So You Want User Sessions!
By Tim Dexter on May 28, 2008
Last week I asked you readers out there if you were interested in some regular 'User Sessions'? I also posed the same question over on the 'Bippers' group on Mix. I was not quite overwhelmed with mail and replies but those that did reply were vorciferous in their replies, a resounding 'Yes Please!'
The ball is now back in my court to get this organized, I have had some thoughts.
1. Timing - I had several replies from folks in EMEA as well as the US - so Im going to aim for a reasonably early call here in Colorado (-7 GMT) say 9am here, would be 4pm London and 5pm CET. The problem is that this is getting near stupid o clock in APAC - 8.30pm in India, 12am in Japan, Im not even going to get into Australia with 3 timezones all to itself - not good. Im prepared to do two sessions one in my morning and an evening one but I need to hear from folks to gauge where demand is?
2. Flavors - I need to cater to many BIP users we have BIEE, BIP (Standalone) EBS, PeopleSoft and JDE with the likes of Siebel CRM coming soon and a slew of others coming in the next few months. We can have generic sessions where we can focus on things like template building, common to everyone but Im sure we will want to have 'flavor' specific sessions that are not going to appeal to all. So, Im going to propose alternating sessions Generic-Specific-Generic. When we get to flavors that Im not so hot on (yeah, there are some) I'll endevour to get guest speakers in.
3. Content - so what do you want to know? Chatting to folks I have seen that you get going very quickly spewing out listing reports like there is no tomorrow but you hit a wall soon after when you start to get into the more complex layouts e,g, POs, Invoices where you need funky stuff in your templates like T&Cs on the back of every page that do not contribute to the total number of the pages in the document. We have lots of 'intermediate' folks at this stage, we also have an army of noobs wanting to know how to get started and Im pleased to say there are a bunch of experts out there. You'll find some of them hanging out on the forum sharing the BIP love!
Initially, Im going to pitch it at the 'intermediate' folks, we can cover the more advanced features in templating, data extraction and the flavor specific stuff. I will come up with a session schedule for as many as I can think of and get it posted. You can then make murmurings of approval or jump up and down with cries of derision - we're going to have to suck it and see!
4. Get Involved - its not all going to be me. I really want this to be a real 'user group' - or at least how I envisage one i.e. everyone gets involved. I need guest speakers. Dont panic, I do not expect folks to dissect an invoice template - just present to the group what you have been doing, maybe your reports, your architecture, etc. No need for slides, unless you want to. If you are happy to do something, drop me a mail with a rough outline so I can get you on the session schedule - before you know it you'll be a BIP Superstar. Any volunteers?
5. Announcements - you'll here about a session here on the blog and on the Bippers group in mix. I have been pinging Jake about being able to message Bippers group members via mix but thats open to spamming so they do not currently have that available. If you want to ensure you get an announcement 'Get a BIPScription' - see the box on the right hand side, Just provide your email and FeedBurner will look after the rest.
So, look for an announcement soon for our inaugural session and gimme some feedback on exactly what you want to see/discuss!