Friday Apr 19, 2013

OAUG President Margaret Wright: Thoughts from Collaborate 2013

One of the many benefits of attending the COLLABORATE 2013 conference (hosted every year by the Oracle Applications Users Group, the Independent Oracle Users Group, and Quest International Users Group), is access to great leaders and thinkers in the Oracle community. Typically, that means having a conversation with the new elected president of the OAUG. This year that meant sitting down with Margaret Wright--who also serves as technology manager at Southern Company, an Atlanta, GA-based utility. Here are some excerpts from our conversation, which inclue Wright's insights into cloud computing, hot topics at this year's conference, and what's on the minds of Oracle applications users.

Cloud Computing: “When your custom code breaks, it your resources you have to spend to fix it. That’s where you are going to spend your IT dollars. So the biggest impact I see Cloud having on enterprise applications in on eliminating budget spent on customizations. "

The Importance of Business/IT Collaboration: “Being a student of the business can be difficult for IT folks, but it’s essential for survival. We can’t act like a hammer, looking for a nail. We need to get away from the traditional IT model of developers in a room with no one else, just coding. We need to understand how the business flows—and the CEO and the CIO need to be joined at the hip.”

Involvement in the OAUG: “Our volunteers put in a lot of hours. To make that level of commitment, you have to have a passion for the technology and user advocacy. For me, being the OAUG president is a dream job. I’m so excited.”

The Women in Technology Series at COLLABORATE 2013: “Still, IT is mostly male at all levels, all the way up to the CIO. It’s important to bring women to the table. It’s important to see accomplished women, who are ready to give back to the user community, in those positions.”

The OAUG's Relationship with Oracle: “We have a great working relationship. I’ve had great conversations this week with Oracle executives, sharing user feedback and requests. It’s essential to let our members know they’ve been heard.”

Hot topics at Collaborate 2013: “I’ve heard a lot this week about using Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Endeca. The improvements to user experience are making the applications easier and more accessible. Endeca helps make working in Oracle E-Business Suite more like a normal day on the internet.”

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