OracleAppsBlog
A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Blogging

Thursday, February 07, 2008

UK Oracle Apps Contractors, Consultants and Blogger Meetup in London

Next week we’re having a UK Oracle Apps Contractors, Consultants and Blogger Meetup at the Tapas Brindisa in London. If you fit into any of those categories and would be interested in coming along and meeting myself and other Oracle Apps Fans for a drink and chat then please join us at 7pm on the 13th February 2008. 

The event was initiated by Simon Tomey of BeLife and I’ll be joining in along with some of his colleagues and friends. Although its a social I’ll be there with my laptop and internet connection so we can always do some techy stuff.

If you need any further information don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve also created an event in Yahoo’s upcoming calendar tool so that you can automatically add the details to whatever calendar software or application you are using or let us know whether you plan to attend. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kudos: OracleAppsBlog Recognized as Top Oracle Blog Site by WhatIS.com

Posted By: Michael Siebert

OracleAppsBlog.com was recently recognized by WhatIs.com as a “must read” blog for information technology topics covering Oracle.


We are pleased to announce that OracleAppsBlog has recently been recognized as a top blog site for Oracle technology by WhatIs.com.  Specifically, we’ve been deemed a “Favorite Technology Blog” under the Oracle category.  Three other blog sites were also recognized for their contributioins to the Oracle community:

Lewis Cunningham - covers a variety of Oracle technology, especially databases and development;
Mark Rittman - a must read site for all things related to Oracle and Business Intelligence; and
Oracle’s Blogging Network - basically, every executive, developer, or product manager blogger who works for Oracle.  But if I had to place my vote for the most outstanding blog that falls under the Oracle corporate umbrella, it would undoubtedly go to Steven Chan’s blog on Oracle Applications Technology.

Of course, we have our bloggers, readers and over 3,500 forum members from all over the globe to thank for their contributions to the site and their support.  Being recognized as a top site is certainly an honor, and is also a testament to the Oracle applications community and its ability to support one another through blogs and forums.  Keep up the good work!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Countdown to Oracle Open World: Schedules and Blog Cards

I’ve finalized my Oracle Open World schedule for next week, and have a good mix of e-Business Suite technology, Release 12, Fusion Middleware, and Business Intelligence sessions lined up.

For the most part, I was able to get into the sessions I wanted with one exception.  I’d really like to attend Nadia Bendjedou’s session entitled Oracle E-Business Suite Customers: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Oracle Fusion Applications, and apparently so would quite a few others as the session has been booked to capacity for several weeks now.  I’ve seen her present before, and always walked away with a much better understanding behind e-Business Suite technology.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, or maybe I’ll just linger outside the room and hope to sneak in.

Richard came up with a great idea - the creation of OracleAppsBlog business cards.  I’ve created some of my own cards via Overnight Prints to distribute at the conference.  Here’s a preview of what the cards look like:

Front of OracleAppsBlog.com Card

Front of OracleAppsBlog.com card

Back of OracleAppsBlog.com Card

Back of OracleAppsBlog.com card

Post a comment if you plan on attending any of the sessions below, or if you plan on attending Oracle Open World.  It would be great to meet some of the other members of the blog in person.

Monday

The Next Application Platform
Technology Directions for Oracle Applications
Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing in the Next Major Release of Oracle Database
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Tips and Tricks
Oracle’s Business Intelligence Road Map

Tuesday

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Architectural Overview
Oracle E-Business Suite Technology Updates
Deep Dive: Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 New Technology Stack
Oracle Analytic Applications Road Map
What’s New in Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition 10.1.3.2?

Wednesday

Oracle E-Business Suite System Management: Release 12 New Features
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12: Installation and Cloning Enhancements
Analytic Applications Q&A with Development and Strategy Executives
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Standard Edition Discoverer 10g Best Practices

Thursday

The Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12: Process, Integration, and Eventing
Best Practices for Implementing Siebel Business Analytics
Using Analytics to Compete More Effectively, Improve Sales Execution, and Maximize Revenue
Oracle Discoverer Future: Protect, Extend, Integrate
Oracle Daily Business Intelligence: A Business Intelligence Solution for Oracle E-Business Suite, Providing Relevant, Timely Information to End Users

Friday, June 09, 2006

Second year of existence

The OracleAppsBlog has now been in existence for two years. Its amazing to think its been going that long now. The blog has been much more successful than anticipated and I believe still has much more potential for growth of this blog and other related Oracle and ERP blogs . This year has seen the addition of 125 new posts and 1,400 new members as well as the introduction of the forum (with 155 topics posted to date) and wiki modules. I’m highly impressed with the functionality provided by the forum and I’m hoping that it will be used more this year. Sadly, I don’t have much time to devote to answering the questions but its nice to see other members helping me out in this area. The wiki will open up opportunities for members to document collaboratively.

I’d like to see more contributions by level 2 members this year so I’m going to do my best to get more authors and make it easier for existing authors to post. At the moment the documentation for level 2 members needs a bit of enhancement so that it’s clearer how to post blog entries, this was actually requested last year and I still haven’t got around to it!! Hence I’ve decided to take a blog break next week and focus on getting that done. One action I have taken to help blog authors is to purchase a group license for Blogjet, a really nice blogging software client that helps you edit and post blog entries. Also, if you have an article you want to contribute but don’t have the time or know how ot write it up into a blog entry, send it my way and I’ll do the work for you.

I thought it would be nice to take a look at some stats from the blog for this year. I’m not into comparing but rather like to see that the the blog has grown in terms of traffic, members and content. I’ve started playing with a number of different statistical tools this year so I can’t pull out last years stats for everything. Incidentally, reading this post on blog addiction it seems I’m pretty much there. Here’s the stats:

According to Statcounter, SiteMeter and MyBloglog I’m averaging about 350 visitors a day and 580 page views a day. Both of those tools only work on the main page and the pic below shows what going on at the back end as provided by the Urchin stats of my webhost pMachinehosting. As you can see I’ve had a about 5 million pageviews in total this year and am averaging about 15,000 page views a day. Of course, some of this traffic is from bots and not humans so MyBloglog, Statcounter and Sitemeter are probably a bit more realistic.

Urchin Statistics for OracleAppsBlog

I understand that the ExpressionEngine Commerce module is being released some time this year which I’m sure will make EE one of the most attractive CMS (Content Management Systems) around. I will certainly be implementing the commerce module although I’m not quite sure what I’m going to sell, I’m more interested in implementing it just to see how it all hangs together. The polling module has also been broken for a while so I hope to fix that shortly so I can get more interaction from readers in that area. The site certainly needs a redesign that will produce a consistent interface and theme between the blog, wiki and forum module. At this time last year I thought I would do a redesign myself but due to time contraints I’ve decided to hire someone to do it. It’s quite difficult to find decent web developers who know ExpressionEngine and are not busy so we might have to wait a while!!

Of course, if you have any suggestions for improvement I welcome them. I wanted to thank anyone who has made any sort of contribution to the blog to date and I hope to see more growth and better content in the coming year.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oracle Apps Blog - 10 Questions

I got 10 interview questions from Marian Crkon of The Feature blog, which I’ve answered as follows:

1. How did you get involved with Oracle Applications?

My original profession was that of an Accountant and Auditor with Deloitte & Touche in Zimbabwe. I then got involved in developing Executive Information Systems (EIS) with the Microsoft Office Suite of Products with the Business Development Services (BDS) side of Deloittes. After Deloittes I moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers where I joined them as a BaaN consultant. With the collapse of BaaN, PwC decided to turn all BaaN consultants into Oracle consultants and I got sent on an Oracle Bootcamp at RPC Data in Botswana. I did pretty well on the Bootcamp and six months later ended up getting a job offer by the company that trained us. I’ve been implementing Oracle E-Business Suite ever since April 2001, 5 years now.

2. How are you involved with the applications now?

I’m implementing internally for Thales, a large defence company where I head up the Financials Team. We’re rolling out across the group and trying to come up with a standard implementation methodology as well configuration for all companies within the organisation.

3. What applications or functionality have you implemented recently?

All of the Financials modules really and I’m getting the chance to make use of some of the more advanced features which is pretty much why I came to the UK in the first place.

4. What is your favorite application or feature?

Probably Oracle Financial Analyzer which I haven’t touched in some time. It’s being replaced by Enterprise Planning and Budgeting (EPB) but I haven’t had the chance to implement EPB yet or play with it that much.

5. If you could change one thing about the applications, what would it be?

I think it would be standardisation between how the different modules work. When you use the different modules you get the feeling they were all developed by different people who weren’t talking to each other (which is probably the case anyway). For example, lets say your are running the interface to General Ledger in Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, or maintaining a Customer or Supplier in these modules, they are both done in completely different ways and the interface for performing these operations is different. I think there’s a lot more room to give various components of the application a consistent look and feel. I guess this will happen over time but considering all the acquisitions that Oracle is going through as well as what’s happening with Project Fusion it does make the whole exercise a little difficult.

6. What inspired you to start blogging about Oracle Applications?

Originally I started up RichardByrom.com to share tips and tricks about Oracle as well as just get more exposure as at that time I was working in Africa and considering a move to the United Kingdom or United States. I soon found that my site wasn’t getting as much traffic as expected and through trial and error discovered the secret to having a really good web site and getting more visitors was to have good content that changed on a frequent basis. I discovered Mark Rittman’s blog and realised that this would be a good way to build up some really good content and at the same time document solutions to problems encountered at work. The thing about having a blog is that the site administration side is a lot easier. With my first site I found that I spent more time administering all the pages and trying to optimise it for searches than actually getting around to building content. After investigating all the options of what I could use to blog and trying out a lot of different software and service providers I eventually decided to use ExpressionEngine, which I believe is the best blogging software about.

Blogging has enabled me to share what I am learning through implementation experience with a global audience as well as given me the ability to publicly document these learnings. I try as much as possible to use my blog as a knowledge management tool.

7. What are some of your favorite blogs (Oracle or otherwise)?

I read a couple of the main stream blogs and also have an Oracle Blogroll and Personal Blogroll that I read using FeedDemon, another excellent software product. The main blogs I read, apart from yours are:

8. Are there any special topics or issues that you enjoy covering?

I like to blog about things I’m learning at work or how I solved a particular problem at work. I also like keeping track of any new products coming out so that I can understand the potential impact this will have on our customers and learn the new product as soon as possible.

9. How does blogging fit into your job or your business?

It’s helped me to connect with more people that I can obtain advice from or ask questions as well as provided an effective way of documenting everything I’m doing.

10. Where do see business blogging in three years from now? How will the Web 2.0 infiltrate the enterprise?

I think we’ll see more internal blogs by large software and IT companies such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft as a means of documenting employee conversations as well as more blogs aimed at enhancing relationships with customers i.e. bringing in that element of a two way conversation with customers. Essentially organisations are going to have to be more open and engage with customers at earlier stages of product development.

From a consulting point of view they provide a very effective mechanism for sharing knowledge with customers as well as showing them that you have the knowledge in the first place. I’m sure we’re going to see more consultants using these as a medium for demonstrating, managing and sharing their knowledge.

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