more cost effective and that is fantastic but didn't want to let DOAG down, however that is now sorted (next blog) and my flights are booked and I'll soon be on my way.

It is a long, long way to travel I don’t really mind I have my own coping techniques for the actual journey. This is an region where cloud applications are starting to be adopted and somewhere where I always get really good conversations with the customers delegates.

There are three presentations that I will be giving during the tour:

  • Extending Cloud HCM presentation on Visual Builder Cloud Services. I gave a basic version of this as a webcast for APAC earlier in the year so I want to add some more functionality to that presentation.
  •  Government EBS to Cloud Case Study.  Specifically in Australia there are a lot of public sector users of Oracle on premise and I know the story will be relevant to them. I’m not quite sure what Oracle have done around the security physical security, here in the UK we have a data centre dedicated to Public Sector, but what I can assure people is that as the need is there then Oracle will react to it.
  • Back to Basics. This is one that I did in Croatia just a couple weeks ago which is back to basics on cloud applications. In the days when we were waiting for Fusion to be released, I did it a series of presentations that looked at how it was built, the principles behind it, how essbase is baked in etc. All the sorts of things for understanding how was put together, particularly for those who support that side of their systems today. I know that Oracle sell you a cloud solution and in theory you don't need to know this and you can’t touch it, but it’s what you been responsible for for quite a long time and you do have an interest in what’s going on. I was asked by Croatia where I had given the original presentation many years ago if I would update it. This was a very interesting exercise, to see how far it has come after five / six years availability.
So those are the presentations I will be delivering and I’m really looking forward to the conversations. I think it’s a couple of years since I’ve been to APAC, and I know the adoption of Cloud Applications has ramped up. Certus has an Australia office and in the last year they have implemented a few systems, most notably for People's Choice.

From a personal perspective I love that it’s summer there and I love how Christmas is celebrated one of my favourite memories of two years ago was the massive Santa Claus in Sydney built out of beer crates!  This is going to be fun for me, again ,I’m going a few days early to see a friend in New Zealand , then the first weekend I’m going to dive in Sydney, Manley Bay which is somewhere I love and then I have the opportunity to in Perth.  I’m going to get stay with that Penny Cookson, one of the driving forces behind the user group there. I’ve even managed to work it so on the way back I get the chance to visit a great aunt in Singapore just for dinner at the airport as I pass through. 

Thanks for the great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to spending time with other presenters, especially the ones I haven't travelled with before and going back to user groups that really appreciate me being there. So I hope I see, if you haven’t already registered, do so, it’s going to be a great set of events.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Oracle User Experience - Starts with Listening to the User

Standard Life (now Standard Life Aberdeen) were an early customer in 2011 of HCM Talent & Performance; part of HCM Cloud Applications. They run this in co-exisitance with their Oracle eBusiness Suite.

As an early customer they developed a great relationship with Oracle Development and are members of both a traditional Customer Advisory Board that works with Product Strategy and also the Oracle Usability Advisory Board (OAUB)

The User Experience team have in their remit to talk to customers, listen to them on how they work, and have them validate current design patterns and processes Oracle are working on.

As well as talking to new customers, and customers who sign up to their outreach events, such as Users Groups and Cloud Days, it is important to both the UX and Product teams to work with some customers regularly and this is what they achieve through their advisory boards.

Last week Oracle visited Standard Life Aberdeen in Edinburgh for two days, with Product Management giving them updates on Release 13, and the UX team holding interviews on usability.

View from the Office Window
As Certus were also working with Standard Life Aberdeen , delivering training on new components of HCM Cloud to be adopted; they invited us to observe the two days. Certus are also members of the OUAB Advisory Board and I am an OAUX Advocate, so these are people we know very well.

The two days of sessions, contained lots of interactive discussion, especially around user adoption and feedback. 

The individual sessions were also well received with the UX team leader sharing a comment from one of the participants “he looked through his list of issues from last time and to his pleasant surprise, every single issue had been resolved and he was not able to come up with any new issues that he could identify this time around.”

I would like to thank Aberdeen Standard Life, especially Sarah Wormwell, Head of People Technology & Change for the invitation, and Oracle UK for their hospitality at The Home Restaurant.

If you would like to hear direct from Sarah, about what it means to actually 'Live in the Cloud' come and hear her presentation at UKOUG Apps17 on Wednesday December 6th.