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 

Monday Sep 16, 2013

Let's Stop Paving Over Cowpaths


Rick Beers is Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Fusion Middleware. Prior to joining Oracle, Rick held a variety of executive operational positions at Corning, Inc. and Bausch & Lomb.

With a professional background that includes senior management positions in manufacturing, supply chain and information technology, Rick brings a unique set of experiences to cover the impact that technology can have on business models, processes and organizations. Rick will be hosting the IT Leader Editorial on a regular basis.

Thinking about an ERP Upgrade? Many others are and many will have a critical decision to make. Make it carefully.

Oracle Open World is almost upon us, and if recent research by Unisphere Research is any indication there is a strong likelihood that top of mind with many customers will be a major applications upgrade. In surveys of applications managers across Quest and OAUG membership last year, Unisphere explored upgrade plans and approaches and published the findings in separate research reports. (Quest Membership Survey, OAUG Membership Survey). The research revealed that over half of respondents either have an ERP upgrade underway or have one planned within the next 24 months. I was struck by the consistency in responses across Oracle’s ERP installed base of E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and JDEdwards, which tends to validate the findings.

There was one finding that caught my eye and that was in Figure 2 (‘Scope of Enterprise Application/ERP Upgrades‘). Here we find that 2/3 of ERP Upgrades are either Technical or purely Functional (a continuation of the existing ERP Footprint). Combined table below:

I know, it’s long been considered best practice to first perform a technical upgrade and once done, to then look more strategically at business processes and platform architectures. I know; I followed this practice back in my own enterprise IT days. During those ERP-centric days, when we all strove for a single, on premise packaged ERP system as the enterprise platform, a Technical Upgrade approach made sense. But no more; technical ERP upgrades are now traps. Consider:

  • The pace of business change and the rate of technology innovation such as Cloud Computing, Mobility and Big Data are accelerating and not naturally in sync. Anything that perpetuates the status quo without a strategic review puts us further behind the curve.
  • Upgrades normally run in 3-5 year cycles. During that time customizations and workarounds creep in and multiply as business models and processes change beyond the limits of ERP code. These simply perpetuate in technical upgrades.
  • Finally, let’s face it, most of us never get around to the strategic view following a technical upgrade; we move on to other things. We lose the transformative potential once the technical upgrade is complete. We’ve paved over cowpaths and prevented transformation.

ERP systems are still critical components of an enterprise systems platform, but they must interoperate in a managed and secure way with a variety of edge applications and services, both On Premise and in the Cloud. No single component, even one as dominant as ERP, should be considered individually. It is for this reason that we have created AppAdvantage, a unified view of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Applications and Oracle Engineered Systems.

As I described when I introduced AppAdvantage in last month’s blog, this pace layered approach to enterprise platform architecture leverages the inherent advantages that Oracle Fusion Middleware provides to Oracle’s Enterprise Applications customers by simultaneously delivering business value and by enabling their evolution towards the future state of enterprise systems: A hybrid of ERP, best of breed applications and services interoperating in real time (either On-Premise or in the Cloud) in an adaptable architecture that can flex with business requirements.

Yes, periodic ERP upgrades are still a necessity; perhaps more now than ever. But by adopting an AppAdvantage approach, Oracle’s enterprise applications customers will lower costs, deliver greater business value and agility, and begin their journey to the future state of enterprise systems.

Oracle Open World will provide many opportunities to learn more about Fusion Middleware and in particular AppAdvantage. For an overview, read Rimi Bewtra's post from last week. In particular, check out these two sessions, both on Tuesday, September 24:

CON9301: General Session: Transform the Enterprise—Optimize Applications Investment with Middleware
Tuesday, Sep 24, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Moscone West - 2002/2004

Presenters:
Rick Hassman, Pella Corporation
Ron McCutchen, McAfee
Massoud Sedigh, World Fuel Services

CON9302: Enterprise Application Innovation: Business Impact of Oracle Fusion Middleware
Tuesday, Sep 24, 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
Moscone West, Room 2014

Presenters:
Michael Beattie, Aramark Uniform Services

Aby Joy, Igloo Products Corp
Richard Beers, Oracle

For more details on this and other sessions that explore how Fusion Middleware can enhance and extend the value of Oracle Applications download Focus On Oracle AppAdvantage.

See you at Open World!


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