Monday, 30 November 2015

DOAG 2015 - My Thoughts

My last posting was what I was jealous of at DOAG, but what I really want to talk about is my experience at their conference.

I had two presentations, PaaS4SaaS and a new presentation 'What Does Digital Distruption Mean to the Oracle Ecosystem'.

The PaaS4SaaS presentation I have been doing for a while but it needed updating post Oracle Open World, lots of things to add. I have also updated my whitepaper on this.

I first wrote about Digital Disruption and what it means for us in Oracle as a blog post and then as an article for O Tech Magazine and then after I attended the Connected Enterprise event I decided to put this into a presentation and this was its first outing.

I didn't stay for the whole event at DOAG leaving at lunchtime on the second day as I needed to be back in London for a customer, but I had a great time and really enjoyed it. 

Before the event started there was a user group leader meeting and then an ACE dinner on the first evening. 

Thank you to DOAG for the invite and the ACE Program OTN for making it happen.

DOAG 2015 - My Frustration

My mind is split on the DOAG, I love the conference, I love so much about the event itself but I am so jealous of their facilities.

People attend the DOAG and then they say to me 'why doesn't UKOUG do this? do that? DOAG does'

The UK has lots of conference venues, but very, very few that match the requirements of UKOUG. We need a large plenary auditorium, many, many breakout rooms, space for vendor exhibition and space for all the off piste things going on. There are probably < a dozen buildings in the UK that meet that criteria but the bigger venues refuse or make it cost prohibitive to take a subset of their facilities which leaves us with even fewer to use.

This lack of venues also makes those that are available expensive, and although we drive a hard bargain they are not subsidised the way many in other parts of the work are, which again makes me very jealous.

The DOAG hold their event at the Nuernburg Convention Centre which is a little way out of the city, but very accessible and the train fare is free for convention delegates, and they even have a DOAG shuttle from the train station to the front door. The hotels are all in the centre of town with so much going on.

The building itself it a spiral around a main atrium and the exhibitors are spread out around the walls, so delegates are walking past them all the time.

But probably the thing that I am most jealous of is the catering, not only can people sit down (a big compromise we have to make), but they sit in restaurants that open over a period of time, so DOAG don't actually take lunch breaks, delegates chose when to eat.

Having said everything that makes me jealous about the DOAG, it is a great conference experience.

UKOUG is an amazing conference despite all the venue constraints, the content is amazing and the volunteers are so passionate. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Connected Enterprise 2015

I have known Ray Wang since Oracle started working on Fusion (now Cloud Applications), as an analyst,  Ray has always been interested not only in what software does for the enterprise but also what it means to the end user.

When Ray started Constellation Research I was very honoured to be asked to be a member of their board of advisors. And then a judge for their Supernova Awards which I have now been for every year.

The Constellation Connected Enterprise event is now in its fifth year and each year Ray gives me an invite but it is normally about 6 weeks after Oracle Open World and I can’t justify coming a second time to San Francisco so have always had to turn it down in the past, but this year OOW was late so there were only 6 days between the two. Thanks to an amazing pair of bosses at CertusTim Warner and Mark Sweeny, I was encouraged to stay on and attend, and in fact then had a short holiday in Hawaii in-between the two events.

Digital Disruption affects all vendors, Oracle deal with it well but I relished the opportunity of a holistic view.

As ever more than one post, the event and more importantly the content, or rather what I learnt.

I can’t thank Ray enough for the invitation and I got to meet his family including his parents who were so interesting to talk to. I defiantly want to attend again, perhaps next year I could speak about what all this digital disruption and cloud adoption means to the end user, the culture changes and the challenges.

Finally thanks to all the Constellation team, it was great to meet the people behind the names, your event and hospitality were amazing.

Connected Enterprise 2015 - What did I learn?

This was a very different conference for me, I was a delegate there to learn, and I certainly did.

Every session was thought provoking and full of rich content. I particularly liked the panel sessions where a group of thought leaders shared their ideas on topics, and I loved some of the questions. I think Holger Mueller has set the standard for the future with his question to a panel of Cloud Vendors ‘What would you steal from your competitors’ products?’

I think the most personal session was from Ben Casanocha On the Friday talking about the employer / employee relationship. He talked about it being an Alliance, a Tour of Duty. Where both sides invest in each other and the employee sees the ‘tour’ as a career accelerator, not a parking lot. A tour should be between 3-5 years, and an employee could have several tours in the same organisation doing different things, and at the end of a tour if it was right for the employee to go elsewhere, or the employer doesn’t have the right tour for them, that is not failure. An employer should have an alumni of employees, a network to talk to and as a source of future employment.

The event kicked off with Ray Wang talking about where technology is today. When the Fortune 500 started the average age of those in it was 50 years, today it is 15 and predicted to be just 12 by 2020. There is a need to connect technology with user experience and story tellers to humanise digital.

The general messages were about the fact we can’t stop digitisation, but not at all costs. The ECJ Safeharbor ruling about it being invalid this a hurdle we have to overcome. Organisations need to stop being caught out, and rulings like The Right to be Forgotten is counter intuitive to technology.

Holger talked about 20% of staff in the US will retire in the next 10 years, in 20 years there will only be 2 workers to each retiree. This is a big change and the impact is something we as business need to understand.

The first keynote was from Ram Charan, it was based on his book The Attacker's Advantage which we were all given a signed copy off. He talked about us being the distruptees, and we need to be standing up and telling our organisations what is needed. I tweeted in jest about this to my boss, but actually my own CEO, Mark Sweeny wrote about the people adopting Cloud with us having made that bold, brave stand in their organisation in his recent cloud blog, the Elephant in the Room.

Ram talked about how we as the value makers need to reach the value multipliers. He talked about this being a skill that can be taught, he urged against using jargon and just using plain common sense when talking to the CEO, getting the CFO on side by properly articulating both the cost and the benefits, especially in a spend to save scenario. He talked about big organisations with multiple layers being the hardest to penetrate but don’t be afraid to try.

Dr Natalie Petouhoff is a CX analyst and although that isn't normally my area we had a great discussion on the customer experience of being a cloud customer.

Day two started with Don Tapscott looking back at the Digital Economy over 20 years, another author who shared their work with us. I love looking back at how far we have come, those who were brave to go first and those who are still holding back. It also made me think of this video Oracle released at OOW on where we have come from.

Really interesting for me was the panel session ,Visionaries: The Robots Are Here!, The Future of HR Tech, The panelists were from Ceridian, SuccessFactors and Oracle (Chris Leone). One of the things that attracted me to the event was to hear how all the different cloud vendors were approaching digital disruption. 

There was a sports panel and what digital means to them, Daniel Brusilovsky, the Digital Initiatives Lead of the Golden Gate Warriors talked about how it isn't always the answer. He would love totally digital tickets, but fans want physical ones, souvenirs of each game.

There was so much more discussed and these were just my highlights. I came away with so many new ideas, a wider perspective and even more sure that I am doing the right things, with the right company at the right time.

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Connected Enterprise 2015 - The Event

Ray Wang
Connected Enterprise is a C level extravaganza, set in the beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotel, Half Moon Bay. I didn’t stay there, but as a guest of a friend who lives nearby but I arrived for breakfast each morning and leaving as the die hards retired to the fire pits outside for their very late nightcaps each night.

I loved the format of the event, they limited the event to 250, which means they can have critical mass and yet retain the possibility for everyone to speak to each other. This also meant they could have a single stream in a ballroom setting, this to me is really important as it means people stay in the room all day, there are no delays between sessions and you attend sessions that you might not have selected for yourself and that means you broaden your horizons.

The format of the sessions were some fireside chats, panel sessions on various topics and some short presentations. The speakers were vendors who had sponsored and gave thought leadership not sales pitches, Supernova Award finalists, Constellation Analysts and other industry thought leaders.

The event started with a networking reception on the Tuesday evening, Sessions all day Wednesday with an early finish followed by a Half Moon Bay Brewery tour and meal in the La Costanera Peruvian Restaurant. Wednesday like each morning started with the choice of Yoga, Walk or Run in the amazing hotel grounds, followed by a networking breakfast. There were more sessions of Wednesday, followed by a Gala Dinner and the Supernova Awards.

The Supernova Award winners included Dan Wallis of Kaiser Permanente, whose Next Generation Customer Experience award was enabled by their Oracle Service Cloud implementation

At the Gala dinner Amy Cuddy was the motivational speaker, Amy is a social psychologist who talks about the importance of body posture in being successful and here talk was so inspiring, check out her TED video.

Friday there were sessions till lunchtime, a fantastic boxed lunch from the hotel with the choice of golf or spa in the afternoon. I chose the spa, and had reflexology followed by manicure & pedicure.

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

OOW 2015 Roundup

As ever I am slow to get the blog posts out, but in my defence you are more likely to read these with all the others already out. My excuse this time is pretty cool, the moment OOW finished I took a short break with Maria Colgan, an equally busy few days, but defiantly sun, sea and sangria margaritas!

Every year I tell you how busy I am going to be and if you have never done OOW you will find that really difficult to imagine. OOW has 50,000 people attend over 6 days, anyone who is anyone is in town and the agenda schedule is just a fraction of what is going on.

So I like to break down my posts into simple chunks, one for each hat I wear, either just read through them all or link from here, if I have set it up correctly you.

OOW15 - ACE Program and OTN

OTN is the home of the ACE Program and my sponsor for OOW. I can’t thank them enough for the 10 days we spend in San Francisco, what I achieve which each of my hats on is priceless and all down to their generosity.

The ACE Director briefings are the Thursday and Friday before the main Oracle Open World and I never tire or the sight of the Oracle Campus, and as it was almost Fall (or Autumn) it was even more beautiful.

The briefings are to tell the ACE Directors the messages for Oracle Open World and beyond at a more technical level. We are all under Non Disclosure Agreements so they can be very specific. The highlight for me is always when Thomas Kurian comes to speak. I was worried that when he was promoted to the board this year we would loose this opportunity, but he is the biggest sponsor of the ACE program and he didn't let us down.

Being an ACE Director is a transiant position, if you don't kept up the level of commitment you will be asked to step down, and this is only right, it allows for new people to be included and I loved seeing new blood in our ranks this year.

Oracle are also generous with gifts and many of my fellow ACEs are dressed exclusively by 'Oracle Apparel' but this they went beyond that and bought us all really appropriate gifts for self confessed nerds (although I had to get Mara's husband to help me with mine)  sphere app enabled, robotic balls.

Once the briefings are over we move into San Francisco and then there is an OTN area at the conference. This year I made a new 2 minute top tip video about PaaS4SaaS although my original one from July was still in the top 10 during OOW.

OTN also had a cloud hour at OOW and I spoke about the PaaS4SaaS proof of concept Certus had done with eProseed then Lonneke talked about how they had used those skills to extend into IoT.

Big thank you to everyone in OTN especially Vikki and Jennifer for all you do for us.

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