Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Have Been To The Summit

I had the good fortune to spend three days last week at the IOUC Summit at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores. Althought this summit has been an annual event for a few years now, this is the first time I’ve been able to attend. Personally, I left on Friday with several “take-aways” and highlights worth sharing:
  • Wednesday’s highlight was a brief tour of Oracle’s Usability Labs. Oracle’s Jatin Pinakin Thaker and Alisa Hamai did a great job in teaming up to guide my group through some pretty neat initiatives (the new eye-tracking technology has some serious geek appeal). Oracle’s taking a pretty exciting approach with usability. The rallying cry is: “It’s not the number of clicks; it’s how you work”. We’re seeing some of this work in the most recent iterations of Fusion Applications, and I expect we’ll see more in future releases of Apps Unlimited products. I’m hoping to make arrangements with to spend a full day in the User Experience Lab…I’ll keep you posted.
  • It seems to me that we’re very close to the general availability release of E-Business 12.1. The Release Content Documents (RCDs) are already available on Oracle MetaLink, and I expect we’ll see some documentation on the value proposition for Release 12.1 (which will be a new thing for Oracle EBS customers) appearing in the next few weeks. I feel comfortable in speculating that the 12.1 release is very close at hand.
  • Speaking of Fusion Applications, I’d be surprised to see a generally available release anytime in 2009. Oracle is in the early stages of building a list of early adopters or pilot testers. Considering the extent of pilot testing Oracle plans on doing, it appears to me that this phase of Fusion Apps development will take at least a year.
  • There will be another round of Fusion Middleware's Oracle Excellence Awards this year to recognize Apps Unlimited customers extending functionality with Fusion Middleware in innovative and creative ways. This year, nominations will probably kick off at Collaborate 09 and award winners will be honored at Oracle OpenWorld 09.
  • A new developer career track is beginning to take shape, the Fusion Developer track. As both customer development and apps development utilizes the same tool set, there is no differentiation between custom developers and apps developers here – there are only Fusion Developers. You’ll see take a little more shape at Collaborate 09 and at Oracle OpenWorld 09.
  • Oracle intends to leverage their ACE Directors to conduct hands-on workshops for extending Apps Unlimited functionality with Fusion Middleware. So, if you’re looking for a low-cost, hands-on workshop, track down your local ACE Director (I’m taking my training and receiving my materials sometime in February…I hope).
  • The migration from MetaLink to MyOracleSupport continues. One of the best things I saw last week was the introduction of support forums as part of MyOracleSupport. These will be product-specific discussion forums where users can share information with each other. In the time since I left Oracle’s employ almost 10 years ago, I’ve always missed the ability to check my issues against the experiences of other customers. Introducing these forums has the potential to restore that information sharing capability. Could turn out to be a very cool thing, especially if the MyOracleSupport forums manage to differentiate themselves from the forums currently found on the Oracle Technology Network.
Not a bad collection of highlights and tidbits over a three day period. My thanks to Oracle's Mary Lou Dopart and everyone on her team who helped put this summit together. I’d also like to send out a special thanks to my new friend Vashima Goel, a manager in Oracle’s Global Customer Programs organization. Even though over 100 people attended the summit, Vashima made me feel as though she came all the way from India specifically to make me feel welcome from the moment I arrived at the summit until the minute I left…all too rare a customer experience in this day and age.

Overall, a very interesting week and a great way to start off 2009. I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.


Steve Romeo said...

Thanks for the update. I wish I could have been there!

justadba said...

Great update. Can't wait until 12.1...:-) Can't wait to see your classes, too.