A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

UKOUG Conference Presentations - Oracle Tutor and 11.5.10

I’ve been accepted to present two papers at the upcoming UKOUG conference being held from the 31st of October - 2nd November 2005. Details are as follows: -

My first presentation is entitled Maximise your Return on Implementation Investment with Oracle Tutor
Date: Monday 31 October 2005
Time: 17:20 for 45 minutes
Topic: General - Applications
Stream: Oracle Applications


The corporate functions of any business consist of Commerce, Knowledge Management and Business Operations. This presentation will identify how implementing Oracle Tutor adds value to each of the functions mentioned, hence increasing the Return on Investment for your implementation.

Firstly, the standard Tutor procedure documents and business forms will be analysed and discussed. Secondly, the ability to customise procedure documentation and to create personalised training material will be shown. Lastly, the use of the Authoring tool to create customised help will be discussed and demonstrated. At each stage of the analysis the presenter will highlight new functionality that has been introduced to the product as well as provide advice based on implementation experiences.

I’ve got a particularly good slot for my second presentation which is entitled Oracle Financials 11.5.10 - new features and upgrade considerations

Date: Tuesday 1 November 2005
Time: 9:00 for 60 minutes
Topic: Oracle Financials
Stream: Oracle Applications


This presentation will discuss new features released in Oracle Financials 11.5.10. The modules under discussion will be Payables, Receivables, Cash Management, Fixed Assets, General Ledger, Internet Expenses and Property Manager. The presenter will provide a high level overview of the new features and then discuss the various considerations organisations should make when upgrading to this new release.

Hope to meet you there!!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Oracle Fusion for SAP R/3 Customers

An eye for an eye. Oracle recently announced an initiative named OFF SAP, the objective of which is to try and win over SAP R/3 customers who have to pay to upgrade to mySAP ERP or mySAP Business Suite. This seems to be in response to the SAP Safe Passage Programme, which is designed to lure PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Retek users away from Oracle.

Details of the programme are contained in an Oracle press statement, an excerpt of which states:

Under the new program, Oracle Fusion for SAP or “OFF SAP,” Oracle will offer SAP R/3 customers up to a 100% license credit, to switch from SAP to Oracle applications. Additionally, as part of “OFF SAP,” Oracle Consulting is announcing a new, free INSIGHT for SAP Migration offer, which includes a discovery workshop for R/3 customers that results in an assessment of the customers’ specific migration plan. With INSIGHT for SAP Migration, Oracle Consulting will provide customers with a clear understanding of the migration process and benefits. Oracle Financing will offer a two-year payment plan for the application license and support fees, with no interest and no payments for six months, followed by six installments. Together, these programs will allow customers to quickly begin receiving value from their Oracle applications, mapping payments to benefits over two years.

SAP requires customers who choose to upgrade from SAP R/3 to mySAP ERP or mySAP Business Suite to re-license and re-implement the applications, which can cost customers significant amounts of time and money. “Oracle has evolved customers with us for nearly three decades across multiple generations of technology,” said Charles Phillips, president, Oracle. “94% of Oracle E-Business Suite customers are running on the latest applications - Release 11i. SAP, however, seems to be requiring customers to re-license their applications to upgrade to SAP’s latest technology. Only 6% of SAP’s customers have upgraded to mySAP ERP, according to a leading analyst firm. Now they have a low cost alternative to stop paying for upgrades and get OFF SAP.”

Mmm…. I’m not convinced this will be enough to lure SAP customers away. Whatever the case, if you’re considering migrating either way, now would probably be a good time to do it.

Friday, June 17, 2005

New author in the areas of Oracle Applications Manager, Dataguard, RAC and Oracle Apps Framework

This post contains details of a new author that has joined OracleAppsBlog who will be contributing in the areas of Oracle Applications Manager, Dataguard, RAC and Oracle Applications Framework.

Michael Siebert, an ERP Technical Consultant, has just become an author for OracleAppsBlog. Currently, he works as an internal consultant for a global Fortune 200 manufacturing firm. He has experience in the US, as well as a stint abroad working in the Channel Islands. Michael has over fourteen years of experience in the development and implementation of custom data processing applications and of packaged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications, including the Oracle e-Business Suite of ERP Applications.  He has extensive technical expertise in all aspects of the application development and integration life cycle, ranging from initial analysis and design, through to development, installation, implementation, and post-production support.

I wanted to welcome Michael to the Blog and introduce him to all the other members, he is highly experienced and I’m sure his contributions will be very useful to readers. You can read Michael’s membership profile here or if you’re a member you can e-mail Michael via the profile e-mail console.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

OracleAppsBlog celebrates one year of existence

I had one of our readers remind me the other day that the blog has now been in existence for a year. Running the blog has proved to be very rewarding despite the time commitment required to keep it updated. Now that I’m settled in the UK (having moved from Botswana last year) and have broadband Internet access, I should be able to keep the blog more regularly updated. I’m hoping to write at least one post every week day i.e. five posts a week. Achieving this will easily be possible if I can find more blog authors. If you’re interested in becoming an author for this blog or know of anyone who could contribute then drop me a mail.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading the blog and participating in the discussions. Thanks also to the blog authors for their contributions. The blog now boasts a membership of just more than 1,000 and has had over 800,000 page views in the year. I have many plans for improvement over the next year including a complete site redesign - more on that in due course. Hopefully I will find the time to implement my list of enhancements. I’m really keen on obtaining feedback as to how you think the blog can improve so please add your comments to this post if you have any ideas or suggestions.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Variety and Spice at the London Geek Dinner

Last week I attended the London Geek Dinner hosted by Robert Scoble and Hugh Macleod. I must be the last one to blog about this as I’m a bit stretched for time right now. Anyhow, it was an awesome evening. Personally, it was the best social event I’ve attended this year (am I sad or what?). I got to meet plenty of interesting people and the food wasn’t too bad either.

Some of the people I got to meet:

  • Jason Korman - Wine Entrepreneur, Orbital Wines Limited. Jason was the first person I shared a beer with and although he’s not a blogger it was still interesting to talk to him about his Wine business (especially since I come from Southern Africa and that’s where they import some of their wines from).
  • Hugh Macleod
  • Kevin Anderson - Reporter/Producer, BBC News - I had the pleasure of chatting with him over my meal. Kevin does some work with the Up all Night crew at the BBC
  • Neville Hobson - produces what is, in my opinion, the best podcast on this planet - the Hobson & Holtz Report (I’m yet to come across someone that can better what these guys are doing)
  • Stuart Bruce - Managing Consultant, Stuart Bruce Associates
  • Geoff Jones - Geoff had a really good way of getting noticed, he had a bright green T-shirt. I’ve seen him in many of the pics and can’t find myself in one (OK, there is one of me here). Next time I think I’m going to wear a luminous orange T-shirt.
  • David Topping - Consultant (Business Management, Software Marketing and Software Development)
  • Robert Claeson - Managing Director, Synapse Technologies
  • Neil McIntosh - Assistant Editor, Guardian Unlimited
  • Matt Richardson

You can check out a pic I took of all the business card’s I collected here. Personally I decided I woudn’t be taking any form of dead tree business card to the event. I wanted to see if it would be sufficient to beam my electronic business card to other attendees from my iPAQ 4150. Much to my surprise everyone I met (with the exception of one person) had some sort of device that I could beam my business card to, either a phone, PDA or combo phone/PDA - proof that this was truly a geek dinner. I’ve never seen so many different portable devices and wasn’t aware that there was so much variety in this market space. Obviously, I haven’t been reading engadget enough.

I’ve subsequently met a couple of other people through the flickr network, namely: -

Of course, the coolest guy in the room was the dude with the Tablet PC who merrily blogged away during Scoble’s speech - another good way to get noticed since he seems to have featured in a lot of the pics as well. You can check all the photos I took of the event at my flickr set - I’m topping the flickr group that was created for others to post their photos to as I took about 84 pics. The reason I ended up with so many pics was that not only did I take snaps at the dinner, I also took pics of my journey to and from the dinner using the London Underground and the train. The commute into London from Maidstone took me about an hour so I took the opportunity to listen to Todd Cochran of Geek News Central on my new iRiver H340. On the way home I slept!!

I didn’t get to meet the Scobleizer. However, I did get to ask Robert plenty of questions in a Q&A session after his speech. I asked the following questions and I’ve included references to the points in the audio where I asked them as well as Scobles paraphrased answer:

  • Q1: How many hours a day do you spend blogging and how does that relate to your traditional job? (12.25) - Answer: Blogging is really part of my traditional job as it helps me build relationships with people in a very scalable way which is really what my position as Technical Evangelist at Microsoft requires.
  • Q2: What about fear? Do you fear losing your job as a result of what you’re saying, do you find yourself pushing the boundaries? (28.46) - Answer: If I got fired today I would double my salary. I have to be responsible and do the right thing by basing my opinions on fact.
  • Q3: Do you have the protection of Microsoft in what you say in the instance where you say something and someone wants to bring a lawsuit against you? (30.25) - Answer: Yes and No. Microsoft has deep pockets. We expect that a blogger at Microsoft will at some time be sued.
  • Q4: Do you have to think before you blog, do you have to consult legal teams or PR? (31.56) - Answer: Not on my personal blog. Microsoft’s blogging policy is be smart. I do think a lot about what other people would think in a strategic way. I have a policy of correcting mistakes quickly so that I can maintain credibility.

The part of Robert’s speech I found most interesting was where he referred to Stretching the Corporate Membrane (point 22.26 to 23.40 in the audio) that he has written about in Naked Conversations. Hugh has a related diagram called the Porous Membrane that explains why corporate blogging works quite well.

You can see a variety of posts on the dinner by checking the tags outlined below as well as having a look at the London Geek Dinner Wiki. I’ve signed up for the next event, namely the London Marketing Soiree hosted by Hugh Macleod and Seth Godin. Hopefully, this series of events will become a regular monthly meeting!!

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