Tuesday Nov 27, 2012

Customer Spotlight - CSX: Charles Pack

A couple of weeks ago, I had the distinct privilege of facilitating a training session with CSX
CSX is a wonderful customer.  They've been a dedicated Oracle customer for many years. They have quite an extensive Oracle footprint including Server Technologies, Fusion Middleware and E-Business Suite products.  They also utilize Oracle's Solution Support Center offering from Advanced Customer Services, for their Database products.

I'm always on the lookout for Oracle gems and I discovered one at CSX. Before my session began, I met with Charles Pack.  In my view, he's an Oracle guru.  Don't take my word for it, just read any of the books he's authored or co-authored and the one soon to be released.  Just looking at his bookshelf, I saw titles going back to Oracle 7 & 8, as well as a Solaris 2.x book.  Remember those?   Anyway, Charles is a technologist and a manager (and wears numerous other hats too).  I had a wonderful time talking with Charles and getting to know him. 

What do you consider keys to your personal success?  Inability to quit.  When I decide that I will accomplish something, I will, regardless of the nature of the challenge.  Never quitting means a perpetual drive for change and progress and setting examples for others to follow.  The reason I write OCP books is because I can provide a path for people to improve their knowledge of the product, gain a certification, and reach their professional goals.
What do you consider the most important part of your job?  Negotiations.  We all have competing goals, incentives and finite resources, but we should all have the same common goal – progress.  So finding the way for all parties to progress is the most important thing we do.
What is the most important part of your relationship with Oracle?  Oracle provides solutions – not just products - that are critical to our business success.  So continuous communication regarding education, services, product roadmaps and shared goals is the most important part of our ongoing relationship.

Charles is an Oracle loyalist.  His career has been based on using our products and he's passionate about the products he works with.  You can tell, just by talking with him.  I appreciate Charles and other customers like him.  He's an expert in his field and an Oracle evangelist.  He is an asset to CSX and to their success.  He's an advocate for Oracle and an asset to our customers.  You can also friend and follow Charles on Twitter @charlesapack

It was a pleasure meeting you Charles!

-Chris Warticki
Global Customer Management

Tuesday Nov 20, 2012

Customer Support Spotlight: Clemson University

I've begun a Customer Support Spotlight series that highlights our wonderful customers and Oracle loyalists.  A week ago I visited Clemson University.  As I travel to visit and educate our customers, I provide many useful tips/tricks and support best practices (as found on my blog and twitter). Most of all, I always discover an Oracle gem who deserves recognition for their hard work and advocacy.

Meet George Manley.  George is a Storage Engineer who has worked in Clemson's Data Center all through college, partially in the Hardware Architecture group and partially in the Storage group. George and the rest of the Storage Team work with most all of the storage technologies that they have here at Clemson. This includes a wide array of different vendors' disk arrays, with the most of them being Oracle/Sun 2540's.  He also works with SAM/QFS, ACSLS, and our SL8500 Tape Libraries (all three Oracle/Sun products).

(pictured L to R, Matt Schoger (Oracle), Mark Flores (Oracle) and George Manley)

George was kind enough to take us for a data center tour.  It was amazing.  I rarely get to see the inside of data centers, and this one was massive.

Clemson Computing and Information Technology’s physical resources include the main data center located in the Information Technology Center at the Innovation Campus and Technology Park. The core of Clemson’s computing infrastructure, the data center has 21,000 sq ft of raised floor and is powered by a 14MW substation. The ITC power capacity is 4.5MW.  The data center is the home of both enterprise and HPC systems, and is staffed by CCIT staff on a 24 hour basis from a state of the art network operations center within the ITC. A smaller business continuance data center is located on the main campus.  The data center serves a wide variety of purposes including HPC (supercomputing) resources which are shared with other Universities throughout the state, the state's medicaid processing system, and nearly all other needs for Clemson University.

Yes, that's no typo (14,256 cores and 37TB of memory!!!

Thanks for the tour George and thank you very much for your time.  The tour was fantastic. I enjoyed getting to know your team and I look forward to many successes from Clemson using Oracle products.

-Chris Warticki
Global Customer Management

Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

EVENT RECAP: Oracle Health Sciences Conference

Monaco served as an intense location for this year's Oracle Health Sciences User Group conference.  It was a "Grand Prix" event with nearly 200 attendees from all over the world.  In a country famous for high performance race cars, luxury super yachts and lifestyles of the rich & famous, the conference was very Ellison-esque. I think the Superyachts were being paired with Exadata. ;)

The OSHUG staff were fantastic . Robin and Taylor (pictured left) from Drohan Management took care of all the details and were wonderful to get to know.

I met with some real Oracle loyalists.  Stan Sachar,  I.T. Manager for Westatand the Focus Group co-chair for Admin Configuration Mgmt (ACM).  Westat was an early adopter of Oracle Clinical for clinical trial projects with installations in 1997-98.  I had a chance to talk with Stan during the reception and he is an Oracle advocate and evangelist. He's invested in his career in using Oracle products. (Stan Sachar pictured right with Dick Wolnick from Oracle, on left)

I also met with Mirco Becker from Grunenthal Gmbh.  He's been working with the Argus product for over 6 years.  He's a big user of Oracle Support. Mirco attended my support best practices session and was actively engaged and asked several questions.  He's excited to adopt those best practices and work more efficiently and effectively with Support.

Finally, I thank the many who attended my session.  I admit, the beautiful weather and view of the ocean was a distraction, but nonetheless my mission was to provide you with all the necessary support resources for Health Sciences users. You will find a copy of my presentation on the OSHUG website.

Bon Voyage Monaco.  Thanks for the memories.  I'll see everyone next year, in Miami.

-Chris Warticki
Global Customer Management


Chris Warticki
Support Specialist, (HPI)Corporate Athlete, Presenter Extraordinaire, Toastmaster & self-proclaimed Support "spokesmodel".

Chris has been working for Oracle for over 17 years. Chris educates customers how to maximize their Support investment and leverage the support tools and available resources as part of Premier Support.

Chris works for Global Customer Management and speaks with customers on all topics regarding Oracle support services


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