Last week I blogged about Automated Accountants, which was discussing chatbot use cases rather than full automation of a person. However the concept of automating what knowledge workers do today to the point were we really do have a fully automated accountant is something I have been researching too.
I had a twitter discussion with Vinnie Mirchandani (@dealarchitect) about automation as he is authoring a book on the subject. I agree with him that dirty and dangerous jobs are the first candidates for automation, but I also believe knowledge jobs are good candidates too and it will happen faster than many expect. In the world of finance we have seen continual adoption of technology to move us from paper based Ledgers to highly automated cloud accounting software with integrated reporting, social networks, mobile etc. I think the pace of change will accelerate because new technology is now so easy to adopt in the cloud and innovations are rolled out faster than ever before. So automation will happen quicker for those corporations that are already adopting these cloud based business applications.
I came across an interesting article on the BBC entitled Will a Robot Take My Job? which has some nice tools to let you search for your job and determine how likely it is to be automated and despite my earlier assertions I was surprised that accounting professions were so high on the list of those that would be automated. You can see my summary graphic below
The full report from Oxford University’s Martin School is worth a read as it goes into a lot of detail of skills that are hard for a machine to replicate and those that are easier so you can understand the reasoning behind the ratings. My profession in software development has a pretty low chance of being automated, I have to come up with original ideas and negotiate and these are things it is harder (at the moment) for machines to automate but it might just be a matter of time.
This will not happen in one shot, but over time more and more tasks will be automated, which is good because it will give is some time to think about the much bigger issue; what do we do now so much of what we as a workforce do is automated? The common wisdom is the workers will gradually move to work on higher value tasks that cannot easily be automated and drive greater and greater value. There is a lot of evidence to support this, but that discussion probably deserves a blog post of it’s own.
In my house, Alexa (aka Amazon Echo) is part of the family. My young children check the weather whilst eating their breakfast, see how their favorite sports teams are doing, get some jokes, movie times and anything that pops into their head they will just “Ask Alexa”. They also have a lot of fun seeing how Apple’s Siri and Alexa answer the same questions and which works better for what. Observing these interactions and interacting myself has been a very good hands on research exercise and I have been thinking for a while of enterprise applications.
We can use personal assistant technology bots to use context and intelligence to provide a natural interface and increase participation in our cloud applications.We can increase participation on two groups of users
- Casual Users
- They have infrequent and limited interactions with the applications and do not have the time, or the training and familiarity with the capabilities to participate effectively. They don’t know what information they can get, never mind how to get it.
- Power Users
- For these users it is about reducing the time it takes to do highly repetitive or UI intensive tasks. This is like me at home getting sports scores or weather from Amazon Echo, I could easily look it up on my phone but it is easier to just say “Alexa, weather” whilst I am pouring my coffee.
I put together a team to enter a hackothon by our UX innovation team last month and we tried to focus on the former use case. A high level manager who is very busy, runs a team of 50-100 people and manages to budgets but does not have a secretary. We imagined her wanting to know details of budgets and implemented three flows
- Inquiry on remaining budget
- Details of who spent a budget on what
- Transfer funds from one budget to another (say from travel to computer hardware)
We spent a lot of time trying to make the interactions as natural as possible, so getting the natural language trained correctly was key and we also wanted to use Amazon Echo, IM and SMS messages to interact with the live data in an ERP Cloud environment.
It was a great experience and we learned a lot technically. but probably more of a revelation was the different design strategy for these types of interaction. The other teams also did some amazing things(read the event review here) so we were pleased to pick up third place overall and the People’s Choice Award (voted on by all the participants).
I fully expect Automated Personal Assistants to be a key interaction model for Enterprise applications going forward, just as we are seeing them start to take off in the consumer space. Exciting times.
I am focusing on some new things here at Oracle. I’ll be dedicating a lot more of my time looking into emerging technology trends and how we should be applying them to the enterprise ERP or financial management space.
So how does this effect this blog?
I’ve been blogging for many years on Intercompany, Financial Management and ERP, mixing in some general technology posts. Now I plan to start writing about new technology trends a lot more. I have always been interested in this, but now I have more time to get deeper into it and I find blogging about things helps me understand them better and get feedback and insight from others, so it is a win-win. I have enjoyed all the comments on the blog and words of encouragement that people have given me in person, that has been a huge motivation to continue writing (even tho I have been posting as frequently as I would like the last few years) and respond to comments. I hope that feedback will continue.
So now I have got this announcement out of the way, I can get started… watch this space.
OpenWorld is this month, so time to start planning your agenda. I’ll be presenting at a few different sessions this year with a focus on Financials Cloud (Part of the ERP Cloud) and E-Business Suite.
I’m busy preparing for the first two sessions, hope to see you there. Check out the content catalog for more details and to add them to your agenda.How Oracle E-Business Suite Customers Have Achieved Modern Reporting in the Cloud [CON7313]David Haimes, Senior Director, Financial Applciations Development, OracleSara Mannur, Financial Systems Analyst, Niagara BottlingThis session discusses how to leverage powerful modern reporting tools with no disruption to your existing Oracle E-Business Suite implementation. You will learn the steps required to start using the cloud service. Customers who have implemented Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service share their implementation experiences and the business benefits they have realized.Conference SessionTuesday, Sep 20, 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Moscone West—3016Oracle ERP Cloud UX Extensibility: From Mystery to Magic [CON7312]David Haimes, Senior Director, Financial Applciations Development, OracleTim Dubois, Senior Director, Applications User Experience, OracleThe user experience (UX) design strategy of Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud (Oracle ERP Cloud)—including financials and product portfolio management—is about simplicity, mobility, and extensibility. Extensibility and admin personalization of Oracle ERP Cloud experiences include a range of tools, from a simplified approach for rebranding the applications, to match your company culture and image to page-level admin personalization and extension, to building your own simplified cloud application in platform as a service using the UX Rapid Development Kit (RDK). In this session, learn about RDK code samples, wireframing tools, and design patterns. Get a view into the RDK roadmap and where Oracle is going next. .Conference SessionThursday, Sep 22, 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Moscone West—3001Meet the Experts: Oracle Financials Cloud [MTE7784]Do not miss this opportunity to meet with Oracle Financials Cloud experts—the people who design and build the applications. In this session, you can have discussions regarding the Oracle Applications Cloud strategy and your specific business and IT strategy. The experts are available to discuss the value of the latest releases and share insights into the best path for your enterprise, so come ready with your questions.Meet the Experts SessionWednesday, Sep 21, 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Moscone West—3001A
We’re just two days away from the start of Collaborate and there are so many session I want to get to, my focus is on Financial Applications both Cloud and E-Business Suite. I already listed sessions where you can find me presenting, but here are ones I think will be interesting, I will attend as many as I can
Firstly two cloud customers(Alex Lee and Westmont Hotels) talking about their experiences implementing cloud financials.
Monday April 11th 12:45 PM–1:45 PM – South Seas J
Derrick Walters, Corporate Applications Manager at Alex Lee
How Westmont Hospitality Benefited by Leveraging Cloud ERP
3:15 PM–4:15 PMApr 11, 2016 – South Seas I
Sacha Agostini Oracle Functional Consultant at Vigilant Technologies, LLC.
Next some AGIS, Legal Entity and related topics on E-Business suite. In these areas that have been out for some time, I generally learn something about innovative uses of the products. Our partners and customers are very smart.
Intracompany, Intercompany, AGIS – Unraveling the Mysteries!
2:15 PM–3:15 PM Apr 10, 2016 – South Seas A
Bharati ManjeshwarMs at Highstreet IT Solutions, LLC
Thomas Simkiss Vice-President of Consulting at Denovo Ventures, LLC
Its Not too Late! How to Replace Your eBTax Solution After You Have Upgraded
10:30 AM–11:30 AM Apr 11, 2016 – South Seas I
Mr Andrew BohnetDirector ateBiz Answers Ltd
3:30 PM–4:30 PMApr 10, 2016 – Jasmine H
Bharati ManjeshwarMs at Highstreet IT Solutions, LLC
3:15 PM–5:30 PM Apr 11, 2016 – Mandalay Bay C
Mohan Iyer Practice Director at Jade Global, Inc.
9:15 AM–11:45 AM Apr 12, 2016 – Mandalay Bay C
Mr Andrew Bohnet Director at eBiz Answers Ltd
12:45 PM–3:00 PM Apr 11, 2016 – Mandalay Bay C
Mohan Iyer Practice Director at Jade Global, Inc.
The OAUG Collaborate conference kicks off in Las Vegas on Sunday April 10th. This conference is organized by Oracle user groups and is packed with content from customers, partners and Oracle have some sessions too. If you follow this blog you will know I am a big fan of the conference, I learn a lot from our customers and try to give back as much as I can by sharing information and answering questions. The twitter conversations are already starting, follow #C16LV now and certainly during conference week to see what people are talking about.
I will be presenting a session on Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service for Oracle E-Business Suite
1:00 PM–2:00 PM Apr 12, 2016 – South Pacific I
Register now for that one, I will leave plenty of time for questions because this cloud service is generating a lot of buzz.
I will also be at the OAUG GL SIG Meeting
3:00 PM–4:00 PM Apr 13, 2016 – South Seas J
I’m also planning to attend Meet the Experts: Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
2:15 PM–3:15 PM Apr 12, 2016 – Breakers G
I will help take questions, you can decide if that qualifies me as an expert or not.
I’ll also be attending Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Cloud Solutions: Update, Strategy and Roadmap
Nadia Bendjedou, Sr. Director, Product Strategy, Oracle
Monday, April 11, 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Banyan A
I am combing through the sessions to identify others that I want to go to and learn from, I will share those later, watch this space.
FAHRCS (pronounced farks) is the de facto acronym for the officially titled Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service. Is Stands for Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service, which is quite difficult to say. I have got pretty good at saying F.A.H.R.C.S quickly, but I think “farks” is probably the easiest.
If you are wondering what FAHRCS actually is, you can follow @FAHRCS on twitter, or check out https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/accounting-hub-reporting-cloud for official documentation.
I’ll be presenting about it at the Higher Education User Group Conference, Alliance16 in March and again at OAUG Collaborate16 in April. So I hope to see you there and help you learn more about FAHRCS.
I had convinced myself the Apple Watch was an overpriced fitness band and that it wasn’t for me and was set to get a Garmin to track my running instead. Then out of the blue I was given an Apple Watch. So you can certainly put me down as a cynic, but I certainly like to think I am open minded, so here are my thoughts after a week with the watch.
The experience of getting it set up was surprisingly frustrating, I had to upgrade my phone to iOS 8 before I could activate the watch and that meant deleting things to free a few Gb of memory (to upgrade my Operating System, really?). So everything had to wait until after I got home and backed up my phone.
First I got this rather cool visual on my watch to scan with the phone and then it was paired and I got this screen telling me the model that I had bought. OK so I still could not get the time from this watch and I have had the thing all day, I’m getting a little impatient at this point.
After waiting about 5 minutes for it to synch, suddenly a load of my apps, including my email, texts, calendar, twitter fitness apps and more are available on my watch. This is about to get interesting.
The first thing I noticed is that it is actually really easy to ready and see at a glance the notifications that are sent to your watch, such as Calendar reminders, text messages and Oracle Social Network updates (glad to see we are quick to the new platform with our own mobile apps). This is good for me, I get a lot of these alerts and I found a glance at my wrist was much nicer than pulling out my phone and unlocking it and starting at it. This sounds like a very small thing, but it is these small improvements in frequent interactions that make for a great user experience. I also agree with Jeremy Ashley about the huge value in being able to retain eye contact, notifications on my watch are far less obtrusive and the glance at my wrist it is a great experience.
So I wanted to try using it for some different things so I decided to test out text messages first, a quick SMS to respond to my wife’s text ‘ETA?’ to let her know what time I am planning to get home.
So I tap once on that nice Reply button
I can now either pick from a set of pre-defined responses and they would be sent without any other interaction from me. However I like the personal touch, this is my wife after all, so I decide I will click on the microphone icon to dictate a response. I speak in my answer and see the sound wave at the bottom and the text comes up perfectly first time.
So now I click done and get a really option to either send the audio or to just tap on the text and send that. This is a great feature if maybe the voice to text didn’t work properly and I don’t want to waste time correcting it or speaking it again.
After tapping on the text I am now done. The whole interaction was very fast and felt very natural. At this point I am really starting to like the Apple Watch. In the next few days I try driving directions, twitter, my calendar, a variety of fitness apps and more and pretty much across the board I find the interactions are natural and quick and the fact I have to pull out my phone less is a much bigger deal than I expected. I find I can glance down at my watch see a text or meeting reminder and carry on a conversation in a way that was not really possible if I had to pull my phone out. The one app I haven’t yet mentioned is the time, I haven’t worn a watch for over 10 years and I have realized in the last week it’s much easier to glance at my wrist than to pull out my phone – who knew?
Finally I will be at a conference where my British accent, specifically my North West of England accent will be understood. This will be my first time presenting at the UK OUG Conference and what better place than Liverpool to do it? Home of my beloved Everton F.C., hometown of my parents and less than 20 miles from where I grew up (People from Liverpool would call me a woollyback) just outside Wigan. So I will try to remember to shift from the Californian drawl I have picked up over the last 14 years and into my finest scouse accent.
I’m going to be presenting two papers which will showcase not just the powerful features that can revolutionize how you run your business, but also the amazing use experience, mobile and social features available in our ERP Cloud. Both are on Monday and one is right after the other, so I’m a little bit apprehensive about having 10 minutes to dash from one room to another, get set up and start again.
Here are the details of the sessions, or just search for ‘Haimes’ and you’ll find them. Add them to your agenda, because they are both ‘must not miss’ sessions.
First up, Monday December 8th, 2pm, Hall 11C
This is a great session with a lot of content to pack in but I know the area well and am very passionate about it and have seen first hand how big a deal this is for businesses.
Then 10 minutes to pack up and dash to Hall 1B for 3pm
Doing live demos, with multiple different devices to switch between and using a live cloud environment on a conference WiFi make this a logistical challenge. However when you have a phenomenal user experience, the best thing to do is show it live, so bear with me because we have some pretty cool features to show.
- It’s a very exciting opportunity to experience the powerful Financial Reporting innovations in our Cloud offerings without disruption to your existing ERP investments.
- It’s a way to take advantage of the Simplified Financials Report Center, optimized for easy access to reports on your choice of mobile device
- It includes the sunburst data visualization tool, which was my killer demo last week at OpenWorld (see screen shot)
- It’s a way to move to cloud in an incremental manner, realizing business benefits quickly without disruption to your existing business processes and systems.
- It has a companion EBusiness Suite feature (available on 12.1.3 and 12.2.4) that will push all your set up and GL Balances to your cloud service and generate reports automatically for you. Giving you a zero configuration reporting solution for you EBS GL Balances data (watch out for more detailed posts on this soon)
- It has web services to load General Ledger data from PeopleSoft, JDE Edwards or any other ERP system.
- It’s a way to get your hands on the Oracle Social Network which is part of the platform our Cloud offerings are built on.
That’s a decent list to start with, but there are a few things that it isn’t which I should call out
- It is not(yet) the Accounting Hub Integration Platform with all the rule based accounting transformations provided by Subledger Accounting Architecture (SLA)
- It is not a new name designed to confuse you when we already have Financials Accounting Hub and Fusion Accounting Hub.
Look out for future posts going into more detail, or you can look at the cloud service page, which has important details such as pricing.
I promised my 9 year old son that I would run the school 5K fun run with him, little did I know it would clash with Oracle OpenWorld. I had a 5k run at 10am in Belmont and then a presentation to the OAUG GL Special Interest Group at 11am 20 mile sNorth in San Francisco. I was worried about the pace my son could do but we managed to average 9.5 minute miles even with a stop to tie a shoe lace and a lot of traffic of all ages and speeds. We had just enough time snap the picture below and then he went for the pancake breakfast with the rest of his friends and I ran another half mile to my car and headed to the Moscone Center. No time to change and straight up on stage, with 10 minutes to spare before I was due to speak. After that I caught up with a colleague who’s here from the UK over lunch and was home in time to upgrade my son’s home minecraft server to 1.8, write a blog and check on my demos for tomorrow’s Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) EXPO.
later this evening I was pleased to see this tweet from Steve Miranda, our EVP who is also balancing his heavy workload at OpenWorld with family commitments too.
So all in all a good day, here’s hoping the rest of the week is just as enjoyable.
This is number three in my Focus on Oracle OpenWorld Series and this one is in on my home turf, it was the talk of Las Vegas earlier this year at Collaborate. I have explained the difference between Fusion Accounting Hub and Financial Accounting Hub before, but now we have the Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service. I’ll be talking about this briefly in the OAUG GL SIG meeting and there is also a session from my boss, Rob Zwiebach that will cover it (spoiler alert, we might use some of the same slides), but he will also have Alex from our internal finance org to give talk about their experience running the accounting hub for the last few years. Rob’s session details are below:Introducing Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service [CON8404]
Existing Oracle E-Business Suite customers now have an out-of-the-box coexistence strategy. With Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service, you can have the power of Oracle Fusion Reporting in the cloud. This session explains the benefits and details of Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service.
Alex SanJuan – VP Finance, Oracle
Rob Zwiebach, VP Financial Application Development, Oracle
Tuesday, Sep 30, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM – Westin Market Street – Metropolitan II
I already have a number of customer meetings lined up to discuss accounting hub and a few more I’m trying to squeeze in, so it is shaping up to be an exciting new chapter for the Accounting Hub.
Anyone who reads my blog regularly might be tired of me praising user groups, but I believe it is worth repeating myself. The type of information sharing you get from user groups is unique and very valuable, it is important for Oracle to support that, be aware of it, but not interfere. I have been involved with the Oracle Apps User Group via the GL SIG for several years now but I will never push my agenda, I listen, provide information or presentations that are requested and I learn. Many of my colleagues will tell you the same. So Sunday is User Group day at OpenWorld and I look forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces and learning something new. I have a bit of a schedule crunch this year, 12 months ago I committed to run the 5k “Dolphin Dash” School fundraiser with my 8 year old son, I didn’t think for a minute it would fall on the same date as OpenWorld. So I have to run a 5k at 9am and then dash into San Francisco to present at the GL SIG for 11am, if I arrive in my running gear, still sweating please accept my apologies. I will stay around for more of the sessions and always I will be active on twitter, so you can find me that way too.
At the GL SIG I’ll be talking about and briefly showing the new Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service, which I am very excited about. You will also hear from Lakshmi Sampath from Dell about SLA on their upgrade to R12. The full agenda is below, I hope to see a lot of you there.
Agenda GL-SIG @ OpenWorld 2014 on Sunday, September 28th, 11.00am
Location – Moscone W – 3005
- Introduction to the SIG
- Proactive support presentation
- Sponsor message (Excel4Apps)
- Lakshmi (SLA on Upgrade @ Dell)
- David Haimes new Accounting Hub Cloud Reporting Service
- Open questions
We will be joined by our Oracle colleagues to tell us about ProActive support and their leading practices to deliver content and help to the Oracle user community.
Excel4Apps will be helping us by sponsoring the meeting at this conference.
In the past many oracle apps customers have looked elsewhere for their reporting needs – until now – see a preview of “Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service”. See how many finance users are using their favorite tools for reporting – Smartview, Cubes, and related functionality to get their financials. Fusion Account Hub Reporting Cloud Service is a new subscription service provides out of the box integration with EBS R12 General Ledger for reporting. This session will provide an introduction to the new service, how it connects, works with EBS data, the reporting capabilities available and what it does and does not support. Come listen to David Haimes, Senior Director, Financials Product Development t alk about the new service.
Hear what Lakshmi Sampath from Dell has to say about their upgrade to R12. The presentation covers the R12 Upgrade Case-Study at Dell providing details on what happens during upgrade to R12 in various subledgers (PO, AP, AR, PA, FA) with respect to SLA. This presentation will also provide details on strategies for data conversion to SLA model during upgrade, and cover critical lessons learned during the upgrade @ DELL.
This is the first of a series of posts I am planning leading up to Oracle OpenWorld which starts in less than a week. I have a few different focus areas this year, so I’ll write a little about each of them.
I’ve been talking about collaboration in ERP for quite some time and was also very flattered to have TheAppsLab and Ultan (@ultan) for the UX team cover what we have done in their blogs too. I call it Socializing the Finance Department, it isn’t about more Pot Luck Lunches and after work drinks, it is about using social tools in a secure and efficient manner, embedded in your ERP system, tied to your transactions and business flows to make you more productive.
The Oracle Social Network(OSN) is part of the infrastructure we build our cloud applications on, so it is pervasive in our cloud apps. There are a lot of good sessions, see here for the complete OSN list. I will be on a panel discussing the best use cases for social in enterprise applications, Tuesday September 30th 5pm – 5:45pm – Moscone West – 3022, full details here.
We won’t be doing a demo, but here is one video to give you a taste of what we will discuss, or check out my post Can chatting make us more productive? for another video. If you catch during the #oow week, I’m usually happy to show this off, so feel free to ask me.
According to the CEB Corporate Leadership Council High Performance Survey, 2012, the average worker collaborates with 10 or more people to accomplish day to day tasks. That is a lot of chatting. We think that this chatting needs to be be tied to the business transaction you are working with and the best way to do that is by having the collaboration tool as part of your ERP application. This is what you get with Oracle ERP Cloud. I have discussed what social is in the ERP Cloud world in my earlier post Socializing the Finance Department that you can review to get a background. The key message here is that the collaboration must be tied to a transaction. Take a look at the video below to illustrate the point and see it in action.
I think you will agree this type of chatting, or as Alan Leposfsky (@alanlepo) of Constellation Research would call it, purposeful collaboration, clearly does make you and your organization more productive.
Tomorrow Oracle is hosting a Bay Area Heart Walk at it’s HQ campus and it should be a huge event, not only raising valuable funds but also raising awareness of the importance of a heart healthy lifestyle. Since the beginning of this year I have been doing regular walking meetings and have enjoyed the benefits to both my health and my productivity. I also found many other people already doing walking meetings and others who have been inspired to start them. I’ve really enjoyed the overwhelmingly positive responses and encouragement.
Highlights of the event include the Semi Official Oracle house band, Scope Creep, check out this YouTube clip, you may recognize some of the faces including my boss on drums, who I can confirm does not appreciate my joke – what do you call somebody with no talent who hangs with musicians? – answers in the comment section please.
I will be walking with ‘Team Erb’ led by the energetic and enthusiastic (except when it comes to twitter) Janine Erb, who is one of the singers in the YouTube clip above. We have close to 100 people in the team and I’m looking forward to walking with and talking to people I have known and worked with for a long time and also making some new friends. If you are there tomorrow, come and say hi. I’ll take some pictures and probably tweet during the event.
This is a guest post from Sangeeta Sameer, who worked for Oracle for 6 years before moving on to work for GE where has held a number of senior positions. She has also joined the board of the OAUG Multinational Special Interest Group.
At the Collaborate 2014 Conference, David Haimes and I presented a custom solution to enable balancing by 2 segments of the Chart of Accounts in Release 12.1.3 of Oracle e-Business Suite. The attached PowerPoint and Paper that we presented describes in detail the requirements and the custom solution.
So when David asked me to write a guest post about this topic, I thought about what else I would include in the paper if we were writing it again. While the paper talks about the requirement to create a balanced Trial Balance by 2 segments, it does not expand on why we need a balanced Trial Balance by 2 segments. Global corporations like General Electric (GE) need better granularity and accountability for the financial performance of their geographical divisions and lines of businesses by being able to create a Balance Sheet at both a Legal Entity/Statutory level and Business Unit/Management Entity level. GE is a Global conglomerate that has diverse businesses operating in a large number of countries. GE needs the ability to create a balanced Trial Balance by the Legal Entity (LE) and the Management Entity (ME) segments in the Chart of Accounts.
The ability to automatically balance by more than one segment is not a new requirement for GE, and I think it would be a requirement for other multinational companies as well. This requirement is explained quite well in Oracle Fusion Applications Enterprise Structures Concepts Guide 11g Release 5 (11.1.5) – Part # E22899-05. See the section titled “Legal Entity and Its Relationship to Balancing Segments”. While Fusion Applications are able to balance by up to 3 segments in the Chart of Accounts, Oracle e-Business Suite (EBS) Applications are able to balance by one segment only.
In prior EBS Release 11i implementations at GE, the requirement to balance by 2 segments was satisfied by developing custom solutions that needed to be re-visited for Release 12. For example, one of the solutions in 11i was for a custom program to bring balancing entries into the Interface Table. With the introduction of SLA in Release 12, this 11i solution was no longer a good one for R12. The solution described in the attached Paper and PowerPoint is a much more robust solution, and is live in Production for 2 different ERP Projects at GE.
The OAUG Multinational Special Interest Group (SIG) is organizing a webinar on June 11th at 10.30 am Pacific (1.30 pm Eastern) on this topic. David and I will repeat the presentation from Collaborate 2014, and look forward to sharing this solution again. The webinar will be one hour long, including 20-25 minutes for Q&A.
The link to register for this webinar is:
Last week I attended a Wearables Design Jam organized by Ultan (@ultan) from the Oracle UX team (a future post is coming on the event) and since then I have been thinking about what makes a successful wearable device. The most successful devices in the marketplace seem to be the fitness trackers and I have had great benefit from my fitbit, not least of all the inspiration for walking meetings. A fitness tracker is not a new idea (I joke that a fitbit is just a $100 pedometer), but the wearable devices today make tracking your fitness so much easier. No need to keep diaries of your activities, everything is there for you in a dashboard with all sorts of interesting analytics, goal setting, alerts etc.
The GoPro has similarities, it is a small personal camcorder with only memory, no tape and no screen for viewing, similar to the Flip camera which Cisco bought and then killed and many other cameras. However it takes action videos really well, with very little effort and is pretty much indestructible so you can take it anywhere. They produce professional quality video and photos including time lapse videos, fast frame rates for smooth slow motion and have an ultra wide field of view so you rarely miss any action. You can also attach them to your body, bike and other helmets, cars and of course surfboards. My model (Hero 3+ Black edition) has WiFi so I can control it from my iPhone or iPad and grab content from it easily, although that does drain the battery fast.
If you haven’t already seen it, you must check out the Time Lapse video I took with the GoPro of the Team USA Americas Cup yacht being installed at Oracle HQ. This was around 9,000 photos taken over 50+ hours compressed into a 2 minute video. I have also strapped it to my car to capture a journey down the highway 1, strapped it to the outside of my car, strapped it to a remote control car, strapped it to myself and my kids in a swimming pool, to my Son’s bike and to my daughter’s wheeled shoes. Now I am trying to think of some enterprise applications of this amazing device, watch this space.
I was reading a post from my colleague John Cartan this morning about his experience with the the Narrative Clip which is a smaller device, intended to be used for life logging. It is worn all the time and captures a picture every 30 seconds. The experience did not seem to be great, but I think a GoPro, altho a little bigger would be much better for this purpose. I could imagine wearing it all day at a conference say, or in a series of meetings, brainstorming sessions etc. it would give a really good replay of events. I will probably try some of this in the coming weeks, just to see how interesting it is.
Maker Faire is a popular event here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve been going with my kids for several years now and all of us look forward to it every year. I describe it as everything from embroidery to fire breathing robots, anything you can make is there and everyone is passionate about making stuff and everyone enjoys sharing their passion.
However this year I was there as staff with the Apps Lab who were providing a DIY activity for the Java team who are a big supporter of Maker Faire, Jake explains in detail in his blog. My summary is we showed use of embedded java on a Raspberry Pis to control a variety of devices with input from other devices, for example I could use a motion sensor to turn on a fan, or send a tweet or send an SMS message. It was an interesting experience showing this off to people, explaining what we mean by the internet of things and seeing people’s reaction. There are a huge range of ages and types of people at Maker Fairs, so it was cool to see young and old alike enjoying making things happen. The most interesting thing to see first hand is how young children (as young as 4 or 5) can just figure out how to do things with minimal guidance and in fact seem to prefer to explore on their own, older people are much quicker to get help or listen to me explain rather than do it. I have no idea what this means, if anything, but it was interesting to me at least.
I was well organized this year; before I attended the conference I had downloaded the mobile App and started creating a conference agenda, I was a little bit disappointed that I had to manually add sessions I was presenting to my agenda, seems like a missing feature and it did not create the best first impression. However, I then found the mobile app really good, a lot of discussions, the ability to comment on sessions and all the good social features you would expect. When the conference got started the gamification they had added (a simple leader board of activity) helped to drive adoption and also caused some controversy, I’ll stay out of that but I would recommend reading Debra Lilley’s thoughts on it.
Throughout the week many people were talking about how several sessions they wanted to attend seemed to be scheduled at the same time. My first thought about this was that they were just making a polite excuse for not attending some of my sessions, but then I did observe the same thing myself. It is hard having to choose between two or often three very interesting and useful sessions which are on at the same time, it is also tough when attendance at some sessions is lower than they deserve. However, as I thought more about it, I feel it should be seen as a positive that the quality of the sessions and the presenters was very high.
My session on Fusion Accounting Hub and GLobal Charts of Accounts and Consolidation was on Monday and I had a decent crowd, got through a lot of material and had some really good questions (and I hope the answers were good). I mentioned on my blog that FAH was the talk of the town based on the number of sessions that were covering it, I certainly spent lots of time discussing it with people over the course of the conference. We had a good GL SIG group meeting, I did a few minutes about the management segment and Data Access Sets in EBusiness Suite GL Release 12. I was surprised that more people were not aware of this very useful feature, maybe I should blog about it (he says, adding it to a long to do list). My third session was co-presented with Sangeeta Sameer from GE, I have asked Sangeeta to write a guest blog post introducing it, sharing the paper and announcing a webinar repeat of it – watch this space.
Exciting that all the things were, probably the part I enjoyed most was talking to so many people who had implemented or were implementing Cloud ERP Apps. I had a chance to hear the positive comments and excitement that customers and partners had, but equally chat about where the y had suggestions for improvements. We have a lot of very experienced, motivated and very smart partners out there and I enjoy every minute talking with them and learning from them, hopefully helping them out with a few tips too.
So next up for me is Open World, I did not make KScope this year, but one day I would like to go there, but for my particular field Collaborate is a must conference and if you have never been I would highly recommend you consider it next year, I will certainly be submitting a paper.