Tuesday Feb 17, 2015

ACE Director on Choosing the Right User Group Conference

by Debra Lilley, ACE Director

The best way to decide if your applications can be enhanced a certain way with Oracle technology – Oracle AppAdvantage, is to see what other people are doing, and the best way to do that is go along to a user group event and have a look at several examples.

As spring arrives so does the conference season and how do you know which one is for you? The best thing is to join a local group where you can be part of an ongoing community, you can find which ones are available in your region by looking at the International Oracle User Group Community webpages.

If you are able to attend a major US conference this year and are not sure which one, then I would ask yourself what is the most value to your organisation? User groups are generally regional, product driven or industry.

If you are in Higher Education  for instance they have a number or global  but very specific conferences. If you are interested in HCM then perhaps the right conference is with OHUG in June. 

If you are still in the ‘getting ideas’ stage then I would recommend Collaborate, in April. Here you will see many application customers showcasing what they have done to extend their reach using Oracle. If you have decided on the tools you need and your projects are being planned then go to ODTUG’s KSCOPE in June where experts will teach you the best practice in all the different areas and share their tips and learning with you. I will be speaking about PaaS at both these events. Of course if you can wait till December I highly recommend a trip to UKOUG.

So many existing customers have done many innovative  things with Oracle technology to drive more business benefit from their applications. So, go see them, and hopefully it will inspire you.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, 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 



Friday Jan 23, 2015

ACE Director on Clearing the ConFusion – Oracle Cloud Applications

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director, EMEA

As I typed that title I cringed. I have been an advocate for Oracle’s development of Next Generation Applications from the day they announced Fusion, and I hated the term quickly coined by pessimists of 'Fusion – Confusion'. But now as Oracle drops the name Fusion, for its applications, I feel there really is some confusion, so I am going to use this post to clarify to this community.

Why am I writing this post for this blog? Well the problem is Oracle knows it has renamed the products, but their customers don’t. If you are attending COLLABORATE in April the stream is called Fusion Applications, and if it wasn’t the number of attendees would be very small, but more and more you need to recognise the Cloud brand. The components of Cloud that Oracle developed in their technology (okay, Fusion applications), are 100% written on Oracle Fusion Middleware, that hasn’t gone anywhere and continues to be developed, and it is the use of these Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies that Oracle AppAdvantage is all about - extending the capabilities of "Fusion" Applications with Oracle Fusion Middleware. My starting position and reason I became involved with this AppAdvantage initiative is that there is no better shop window for what Oracle Fusion Middleware can do than the applications that Oracle has developed itself.

I did try an explanation on my own blog after Oracle Open World but this time I will be more succinct.

FACT : All Fusion Applications are now Cloud Applications.

Each pillar is now renamed Oracle …. Cloud , so Fusion Financials is now part of Oracle ERP Cloud, within each pillar there are the separate offerings which are normally desecrate process areas and with discrete pricing.

FACT : Not all  Cloud Applications started Life as Fusion Applications.

As part of their Cloud journey, Oracle has acquired some native cloud-delivered applications, such as Taleo and RightNow. The plan, being executed is that these products are being unified, i.e. integrated with other offerings, where possible being delivered on the same technology stack and being given the same User Experience as Oracle’s home grown offerings. 

RightNow has for some time been known as Oracle Service Cloud  and the recruiting module from Taleo as Oracle Recruiting Cloud

FACT: Cloud Applications don’t have to be SaaS

Software as a Service is the deployment of an application in a cloud environment. Oracle, or a third party in some cases, hosts the application and look after not only the infrastructure but the patching and security, and in turn you pay a subscription to use charge.

Most of these same applications could be deployed on-premise with you being responsible for all the above and with the more traditional upfront licence costs. 

Oracle have called the products Cloud because they are available and are being deployed as such more and more that way.

FACT : Oracle are trying to make it easy for you to find this all in one place.

This is a great place to start: https://cloud.oracle.com/home. The Applications tab goes through the offerings and you can find the PaaS offerings to extend and strengthen your SaaS.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, 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 

Friday Jul 25, 2014

Community Powers Oracle

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director

Once you have decided on your initiative to drive value from Oracle Applications using Oracle Fusion middleware you need to think about the skills you need. Are you going to use a Systems Integrator, in house capability, or increasingly some form of cloud offering? Whichever you decide on you will still have a learning curve which is where I believe community is the answer. Not all learning has to be formal classroom led, look at the skills needed and select the formal training for the base skills, but for the areas you need an understanding of, and these won’t even be all be technical and then to learn more about the formal skills, I recommend community learning.

The Oracle Community is an enormous wealth of groups all offering their members a different angle on learning, through education, through sharing and through asking questions.

This blog, has the strapline, ‘Inside Oracle’s Middleware Community’ and is the sharing of knowledge from a wide range of contributors.

Oracle itself has Oracle Technology Network (OTN) which is a phenomenal resource. It is ‘the world's largest community of developers, admins, and architects using industry-standard technologies in combination with Oracle its articles, blogs and forums cover most of the technology’. Check out this infographic to appreciate the impact OTN has on the community.

OTN is also responsible for the ACE Program which I am so proud to be a part of, they recognise individuals who have demonstrated both technical proficiency and strong credentials as community enthusiasts and advocates. Most people in the ACE program present on their topics at User Groups and these are in my opinion the best place to learn, from people who have the knowledge, the passion and the experience.

I started my Oracle community life in my local usergroup UKOUG and love the opportunity to share my knowledge with others, and to learn. Just look at the agenda of usergroup events to see just how much opportunity there is to learn; for UKOUG we have just launched both our Technical and Applications agendas, take a look and see the wealth of content.

This year I attended both Collaborate and Kscope in the US. One of the downsides of being involved in the running of a usergroup is you don’t get the chance to attend any sessions (other than the ones you give), so I use these two conferences to do my learning. Collaborate covers the deeply technical mainly database side with IOUG, and then for this audience the Applications through Quest and OAUG. Kscope is run by ODTUG who cover development and middleware and the home of the technology this blog covers. Most countries have a usergroup and OTN through the ACE program helps great international speakers attend so be a part of the user group. In fact, usergroups have a community themselves, the IOUC, where they share and learn from each other. There is also User Group Sunday at Oracle Open World and along with both Oracle and non-Oracle speakers the whole event has almost 2,000 sessions.

And if you haven’t made that decision yet, user groups are a great place to see and hear what others have done with their Oracle investment.

Most of the great educators, ACEs, Speakers, Oracle Product Managers also blog, a quick Google search on your topic will show up the best, or check out the ACE register and subscribe to the ones that interest you.

And ever wondered where your partner learns? Well they too have communities, the Oracle Partner Network, OPN have them for different areas and the blueprint for the best of them is the SOA & BPM Community with over 5,000 members run by Jürgen Kress.

My final thought is about Cloud. It sounds like utopia, no need to worry about anything, and yes you may not need to worry about the technology, but it introduces new challenges - managing the cloud provider, new constraints and how to get the best from it? All questions that require a new community, for cloud users and in UKOUG, we will be launching this soon.

Community - no better place to start your Oracle AppAdvantage learning. 

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 

Friday Apr 04, 2014

Top 3 Themes to Look for at COLLABORATE Next Week

Originally published on IOUG blog on March 26

IOUG recently sat down with Edward Zou, Vice President, Product Management, Oracle Fusion Middleware, to get his take on what every Oracle technologist should understand about Oracle Fusion Middleware and to hear his thoughts on what sessions are on his must-attend list at COLLABORATE 14

Thanks for spending some time with us, Ed. Let’s get started by talking about mobile development. Right now it seems like everyone is talking about mobile devices and their impact on data and analytics. How does Fusion Middleware play into Oracle’s mobile development plans?

Enterprise mobility is one of the key development objectives of Oracle Fusion Middleware. Oracle’s development team is focused on 5 aspects of enterprise mobility:

1) Development for multi-platform delivery: build once and deploy across iOS, Android devices. Developers only need to maintain 1 code line.

2) Integration into back-end systems. We help you easily expose back-end application into JSON services and RESTful APIs for mobile development.

3) A key aspect of enterprise mobility is security especially in this BYOD environment. We provide perimeter security on server side for API gateways. And we protect applications and data on the device with Mobile Application Management through recent acquisition of Bitzer Mobile.

4) Of course, once you have the applications in place, you need a platform to run it on. That’s why Oracle has made tremendous enhancements in Weblogic Suite – so you can run apps 24x7, with high reliability and availability.

5) Improvements in Oracle Enterprise Manager mean that you can basically manage the whole stack together, and also add on visibility to see how people are accessing mobile and web apps. This allows you to build scenarios, collect statistics and analyze usage in order to define your security policies.

What is exciting for customers coming to COLLABORATE 14 is that what you learn about infrastructure here will apply to mobile. Your existing investment in Oracle infrastructure can be leveraged to build mobile apps. So if you are extending your applications to mobile you can leverage the same development, integration, management and security platform. This means you can also extend traditional on-premises applications.

I’m glad you mentioned COLLABORATE. We’ll have great sessions on middleware and development throughout the week with a strong focus on mobile development. Are there any sessions in particular that you’re excited about?

I would definitely make sure to attend the following sessions:

AppAdvantage: Business Advantage through Fusion Middleware - Tuesday, April 8 from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

The session will discuss how Oracle EBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards and Siebel customers are extending and enhancing their existing investments in applications with SOA, BPM, IDM, WebCenter, DI, Exa solutions and Mobile Platform technologies to achieve business results.

Build Mobile Apps, Extend Fusion Apps and Integrate Cloud Apps with Fusion Middleware - Tuesday, April 8 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

The focus of the session will be a discussion on where we are investing in Oracle Fusion Middleware. We’ll also be discussing the cloud, particularly how to leverage your current and planned investments in Oracle database, applications or other middleware technologies.

Simplify Enterprise Mobility: Extend Oracle Applications to Mobile - Tuesday, April 8 from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Experts from the Oracle Mobile Strategy team will discuss the Oracle Mobile Platform and Oracle Mobile Security Suite and how these are being used by Oracle E-Business Suite, Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, Siebel & Fusion Applications customers to easily & securely extend their applications to mobile.

Be sure to check the complete line-up of Oracle Fusion Middleware sessions that provide a solution-driven perspective on how customers are using specific Fusion Middleware technologies to build platforms and extend services.

Sounds like a great selection. You mentioned cloud computing, which is a hot topic for basically everyone these days. How do you see Fusion Middleware impacting customers who are considering or using a cloud solution?

Oracle is investing heavily from a Fusion Middleware perspective in cloud computing. With the release of Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (and the “c” standing for “cloud”), Oracle is building cloud capability into all Fusion Middleware products and giving customers modern application infrastructure and full deployment choice of private cloud, Oracle public cloud or third party cloud. In all cases, you’ll be able to consistently manage app provisioning, elastically change capacity, and manage the lifecycle of apps and services dynamically. We have also announced enhancements in SOA, BPM, and WebCenter so the products will run better in the cloud and will be much easier for end users to consume these as services. We are also focusing on cloud integration. Recently, we announced the release of Salesforce adapter that allows you to easily integrate Salesforce.com with on-premises applications. We will continue to make enhancements and additions to our products to continuously improve our support for cloud and SaaS platform.

Ed, thanks so much for sharing this insight with us. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Fusion Middleware Roadmap at COLLABORATE 14!

Friday Mar 28, 2014

ACE Director Discusses Apps Transformation, COLLABORATE 14 and more

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director

In a much earlier posting on this blog I talked about giving Oracle AppAdvantage its first outing in the UK at the UKOUG. Applications conference in October. At this event we launched the concept of apps transformation, looking at the projects of tomorrow or rather the options for tomorrow that an organisation has.

This week we held a special event dedicated to Apps Transformation and we had five streams one for each of the module families and one on Oracle AppAdvantage. This stream looked at some of the challenges that applications customers have that can be addressed by technology which I kicked off with a presentation introducing Oracle AppAdvantage, and I will also give at COLLABORATE 14 on 8th April 8th at 10:15 (Session ID 109510). Later I personally talked about Oracle’s mobile strategy, a presentation I had given the week earlier with one of Oracle Fusion Middleware product managers Grant Ronald. When you look at the Oracle AppAdvantage picture I think of the entry points as discussion points and mobile is definitely one of the most prevalent discussion points for applications customers.

The other four streams concentrated on options available for Financials, Procurement, Customer Experience and Human Capital Management customers. In the same way when you navigate to a city your GPS navigator can offer you places of interest this AppNav concept developed by Oracle with the help of UKOUG, looks at some of the benefits along these four routes. Some of the things that are highlighted are mobile, social, analytics (big data) and cloud and we had several presentations along these lines.

The AppNav concept is not a mobile app but a webpage again showcasing the options available to customers. This webpage was launched on the day of the conference and its value is much wider than just our audience of the UKOUG and I am delighted to share it with you here. It is not so much new content on the landing page, but helps you consume some of the multitude of information available from Oracle from a menu designed from an applications point of view. AppNav is not limited to technology and in fact it talks a lot about Fusion and cloud applications and like Oracle AppAdvantage it’s a really good place to start.

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

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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