Monday, 28 November 2011

EBS Extended Support

If you subscribe to UKOUG e Bulletin you would have read that Oracle have extended the payment waiver for Extended Support on EBS.

"The Extended Support fees for EBS 11i10 will be waived for the entire 3 year period of Extended Support, December 2010 – November 2013.  This is a two-year extension to the initial waiver that was set to expire the end of this month, December 2010-November 2011."

I asked for this in a post back in May and I am not arrogant enough to think I am responsible but they have listened to all those who have commented.

In my original post I was worried about the number of people who said they had been waiting to see Fusion Apps before they made their decision, and I didn't think they should be penalised because it wasn't available for them to compare. So now we have Fusion Applications on General Availability and the Extended Support waived. Everyone must now decide what they are going to do.

There is a third issue, after support cost, and availability, there is the big issue around the upgrade path. Oracle have always said that there would be an upgrade path from the latest two releases which at the time was 11.5.10 and 12.0, but now we also have 12.1 so there is only a path from 12.0 onwards. Is this fair, well I am not sure, in most cases I see the move to Fusion Apps as a replacement is not the best thing for an organisation, especially one who has not already moved to R12, so not having the option is not a problem. As a user group leader I don't want to fight for something that isn't really an issue. However we do not know how many people would like to do it so the Product Development Committee I run at the IOUC will be asking people to tell us if they do need an upgrade path.

I think a lot of people will take Fusion but in small steps, taking the co-existence route, after perhaps adopting some technology first, over time. 

It is a really exciting time for me, talking specifics with users and my customers. In another post I talked about speaking at another Oracle Applications Day which was this week just gone. And I have recently returned from the OTN Asia Trip.
 It is also very exciting to talk to customers who are on their journey to Fusion Apps.

And as Oracle said at the event last week, "If you need to know more then go to UKOUG", if you cant join us next week in Birmingham then make sure you engage with your user group and keep up with the news.

Note: at this time the waiver is for EBS only.

Monday, 7 November 2011

OTN Asia Pacific

I was really honoured to be asked to take part in a second OTN Tour this year, this time Asia Pacific. Officially the tour started in Thailand but I actually started in Japan.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Last Stop Perth

The last stop on the OTN tour was Perth in Australia. Last year I took part in this conference remotely, but I don't really like webcasts in a conference, people have paid to attend in person and the speakers should do so as well.

What struck me about Perth was the country side, it was beautiful and I had many walks to appreciate it, thanks to my local guides, Chris Muir and Connor McDonald.
I also spent a day in Fujitsu with the Oracle team, just discussing where I think Oracle are and the business opportunities locally. Whenever I am near a local office I like to pop in, and put faces to the email addresses.

We also went to the beach and I had a conference call with the UK, they had wind and rain in Manchester and I had warmth and sunshine in Perth on the beach. Think I was the winner, and also saw the most colourful crabs on the rocks.

The conference itself was great except for the cost of Internet access, which I think is criminal. The venue charged $40 a day. I had three sessions and they seemed to go OK. I was tired it had been a long three weeks but well worth it.

This was our last stop but the first time I stayed in an apartment rather than a hotel. It was actually very good and peaceful. Might try it again.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

OTN Tour - Auckland

The flight from Manila to Melbourne was simple enough and I even slept, which is good as it was an overnight flight and then onwards to Auckland was heaven, Air New Zealand gave me an upgrade to one of their spaceseats, I slept the whole way, the most comfortable seat short of a business class bed.

Francisco the tour organiser who lives in Auckland, collected me from the airport and I was soon checked into my room, which should have been great, as it with time changes and two flights meant it was early evening and I was tired; however it was not to be, it took almost 2 hours to sort out my room! It maybe because I have been travelling too long or because I had stayed in great hotels in the last two locations but this room was a dump. My first problem was finding a socket, there appeared to be just 3, two in use by the tv and broadband and the third, the otherside of the room by the bathroom, which even my super long cable did not reach. I rang reception to ask if there was one I couldn't find and they said they would come up and look. 30 minutes later using the socket for the TV still not help but now I couldn't get the Internet to connect. At this point I made the decision to move the
next morning, it may have been saying Oracle money, but at the expense of my sanity. I went downstairs and through gritted teeth, politely told them my woes, and asked if the person despatched half an hour ago had been found? The receptionist rang their IT to see if there was a problem their end, and informed me there wasn't but she would come and connect for me, she also bought along a power strip, which suggests they know there is an issue. She then managed to connect to the Internet immediately she tried and suggested I had done something wrong. I politely told her that I was an IT professional who stays in hotels 200+ nights a year and would she like to start the conversation again, based on the co-incidence that immediately after her call to IT everything worked. She then left me, 10 minutes later now that I could have the TV and PC plugged in at the same time, I tried the TV but that too was electronically challenged. To save the staff the opportunity to fob me off again, I returned to reception and suggested enough was enough. Again they offered to operate their equipment on my behalf and up she came to my room again, obviously I received this personal service as by now I was their favourite customer. After confirming I was actually right and not simply the normal idiotic class of customer stupid enough to stay in their hotel (name available on application), she accepted it was not working, and offered me another room. I suggested that now, 2 hours after my arrival that was not going to be enough and to her credit she did upgrade me. Once in the new room I decided the hotel would do, and apart from the questionable sanity of the cleaner assigned to my floor, there were no more problems until the obligatory 'discussion' around charges at checkout.

Oh dear the rants of a seasoned traveller.

Next day was Saturday and a dear friend who lives in NZ came unto to Auckland with her family including grand children and we had a great day at Auckland Zoo. I have to say it is a fantastic zoo, not the biggest in terms of numbers of animals but so much space for them, beautifully laid out. The family then went home but my friend stayed the night and we had a girly night out catching up.

Early Sunday morning we caught a boat over to Rangitoto island, which we were in great danger of missing as the plenty of time we gave ourselves to get to the ferry terminal did not factor crossing the road as the Auckland Marathon arriving there. Rangitoto is a volcanic island and although only 25 minutes by ferry, very isolated and no permanent inhabitants. We walked around for a couple of hours exploring some of the more hidden areas and then did a tour being pulled by tractor around the main track and unto the base of the volcanic crater from where we climbed to the summit and walked around before returning back to Auckland. My friend left to go home after our lunch and I had a quick rest before meeting up with very one else arriving for the conference for a cocktail party.

Although the conference was all day Monday and Tuesday I was not on until after lunch Monday so I took the opportunity to play truant in the morning and alongside Fred and Dave from Park Lane IT who I persuaded to join me, we did the Auckland Bridge Climb. I have to admit having a wobble on the transfer between the lower deck and the actual arch, but really enjoyed the experience and am proud of myself. It is linger than the Sydney Bridge but not as high. Perhaps I will do that on my next trip to Sydney.

Back to the conference I attended a session from Lynne O'Donoghue who I know from when she was NZOUG President. She lives in Christchurch and gave a presentation 'Shaken but not deterred' about how the health board she works for coped with the series of earthquakes. It was a fantastic presentation, full of statistics and photos that put everything in context and how she and her team coped, kept running and assisted in the crisis and all whilst her own home had been destroyed. It was quite a humbling story.

My presentation was immediately after hers and I felt 'how do I follow that?' Monday I presented 'Fusion Apps, what do they mean to you' and I got a great response. NZOUG hd two streams for apps plus a business stream and plus another 6 technical streams so people really wanted to be in the sessions, and I was really pleased with the feedback.

At the end of the day it was time for an NZOUG tradition I and been warned about, their audience participation dinner. Where you sat was dictated by them and I was sat near the front of the stage, dangerous. The MC was a local actor, who albeit not the most famous was known and recognised by New Zealanders. The idea was ( and remember this was 31 October, Halloween ) it was 10 years since he had been an MC at a wedding at this very hotel and the bride had been murdered. He was then joined by another actor, the ghost of the bride. Then they selected 6 audience members to be the suspects for the murder and spent the evening whittling down the suspects based on their audience popularity. So first to be selected from the audience was .......ME. I was Chantelle the hard drinking, loose morals, over the top, maid of honour. Not sure why they thought I would be a good fit, but ever the polite guest I gave it my best. The other participants were TIm Hall as the groom, Bambi Price ( who is APOUC spokesperson for IOUC), Chris Muir as Father o'grady the priest, and two Local Oracle members as the wedding singer and the Chilean Chef. After being introduced and plateful to the audience we went back to our tables for dinner. I was loving this, but small issue, it was 8pm and I had a conference call with the UK at 9pm. So having had a word with the MC it was arranged that I would we voted off at the first cut. I tell you this because people kept coming unto me and saying I thought the clapping for you was really loud, why did you get voted off so quickly? Still I had to do the day job and I was back in time for the final part were the groom and the chef admitted it was all over their new found live for each other and in fact the chef was the murderer. Well done NZOUG it was hysterical and a great crowd pleaser. It was also brilliant how they included the speakers in it, sometimes on these tours it is easy to just turn up, present and not really be an active part in the rest of the event.

Tuesday started early, but the turnout was good and I had my 2nd presentation, the old favourite '42 Real Life Examples of FMW with Apps', again a great turnout and feedback. Then just before lunch I had my final presentation, a packed room for 'Should I Upgrade or go to Fusion Applications?'. I loved NZOUG and the feedback I got was fantastic. I would go back anytime.

The most beautiful things I saw in Auckland were the trees just outside the conference, these are Pōhutukawa commonly known as New Zealand Christmas Trees as they have a beautful red flower at that ti,e. These trees were over 300 years old and were proped up in places but just amazing.

Then time to say goodbye, and off to the airport for my flight to Perth, grateful I am Star Alliance and therefore booked on Air New Zealand and not Qantas.