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23 September 2013

Oracle OpenWorld 2013, day 2

Now we get to the meat

If Sunday was user group time, today marks the real start of OpenWorld.  By that I mean that yesterday’s presentations were approved by the various user groups, including ODTUG and today’s sessions are approved by Oracle.

Using Oracle Business Intelligence with Oracle Essbase: New and Upcoming Capabilities – Moscone South - 302

Ramke Ramakrishnan - Principal - Business Advisory Services, MarketSphere Consulting, LLC; Gabby
Rubin - Sr. Director, Product Management, Oracle;
10:45 am to 11:45 am
This is a mix of Oracle current state (and a bit of the new stuff).  I was particularly impressed with the Mobile BI model.  I may actually, finally, and most reluctantly (not because I am a Luddite, but because I am cheap) going to be forced to buy an iPad.  That’s two reasons (yesterday’s mobile FR) and today BI.

I am quite excited about what I see as the replacement for Web Analysis – this is the Application Designer tool which bypasses most of the formal stuff in OBIEE and instead gives a drag and drop UI against Essbase.  My buddy Natalie Delemar says Oracle have been describing this for a long time but I for one finally get it.  I suppose I had to see it.  And maybe that’s the literal truth – I am 99% sure this was demoed at Kscope13 but I was just too busy (and stressed) to take it all in.

General Session: Empowering Modern Enterprise Performance Management – InterContinental - Grand Ballroom B/C

Matt Schwenderman - Partner, Deloitte Consulting LLP; Balaji Yelamanchili - Senior Vice President,
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
I’m listening to Balaji talk about the development efforts.  It’s interesting to note how he states that EPM has been rejuvenated by Exalytics.  Things that simply couldn’t finish fast enough now can because Exalytics is Big Iron.  How cool is that?

And then the other big keyword for this conference – Cloud.  Those of you who have followed this blog know that I have been a big fan of Cloud resources for development, training, kicking the tires, etc.  It’s nice to see Oracle bring EPM into this space in an official way.

While me using John Booth’s excellent Amazon image is fine for all of the above, I simply don’t have the expertise or the desire to help clients manage a Cloud instance of EPM.  It’s very interesting to hear that Oracle are diving into this both for Planning and Financial Reports.  I look forward to telling clients, “Hey, your infrastructure has a bunch of problems.  Until your IT department pull their fingers out, how about we start doing POCs on a real, honest to goodness, Oracle environment?”  It at least ought to provoke some interesting conversations.  :)

Shankar is now demonstrating Planning mobile – wow, this is cool stuff.  Yet Another Reason why I can allow my internal Chancellor of the Exchequer to go out and buy an iPad.  Wow, that was cool – a really nice bit of UI there.

What’s next?

Mobile and Web-Based Reporting for Oracle Hyperion – InterContinental - InterContinental Ballroom A

Timothy Kosyjana - Finance Transformation Manager, Apex Tool Group, LLC; Mike Williams - Regional
VP, CXO Solutions;
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
So this is bit of a jolt – as far as I can tell this will be CXO Cockpit’s mobile solution, not Oracle’s.  Regardless this should be interesting.

Yep, this is a vendor product session.  As always with third party tools, there’s always the risk that Oracle will move into the same place.  Looking at what they are demoing, I would say there is some similarity with what CXO offers and OBIEE.  I can’t say how Cockpit really compares against OBIEE’s dashboarding functionality but I will note that they claim a two week implementation time, presumably after analysis and design (and of course the databases behind the scenes) have already been completed.

Interestingly, it looks like MDX is the calculation/query engine behind Cockpit on top of Enterprise/HFM as pulled into Microsoft Analysis Server (MSAS).  Essbase is a direct connect.  IMNSHO, they need to point Enterprise/HFM to Essbase, but I am a wee bit of an Essbase bigot.

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Integration with Oracle Hyperion Datasources – InterContinental - InterContinental Ballroom B

Venkatakrishnan Janakiraman - India Managing Director, Rittman Mead Consulting Pvt. Ltd.;
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
I’m sitting in on Venkat’s session on Essbase (not really the rest of the “Hyperion” stack) within OBIEE.

I have to say that I run hot and cold and then hot and then…well, you get the idea, on OBIEE against Essbase.  I know that a ton of development time and thus money have been thrown against the integration of the two tools so it is an important product direction.  I also know that while it is no big deal (so people tell me) to use Essbase in OBIEE sitting in this session hasn’t totally convinced me of that.

Maybe a better way of stating this is – I need to attend an OBIEE/Essbase session that is told from the perspective of an EPM, not an OBIEE geek.  No disrespect meant towards Venkat meant whatsoever (I think quite highly of him), but I think I need this stuff spoonfed to me.  I think I just admitted I am stupid but I am always ready to speak the truth.  All (sort of) kidding aside, I don’t know if I have ever seen this kind of presentation given by an EPM person.  It would be awesome to do so.
Hmm, Natalie Delemar tells me that yes, this very thing was done at Kscope13 and I missed it.  Oh well, I'll just have to figure it out on my own,

Oracle Essbase New Features and Roadmap Update – InterContinental - InterContinental Ballroom B

John Baker - Director, Analytics, Oracle; Gabby Rubin - Sr. Director, Product Management, Oracle;
4:45 PM - 5:45 PM
Oh this was an interesting one.  I am going to do a special blog post on this one because there is just so much going on.  I think I may even be allowed to talk about what Gabby and John presented on.

One caveat – everything but everything they talked about was prefaced by the standard safe harbor statement which I equate to “Everything but everything we say is a complete and total lie.  But then again, maybe it’s the truth.  Your best bet is to listen to what we have to say, think about it a bit, and then just wait till the product actually ships because that and only that is a true indication of what’s in the product.”

Watch this space for more.  Or go on Twitter and see what people are saying.  I’m going to try to have a more comprehensive approach.

ODTUG Happy Hour – Le Charm Bistro

ODTUG, selected guests, and even me
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
The ODTUG Happy Hour happened again, happily.

Not so happily, I didn’t wear my black ODTUG shirt.  I was a bad board member.  Again.  I fear I can be kind of a bit of a disappointment.

Here’s the happy black shirt clad Board of Directors having some truly delicious food and drinks.

Well, at least I see Tim Gorman in his proper uniform.  That’s an oopsie on my part.  Sorry, ODTUG.

And here I am in, not quite in the Uniform of the Day, almost getting the future scoop, on paper, of one of the new features in Essbase that I will (hopefully) post tomorrow.  Can you believe the Essbase PM literally snatched the paper out of my hand.  Yeah, I can, too.
So close.  But no cigar.

Be seeing you.

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