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20 March 2013

Where in the world is Cameron, days 3 and 4, Australasian edition

Wait, what happened to day three?

What happened was:


  1. I woke up really early
  2. I flew in a New Zealand Air plane to Melbourne
  3. I saw Bambi Price’s house and cruised round Melbourne in a jeep with Bambi’s husband, Fred Price
  4. I bought lots of real Cadbury’s chocolate (what we get in the States looks like Cadbury, but it is a Cruel Joke upon the tasting) to take home
  5. Laid down on the hotel bed “for a minute” before I went out for a beer and woke up the next morning

Okay, so what about day four?

I helped Bambi and Fred set up the conference room at Swineburne University (exciting pictures to be inserted as soon as I can find my boat anchor of a phone), had a flat white, and then proved that Cameron and Fred Do Not Do Networking as we tried, somewhat fruitlessly, to try to connect to the wireless network. Yes, you are reading this, so we are not hopelessly bad at this.

Here we are setting the room up. Oracle Ace Directors do it all, including moving furniture as required.
 

And all of this was for…

The ODTUG Seriously Practical Australia conference, natch. Yes, that link you see (go on, click on it and be surprised, and maybe just a little sad that you aren’t here) is the agenda, and yes, this is Exciting Stuff. We are bringing the same great focus and depth to Australia as we do to Kscope in the States.

Babar Jan Haleem, What’s Coming in Oracle BI and EPM, 9:00 am, Australian Central Daylight Time (ACDT)

Babar is giving the same (well, the same if you were at NZOUG 2013) session he gave at, wait for it, NZOUG 2013, but as that universe is pretty darn small, it is a fresh presentation to most.


My take away – I can’t wait to get EPM into the cloud at a client – I do it all the time from a development/self-training/generally mucking about perspective but that’s a completely different thing than actually running an EPM implementation in the cloud. Let there be no more missed implementation schedules because of install problems!


Debra Lilley, Fusion Applications and Your BI/EPM Investment, 9:30 am to 10:30 am ACDT

Debra just said that Hyperion (aka EPM) is “exciting” and that therefore, I am exciting. She also says that she is not technical. Hmm.

And what is the calculation engine behind Fusion? Why, it’s Essbase. And it’s transactional. You know, the thing that we Essbase developers were Never To Do. Could these be “headless” ASO Essbase databases? Could be.

Debra’s getting a bunch of questions – I’m really glad to see this interaction although she might feel a bit like a trooper serving under General Custer at the moment. What am I talking about, she can more than handle herself. Not technical? Hmm.

Fusion Reporting and Analytics – Oracle Transactional BI (OBTI), Oracle BI Applications (OBIA), and Specialized Analytics. The last bit is all built on Essbase – Essbase is the aggregation engine. How cool is that?

Charles Pinda, Delivering Your Financial Results Better with Oracle EPM 11.1.2.2, 10:45 am to 11:45 am ACDT

Charles does a great job – the 11.1.2.2 functionality that I wish was in “normal” Planning was Decision Management. It’s part of PSPB (Public Sector Planning and Budgeting) and is, in a word, awesome. I can’t even find it documented although I’m sure that exists. It’s a way to collect all of the text, comments, justification, etc. around a budget. It is So Cool.

Endeca Information Discovery, Stephen Weingartner, 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm ACDT

A small world, indeed – I am working (you may or may not be surprised to note that this week is not a normal work week for me) at a client in St. Paul, MN. And Stephen is from…Minneapolis, MN. If you’ve heard of the Twin Cities, you’ll know that St. Paul and Minneapolis are practically one city. As the saying goes, what are the chances?


Beyond odd coincidences, Stephen is here to talk about Endeca. The more I hear about this tool, the more interested I become. Or maybe I finally understand the value of unstructured data and how it might be analyzed. It sure isn’t Essbase, although Essbase can be fodder for Endeca. It’s ability to comb through public data and make sense out of it all is intriguing.


Stephan showed a Twitter data source analysis (Dan O’Brien at NZOUG 2013 did much the same but on #NZOUG and #NZOUG2013 hastags) based on the political turmoil here (I barely understand American politics so look up Gillard and Abbott on your own, I pick no sides) – all public data, all real time, all Real Cool.
 

Richard Philipson, Exploring Oracle BI Apps: How Does it Work and What Do I Get, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ACDT

Richard is fielding questions about why Informatica is used instead of ODI. Always a fun moment when one has to defend Oracle’s product decisions, but of course he’s doing fine. For the record, everyone wants ODI (but of course) and expects that it will come soon.
Overall, the BI Apps are pretty cool although certainly not simple. OTOH, they hook into the Oracle applications with a moderate amount of pain and complexity. There is a lot of functionality and flexibility in-built to the tools.
And oh btw, slowly changing attributes, the semi-holy grail of Essbase that is kind of, sort of there, is easily displayed in BI Apps.

Christine Aird, Thoughts from the Frontline – Issues and Opportunities Faced When Implementing or Upgrading HFM Applications, 3:15 pm to 4:15 pm ACDT


Another presenter who claims he (or I suppose she) “isn’t the least bit technical”.  I wonder if Australian English (almost as painful a term as American English) defines technical as “more than the Septics would do”.  She’s a geekette, but just doesn’t know it.  Or maybe that is admit it.  Why do I say this?  Because what she describes as her project work is what I do, and I think I’m technical.  I could be wrong about what I do – it wouldn’t be the first time.

Christine is taking us through the various stages of project implementation, what HFM is good for versus Planning, and general good practices around HFM implementations.

Yr. Obdnt. Srvnt., The spreadsheet management system known as Dodeca, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ACDT


I get to talk about my very favorite Essbase front end in the whole wide world.  Talking about Essbase is always a good thing.  Talking about Dodeca is always a good thing.  Talking about both is just perfect.

Would someone in Australia please buy this thing?  No, I don’t want the work, I just want Dodeca to plant its flag on yet another continent.  After all, trade follows the flag.

And after me, the bar


At Beer DeLuxe – what a nice way to end a long and useful ODTUG Seriously Practical first conference day.

Keep tuned
There’s more to come, including my Brush With Celebrity, but that is most definitely a case of “If there aren’t any pictures, it didn’t happen.” Oh yes it did happen and yeah, I have the photos as you can see below. I think we all know who this is.

Stanely looks like he’s been through a lot. He’s also a bit smelly. But then if you read his adventures and travails at his very own blog, it all makes sense. And yes, that is my brush with fame. Also, yes, that is a bullet hole, but Stanley marches on. He is made of Stern Stuff.



Goosebumps is the only way to describe how I feel. :)

Be seeing you.

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