Wednesday Nov 20, 2013

COLLABORATE14, Vegas and You

Registration for COLLABORATE14 is now open. As winter sets in for many of us, what better time to start thinking about spring! Next year's event will be held April 7-11 at the Venetian and Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I'm sure this popular event (which is produced by three independent Oracle user groups: IOUG, OAUG and Quest) will once again be chock-full of valuable education spanning Oracle applications and technology. I'm also sure it will be fun - always is. Earlier this year, COLLABORATE13 took place here in Colorado. Sure there was a little snow, but otherwise it was a huge success. I enjoyed talking to customers, working with our Oracle Support stars, and attending council meetings. They had some great keynotes too, including Aron Ralston whose harrowing story was told in the film 127 Hours.    

For Oracle Support, we see this event (like Oracle OpenWorld) as a great opportunity to share insights gained from supporting 400,000 customers around the world. We see patterns that enable us to tell you what potholes to watch out for and, as importantly, what you can do to stay out of trouble in the first place. We are always at COLLABORATE in force and presenting sessions as part of our greater Get Proactive! initiative which promotes awareness of Oracle support tools and best practices. I noticed today that OAUG's COLLABORATE14 web page features a picture of a past "Get Proactive!" session!

Speaking of pictures, here are a few of Oracle Support at Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco. I should have shared these earlier. It has been two months, but I think I am just now recovered. Oracle Support brought a lot to the event including some of our best and brightest support stars (aka senior product support engineers) and some great demos. We had over 1,700 people attend our sessions and many stopped by to visit the Oracle Support Stars Bar where we answered technical questions, offered 15-minute mini-briefings, and shared dozens of informative videos related to maintenance, upgrades, and getting the most of Oracle products. I hope to see you in April at COLLABORATE14.

assisting customersstars bar

Tuesday Nov 19, 2013

JD Edwards Innovation & Support

Staying on the theme of upgrades, here's a great one - JD Edwards. Today marks exactly two months since the general availability of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 Update 2. Oracle Premier Support customers are welcome to come download this update now from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.

Haven't had the chance to look into update 2...or 9.1 for that matter? I'll provide a few quick links here. I urge you to check it out. Living near the "home base" of the JD Edwards team here in Colorado, I admit I'm a big fan of this product and its customers. I was very happy to contribute to their 2013 Profit Magazine Special Issue where I talked a little bit about innovation spanning mobility, the UI, in-memory capabilities and other fruits of Oracle's R&D investment. I just skimmed the surface though. Here's where you can find more:

Saving the best for last, here's an informative video about JD Edwards innovation that Julie Wiebeck on my team put together with Denise Grills (JDE Strategy) a little earlier in the year. Rich Schwerin from Marketing interviews Denise, but our objective with this video was very much to spare you a marketing pitch and just speak to our current customers about the latest in JDE innovation and support. Click on the image below to open the video on YouTube.

JDE innovation video

Friday Nov 15, 2013

Upgrading? Save 20% on Training.

We've had a number of significant software releases lately, so let's stay on this subject of upgrades for a bit. ...LOTS of interest here. Today, I'm going to focus on training. Obviously, keeping skills updated is important. That said, it is something that's easy to neglect when you're busy. For many, product upgrades provide the perfect opportunity to refresh and augment skills.

If you're upgrading (and even if you aren't right now), you should know that Oracle Premier Support customers can receive 20% off Oracle University training when purchased in conjunction with an annual support renewal. We are thankful to our Oracle University friends for making this possible. The idea here is pretty straightforward - when you have the ongoing support and training you need, you can "drive" your product safely and in top gear while also taking advantage of all its latest and most powerful features. 

Here's a document which provides more details on this offer:
20% Training Discount Datasheet. Information about available training is easy to access at education.oracle.com. You'll find a few thousand courses to choose from which span the entire Oracle stack and Oracle Cloud solutions. Oracle University offers numerous training formats ranging from classroom training to online learning. They haven't figured out how to download knowledge directly to your brain yet (a la The Matrix), but there are some pretty smart engineers running around here - give it a few years!


Thursday Nov 14, 2013

Oracle Upgrade Advisors

Oracle Premier Support helps our customers maintain their Oracle solutions on a day-to-day basis and over many years. Of course, as the years roll by, things change. Industries evolve. Customer expectations evolve. Technologies evolve. Your competitors evolve. The simple fact is that if you're not moving forward, you're falling behind. ...nothing you didn't know already.

The good news is that Oracle's 35,000 developers and engineers have your back. Oracle has a strong commitment to its products and provides ongoing enhancements based on customer input, market dynamics and the latest, most capable technology. These enhancements, including major new releases, are provided by Oracle Premier Support.

Upgrades have also become less daunting thanks to new software packaging, new methods, and better tools. I'll try to come back to each of these topics later, but for now I'd like to share one specific resource (a "tool" if you will) that's been getting rave reviews from our customers. It saves time and makes upgrading easier so you can sleep at night and your business can quickly adopt improvements. This resource is called an Oracle Upgrade Advisor. It is available on My Oracle Support and includes steps to guide you through an upgrade between specific versions of a product or suite. These advisors are part of a broad and growing family of Oracle Lifecycle Advisors which provide guidance on a range of tasks from installation and patching to upgrades and performance optimization. They are included in Oracle Premier Support and are ideal for those with strong technical proficiency who are interested in leveraging the power of self-service tools.

A directory of advisors is available on My Oracle Support (login required) at: https://support.oracle.com/rs?type=doc&id=250.2

Click on the image below to see a short video on YouTube describing Oracle Upgrade Advisors:

Upgrade Advisor Video

Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

A Quick Introduction

Hello and welcome!

If you've read the header above or the "About" description to the right, you already get the gist of this blog, but I thought a more complete description would be helpful before we dive in.

Oracle Premier Support provides a wealth of resources, but we know you are busy and it can be hard to keep up with everything that's available. This blog serves as a way to bring your attention to some of the best things you have access to through Oracle Premier Support. It's worth noting that these resources exist to both 1)help you achieve success individually and 2)help your organization get the very most of its investment in Oracle products. We named this blog "Get Ahead. Stay Ahead." because our objective is to help you and your organization do exactly that.     

So, what comes with Oracle Premier Support? More than you may realize. At the highest level, Oracle Premier Support includes three essential components - software updates, tools, and servicesSoftware updates include patches, security updates, enhancements and major new releases. Tools such as My Oracle Support and product-specific capabilities are vital to proactive maintenance, support and upgrades. Services including 24/7 technical support and 2-hour hardware service (for covered systems) help ensure that you get the expert assistance you need, when you need it. In this blog, we'll take a closer look into each of these areas while also providing suggestions for how to take advantage of the integration between them.

I expect this blog will ultimately offer a variety of product-specific tips and general tips (which apply to any/all Oracle products including applications, middleware, databases, infrastructure software, and systems). We'll try to mix it up. In our roles within Oracle Product Marketing focusing on Customer Services, my team and I are fortunate enough to work closely with some very smart and enthusiastic people in Oracle Support and across Oracle's different product teams. We hope to bring the "best of the best" to you.          

About

We created this blog to help people take better advantage of the software updates, tools and services that come with Oracle Premier Support.

Whether you use Oracle software, Oracle systems or both, we hope you will find information here that helps you and your organization to get ahead, stay ahead and experience the full value of all that Oracle offers.

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