Monday Nov 12, 2012

Monday Poll: What is the Key to Successful Projects?

The November 2012 issue of Profit features a focus on project management. In this week's LinkedIn poll, we're asking:

"What do you think is most important for getting projects done successfully?"

Vote and share your insights with the Profit LinkedIn community.

In a new feature, debuting in the February 2013 issue of Profit, we'll be publishing key user comments related to the Monday poll in the table of contents of the magazine. So click that link, share you're thoughts on subject could end up in Profit!

Now Available: Profit November 2012


The November 2012 issue of Profit is now available.

In the five years I've worked on Profit, there has been measurable interest in content related to project management. Stories featuring project management as a key component have resulted in extra clicks, likes, and RTs (for you Twitter users) from our readers.

I've chatted about this with Oracle customers, partners, and experts and received an assortment of ideas about why this might be. This issue of Profit is a bit of a culmination of those conversations, and the trends that are driving interest in project management best practices.

Also, two online developments for Profit: check out my newly relaunched blog, Editor's Notebook, at blogs.oracle.com/profit, where readers can get a peek at the development of each issue of Profit as it happens. We've also launched a new LinkedIn group for our social media-inclined readers.

In this issue:

Three Keys to Project Management
What can organizations with world-class project management teach the rest of us?

Strong Medicine
Gilead Sciences simplifies business processes to establish a foundation for continued growth.

Architects of Reform
Enterprise architecture plays an essential role in establishing Oregon as a leader in healthcare reform.

Answering the Call
Turkcell CIO Ilker Kuruoz finds IT-powered growth and innovation to be the calling card for success.

Projected Results
Sound project management practices and technology can have an immediate impact on the bottom line.

Preparing for Impact
Plans for dealing with enterprise information will define the big data winners.

Is one issue of Profit not enough to get you through to February? Visit the @OracleProfit on Twitter for a daily dose of enterprise technology news from Profit.

Friday Oct 12, 2012

New Content: Partner News and Workforce Management Special Report

Two new bits of content available on Profit Online:

Oracle partner Edgewater Ranzal worked with customer High Sierra Energy to integrate Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management solutions with Oracle E-Business Suite and simplify an increasingly complex financial reporting system.

"They needed to eliminate the older processes where 80% of the time was spent on collecting data and only 20% on analyzing the data.” --Bob Sanders, business development manager, Edgewater Ranzal.

In a special report about Workforce Management, Profit wraps up a collection of recent content on the subject and looks at Oracle's recent agreement to acquire SelectMinds.

“By adding SelectMinds to Oracle’s Talent Management Cloud, Oracle can help customers with a complete talent management solution, enabling streamlined recruiting practices, more quality referrals, faster employee on-boarding, and better performance.” --Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President, Oracle Development

More updates to come as we continue to add content to Profit Online on a regular basis. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday Oct 09, 2012

The #OOW Party May Be Over...


...but there's no reason why we can't look forward to the next one!

It's going to take all week for me to catch up on last week's neglected email, sort through the freshly-collected business cards, and generally make sense of the mad dash that is Oracle OpenWorld. So I've been playing this amazing video (produced by Lozano Productions) to remind me of the last business/IT conference marathon I survived: Collaborate 2012.

It was an amazing event where we officially launched the new design of Profit and enjoyed a drink with some of our closest friends--Oracle partners, customers, and peers. Many thanks to those who came out to celebrate and who continue to help make Profit a success.

It was a great time that resulted in a lot of great new work and new relationships. So I'm taking a time out to remember that the hard work is worth it. See you in Denver next year!

Monday Sep 24, 2012

Profit at Oracle OpenWorld 2012

It's only a week away: Oracle OpenWorld descends on San Francisco from September 30 to October 4. It's always a frantic week for the Profit editorial staff, but here's a few thing we've got going in San Francisco that you'll want to watch out for:
  • Profit on Oracle OpenWorld Live: The Oracle video team will be broadcasting live from the event all week. I have a few interesting on-air interviews booked, including a conversation with business/technology researcher Andrew Mcafee (Monday Oct 1 @ 11:45am), Acorn Paper CEO David Weissberg (Tuesday, Oct 2 @ 12:15pm) and Abhay Parasnis, Oracle Senior Vice President, Oracle Public Cloud (Wednesday, Oct 3, @ 10:45am).
  • Profit in the Oracle Partner Network Lounge: This summer, I worked with the amazing Oracle Partner Network (OPN) team to create the Profit Oracle Specialized Partner Edition 2012. It's a great catalog of Oracle partner success stories and insight into the OPN strategy from its leadership. Look for the special issue of Profit in the Oracle PartnerNetwork Lounge: the place where partners can meet formally or informally with colleagues, customers, prospects, and other industry professionals. Moscone South, Exhibit Hall, Room 100
  • Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld: There's been a lot of discussion within my editorial team (and content published, as well)about Customer Experience. To keep pace with this evolving subject, I'll be attending this special embedded conference on Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 3-4). Especially looking forward to Seth Godin's presentation: he was one of the first experts we interviewed forProfit Online five years ago.
  • The Executive Edge @ OpenWorld: Of course, my Oracle OpenWorld is mostly filled with meetings/interviews with Oracle customers about completed Oracle projects and the strategic impact of enterprise IT on business. The ideal place for these conversations is The Executive Edge @ OpenWorld embedded conference.
  • Samovar Tea Lounge at Moscone Center: I spend my down time on the roof of Moscone North, preparing for meetings or having impromptu conversations with attendees at this little oasis overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens. Feel free to drop by for a chat!

    See you in San Francisco!
    -Aaron Lazenby

Friday Sep 21, 2012

New Content: Customer Engagement & Oracle OpenWorld Preview

Two new bits of content available on Profit Online:

In A Cross-Channel Approach to Consumer Engagement, Cassandra Moren, senior director of consumer goods industry marketing at Oracle, shares her thoughts on how consumer goods manufacturers are reaping benefits from developing a direct relationship with customers:

"Consumer goods manufacturers are starting to adapt in ways that mirror retailers. They are making investments in innovative technologies and processes to build the infrastructure to support the market demand. With advances in aspects like social networking, digital marketing and mobility fundamentally changing the way consumers behave, the door has opened to building a more direct relationship with their customers."

We've also published a Special Report on Oracle OpenWorld that gives a great overview of recommendations for must-see sessions and insider advice from experienced attendees. For example, this top from John Matelski, newly elected president of the Independent Oracle Users Group:

“Based on developments of the last 12 months, I think big data is definitely going to be hot. The challenges and opportunities of data governance will be another biggie. And there will obviously be a big emphasis on Oracle Exadata and the other Oracle Engineered Systems, with more than 100 sessions.”

More updates to come as we continue to add content to Profit Online on a regular basis. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

Editor's Notebook: Of Slobber Pots and Flux Capacitors

Just wrapping up the contents of the November 2012 issue of Profit...

I found this snippet of an interview I did with Team Oracle mechanics Clyde Greene and Chad Colberg when I was in Gary, IN this summer working on a photo shoot about Team Oracle for the current issue. We were standing around in a hangar as the Team prepared for the Chicago Air and Water Show, chatting about the engineering and design of the Oracle Challenger III aerobatic plane.

Pick up a copy of Profit's November 2012 and read what Team Oracle pilot Sean D. Tucker has to say about the Oracle Challenger III and get a closer look at the plane. I'll drop a link into this blog entry as soon as the story is available.


Your editor, greasy and stooped after a red eye flight, talks with Sean D. Tucker about stunt flying.

Tuesday Sep 18, 2012

Profit: August, 2012

August 2012 issue of Profit is now available online.

Way back in 2003, I wrote my first feature for Profit. It was titled “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Application Servers (But Were Afraid To Ask),” and it discussed “cutting-edge” technologies like portals and XML and the brand-new Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE; we’re now on Java EE 7).

But despite the dated terms I used in my Profit debut, I noticed something in rereading that old story that has stayed constant: mid-tier technology is where innovative enterprise IT projects happen. It may have been XML in 2003, but it’s SOA in 2012.

While preparing the August issue of Profit was more than just a stroll down memory lane for me, it has provided a nice bit of perspective about what changes and what doesn’t in this dynamic IT industry. Technologies continuously evolve—some become standard practice, some are revived or reinvented, and some are left by the wayside. But the drive to innovate and the desire to succeed are business principles that never go out of fashion.

Also, be sure to check out the Profit JD Edwards Special Issue 2012 (PDF), featuring partner profiles, customer successes, and Oracle executive interviews.

The Middleware Advantage
Three ways a flexible, integrate software layer can deliver a competitive edge

Playing to Win
Electronic Arts’ superefficient hub processes millions of online gaming transactions every day.

Adjustable Loans
With Oracle Exadata, Reliance Commercial Finance keeps pace with India’s commercial loan market.

Future Proof
To keep pace with mobile, social, and location-based services, smart technologists are using middleware to innovate.

Spring Training
Knowledge and communication help Jackson Hewitt’s Tim Bechtold get seasonal workers in top shape.

Keeping Online Customers Happy
Customers worldwide are comfortable with online service—but are companies meeting customers’ needs?

Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

Just released: Profit May 2012


The May 2012 issue of Profit is now available online.

In this issue, we focused on how the ever-changing dynamics of the marketplace put new demands on IT and business managers—requiring they stay nimble and creative to keep pace. So even after a successful project launches, the best leaders are looking to the horizon to identify new challenges and opportunities.

And they expect that the IT systems that support them will reflect their needs. Business processes enshrined in core enterprise resource functionality must match the expectations of customers and partners. IT access points must address the needs of actual users.

Continuous improvement must be a philosophy shared across the organization. And any long-term IT strategy must have flexibility and scalability in its very DNA.

Fix IT When It Ain’t Broke
The benefits of business and IT collaboration on upgrade decisions

Charting a New Course
Korean Air gains altitude by helping employees leverage the company’s greatest asset: information.

Outside the Box
Acorn Paper completes a seamless upgrade over a holiday weekend.

Moving On Up
Why your next upgrade may present the best opportunity to move to the cloud.

A Global Roadmap
A strong corporate culture provides direction for Toyota’s Pierre Masai.

What Customers Want
Research from the Oracle RightNow team reveals what it takes to keep customers happy in 2012.

Is one issue of Profit not enough to get you through August? Visit the Profit archives or follow @OracleProfit on Twitter for a daily does of enterprise technology news from Profit.

Monday Apr 23, 2012

Updates from COLLABORATE 2012


COLLABORATE 2012 really gets going today, with a couple Oracle announcements already hitting the wires (one that involves a great customer we'll be featuring in the May issue of Profit). I'll be visiting an Oracle usability focus group, chatting with OAUG president Mark Clark, getting an update on big JD Edwards announcements from Lyle Ekdahl and John Schiff. Plus, iPhone photos from the Profit redesign launch party tomorrow night!

In other words, watch this space. I'll make regular updates as the show goes on. -A

Profit: Nominated for Awards!

Every year, the Western Publishing Association holds the Maggie Awards to recognize "excellence among publishing & media professionals." This year, Profit picked up five nominations in the following categories:

Best Cover (Circ over 50,000)/Trade
Profit August

Best Interview or Profile/Trade
Core Competencies Profit August

Best Single Editorial Illustration/Trade
Profit November (image to come)

Best Single Editorial Photograph/Trade
Captains of Industry Profit February (adding photos to the web site)

Quarterlies (Circ over 50,000)/Trade
Profit May

I'm sorry the nominated images are missing...these nominations are for previous design of the magazine and we didn't load those files to the website. But we'll get them up there shortly. Thanks to the WPA judges for recognizing the hard work of the Profit editorial and art staff. Wish us luck at the awards on Friday!

Wednesday Oct 12, 2011

What I Saw At Oracle OpenWorld - Oracle Fusion Applications

You might have heard that last week was Oracle OpenWorld--a five-day sprint of meetings, keynotes, sessions, product announcements, and parties. I've often attempted to blog during the show, but I really only have two modes during the conference--totally engaged and totally exhausted. I've come to realize the taking time out to reflect on the show, in situ, is an impossibility for me.

But I took a lot of notes. And I spoke to a lot of people. And Oracle made a lot of news. And now I have a little time to reflect on what I saw at Oracle OpenWorld in 2011.

One of the biggest developments, for me, was Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's announcement of the general availability of more than 100 Oracle Fusion Applications. (Thanks to Profit contributor Monica Mehta for the link) I've been tracking developments of this product line for two years, from live-blogging Oracle Vice President Steve Miranda's presentations at COLLABORATE to writing about Oracle Fusion Applications customers in the pages of Profit.

Thursday Sep 22, 2011

Profit's Oracle OpenWorld 2011 Session Recommendations

Oracle Exadata/Oracle Exalogic: The Magic Wand for the Aging Application Infrastructure
Sunday, 10:15 AM | Moscone West – Room 2007
Sunday at Oracle OpenWorld used to involve a mix of hotel check-ins, some sight seeing, a bit of American football watching, and attendance at a few user group meetings. No longer. Sunday at Oracle OpenWorld is now a full-fledged conference day, with special interest group meetings, an essential opening keynote featuring Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and exceptional sessions like this one. Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic are returning major benefits for customers, who are increasingly implementing the flagship engineered systems together for extreme benefits. This session, presented by Oracle Diamond partner Infosys, will demonstrate how the pair can be used to scale out enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) implementations. Presenter: Rizwan M.K., Practice Lead Infosys Ltd

Key to Successful Implementations: Communication and Mandatory Education
Sunday, 12:00 PM| Moscone West – Room 2001
Presenter Gerard Stam is an Oracle OpenWorld veteran. And as head of applications for Gemeentewerken Rotterdam (Municipality Works) he has seen what it takes to implement critical IT systems for a major European city. Change management is always a concern for managers and users alike, and Stam has seen how mandatory training and education (guided by the mantra “No education, no access”) can dramatically improve acceptance rates post-implementation. It’s a bit of tough love that executives concerned with change management won’t want to miss.

Oracle OpenWorld Opening Keynote
Sunday, 5:30 PM | Moscone North – Hall D
If there is one way to get an overview of the entire week of Oracle OpenWorld in one sitting, it’s during Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s opening keynote. With so much going on at the show this year, it’s feels impossible to get to everything I want to see (at least it feels that way for me). So starting the week with Larry and a complete overview of the week’s major product announcements, including news about engineered systems, Oracle Fusion Applications, cloud computing and more.

Global-Scale Online Gaming with Oracle Coherence and Grid Computing
Monday,11:00 AM | Marriott Marquis - Salon 7
I’ll admit it: I’m a gamer. I don’t know how many memoirs lay unwritten or symphonies uncomposed because of the hours I’ve spent thwarting conspiracies or fragging zombies on some video game system. Riot Games, creators of the wildly popular League of Legends massive multiplayer online game, had to build a technology platform that could sustain millions of gamers hitting the Riot Games servers 24 hours a day. Oracle’s grid computing technologies and Oracle Coherence are helping make this possible—and providing a model for performance and scalability that could benefit any enterprise (zombies or no).

Building Oracle Systems in the Developing World
Monday, 3:30 PM | Marriott Marquis - Golden Gate C3
Typically, the big enterprise systems we cover in Profit are the domain of corporate multinationals and successful regional mid-market businesses. But what about the developing world? Surely the efficiency benefits of enterprise IT could be a positive force in a developing nation where availability of resources can be a major limiting factor. I'm looking forward to hearing Paul Dorsey, president of Dulcian, share his experiences building the national budget and expenditure system for the Ethiopian government, reveling the challenges and rewards of working on the IT front lines.

Tuesday Mar 22, 2011

Profit's COLLABORATE 11 Session Selections

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Updates from Profit editor Aaron Lazenby and an inside look at the creation of the magazine. Also, exclusive online content updates and news about business and technology.

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