Tuesday 22 November 2022

Imagine I was a Footballer (Soccer Player)

As the Football World Cup kicks off, I want you to suspend your disbelief* and imagine I am a footballer.

Imagine I am a footballer at the top of my game, my club have won everything this year, and I’ve been a big part of that.

Like every other footballer, I dream of playing in the World Cup. I’ve played in many tournaments before and done really well so when I didn’t get called up for this World Cup I was devastated.

It is said grief comes in five stages and yes I've been through them all.

denialOh why not? Surely it’s a mistake, I am at the top of my game!

anger - yes I got angry so very angry

bargaining - I'm not beyond begging after all this is the world cup!

depression - I feel so alone, everyone is talking about being part of the event

acceptance - I can't change it

The reason I’m so upset is my passion for the game and for this tournament, it hurts, it really hurts and I can’t watch my team without it hurting more. I can’t look at my social media and see them arriving, enjoying the local sites, the hotels and then there’s the matches themselves, so I’m switching off my social media and I’m going into self inflicted hibernation until it’s all over. 

But underneath my hurt, I’m still passionate about the game and I want my country to do well and to succeed even if I can’t be part of it, so I wish them success.

OK, I’m not a footballer, but I am a speaker, a successful speaker and ACED director and recently had a very successful Oracle Cloud World so I was devastated not to be successful in getting a place or a session at UKOUG's BREAKTHROUGH event. 

I’ve been through my stages of grief, and I finally arrived at acceptance, but it STILL hurts and so on Saturday I’m going to indulge my other passion, taking myself away for a week diving to cushion the blow, (well hibernation is a bit boring).

Just like myself the footballer. I still wish for a successful UKOUG and that everyone who does attend has the most wonderful experience and for me there’s always next time.

*The footballer analogy came to me as the World Cup is everywhere I look, but if you attended the recent ERP Today Awards  you know this is possibly an analogy too far. 

Sunday 6 November 2022

22 EMEA Community Tour 2022 - Norway - A Tale of Three Talks


A bit late on this post, but I do have a reason...

The Oracle User Group in Norway is one of my favourites - they have a good applications community and their annual conference was traditionally on a boat and I love it.

In fact, that conference was my first Covid casualty, when cancelled just a few weeks out in March 2020.

With the relaunch of the ACE Program over the summer there was an opportunity to take part in EMEA Community Tour. I submitted a few papers and was pleased to be accepted by OUGN and LuxOUG. Unfortunately the logistics of Luxembourg to Norway were complex and as I was really busy getting ready for Oracle Open World I accepted just OUGN as I felt I had a commitment to them.

Those logistics were a challenge for many and in the  main OUGN lost out as many speakers travelled direct to Croatia from Luxembourg, skipping the Norway leg, which made it more straightforward. I hope that one day I will get to LuxOUG but in the  meantime happy to do a webcast anytime.

I had 2 papers accepted by OUGN and Ann Sofie the Chair from OUGN asked if I would do a Q&A panel as well. I love answering questions, this is how I learn. However as we got closer to the event, there were not enough experts for a panel so I agreed to do three talks relevant to applications and make it a very interactive afternoon.

I arrived the day before and Ann Sofie took me to the new National Museum which was amazing. I especially loved the clothes through the ages and looking at the quality of them, mainly and made.

The conference day started with a presentation from Julian Dontchef on which was to be an early run of his Oracle Cloud World presentation, on What if you are considering leaving the  Oracle Database. It was, as ever a great presentation from Julian, with well thought our arguments. As a post script poor Julian got Covid and missed OCW, although I am pleased to say it was a mild case.

My afternoon was fun, not the biggest audience but a good mix. The ever present discussion on which cloud, OCI or SaaS an EBS customer should take, and this is what I love, the discussion around real organisations and why the obvious 'it depends', depends on what they are trying to do. I recently wrote an Inoapps blog around this presentation.

Then we looked at Oracle HCM Journeys and My Experience, and finally extending SaaS. We talked a lot about APEX as those still on EBS are using APEX and that sets them up for when they do move to SaaS. 

I did tell everyone that the last 2 sessions would be expanded after OCW. I knew we had won the Oracle ME competition and the announcements that would be made around extending. But that is what makes this world so exciting, the innovation that cloud allows. And that is why the post was a bit late.I hope to present these updates at other user groups should they be accepted.

Thank you Ann Sofie and OUGN for having me, and hopefully I can come again in the Spring.

Thank you to the ACE Program for making this happen.

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Oracle Cloud World 2022

I wasn't expecting to be a big fan of Oracle Cloud World but actually I am.

I loved Oracle Open World being in San Francisco and 2019 was my 16th consecutive Open World.

Just after 2019 OOW and way before Covid, Oracle had already announced that it was moving its annual event to Las Vegas.  The later announced this was going to be Oracle Cloud World so a very different event.

I tried to approach Las Vegas with an open mind, trying not to compare it with OOW but to see it as the first of a new era. My biggest concern is that I don't really like Vegas, I hate gambling and all it stands for and I have seen some pretty sad things in Vegas, not my idea of fun.

That all said Oracle pulled it out of the bag and I loved the event, for many different reasons, there were less people but everyone had a real reason for being there and so conversations were focus, I loved seeing people and I loved the buzz. Oracle say there were13,000 people in attendance, it felt more, but that may be down to the clever use of space.

I did attend the main appreciation event, old enough to know who the  Steve Millar Band are but I didn't stay long, too old to party all night!

Here are my main thoughts:

Main BOLD Messages
Inoapps on Tour
Oracle ACE Program
Partner Program
Extending Oracle Cloud Applications
Inoapps Oracle ME Award
Even the Travel

22 OCW Partner Program

Before the main conference starts there is a dedicated Partner program, a bit of a heads up on the  conference messages and how the program is changing to meet customer needs.

For me the main takeaway was the increasing importance of certifications for partners but balanced with a recognition that delta exams may lessen the burden of keeping unto date.

And if you attended Oracle Cloud World don't forget the certification offer that came with your full pass.

EMEA partners also had the  opportunity to be together even earlier with a fantastic trip out to the  Fire Valley National Park, an amazing place with a great guide to share so much with us. This finished with a lunch on The Strip.

Later there was a welcome reception in the  Fremont Area of Las Vegas and a chance to relax with other partners and Oracle Alliance leaders before the non stop of Cloud World itself.

22 OCW ACE Program

After a couple of uncomfortable years when the ACE Program was under threat, it is back. Bigger and Better and Oracle Cloud World was a great time to celebrate that.

First thank you to the ACE Program for confirming me as an ACE Director for another year.

And thank you to the ACE Program for my Oracle Cloud World Pass.

The ACE program had a lounge on the show floor and I did a couple of shifts manning it, this gave me the opportunity to answer questions about the program and encourage those who want to contribute. 

It also gave me the opportunity to meet up with my fellow ODTUG Board Members who were there. 

I signed up to make some videos for the  program, both as an individual and about the  program itself, and I look forward to seeing the new material.

On the Wednesday evening we had an ACE Program dinner before the main appreciation party, this included our annual photograph and the chance to catch up with everyone including some of the Oracle Product Managers that support the program.

After the conference we had an ACE Experience, those still in town had the  opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon, walk on the Skywalk, enjoy the amazing views and then a quick stop at the Hoover Dam on the way back.

Afterwards Jen Nicholson who runs the program, Ask Tom's Connor McDonald, fellow ACE Director Director Heli Helskyaho, all great friends, and I, had a final dinner.