Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Digital Disruption - Catching Up With A Legend - Ray Wang



Over the years I have spoken to many analysts about what Oracle are doing and what that means to their users.

Some analysts are just about the figures and that is also important but those that dig into the impacts on users are my kind of people, and top of my list are Ray Wang and Den Howlett. Interestingly on the surface they seem very different but both really care and are real gentlemen. 


Ray and Den also are both experts in the area of digital disruption. Something I have been thinking about recently in our Oracle World, Customers, Users, Usergroups etc. My latest article appeared in the current OTech Magazine



Me, Ray and Craig Dale (SAP User Group)
Ray Wang never stands still, literally and even if he is at an event he swops in and swoops out and it is so easy to miss him, although a few years ago we did play truant at Oracle Open World to go try out the local doughnuts.

Ray is part of Constellation Research and in 2011 I was honoured to be asked to join them as a user advocate, and my main role has been with their annual supernova awards where I am a judge and advocate.


Ray has written an excellent book on Digital Disruption and is currently on a tour promoting this. recently he was in London and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to met up with him.


The event was not just some learnings from and promotion of his book, he also had some round tables looking at how this was affecting the business we do today.




Not only was it a great chance to catch up with Ray but with other people who appreciate his unique take on the technology world from a user perspective. Craig Doyle from the UK SAP Usergroup was there plus Mike Simons editor of Computerworld UK.


This year Oracle Open World is much later and I will be able to attend the Constellation Event - Connected Enterprise the following week, more quality time to hear from Ray and many other experts on the wider world of technology. 


Follow Ray (and Den) on twitter to keep up with them.








Sunday, 5 July 2015

2015 KSCOPE - PaaS4SaaS


Earlier this year I wrote about our PaaS4SaaS proof of concept and the white paper I wrote and I gave this presentation at Kscope.

I submitted it for the Editor's Choice Award for which I got a T shirt with a great quotation from the Dalai Lama “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” 

What is interesting is that our customers and other users have discussed with us what they might need in PaaS and to date we have been able to do whatever they need by clever configuration of the SaaS, but this will come once people understand what PaaS delivers. There is always a gap between launch and mass takeup of technology. Something that Den Howlett talks about in his write up.

I once wrote a paper on the use of Fusion Middleware (the development tools now available in PaaS), and at the time the conclusion was, those adopting were doing old things with new technology, but that has changed and now it is about the cloud lowering the barriers to entry.

Whilst Kscope was on Oracle announced their next wave of PaaS including Application Builder Cloud Services which were previewed by Product Manager Brian Fry at the Kscope event. Our development partner, eProseed, were there and Lonneke Dikmans was very enthusiastic about the opportunities and we talked about how we could perhaps repeat our proof of concept prior to OOW.



Sue Duncan one of the Oracel Product Managers based in the UK and a great friend of UKOUG arranged for me to meet with Brian and share our stories. We know hope to work together on this and present back hopefully at OOW.

This is a really exciting area to be in at the start of, I have several articles published along with the white paper and I hope that ABCS will make it even easier to extend Cloud Applications with the same rich user experience as the Applications themselves. After all we wouldn't just add a generic roof rack to a Rolls Royce, simply because it does the job.



I'm not knocking other forms of PaaS, in the APEX blog I said I would use it where it made sense, and there have been some great examples of PaaS being used for data collection and processing prior to being loaded into Cloud Applications. 

The Oracle UX team recently wrote about PaaS4SaaS and I had a few mentions in that too, and the A&C SOA team released this video (not sure about the dog at the end).

Constellation Research, DiginomicaMarket Realist opinion on announcements




2015 KSCOPE - Always on Duty - UKOUG


I mentioned that this was a work based conference for me, funded by my employer, but our worlds all  run into one and I am of course representing UKOUG in all I do.

There were no formal user group meetings at Kscope, but on the Saturday, Mary Lou Dopart from Oracle who is responsible for the umbrella organisation IOUC, attended the Community Service Event and we spent a long time exploring what user groups could do around catering for the growing number of Cloud Application users. Look out for news over the coming months.

The Kscope Board who I know from my own experience, hardly have time to breath at conference, held an informal reception for visiting user group leaders on the Sunday evening, and it is always great to catch up with friends and share ideas.

Kscope does Hyperion, from Financial Close through Essbase and all the applications really well, and I am always keen to see how we can replicate that in our own Hyperion community. I spent time with one of our volunteers exploring this and with Rich Wilkie the keynote speaker from our event the week before. Both agreed the London Event was as step in the right direction.

I also talked to several Product Managers about what they have planned for UKOUG this December and I know we are going to have a great conference.

I mentioned it earlier, the gamification of Kscope with the UX Scavenger Hunt and I met with that team as the intention is to have its second outing at UKOUG, should be fun.

I also met with the wider UX team about their content in December, there is always so much support from this fun team and I'm looking forward to agenda launch to share some of it with you. Keep up with how our planning is going at www.ukoug.org/conferences2015

Back to main 2015 Kscope page


2015 KSCOPE - The Day Job (still loving it)


Certus Solutions, my employer recognise much of my value is from understanding the technology, and we agreed Kscope is where I should attend, but you can't just take a week off work. Kscope is not funded by OTN, this was a Certus investment.

We are working on a number of bids at the moment, life is really exciting, the Cloud Applications market is really taking off.  One of these bids was coming to it's final days and I was part of the bid team. I know many people who would have had to cancel a trip, but we discussed it and I was confident I could do my bit from Florida.

I answered lots of questions they had asked on the flight over, good use of some of the 10 hours, and put together some words for the final presentation. I worked all Sunday both US and UK time and then did the final QA of the bid when the UK closed on Monday, working 6 hours straight.

I loved it, this is such an amazing opportunity and things are going really well.

I also talked to the UX team about how Certus Customers can help at OOW and our first session has already been confirmed. What Does It Take to Make Oracle HCM Cloud Work? The JT Story [CON9059]

I was also honoured to present on our PaaS4SaaS proof of concept but will cover that in a later post.

Have I mentioned, 'I love my Job' ?

Back to main 2015 Kscope page






Saturday, 4 July 2015

2015 KSCOPE - Women in IT and the ACE Director Program


I love the ACE Program, I love that it recognises people who share knowledge and I love the opportunities that it gives me.

I do believe the number of Women in IT is low (most sources state it between 13 - 18 %) and we need to increase that, which is why I love the Community Service this year, working with Children and STEM and the children who attended where evenly split between girls and boys.

We have had conversations in the ACE program about our representation, there are 123 ACE Directors today (including Stanley), but only 10 are female. I don't want women to be included to make up the numbers but do agree we should be seeking women who deserve recognition and  encourage them to step up for the program.

The ACE Directors who happen to be female are:

       Sheeri Cabral               MySQL
       Lonneke Dikmans       FMW
       Heli Helskyaho           Database
       Marcelle Kratochvil    Database
       Debra Lilley               Apps Tech
       Michelle Malcher       Security
       Tracy McMullen         Business Intelligence / EPM
       Gwen Shapira             Database
       Mia Urman                 FMW

You will notice that the list above is only 9. The 10th was announced at Kscope:

        Sarah Zumbrum         Business Intelligence / EPM



I was so pleased for Sarah, I have always been a fan, and championed her last year for the ODTUG Board elections. Earlier this year Sarah asked if I would champion her for ACE Director and I was really happy to. I really believed in what she did. At the time several people had approached me and it is easy to say yes when someone deserves it but less so when you are not sure, so I wrote a blog that included my thoughts on this, and Sarah has since told me she thought my final comment about Oracle not agreeing with my assessment was directed at her. It wasn't and I have to admit I did know she had been successful, but OTN asked me to stay quiet and even help them delay their response to her so they could give her the news at Kscope.

Congratulations Sarah, well deserved and and I think this picture shows it really was a surprise.

One of Sarah's first jobs was to assist in the WIT Lunch on the Wednesday, and I was honoured to be part of this event. In the planning it had been agreed to try something different and have tables discussing different topics, smaller more intimate discussions and less of a presentation. At UKOUG we are looking to do something similar this year, but over breakfast.

The main theme of everyone's thoughts was encouragement.

Encouragement from an early age, before girls have even heard of IT, at school through STEM, in the community through organisations like Girl Scouts. Encouragement through college and through recruitment, and throughout their whole career. 

Thank you KSCOPE for a fresh look at WIT and some great conversations, now we need to continue that encouragement through networking.

And talking of ODTUG and WIT, check out this great article on Kathleen, founder of YCC, the team behind ODTUG.

Back to main 2015 Kscope page























2015 KSCOPE - Party, Party, Party


Kscope has some great off piste networking. As well as the community service on Saturday, (and my Real Deep Dive), there was a great welcome event Sunday, community events on the Monday, buses to Hollywood Tuesday and the White party at Nikki Beach Wednesday, and the whole event finished with a full room at the wrap-up session.

Pete Sharman, Me and a local Florida Resident
Dancers for Conference Main Session
Ready for the White Party including Glass

In fact even the Board Introductions are a Party!

I had such a wonderful time with so many wonderful friends - I am blessed

Back to main 2015 Kscope page







2015 KSCOPE - Gamification from UX IoT


I have spoken before of where I have found gamification to drive behaviours not originally intended, or where the things measured are not really what matters, but the Kscope gamification this year was excellent.

The AppsLab part of the UX Team in Development, created their Scavenger Hunt for Kscope. The idea was to show use cases for IoT, and they used a number of methods to give points whilst driving positive behaviour at the conference. Taking part in off-piste activities, attending keynotes, submitting feedback, being part of the community.

People really loved it, the numbers at Chi Gung went up, people at least looked at doing other things and I even attended an APEX session!

I signed up early, and for about 5 minutes was top of the list, but there was 50 points for solving a rubix cube and that is far too technical for me!

Jeremy Ashley who leads UX and Noel Portugal from Apps Lab had a session where they talked about how they had built the app, and what they have learnt.

I think I helped there, Noel said 'If I could use it, anyone could' which is a bit like Cary Millsap once saying he thought of me as 'the lowest common denominator' but they are probably right.

Anyway I had a number of issues, the app needed you to tweet. You could tweet from within the app and it wouldn't work for me, nothing appeared in my twitter stream. So I tried using the app I normally use, Hootsuite and every time I tweeted a photo I got a message from the team saying:



After a fair bit of detective work we discovered that the problem with Hootsuite is it doesn't show a photo, it creates a link, it needs to be either the app itself or from Twitter.

The original problem, wasn't a problem, I assumed that because I registered as @debralilley, then that is where my tweets would originate from; no; it took my twitter app configuration and used that. If I had a single identity, that would be ok, but I use Twitter on my smartphone for work as @certuscloud, so I had been tweeting, but as them. Luckily this happened over night in the UK and I was able to delete them.

This was two things not developed for, normally the UX team would validate their work with user labs, as they do for cloud apps, but they were up against time here. Guess I was the onsite validator, and they will be fixed for the next iteration, which I hope will be UKOUG 2015 in December. 

To see the winners are read about what went into it, read their own blog.

Oh and I think I finished 9th (scores no longer online) based on this tweet:



Back to main 2015 Kscope page