Sunday, 26 June 2011

Chicken or Pasta

When you fly as much as I do, that is a very common question, but one that is very difficult to answer, without a bit of investigation.

A few days ago I flew from London to Los Angeles and at the prescribed time I heard 'chicken or pasta?'.
I was about 4 rows back so to start with I couldn't see the food but in my mind was thinking, is it chicken curry or perhaps chicken in some kind of sauce? I also imagined pasta twists and pesto.

Then in the row before me someone actually asked 'what kind of pasta?' 'cannelloni' the steward said, and then the passenger committed a heinous crime and asked if he could see it, before making up his mind!

Funny story, you all recognise it, but actually to me it sounds like the ' Fusion or R12? ' question. You cannot answer it without any information, you need to know the facts, see the products and ask questions of other discerning diners.

Your user group is a great place for that we try and get the facts for you and ensure you know what kind of pasta is on offer.

And if you don't like chicken and are not even interested in Fusion, then that's OK but check out the pasta still, you need to know everything before you start, the same process is true of ' upgrade or reimplement?'


BMI Inflight Magazine

I often finish a tweet with the tag '#Ilovemyjob' or say so in a blog, I am extremely proud of what I do in Fujitsu and the company itself. I may be old fashioned but I have been with the same employer for 23years.

Heathrow Airport Ireland Jetty
Fujitsu though didn't used to have much open marketing in the high street and even in parts of the IT world, and often I felt we were missing out. It has changed over the past few years and now I see it all around me, and I like it
Copenhagen Airport

These pictures are some of the ones I have spotted in my travels, which centre around airports, clever placement.
Helsinki security tray

I am very proud of a few things, UKOUG, my committee at the IOUC and my being an ACE director, whenever I see something from them I feel good, and that is how I feel about these adverts.

Cover Girl

Who would have thought, I, Debra Lilley would be a cover girl? Just like the pride I talked about in my marketing post, I love the UKOUG magazine, OracleScene. I am really proud of the content and the contributors. But the biggest pride I get is seeing it on tables in the Oracle Customer VisitorCentres in the UK.

For the past few years I have had a column, Debra’s Diary where I have tried to tell members what a director of UKOUG gets up to, but now I have steped back from that in Favour of Twitter @ukoug_chairman or @debralilley and this blog.

I haven't stopped being part of it, as Chairman I still contribute and in the latest edition just out, my introduction interview is about plans for change. I love the picture it was taken at Easter when I took my PADI open water course, and the all OK signal seemed really appropriate for the article, and also fits in with the other pictures later on in the magazine of other volunteers doing sport ( do you recognize them all?) .

 We have a new agency producing the magazine, based in Belfast (which is where I live) and they thought a nice way to introduce me as the new chairman would be to out me on the front cover. The picture was taken at the Victoria shopping centre in Belfast and I loved the experience, it was done about 9.30am on a Monday morning and the centre was quiet, the few people around stared thinking I must be famous, and for a few minutes I felt I was.

I am really happy with the result, and I hope it doesn't put you off reading the magazine. If you are a member of UKOUG you can find it online or if not pop into an Oracle UK site and pick one up.

So I may not be Britain’s next top model, but this is good, I get to show on record how happy I am to lead UKOUG   

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

No Need To Wait Any Longer

Finally, and with no fanfare, Oracle Fusion Applications are available.

My great friend Floyd Teter announced you could download them last week from Oracle E-Delivery and I responded that it was 'controlled availability' and now we have the inside track on what that actually means.

I have blogged here many times that yes, we didn't expect it to take so long, but that it didn't really matter as long as what is released is a working product. But once Larry announced a time frame for availability it became important that they got on with it. I personally am fed up listening to snipes about it in the media, both social and mainstream, and it all being about the availability. I want the debate to be about the content. (In the same way, I am equally fed up of cloud talks being 90% about 'what is the cloud?' I want to hear about what it can do for organisations).

We know the Early Adopter Program was launched in the fall of last year and there have been press releases about the first to sign up, and the first company to go live will be presenting soon on their experience.

The front page of has had as a headline Fusion HCM for a few weeks and if you click through there is some really good content.

I run the Product Development Committee of the International Oracle Usergroups Community, and we have worked with Oracle Development throughout the entire life cycle for Fusion Apps. I spoke to them on Friday and asked if they would clarify the situation on our regular call today, and they delivered.

The EAP program is basically full, they have a great number of customers ranging from live to just starting CRP, and they are confident that the product is ready for the market. Controlled Availability means the product can be sold but before the contract is signed development need to assess that the customer has the best chance of success. They want to make sure they have the skills, or a trained Systems Integrator that gives them the best opportunity for success. If a small IT shop comes along, never implemented EBS, no FMW skills and says, 'we want Fusion Apps and we want to do it ourselves', it is unlikely they will be approved. However if a large organisation with great inhouse skills and track record comes along, or with a partner already trained then they probably will be approved.

Controlled availability is not unique to Fusion Apps, it is a standard policy used in many products.

When asked how many customers have been turned down in either EAP or Controlled Availability, the response was that no one had actually been refused point blank, but after working together several organisations had reached the same conclusion as Oracle that it was not right for them at this time.

I think this is positive news, a bit like me wanting the latest fashion, it is good when I am told it won't suit me, rather than a sales person just desperate for a sale and me ending up looking stupid.

So the wait is over, well for availability. Lets hear from these Early Adopters at OOW and beyond, and start to hear about the functionality, the value to customers and the success of the applications.

And don't forget for most Fusion is not tomorrows project, they still have a long life in their existing application choice, and perhaps some co-existence. Fusion is not a replacement you must take today.