A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant


Thursday, December 16, 2004

OAUG Connection Point 2005 - Call for papers now open

If you’re planning on speaking at or attending OAUG Connection Point 2005 the call for papers is now open.

OAUG Connection Point 2005 Conference is taking place in Dallas, Texas from June the 13th - 16th of June, 2005. The conference will be held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center, Dallas, Texas, USA. According to the conference web site: -

OAUG Connection Point 2005 will provide you with an unparalleled networking and educational environment and will be attended by users of Oracle Applications who are seeking to maximize their knowledge, experience and understanding of the applications that they use to run their organizations.

The call for papers closes on the 7th of February 2005. I’m certainly hoping to make this conference as the OAUG events are normally very well attended.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Oracle Blogs at OpenWorld San Fransisco

OpenWorld San Fransisco has just come to an end and I must say I am sad that I wasn’t able to attend. However, the Oracle online offering made up for it - this post highlights the key features of the site.

I thought the Oracle OpenWorld Online site featuring what was happening at this years conference in San Fransisco was particularly good. Although I missed the conference I felt like I was there since I was able to get updates every day in a variety of media formats as highlighted below: -

I had a 2 hour train trip from Hengelo to Schipol today so I downloaded some of the keynotes last night and watched them on the journey - it helped ease the boredom. What I thought was particularly good development for the blogging community was the Blogging Center

where there were contributions from a number of well known Oracle Bloggers as follows: -

I enjoyed reading all the contributions but in particular though Mark Rittman’s effort was really good.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Oracle OpenWorld DEMOgrounds visit – Internal Controls Manager

On Tuesday 7th September 2004 I paid a visit to DemoGrounds at Oracle OpenWorld and took a look at Oracle Internal Controls Manager, here’s a summary of my findings.

I have to say I quite like this product as well as the idea and concept behind it. Internal Controls Manager (ICM) has been developed so that it can assist organisations that are trying to ensure they comply with the new requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as well as increased adoption of International Accounting Standards (IAS). Internal Controls Manager comes standard with 11i10 but not 11i9 (you have to patch up a standard 11.5.9 install to get ICM working).

According to the demonstrator there are only about 160 people implementing it and most of those customers are in the USA. The various brochures, fact sheets and documentation I was given to read indicated that Oracle was one of the first ERP Vendors to come out with a product like this. A product flash leaflet I was given at the DEMOgrounds entitled An Ounce of Prevention - Oracle Internal Controls Manager by Scott Tiazkun of IDC had the following to say: -

The product of work with customers and design partners PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte and Touche to give it that user-tested and partner-approved feel, the Oracle application is aimed specifically at facilitating compliance with Sections 302 and 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley. Section 302 requires particular employees to state that their internal controls are effective. Section 404 requires them to attest that a company attains standards similar to those set by The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), a Congressional commission subcommittee on internal controls. This is in addition to the external auditors certification and review of the same issues.

Oracle ICM is used in conjunction with Oracle Workflow, a modelling tool already in the E-Business Suite that allows users to design internal business processes and store them in a repository. Oracle ICM monitors these processes to ensure they are performed as designed. If deviations occur, automatic alerts are sent to designated personnel. Oracle ICM allows users to catalog and track risk factors that might impact financial statements and includes Oracle Tutor to document policies and procedures. The product also uses iSurvey as a mechanism to conduct questionairre-based assessments and also to support anonymous feedback to provide "whistleblower" support. The application provides users with an auditing portal-type work screen, where users can submit audit findings and issue audit reports, manage process documentation, document business process variations, and review compliance status of financial statements, reconciliation status and overall enterprise compliance status.

The Oracle Internal Controls Manager Home Page

The Oracle Internal Controls Manager Home Page

In a nutshell the Controls Manager allows you to take a look at the processes within your organisation, determine the risks at each point within a process and specify controls which should mitigate the risks. Oracle has integrated ICM very well into the E-Business Suite and this is the beauty of the product. Firstly ICM links with Oracle Projects so that if you are going to conduct an audit you can treat it as a project which is appropriately costed and allocated the right resources. Secondly it integrates with Tutor in a manner that allows you to import your Oracle Tutor process documentation into the module. Lastly, where you don’t have any process documentation prepared in Tutor, an interface is available with Web ADI that provides you with templates where you can capture process, risk and control information for subsequent import into ICM.

I’m hoping to have a chance to implement this product in the future and would certainly be interested in receiving contributions from readers or implementor’s relating to this module.

Some comments on Oracle OpenWorld London

This post contains some general comments on Oracle OpenWorld London recently held at the Excel Conference and Exhibition Centre.

I had the pleasure of attending Oracle OpenWorld London which took place on the 6th - 8th of September 2004. On this site over the next few days, I will be discussing some of the things I did and saw at the conference. One of the first things that always intrigues me when registering is the conference bag. It’s kind of like those lucky dip packets you get from Father Christmas when you’re a kid - lot’s of goodies in side. I’m amazed at the different types of goodies and gadgets they come up with every year (most of which serve no useful purpose) as well as the different designs and types of conference bags that are distributed. I’ve been attending these conferences for many years now and I have a collection of about 6 or 7 bags in my cupboard - not one of them is the same! These bags tend to be nice for carrying laptops but my existing laptop has a 17 inch monitor and won’t fit in any of them. Still I always manage to find some use for them.

The Oracle OpenWorld Conference Bag

The Conference Bag for this year's London Oracle OpenWorld Conference

The conference was held at the ExCel Conference and Exhibition Centre, which is in the heart of the London Docklands on the East side of London. The conference centre and the facilities were really good. This Conference centre is quite similar to the San Diego Convention Center where I have attended various Oracle Appsworld and OAUG conferences - the feel of these two centres is very much the same since the SCC is right on the San Diego Harbour and the Excel Conference Centre is right next to the Thames.

The entrance to the ExCel Exhibition and Conference Centre at the London Docklands

The ExCel Conference Centre where Oracle OpenWorld London was held

The Millenium Dome and London Docklands as seen from the Excel Exhibition and Conference Centre

The London Docklands and Millenium Dome right next to the Thames River on the East side of London

The first thing that struck me about this conference was the sheer size of it as the attendance at the conference was very high. I’m not sure of the actual numbers but think I can safely say there were more than 5,000 people in attendance. I thought I would certainly bump into people I new, but finding people in the sea of faces proved to be very difficult. The speakers at the sessions I attended were really good (will be doing write-ups on these sessions in a day or two) and the DEMOgrounds and Exhibition Hall had some interesting stuff to take a look at. You can download conference presentations and white papers which are organised according to the following Focus Areas: -

  • Industries
    • Automotive
    • Communications
    • Financial Services
    • Healthcare
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Professional Services
    • Public Sector
    • Retail
    • Trade and Wholesale
    • Transportation Utilities
  • Line of Business
    • Business Intelligence
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    • Financials
    • Human Resources
    • Manufacturing
    • Projects
    • Supply Chain Management
  • Oracle Services
  • Small and Midsize Enterprises
  • Technology
    • Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing
    • Oracle Application Development Tools 10g
    • Oracle Application Server 10g
    • Oracle Collaboration Suite
    • Oracle Database 10g
    • Oracle E-Business Suite Technology

If you missed the conference and are interested in seeing some snapshots of the event you can find them here. Keynotes can also be viewed online.

Room for improvement

It’s always useful to compare an event with other’s I’ve attended. Being an avid Internet surfer and having a laptop with in built wireless support means I like to use this feature as often as I get the chance. All the big conferences I have attended in the States had wireless hotpots and you could essentially access the Internet from anywhere within the conference building. This did not hold true for the London Conference - I could pick up a few wireless networks but access to them was restricted. To access the Internet you had to stand in a queue to have get on to a PC - hopefully it will be different next time. I also felt the DEMOgrounds were a bit small, it was really difficult to get to see anything as there were so many people wanting to take a look at the new stuff coming out (despite this I did get a chance to take a look at Internal Controls Manager which I will be doing a write-up on shortly).

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Oracle OpenWorld - London Conference

I’ll be attending Oracle OpenWorld London and this post contains details of the sessions I will be attending and preparing write ups on.

I’m moving to the UK permanently on the 5th of September and was lucky enough get a Full Conference Complementary Pass for Oracle OpenWorld London, which is running at the ExCel Centre from the 6th - 8th of September 2004. I’ll spend my first 3 days in the UK having job interviews and also attending OpenWorld which is a rather nice way to spend my first days there. If any readers would be interested in meeting at the conference and chatting then fire a mail my way.

I’m hoping to provide comprehensive coverage of the conference on this blog by preparing write ups on the presentations and uploading some pictures and video clips - time permitting. I’m planning to take a look at a lot of the new features and products on offer in Oracle Applications, like 11i10 (11.5.10), Internal Controls Manager (ICM), Enterprise Planning and Budgeting (EPB) and Daily Business Intelligence (DBI). For the first time in my life, I’ve used the conference schedule builder provided on the OpenWorld web site to ascertain which presentations I would like to attend as I’ve decided to try and be a bit more organised this time around. My programme is looking as follows: -

Monday 6th September 2004
  • Keynote: Utility Computing - are we there yet? - John Manley, Director, Application Services Department, HP Laboratories Bristol and Peter Hindle, Enterprise Solutions, Business Manager, HP UK
  • Session 7648: Financials Best Practices - Steve Miranda, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7646: Increasing Control: Centrally Managing Statutory Requirements and Corporate Policy Compliance - Michelle Maden and Olivier Arthus, Oracle Corporation


Tuesday 7th September 2004
  • Keynote: Protecting Your Assets: While Spending Less and Storing More - Tim Pitcher, Vice President, Northern Europe & Middle East, Network Appliance, Inc.
  • Session 7606: Beyond E-Government - Iain Campbell and Ian Watmore, Oracle Corporation.
  • Session 7396: Lean Asset Lifecycle Management - Robert Brown, Georg Reindl and Kenneth Mitchell, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7226: Customer Data Hub and Oracle Information Architecture (OIA) - Steve Miranda, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7995: Oracle Application Implementation Methodology (AIM) and EMC Proven Solutions - David Clarke, EMC Corporation


Wednesday 8th September 2004
  • Keynote: Transformation of Industry through Technology - Tom Garrison, Director of Enterprise Marketing, Intel EMEA
  • Session 7650: General Ledger: Improve the Transparency and Auditability of Your Corporation - Rob Zwiebach, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7652: Revenue and Receivables Management: Instill Strong Corporate and Fiscal Discipline - Fred Studer, Oracle Corporation

Mmm… I notice Larry is not giving a keynote, he must be going sailing grin

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