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Watching the current trends and future direction of Oracle's Applicationsfteterhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11221041028141787708noreply@blogger.comBlogger406125
Updated: 8 hours 31 min ago

Please Sell

Wed, 2015-06-17 18:12
Oracle's financial results for Q4 of their fiscal year 2015 came out a few minutes ago.  Seems they missed targets on license revenues and earnings per share.  So the stock may be headed for the professional investor's dog house.  I've even read of an analyst or two publishing a "sell" rating on Oracle stock.

Geez, please sell.  Drive the price down.  I can buy some more shares on the cheap and laugh all the way to the bank.  Let me explain.

First, license revenues shrank.  Gee, no kidding?  Oracle is transitioning away from licensed software to cloud and license revenues shrank?  (insert sarcasm tag here) Better dump the stock before the bottom falls out! (end of sarcasm)

Second, Oracle (like every other tech firm recently) was theoretically dinged by exchange rates.  The dollar fell against the yuan, peso, ruble, ducat, yen, etc.  But currency rates average out...even over the short run.  Take a snapshot after the Greeks and the European Union work out their issues in a few weeks...regardless of how they work it out, bet that exchange rate issue becomes less of an issue.

Third, the name of the game in measuring success in providing whatever-as-a-service is recurring revenue.  You'll compromise margins on new subscriptions to grow share, then work hard to minimize churn...which maximizes very high margin recurring revenue.  So the telling numbers for Oracle's future as a cloud provider:  subscription revenue growth, recurring revenue growth, and recurring revenue margins.  Which I do believe were the high points in the results.

Fourth, the technical fundamentals...which is really the most important factor...are very good.  Solid products with lots of functionality.  I'm not too concerned about Oracle's financial viability as long as they keep producing great products.

So only am I not worried, I'm actually pretty enthusiastic about the results and what they really mean.

So please sell...I'd like to increase my minuscule Oracle holdings.  If enough folks sell, I'll be able to do so on the cheap.

Integration Is Hard

Tue, 2015-06-16 20:58
If you know me at all, you know I love services-based integration.  The whole idea of interfacing, moving and exchanging data, guided by industry standards...I'm an enthusiastic supporter.  The appeal of this idea made me an ardent supporter of Oracle's Fusion Applications.  And I still believe it's an important part of the potential for today's SaaS offerings.

So I'll share a secret with you...I really hate services-based integration.  It's hard.  Packaged integrations rarely work out of the box.  SaaS integrations are tough to implement.  Integration platforms are still in their infancy.  Data errors are frequent problems.  Documentation is either inaccurate or non-existent.  Building your own - oy!  Even simple integrations require large investments of blood, sweat, and tears.  And orchestrating service integrations into a business process...agony on a stick.  I personally believe that the toughest aspect of enterprise software is services integration.  SaaS, hybrid, on-premise, packaged applications, middleware...it does not matter, services integration is hard regardless of context.

I see SaaS integration as "hero ground":  there is nowhere to go but up, and even simple wins will create heroes.  Service integrations that really work, simple and easily understood documentation, design patterns, data templates and useable tools... I think we have a ton of work to do.  Because, even though it shouldn't be, integration is hard.

Sticker Shock

Sun, 2015-06-14 17:37
A little off-subject, but still felt this experience was worth sharing.  I'll get back on track next post.

My smart phone is an iPhone 5.  My carrier is ATT.  It's been a great relationship since the iPhone first came out.  Sadly, I think it's coming to an end.

My two-year contract expired on June 1st...ATT informed me immediately that I was eligible for a phone upgrade and a new contract.  Exciting news, as I've had my eye on an iPhone 6-Plus.

Last week, I decided it was time to grab that new iPhone and renew my contract.  My wife came with...we're on the same plan and she is also upgrade eligible right now.  The local AT&T store is right around the corner, so we dropped by on the way out to lunch, figuring this would be about a 20-minute deal: cool new phones, new contract, and then off to lunch.

The experience did not quite work out as planned.  As you're probably aware, subsidized phones and 2-year contracts are on the way out with the wireless phone carriers.  More on that here.  So we were hit square between the eyes with sticker shock.  We were told we could buy new phones outright or pay in installments (including about $100 in fees...aka interest...over a two-year period).    Pretty significant bump in hardware out-of-pocket costs.

To add insult to injury, the price of carrier service has gone up around 33% for the same service levels as our own contract.  Regardless of whether we opted for a "Next" plan or not, the monthly outlay came out to the same amount.  And I thought data access was getting less expensive...

We left ATT in pretty short order and decided to try the Verizon store next door.  No help there...the numbers played out exactly the same.  The only difference was the branding of "Edge" rather than "Next".

Sprint tried to do better...they actually matched the level of service and price of our old plan.  For the first year.  Then they recovered that cost in the 2nd year.  So, over a 24-month period, the three major providers came out with the same price for service.  Contract, no contract, "Edge", "Next", or whatever...prices up 33% regardless.

We checked out Best Buy's $1 phone deal too.  I won't bore you with the details, other than to mention that the deal would not have saved us a dime on hardware or service over a two-year period.

Where I live, we have two more options.  T-Mobile and Boost Mobile.  Having checked T-Mobile, I've learned that they're leading this trend in higher service costs.  And their coverage map for my area is really spotty.  Boost Mobile, on the other hand, is offering substantially better pricing on service...which leaves me wondering how they do that, considering that they're leasing infrastructure and air time from Sprint in order to provide those services?

So, to sum up, I've learned two important things:  1) subsidized phones are now a thing of the past, and that smart phones (especially Apple smart phones) are expensive; 2) carrier providers are raising costs pretty substantially.  I suppose this is the cost to the consumer of finally converting perceptions of smart phones from a "cool new thing" to a necessity of modern life.

A few days have passed and I've now managed to talk my wallet down from jumping off a ledge.  We've made the decision in our house to hold the line on cell phone costs.

The sticker shock has made my old iPhone 5 look much, much better in my eyes.  I may just keep it until it dies. Or perhaps switch to the much lower-priced 'Droid-based OnePlus?

As far as increased provider costs, I imagine I'll be lowering my data plan and depending on the ever-increasing availability of free wifi.  Once that becomes less practical, I'll have to consider options...maybe switch back to a "dumb phone" and reconsider carrying a wifi-enabled tablet?  Yuk, that even sounds ugly :(

I suppose I've known for years that cell phone sticker shock was coming...but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with now that it's here.

Selling SaaS

Fri, 2015-06-12 14:51
Read a great article on the vendor-customer SaaS sale sdynamic  - Mike Vizard wrote the article at "Talkin'' Cloud".  Anthony Anzevino, Director of America Sales for AWS, describes selling cloud customers.  And Mr. Anzevion nails it.  Rather than summarize, I'll just quote the gist of it:
Speaking this week at a Marketplace LIVE event sponsored by Telx, a provider of hosting services, Anthony Anzevino, director of America sales for AWS, says the cloud giant focuses its own inside sales efforts on some 3,500 named accounts, which is then supplemented by some 5,000 systems integrators.Most of those customers, says Anzevino, are looking to find a more agile way to deliver IT services using a cloud service provider that is committed to innovate across a wide depth of product offerings. After all those factors are considered it's only then that the conversation turns to cost and pricing models, said Anzevino.The single biggest deterrent to making that sale, said Anzevino, is the internal IT organization. Unless there is some plan in place regarding how the skills of the internal IT staff will be reapplied to add value to the business Anzevino said most internal IT organizations will go to significant lengths to prevent application workloads from moving out to the cloud.Counterbalancing that influence, says Anzevino, is usually a chief financial officer that wants to outsource everything that is not core to the business. More often than not the CFO does not see IT as being strategic to the business and the real costs of delivering IT to any line of business inside that organization are generally poorly defined.For the most part AWS became the largest cloud provider by targeting independent software vendors (ISVs) that didn’t want to invest in IT infrastructure to deliver a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. To fuel continued growth AWS is now targeting traditional enterprise IT organizations, many of whom are eager to at least move application development activities into the cloud. The battle comes when it’s time to move those applications into production environments. More often than not because of security, performance, compliance and total cost of ownership issues the internal IT organization will make a strong case for deploying production applications inside a private cloud or in a managed hosting environment.Yup.  See this very situation play out every day in the "whatever as a service" market.  I could not have described the situation better myself...You can read the entire article for yourself here.

The State of SaaS

Sun, 2015-06-07 12:09
I've been reading quite a bit lately about the maturation of SaaS...how the market is transitioning away from the "early adopter" phase into more of a mainstream marketplace.  With all due, respect to those making such claims, I must offer a dissenting opinion.  While a big fan of SaaS, I still recognize at least three factors that must be addressed before SaaS can be considered a mature offering.  These three areas represent the soft underbelly of SaaS: integration, data state, and fear of losing control.

Integration
Perhaps your experience is different, but I have yet to see a service integration for enterprise software that works reliably out-of-the-box.  Pick your vendor:  Oracle, Workday, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, Infor...it just doesn't happen.  There are too many variations amongst various customer applications.  And, in all honesty, enterprise software vendors just don't seem to be all that good at writing packaged integrations.  That's part of the reason we see integration as a service players like MuleSoft and Boomi making a play in the market.  It is also why so many technology companies offer integration implementation services.  We're still a far cry from easy, packaged integration.

Data State
After spending years in the enterprise software market, I'm firmly convinced that everyone has loads of "dirty data".  Records that poorly model transactions, inconsistent relationships between records, custom data objects that have worked around business rules intended for data governance.  Every closet has a skeleton.  The most successful SaaS implementations I've seen either summarize all those records into opening entries for the new system or junk customer data history altogether.  Both these approaches work in the financial applications, but not so well in HCM or Marketing.  Until we can figure out automated ways to take figurative steaming piles of waste and transform them into beautiful, fragrant rose beds of clean data, SaaS will continue to be a challenging transition for most enterprise software customers.

Fear of Losing Control
Certain customer departments are resistant to SaaS, mostly out of a fear of losing control.  Some is borne of a genuine concern over data security.  Some is over fear of losing job security.  

For those concerned over data security, consider that data security is critical for SaaS vendors.  Without the ability to secure data, they're out of business.  It's a core function for them.  So they hire armies of the best and brightest security people.  And they invest heavily in security systems.  And most customers can't match that, either in terms of talent or systems.  Result:  the SaaS vendors provide security solutions that are simply out of the reach of enterprise software customers.  There is a greater risk in keeping your data in-house than in utilizing a SaaS vendor to protect your data.

For those fearing the loss of job security, they're correct...unless they're willing to change.  The skills of maintaining large back-office enterprise software systems just don't apply in a SaaS world (unless you're working for a SaaS vendor).  I'd lump database administrators and database developers into this category.  However, there are new opportunities for those skills...developing and maintaining software that enables strategic in-house initiatives.  There are also opportunities to extend SaaS applications to support unique in-house needs.  Both scenarios require a change - working more closely with business as a partner rather than as a technology custodian.

Overcoming the fear of losing control will require significant in advocacy and evangelism...most customers need information, training, and assurance in overcoming these fears.  But we can't really say that SaaS is "there" until we see a significant turn in perceptions here.


So there you have it.  Is SaaS up-and-coming? Absolutely.  Is the SaaS market transitioning to a mainstream, mature marketplace?  No...lots of maturing needed in the areas of integration, data state, and fear of losing control before we can get there.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments...

Old Folks Boogie

Tue, 2015-06-02 08:42
And you knowThat you're over the hillWhen your mind makes a promiseThat your body can't fill...             - From Little Feat's "Old Folks Boogie"
I think I'm must be over the hill...a grumpy old man.  There was a time when, faced with an app that failed to work as promised, I would fuss and fight with that app to make it work.  No more.  Now, in the event that an app doesn't work as promised, I delete it and move on try something else.  No patience anymore.  I continually tell myself that I'll put the "fixer" hat back on my head, but I just never get to actually do so.
Mobile apps are the best example of my impatience.  There are many mobile apps for any outcome I care to achieve:  mobile meetings, tracking my heart rate, listening to music, taking notes... Plenty of alternatives.  So, when I run into an app that fails to work (or even fails to meet my expectations), I immediately junk it and move on to the next choice.  No effort, no feedback to the app developer, no nothing.  Just junked.  As my newest daughter-in-law would say: "ain't nobody got time for that".
In today's market, there is an expectation that apps just work.  Buggy apps die quick deaths in the market.  Reliability is not something special now...it's simply a requirement to get a seat at the table.
Classic example.  Last week, I was in Kansas visiting my new granddaughter.  Having taken our pet dogs on the trip, I wanted to find the local dog park.  Google Maps failed to find the dog park recommended by my son...the town in Kansas is just too small for Google Maps to fuss with.  Waze took me right to it.  Any guess as to which app is still on my smartphone and which one got junked on the spot?
Of course, there is a downside.  If everyone took my approach, the developers would never get feedback on their app from the field.  So their app would never improve.  But I have a "grumpy old man" response for that too.  So what?  Why should I be the beta tester?  Build something that works in the first place.
So yeah, I have that grumpy old man attitude when it comes to apps...especially mobile apps.  It either meets my expectations or gets kicked to the curb without further thought.  If I don't immediately get the outcome I'm expecting, I move on.
What about you?  Are you another member of the figurative "grumpy old man" or "grumpy old woman" club (no gender bias here - we accept everyone)?  Or are you willing to provide feedback and work with an app to help make it better?  Respond in the comments.

The Long Goodbye

Wed, 2015-05-20 10:43
I'm in the process of saying a long goodbye to my iPad 2...and tablets in general, at least for now.  I'm losing my tablet for a couple of reasons.

First, I've pushed the limits of my iPad's usability.  I really have...for a couple of years.  But I just don't find myself using it for any kind of serious work.  My MacBook Air has really taken over for both premise-based and cloud-based work.  Even with a keyboard of the tablet, I find myself much more productive on the Air.

Second, I'm finally upgrading my iPhone 5 next month.  The most likely upgrade candidate is the iPhone 6 Plus.  Yes, the Samsung Droid offerings look really great - even better in many respects.  But I'm invested in the Apple platform and there's not enough extra benefit in other platforms to justify a transition in my mind.  So it's likely the 6 Plus...with a very large screen.  And I see the 6 Plus taking over the few functions I now perform with my iPad.  So the iPad would become just another weight to lug through the many airports I visit every year.  I'm actually looking forward to cutting back on the amount of tech gear carried when I eliminate the iPad.

In all fairness, I think I would have come to this conclusion with any tablet.  I still consider the iPad to be the best of the bunch.  I have just come to the conclusion that the tablet format just does not provide enough value for me...at least, not right now.

What's to become of the iPad?  It may become a third screen in my home office.  Or it may become a media viewer on a planned treadmill.  I mean, it's nice and all...but, at least for me, I've discovered the iPad concept to be much more of a nice to have than a got to have.  Cool but not necessary.

What about you?  Different view or experience?  Sound off in the comments.


Mismatch

Mon, 2015-05-18 09:44
In the world of enterprise software, we sometimes find ourselves with a mismatch between sellers and customers.  From my worm's-eye view, we seem to be wrestling with one of those mismatches right now.

My typical week is mostly spent in conversations with customers.  Sometimes it's more of a formal work scenario with higher education institutions as part of my role with Sierra Cedar.  More often than not, it's a bit more informal:  advising customers across a wide range of industries in my role as an Oracle ACE Director (and, before you ask, yes - it's a freebie.  Just part of my advocacy role as a member of the Oracle ACE Director program.)

In listening to those customers - mostly about Oracle SaaS - the conversation is based on a description of an expectation or hope of an outcome or end state:

  1. Reduce required capital (think money here) required for using and maintaining enterprise software
  2. Eliminate or repurpose hardware
  3. Reduce headcount (due to budget or competitive pressures) or redirect skilled efforts toward more unique and value added activities (the latter is actually more common these days)
  4. Better information for making better decisions: more timely, more contextual, and more useful for both evaluation of the past and prediction of the future.
Now, keep in mind that no customer ever comes out and explicitly lists any of these four items.  Every customer is different, with unique wants and desires.  But, as I dig to get a better understanding, it typically comes back to some variation on one or more of these four.  So I'm shortcutting the process here to get to the real point:  the customers are in outcomes.  Will SaaS help us to enable/reduce/achieve something that delivers the outcome we desire?  Now just hang onto that concept for a moment; the idea of expected or hoped-for outcomes.

Think back to the last time you sat through an enterprise software or service demonstration, either as a seller or a customer or a partner.  Where was the emphasis?  I'll bet my dollars to your donuts that the demo focused on the capabilities of the software or service.  Lots of emphasis on an easy-to-use search engine, or great user experience, or cool features, or a well-integrated business process, or easy-to-build-and-delivery dashboards. All of which are very important.  But it's an emphasis on products and/or services.

The mismatch is between customers desiring enterprise outcomes and vendors/partners selling products and/or services to achieve those outcomes.  It's akin to shopping for a home in a certain neighborhood with a specific lifestyle in mind, while the builders sell to you based on the quality of their tools, their craftsmen, and the different homes they've built in the past - regardless of lifestyle or location.

In the enterprise software world, organizations often act like individuals.  Each one has unique needs and desires...which lead to unique outcomes.  The mismatch comes when vendors and partners sell services and products in response to those desired outcomes.  Folks, that is the mismatch.

So, how do I plan to handle this myself?  By first working harder to understand the outcomes desired by the customers with whom I engage in one way or another...mastering the who, what, why, when, where and how.  And then by explaining how the Oracle products and the services provided by Sierra Cedar can be utilized to help achieve those desired outcomes...and that's where I'll burn my calories going forward as I explain possibilities, lay out roadmaps, design solutions, and develop products/services.

So now that your life has been enlightened by this pearl of wisdom, may I ask for a small contribution on your way out?  Comments please.

Coming Into Los Angeles

Wed, 2015-04-29 14:57
Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of keys
But don't touch my bags if you please
Mister Customs Man
         --From Arlo Guthrie's "Coming Into Los Angeles

As I write this, I’m on the road again…Los Angeles.  It’s my good fortune to be attending some collaboration sessions on designs for new Oracle Cloud Applications.  Can’t talk about the apps being developed…sorry.  But the attendees include Oracle Development, the Oracle User Experience team, several Oracle customers, and a few people from my firm.  What I can talk about is some observations about the interaction.


The customers in this group are pretty vocal…a great thing when you’re looking for design feedback.  They’re not a shy bunch.  What’s interesting to me is their focus of interests.  Simply put, they’re not interested in the technology of how the applications work.  In the words of one customer addressing Oracle:  “that’s your problem now.”  


These customers are focused first on outcomes - this is what is important to my organization in this particular subject area, so show how you’ll deliver the outcome we need.  And, even more interesting, tell us about final states we have yet to consider that may make my organization better.  And, in both cases, what are the explicit metrics that show us that we’ve achieved that end state?


Secondly, they care about integration.  How will this new offering integrate with what we already have?  And who will maintain those integrations going forward?


Third, please show us what information we’ll get that will help us make better decisions?  Much of this discussion has revolved around the context of information obtained rather than simply delivering a batch of generic dashboards.  This is where the social aspect of enterprise software comes into play, because it provides context.
From these observations, I personally drew four conclusions:
  1. If this group of customers is fairly representative of all enterprise software customers, it seems that the evolvement of enterprise software customers from concerns about technology to concerns about quantifiable outcomes is well underway.
  1. Integration matters.  For the moment, customers seem more interested in best of breed solutions rather than purchasing entire platforms.  So stitching applications together really matters.  While I suspect that, as SaaS continues to evolve, customers will begin to consider enterprise software on a platform basis rather than going with best-of-breed point solutions.  But it does not appear that we’re there yet.
  1. Business intelligence, analytics, big data, whatever…it’s of limited value without context.  Customers…at least, these customers, are very interested in learning about their own customer personas and the historical data from those personas in order to predict future behavior.
  1. User Experience, while not explicitly mentioned during these sessions, has been an implicit requirement.  Good UX - attractive, easy to use, elegant applications - are no longer an option.  All the customers here expect a great UX and, quite frankly, would not even engage in a product design review without seeing a great UX first.
As I wrap up this post, it almost feels like I’m writing a book report for Ray Wang’s “Disrupting Digital Business”.  I’m in the process of reading the book and, now that my eyes are starting to open, I see instances of Ray’s points popping up all the time.  Great book.  More about it in a later post.


See now you know what I think I’m seeing and hearing.  Thoughts?  Opinions?  Comments.

Oracle and Docker

Tue, 2015-04-21 16:14
So, as many of you know, I've been working out different ways to host my Oracle labs and demos instances without chewing up phenomenal amounts of disk space and processing power.  Lately, I've been diving into Docker.

Docker has turned out to be pretty cool and very easy to learn.  And it's lightweight.  The idea is that you run containers - your app, your operating system, and your virtual machine - bundled together in a single container.  The big win is that containers abstract the operating kernel, so the total overhead of all the container is much, much less than the sum of the parts.

I'm still digging in, so I'll keep you posted as I progress.  But it looks pretty promising in terms of fulfilling my non-production needs.  One example...

I downloaded and installed the Oracle XE database...with APEX...from scratch in about 22 minutes earlier today.  All done with Docker (and because I run OS X, I also use boot2docker).


Game. Set. Match.  Pretty easy.  Run fast.  Low overhead.  You may want to check it out.

Good News On The EBS Front

Mon, 2015-04-13 16:27
Most people who know me professionally know about my enthusiasm for enterprise applications delivered via the SaaS model.  In terms of adoption and agility, SaaS is a winner.  But, at the same time, I also recognized that SaaS is not for everybody.  Those who customize heavily and those who want to retain a higher level of control are probably better off with on-premise enterprise applications.

So I was happy to hear about Cliff Godwin, Oracle's Sr. VP of Applications Technology over the E-Business Suite, laying out a roadmap for the future of the E-Business Suite at the Collaborate 2015 conference.  Not only did Mr. Godwin lay out plans for more incremental releases of EBS 12.2.x, he also shared the news about a future 12.3 release.  One of the primary intents of the 12.3 release will be to take further advantage of in-memory technology.

I'm an EBS fan.  Rock solid database model.  Recently improved user experience.  Delivers high operational efficiency.  So I'm happy to hear that EBS will continue to evolve.

NOTE:  I'm not at Collaborate 15...wish I was, but I'm not...so big thanks to dear friend Karen Brownfield for clueing me in on the news.

Nephophobia

Sun, 2015-04-05 14:48
They say that these are not the best of times
But they're the only times I've ever known
And I believe there is a time for meditation
In cathedrals of our own

Now I have seen that sad surrender in my mother's eyes
I can only stand apart and sympathize
For we are always what our situations hand us
Its either sadness or euphoria

                          -- From Billy Joel's "Summer, Highland Falls"

In working with Oracle customers every day, I'm seeing a common thread running through many internal IT departments:  Nephophobia.  That's right, fear of clouds.  In this case, I'm talking fear of clouds from a technology perspective (I'm admittedly having a bit of fun here and mean no offense to anyone with a true fear of clouds).

The fear shows up through either resistance or an avalanche of "what if" or "what about" questioning.  I suspect that the cause of that fear is rooted in the fear of change, as in "what happens to my job"?  So this post is for all those folks in all those internal IT departments faced with moving to the cloud, whether it be SaaS, PaaS, Hybrid, or whatever.

You are spot on in recognizing that your world is changing.  All the things you've spent your time doing - patches, upgrades, general maintenance - they're all going away.  The cloud vendor will be taking over that work as part of the service to which your institution will subscribe.  But, as those tasks disappear, new opportunities arise.  Some examples:

Network administration:  because your users are interacting with off-location servers, the performance of your own internal network becomes even more critical in a move to the cloud.

Integration:  as much as the major enterprise application vendors would like you to stick with one platform, odds are you won't.  You'll probably mix two or more vendors plus some in-house applications.  Getting all these apps to talk to each other is critical.

Development:  one of the keys for enterprise application cloud vendors is that, in order to scale (and thus make money, because cloud services are a volume business), the business processes have to be pretty basic so they can be easily shared across multiple industries.  If you work with an institution that has unique transactional and/or reporting needs (I see this frequently with public sector organizations), there will be some custom development involved.  Extensions, bolt-on applications, unique reporting...all will live on to some extent, although probably not as much as you've seen in the past.

Mobile:  everyone wants mobile and the cloud provides a great platform for delivering mobile applications.  So all those things about network administration, integration and development?  They apply here as well...maybe even more so.

All this discussion notwithstanding, let's get to the root of it:  this type of change can threaten your job.  It's scary.  So what do you do?  Update your skills to stay relevant.  The key to making a living in IT over the long-term is to be continually learning new things.  If you don't make the investment on your own, you'll find yourself on the outside looking in.  So do it.  Dig into this cloud thing.  Learn the technical underpinnings.  Figure out where you and your IT department fit...how can you add value?  And feel the fear go away.

HEUG Alliance 15 - What Looks Good To Me

Fri, 2015-03-13 10:59
The Higher Education User Group's Alliance 15 software conference kicks off this Sunday, March 15, in Nashville, Tennessee.  You're going, right?

I'm flying early this weekend myself.  Just have a few conference things to do to get ready for my little role in this big Oracle user group conference.

Looks to be a great conference.  I'm personally planning to dive into five areas of focus:  

  1. increasing my depth of understanding about customers and processes in Higher Education; 
  2. learning and evangelizing about Oracle Cloud Application services within Higher Education; 
  3. joining the discussion around Oracle's PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Self Service Mobile (especially the new 5.0 release) and the Oracle Mobile Applications Framework; 
  4. learning more about the application of User Experience design patterns, guidelines and the like to the unique set of use cases presented within Higher Education; 
  5. getting updated with the latest news on Oracle's roadmaps for their various Higher Education products.

I suspect that an underlying theme about the need for higher levels of successful student engagement will encompass all five of these focus areas in one way or another.

I'll be presenting a few sessions of my own...special sessions not found in the Alliance Agenda Builder.  They're all in the Delta Island C room at the Gaylord Hotel and I can promise they'll be absolutely brilliant ;)

  1. Taleo Cloud Demo: Tuesday, March 17 12 noon-1 p.m.
  2. Financials Cloud Demo: Tuesday March 17, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  3. HCM Cloud Demo: Wednesday, March 18, 7:45-8:45 a.m.


So, other than those sessions where I'm presenting, I looked over the catalog of sessions with my three areas of focus in mind. What follows is a list of the sessions that look good to me. I didn't include session times or locations, as you can get to those details via the Agenda Builder.  If you do look up my list, you'll see there are time conflicts involved - a sign of a good conference is that you have to make difficult choices about how to spend your time - so you won't be able to catch all of these sessions...these are just the sessions that piqued my interest.  Maybe you'll be interested too?

So that's what looks good to me at Alliance 15.  Let me know what looks good to you if you're going, and let me know how it really turned out for you after the conference...love those comments!

Nashville Cat

Thu, 2015-03-12 12:38
Nashville cats, play clean as country water
Nashville cats, play wild as mountain dew
Nashville cats, been playin' since they's babies
Nashville cats, get work before they're two
            - From the Lovin' Spoonful's Nashville Cats

I'm heading out to HEUG's Alliance this weekend.  Gonna be a Nashville Cat for a few days.  My big job is to host three workshop/demo sessions on Oracle Cloud Applications, all in Room Delta Island C at the Gaylord Hotel:
1.    Taleo Cloud Demo: Tuesday, March 17 12 noon-1 p.m.

2.     Financials Cloud Demo: Tuesday March 17, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

3.     HCM Cloud Demo: Wednesday, March 18, 7:45-8:45 a.m.
Almost everything will be "live drive", so you'll get some relief fromPowerPoint slides ;)  These are sponsored sessions (Thank you, Sierra Cedar), so you won't find them on the Alliance schedule.  Some of those special conference sessions that only get heard about by word of mouth or from some big-mouth blogger.

You want the straight scoop on Oracle's Cloud Applications, do come by so we can chat for a bit.
I'll also be in some private customers sessions, attending a few sessions, shaking hands and kissing babies.  So if you really have to miss all the workshops, track me down so we can talk.

The Best Thing

Thu, 2015-03-12 09:33
I'm spending the latter part of my week at the Utah Oracle User Group Training Days conference.  It's a nice regional conference for me to engage with...it's local to me here in Salt Lake City.  So I get to participate in the conference and still go home every night.  Pretty sweet.

But being local is not the best thing about this conference.  The best thing about this...or most user group conferences, for that matter...is the opportunity to exchange ideas with some very smart people.      When I get to listen in for a bit on conversations with the real brains in this business, I always come away with more knowledge...and often with a different point of view.  That's the really cool part.  And, yes, it's worth investing a couple of days of my time.

So far as the Utah Oracle User Group, we'll probably do another one of these this fall.  You really out to come out.  Who knows, you might learn something?  I know I always do.