Friday, June 21, 2013

Oracle - Help Me Help You

When I was about 10 years old, I had the good fortune of becoming Cub Scout of the Year at my local Pack. The award recognized the achievements of the 10-year-old Cubs over the course of a year and the Pack knew how to motivate the cubs to work hard for the award. Each and every Pack meeting, they displayed a Cub Scout ring on a stand inside a display case. Turns out the ring was mostly tin, but it sure looked good in that case where we could all oogle it. I was a highly-motivated little Cubbie, covered my shirt and my shirt tail with columns of arrow points, and made darn sure I won that award. Being able to see what you want is strong motivation to getting what you want. And, darn near 50 years later, I still have that Cub Scout ring.

Warm, fuzzy and self-centered childhood memories aside, what does this story have to do with anything?  Well, in all honesty, it has a bit to do with Fusion Applications.  I've been a user and an advocate for Oracle products for more years than I care to admit.  And there's always been a way to show, touch and feel the products.  For example, E-Business has a Vision instance.  Partners, advocates, trainers, salespeople...regardless of the role, many of us have deep familiarity with using the Vision instance to learn, advocate, train and sell to customers and potential customers.  Technology?  Download the real deal from the Oracle Technology Network: see it, touch it, work with it, advocate with it.  Sales soon follow.

Fusion Applications?  No pre-sales touching or feeling that I'm aware of, other than Oracle Cloud trials (still waiting for that sales call on my Taleo trial, btw) and early adopter programs.  I hear rumors of a demo instance similar to EBS Fusion called "InFusion", but I have yet to see it for myself.  Sure, I can download and install the entire Fusion Apps suite from E-Delivery for a 30-day long as I have disk space equivalent to the available acreage of Kansas, enough processing power to run email for the Western Hemisphere, a network pipeline the size of the Great Barrier Reef, and a few barrels of sample data ready to roll.  Seriously, installing and configuring in 30 days is a challenge - not much time for kicking the tires.  Heck, as an Oracle Education partner, I can tell you that Fusion Applications training instance are extremely difficult to come by even for Oracle Instructors.
It's difficult be good advocates, teachers, and salespeople, motivating people to consider, explore, and maybe even buy, when you just can't show them the real goods.  Not PowerPoint slides or click-through applets, but the real freakin' deal.  The challenge here is magnified by the intense levels of competition in today's enterprise applications market.  The competition is showing the real slide decks and applets shrivel in comparison.
So, Oracle, this is a plea to help me help you.  Love the potential of Fusion Applications.  Difficults to share the vision with others when we can't show the real deal.  Could we please get a lightweight demo environment of  Fusion Applications out for the advocates and partners to work with?  Learn a lesson from the Cub Scouts - there's nothing that motivates like seeing the prize!
Comments? Firebombs? Agreement?  All welcome in the comments.
UPDATE:  The morning after this post was published, I received the following tweet from Steve Miranda:  "after yest post, I asked the team to get you an env.  Would have been easier to simply ask me for one."
My response:  1) YIPEE! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Steve Miranda, for both the positive and timely response.  Great example of how the phrase "Oracle listens" is more than just sales hooey - appreciate you walking the walk as well as talking the talk;  2) Could have sworn that I've asked in the past, but I'll happily stand corrected on the matter - at my age, recollections are pretty questionable; 3) Hope this moves extends beyond just me to encompass all the advocates and's been a tough experience for the entire community, and an all-encompassing move would fix that; 4) Did I say thank you, Steve Miranda?


Sujoy said...

Absolutely spot on. Hope they are listening.
As a developer, I would really want to get my hands dirty on this but without having to invest substantially on the hardware.
Wistful thinking..


Mohamed Nabil said...

Hi there. I hope this reaches you well. I would like to have access to a Fusion cloud instance. Can you help me please? my email is:

Thank you!

fteter said...

Mohamed, I wish I could help. It's tough to get access even as an Oracle partner. Pretty much impossible if you're not.