Wednesday Aug 20, 2014

In Technology, Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director, UK

Proof I’m not technical - 

I’ve just finished a Latin America tour with OTN and a funny thing happened that I want to share with you; because it is quite a good analogy for how many of us use technology today and you know how I love analogies.

In Costa Rica we had a really long journey up through the mountains to where our conference was to be. The road was windy and narrow and once it got dark there was no scenery to see, boredom set in. At one stage I looked at my watch to see the time, but in the dark I couldn’t make it out, so I thought I would be clever and use the torch in my smartphone! Even though as soon as I switched on the phone it showed the time, I ignored it and used the torch to read my watch.

That’s us when we pay maintenance on software, ask for enhancements, and either chose not to upgrade or as I have seen so many times, upgrade but don’t use the new features. I know there are always other factors not least the upgrade costs themselves but in the later releases of all the Oracle family of applications Oracle have done a lot to make the interoperability of them with Oracle Fusion Middleware more successful and in many cases for the first time. My heritage is Oracle E Business Suite (EBS) and the availability of Oracle Weblogic for EBS is fantastic for an Oracle powered organisation that can move away from supporting multiple flavours of application server. The same release made available  - the no downtime patching that Oracle Database 11g introduced with Edition Based Redefinition.

I am not saying you must use these features but you must be aware of what each release of your application brings and make a business based decision as to whether it is for you or not. I like to have a simple spreadsheet of features with no-value, nice-to-have, must-have ratings, but make the spreadsheet cumulative so that when you do upgrade you have all the features listed you previously didn’t take up. That way you can avoid the ‘using your phone to read your watch’ scenario.

About the Author:

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

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

Thursday Jun 26, 2014

Disruptive Innovation: Using Oracle Technology

Written By: Debra Lilley - ACE Director, Fusion Applications 

I love the term ‘disruptive technology’ – disruptive appeals to the rebel within me, but it actually refers to technology that changes what we do http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation

Mobile and social are two examples of disruptive technology, you may not think it but remember my first blog posting https://blogs.oracle.com/fusionmiddleware/entry/global_perspective_ace_director_from 6 years ago we didn’t even have these in the mainstream, and they have so changed the way we live and do business.

If you are looking to bring these new technologies to your enterprise, they have to be disruptive, don’t simply use Fusion Middleware to do what you have always been doing, there will be little or no business benefit.

When you implemented your existing applications you probably did a lot of process mapping and gap analysis with your processes against the application. When implementing Fusion Applications best practice is not to do that initially, look at what Oracle offers as a process and then see if it works for you. Unless it is a mission critical or so unique it is your business differentiator there is probably not much to change, and you will be amazed at how the technology allows you to work. A great example is reporting in Financials, today we typically have many reports and yet in Fusion there are very few ‘printed’ reports because you don’t need them, the specialized analytics gives you all the information you need at your fingertips.

And my favourite but very simple disruptive technology in Fusion Apps (which uses webcentre) is the simple way to interact with a person or customer every time you come across them in a transaction. A simple over the field exposes their name, a direct link to email, the ability to phone if you have VOIP, etc etc. Simple, yet changes the way we do business, disruptive technology.

Debra Lilley, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.  Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts 

Thursday Mar 13, 2014

Standards Corner: Maturing REST Specifications and the Internet of Things

Last week was the IETF's 89th meeting in London. Phil Hunt summarizes news relating to RESTful services (OAuth, JOSE, JSON, SCIM) and new work beginning at the IETF on an authorization standard for the Internet of Things.[Read More]

Friday Oct 25, 2013

Global Perspective: Oracle AppAdvantage Does its Stage Debut in the UK

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 is a follow-up from last month’s Global Perspective note from a well known ACE Director based in EMEA.

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director

My first contribution to this blog was before Oracle Open World and I was quite excited about where this initiative would take me in my understanding of the value of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Rimi Bewtra from the Oracle AppAdvantage team came as promised to the Oracle ACE Director briefings and explained what this initiative was all about and I then asked the directors to take part in the new survey. The story was really well received and then at the SOA advisory board that many of these ACE Directors already take part in there was a further discussion on how this initiative will help customers understand the benefits of adoption.

A few days later Rick Beers launched the program at a lunch of invited customer executives which included one from Pella who talked about their projects (a quick recap on that here). I wasn’t able to stay for the whole event but what really interested me was that these executives who understood the technology but where looking for how they could use them to drive their businesses.

Lots of ideas were bubbling up in my head about how we can use this in user groups to help our members, and the timing was fantastic as just three weeks later we had UKOUG_Apps13, our flagship Applications conference in the UK. We had independently working with Oracle marketing in the UK on an initiative called Apps Transformation to help our members look beyond just the application they use today. We have had a Fusion community page but felt the options open are now much wider than Fusion Applications, there are acquired applications, social, mobility and of course the underlying technology, Oracle Fusion Middleware. I was really pleased to be allowed to give the Oracle AppAdvantage story as a session in our conference and we are planning a special Apps Transformation event in March where I hope the Oracle AppAdvantage team will take part and we will have the results of the survey to discuss.

But, life also came full circle for me. In my first post, I talked about Andrew Sutherland and his original theory that Oracle Fusion Middleware adoption had technical drivers. Well, Andrew was a speaker at our event and he gave a potted, tech-talk free update on Oracle Open World. Andrew talked about the Prevailing Technology Winds, and what is driving this today and he talked about that in the past it was the move from simply automating processes (ERP etc), through the altering of those processes (SOA) and onto consolidation. The next drivers are around the need to predict, both faster and more accurately; how to better exploit the information that we have available. He went on to talk about The Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information – harnessing these forces of change with Oracle technology. Gartner really likes this concept and if you want to know more you can get their paper here.

All this has made me think, and I hope it will make you too. Technology can help us drive our businesses better and understanding your needs can be the first step on your journey, which was the theme of our event in the UK. I spoke to a number of the delegates and I hope to share some of their stories in later posts.

If you have a story to share, the survey is at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/P335DD3

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 experience in a monthly column on the Fusion Middleware blog so do stay tuned…

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