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  • September 27, 2013

Global Perspective: ACE Director from EMEA Weighs in on AppAdvantage

Global Perspective is a monthly
series that brings experiences, business needs and real-world use cases from
regions across the globe. This month’s feature showcases a perspective from a
well known ACE Director based in EMEA.

Author: Debra Lilley, Fujitsu

In
2008, just 5 years ago, a friend and I were stuck
in an elevator
in a hotel during Oracle Open World for a fair while, and at
the time it caused quite a stir, not because we were in any danger but because
we used social media to get attention. This was before anyone knew what social
media was and the term used then was web 2.0. We became the OOW poster children
for web 2.0 and came 3rd in Top Five Things you missed at OOW. The first
was the HP / Oracle database machine, and we came just behind Beehive! How
things have changed!

Looking
at any technology we use today it is amazing how quickly things develop and yet,
I always think, the uptake of technology in my world, Applications, takes so
long. About the same as the web2.0 episode, I was as a user group leader trying
to get applications users to understand the value of Oracle Fusion Middleware
(FMW). I ran a group called the Product Development Committee of the International
Oracle Users Community
and we wanted to get the message out that the
technology behind Fusion Applications being developed at the time was available
already. Oracle had a group named FMW4Apps who had a similar remit and we
worked together to find examples of Applications customers who had adopted
them. Out of this initiative came the Oracle Excellence Awards but I found that
when talking to users the feedback was that these examples were the biggest
customers who had enormous projects and not really very representative of most
users.

Then
I attended a SOA Partner Community event in The Netherlands where Dr Andrew
Sutherland, SVP for Middleware EMEA, and one of my favourite Oracle executives,
gave a presentation on customer adoption of FMW. Most people who attended the
event remembered the app he used to draw on his iPad and the world’s worst
iceberg which appeared on the screen behind him. But, what resonated with me
was that he was giving an explanation to what I was seeing. He talked about there being 3
strategies for adoption:

  • Standardization of Mid Tier Architectures
  • Rationalization of Integration
  • Extending value of packaged Applications

Those projects wining awards tend to be in the last category but, at
that time - early 2010, most were in the first two categories and, to be blunt,
not very exciting to a marketer.

I kept thinking about this and wanting to prove it, I thought I would do
something for Oracle Open World (OOW) that year. The first thing you have to do
when submitting a paper for OOW is come up with a good title. A technical
friend of mine suggested that anything with the number 42 would be good. So, I
submitted an abstract with the title ’42 Real Life Examples of Fusion Middleware
with Applications’, and she was right! It got accepted. So now, all I had to do
was find 42 examples!

By this time I had just been asked to be an ACE Director and was quite
in awe of all these really technical people and worried about how I would be
received by them. These people were the experts in technology. So, I put
together a questionnaire asking for examples and without exception everyone I
asked said their projects were not really exciting, which proved my point. So I
spoke to the group as a whole, explained my theory and asked them to submit
their examples. I then wrote a
white
paper
giving all the examples and got accepted by the group.

Giving the presentation was a big challenge initially. How could I cover
42 examples in 60 minutes? But in case you haven’t realised, the number 42 is
from “The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.
"Forty-two,"
said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm, "The Answer to the Great Question, of Life, the Universe and
Everything". And another friend said just present on that, so I talked
about 3 case studies: Life or Life Sciences was based on ALMAC a
pharmaceutical company, the Universe was CERN and, Everything was
a Public Sector Shared Service.

I gave that paper at
many a user group events around the world and real examples made more of a
connection with the Applications communities, but over the last few years, FMW
has become more mainstream and as I am often quoted “Fusion Applications are a
window on FMW” so I am not sure the examples in my white paper are as relevant
today. I have thought about repeating the questionnaire but apart from being an
updated paper what would be the motivation? Then I was approached along with
Mark by a team within Oracle with a new program charter called Oracle
AppAdvantage
, to discuss how we could work with them

“Oracle
AppAdvantage is the incremental value gained by Oracle Applications customers
leveraging Oracle Fusion Middleware” - exactly the area I am so passionate
about, and the perfect excuse to re-run the questionnaire. The team, Mark and I
will be talking to the ACE Directors during this year’s OOW and then collecting
the new set of examples. Some, I hop,e will be the same organisations and how
they have moved forward since and others will be new. Then, not only will we
share the new white paper with this blog but showcase a few of the case studies
and hopefully present again at events around the globe.

And, if
you have an example I should be including, let me know.

About the Author:

Debra
Lilley, Fujitsu Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

Debra has
18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since
9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Leader and then Oracle Alliance
Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts

Editor's Note: Debra has kindly agreed to share her musings
and experiences in a monthly column on the Fusion Middleware blog so do stay
tuned…

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