Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adapt - Learn New Things

Nothing lasts forever.  Sand-piles crumble.  Companies rise and fall.  Relationships change.  Markets come and go.  It’s just the nature of things.  Adapt or die.  Personally, I like this feature of life…can’t imagine anything worse than stagnation.  There’s nothing better to me than exploring and learning new things.

As Oracle continues their push into cloud-based enterprise applications, we’re seeing some of that fundamental change play out in the partner community; with both partner companies and with the individuals who make up the partners.  This is especially true with the technology-based services partners.  Companies have merged or faded away.  Individuals, many of whom have stellar reputations within the partner and customer communities, have accepted direct employment with Oracle or moved into other technology eco-systems.

Why the big change?  Frankly, it’s because the cloud doesn’t leave much room for the traditional offerings of those technology-based services partners.  As we shift from on-premise to cloud, the need for those traditional offerings are drying up.  Traditional installations, patching, heavy custom development…all those things seem headed the way of the buggy-whip in the enterprise applications space.  It’s time to adapt.

As a guy involved in providing services and complimentary products myself, I’ve watched this change unfold over the past few years with more than a little self-interest and excitement - hey, ya gotta pay the bills, right?  As a result, I’ve identified three adaptation paths for individuals involved with services in the Oracle technology-based eco-system:

1.  Leave.  Find another market where your skills transfer well and take the leap.  This isn’t a bad option at all, especially if you’ve developed leadership and/or “soft skills”.  Believe it or not, there’s a big world outside the Oracle eco-system.

2.  Play the long tail.  The base of traditional, on-premise work will not disappear over night.  It’s shrinking, granted, but it’s a huge base even while shrinking.  I also think there will be a big uptick in small, lightweight projects with traditional footprints that will compliment large cloud-based enterprise application systems (for further information, see “Oracle Apex”).

3.  Learn new things.  Apply your background to build skills in new technologies.  If you’re an Oracle DBA or systems administrator (two skillets that are rapidly merging into one), dig into Oracle Enterprise Manager…and remember that private clouds will continue to flourish with Oracle’s larger customers.  If you’re a developer, begin building skills in middle-tier integration - connecting cloud offerings in new and creative ways is very much an in-demand skill.  Or get smart with building light-weight complimentary applications (ADF, BPM, SOA) - especially mobile (MAF).  If you’re a business analyst or functional type, get familiar with Functional Setup Manager and the Oracle Composers.  Maybe get a solid understanding of User Experience and how you can apply UX in your job.  As a solution architect, I’ve spent a great deal of time learning how the various Oracle Cloud solutions work together from data, integration, business process, and information perspectives…and if I can do it, so can you!

Obviously, my approach has been to explore and learn new things relevant to the market changes.  The opportunities I saw for myself consisted of connecting things together and adding value around the edges.  It’s been a hoot so far and I’m nowhere near done yet.  YMMV.

With Oracle OpenWorld coming up as a huge opportunity to learn new things, it seemed timely to share these thoughts now.  So there you have it.  My worm’s eye view of how the Oracle partner market (or at least the Oracle technology-based services partner market) is changing.  Maybe I nailed it.  Maybe I’m all wet.  Either way, let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

You baby boomers are the most selfish generation to ever exist. You destroyed your own children's and grandchildren's future with your short-sighted selfishness and immaturity. And then you expect them to pay for your retirement????

Can you baby boomers just hurry up and drop dead, please?

fteter said...

Dear Anonymous,

Guess your "hot button" got pushed, huh? Not sure how relevant your comment is to the overall conversation, but to each his own.

As to your final first ;)