Reflections on Oracle's 5th Annual Maintenance Summit

This past March 22-24 in sunny Orlando, Florida, the PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Fusion, and Sustainability product teams, in conjunction with our marketing and solution consulting colleagues, hosted the fifth annual Oracle Maintenance Summit followed by the annual in-person meeting of the PeopleSoft Maintenance Management focus group. No, this isn't a technical conference on how to maintain your ERP software; it's an event dedicated solely to discussing equipment and facility maintenance with Oracle software. (Think "work orders", "operating equipment", "preventive maintenance schedules", "service requests", "outage planning", and so on).

This year's Maintenance Summit was a special event for a number of reasons. First, an Oracle JD Edwards applications customer agreed to be the showcase customer for the event. In addition to delivering compelling presentations on their sustainability strategy, they gave tours of their green office facility, renewable power generation facility, and fleet operations. The story of their drive to balance sustainability with affordability and reliability was fascinating.

Second, in the PeopleSoft Maintenance Management track, the sessions were rich with content. Loida McDearis, who is our lead strategy manager for PeopleSoft Maintenance Management, and I launched the day with a session titled The Feature Attraction & Trailers for Coming Attractions, in which we showed the product capabilities added during the past year as a result of our customer focus group's input and described the innovations on the horizon. Next, it was our customers' turn. In a session titled, Take the Show on The Road, we learned the details of how two customers have deployed PeopleSoft Maintenance Management on mobile devices offered by Oracle Partners Ventureforth and Blue Dot Solutions, and in another session All New, Behind-the-Scenes, Documentary: In-Depth Look at Fleet Preventive Maintenance, we heard how one of the largest school districts in the country successfully manages fleet maintenance for its school buses and other vehicles with PeopleSoft Maintenance Management. (For being first-time presenters, these folks were fantastic.) Finally, in a no-holds-barred panel discussion titled Never Before Seen Studio Outtakes - ROI - Expected and Unexpected Benefits, industry analyst Ralph Rio of ARC Advisory Group quizzed a panel composed of both long-time customers and some newer ones to get at the wisdom they've gained. After reviewing the session feedback surveys, we are proud to say that all of our sessions received high ratings.

Third, we on the Oracle team responded to participant feedback from the last Summit, and the increased attendance and survey ratings this year proved we got it right. This year, the agenda and speakers were secured and posted earlier to help participants provide business justification to their management so they could attend. We reserved time in the schedule for plenty of networking breaks to facilitate learning, and there were numerous demo stations and pavilions manned by our most knowledgeable Solution Consultants and partner company representatives.  In addition to the several general sessions on maintenance and high performance, we offered more presentations by product family. Having two full days with planned networking time, as well as a fantastic party hosted by Oracle Partner VIZIYA and a PeopleSoft customer dinner hosted by Oracle Partner MiPro Consulting, really gave customers and prospects a chance to understand how valuable and vibrant the community is for PeopleSoft Maintenance Management.

Finally, the customers, Oracle Partners, and we in product strategy look forward to the meeting of the Focus Group that occurs right after the Summit officially ends each year. This is when we engage in serious discussion about what we are going to do next. Loida, our lead solution strategy director Mike Madden, and I presented a detailed breakdown of what our PeopleSoft team is developing currently. Following that, each customer was given fifteen minutes to provide a profile of their organization and the details of their top five enhancement ideas. Lively dialogue ensued for several hours, and then we voted and ranked. The result was that our customers and partners provided Loida, Mike, and me a prioritized list and action plan that we immediately took home and started working on with a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

All of the presentations from the 5th Annual Oracle Maintenance Summit can be found at our Oracle Solution Factory. If you are interested in accessing the material, please email either Mike Madden (, Loida McDearis (, or me (  for the access code.

If you decided not to join us in Orlando this year, I'd recommend you talk to others who did attend. The consensus is that it was a valuable use of time.


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