Friday, April 20, 2007

Postcard From The Edge...Of Collaborate 07 - Wrap Up

This is the last of the "Postcard" articles for Collaborate. Just a few final impressions on the conference...
  • The conference this year had much more energy than in years past. It also had much more of an international attendance. OAUG in particular is truly becoming a worldwide organization.
  • The interest level in Fusion was definitely through the roof this year. Any session having anything to do with Fusion Middleware or Fusion Applications was packed to the roof. (hmmm, maybe I should have thrown Fusion into the title of my session on iterative project management - might have drawn a few more people).
  • Although the interest level in Fusion Applications was very high, there was not much new information from Oracle on the subject. To a very great degree, much of the information was a rehash from last year's OpenWorld. While the dearth of new information is not terribly surprising, if my understanding of where the project stands at the moment is correct (Business Requirements Docs are complete and coding has begun), Oracle will need to provide some new information fairly soon in order to maintain the high level of customer interest.
  • There is quite a bit of info available on the technology involved with the overall Fusion vision (old though it may be), but not much noise being made about the specific business benefits that can come to end users through that technology. I thought about this quite a bit while in Las Vegas and decided during the ride home that getting the word out on this subject may be my focus over the next year.
  • With the increasing complexity of Oracle's applications stack, I'm surprised more customers are not focused on leveraging their customer support agreements to implement some type of proactive support programs. More complexity means more issues. The best way to control those issues is to address them before they arise. Proactive support is analogous to a project's risk management plan and, as any good project manager will tell you about the risk management plan, you "don't leave home without it."
  • I'm much more impressed with E-Business Release 12 than I was before Collaborate 07. In addition, I'm also impressed with the composite apps plus process orchestration strategy that lies at the heart of the newly announced Applications Integration Architecture. The combination of these two impressions will drive me to restructure my own organization's enterprise applications roadmap.
  • For Oracle apps customers, the challenge is no longer one of adequate choice. Instead, the challenge comes with the ability of digest all the available choices and make intelligent decisions in the face of the many options Oracle has provided us.
  • Business for implementers and integrators must be getting better. This week, I met bunches of vendors I've never heard of before, all of whom have "...been doing Oracle Apps for 20 years."
Within the next week, I'll begin to review some of the sessions from Collaborate. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this final thought: are you an OAUG member yet? The value of belonging far outweighs the nominal cost in so many ways, with Collaborate just being the latest example. If you're a member, get involved. If you're not a member, consider joining.

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