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13 April 2017

Miami, Florida ODTUG BI-EPM Oracle Cloud Stack User Event live blog

Where are you?  Probably not at the ODTUG BI-EPM Cloud Stack User Event.

Yr. Hmbl. & Obt. Svt. writes that because you’d not be reading my blog if you were.  Actually if you are here and you are reading this blog this can’t be a very good event.  With luck the number of people that fall into this category rounds down to zero because it actually is a pretty good event.

But I digress.

I’m going to try to live blog  totally suck when I try to live blog this meetup (Correction – I have been informed that this is a summit.  Fancy.) as well as do as much live video as I can on Periscope.  You can watch that if you are a Periscope user or also watch it via my Twitter feed @CameronLackpour.  Your choice as I aim to please.

To be a little fair to myself (eh, still lazy to the core), my laptop was being used for the presentations and my phone was being used for recording so apparently I’d either need to buy another laptop (nope) or phone (double nope) to be able to blog and present and record all at the same time.  Whew.  Given that the Chancellor of the Exchequer – me – isn’t going to allow that kind of capital expenditure I think I’m going to have to give up the notion of live blogging in future and settle for doing it after the fact.

Here’s the Periscope feeds (because again, I’m lazy and I suck and also because I accidently stopped the broadcast cf. I suck):

I know it’s a lot (thank you, wireless carrier, for your “unlimited” data plan as I’m going to do my best to stretch that definition to the limit) to watch but there’s awfully good content if you ignore my presentation.

Lunchy-lunchy

This has to be some of the best food I’ve ever had at a conference.  It was awfully good.

Here’s the remnants of the food:


I don’t know if I’d suggest that you come to a meetup (sorry, summit) because of the food but it’s a thought.

The speakers

So again, if you want to experience the summit, watch the Periscope sessions.

Here was the lineup – all good, even the Periscope sessions.

Here was the lineup – all good, even my presentation:
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM Networking and Lunch
12:45 PM - 12:55 PM Welcome and Introductions
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Oracle Keynote Speaker: Jacques Vigeant, Senior Director Product Strategy
2:00 PM - 2:40 PM Doug Hahn, Enterprise Technology Officer at Invesco, How Do I Decide What Cloud is Best for Me?
2:40 PM - 2:55 PM Break
3:00 PM - 3:40 PM Phil Bernhardt, Finance Director of Strategic Planning at Scholastic Book Fairs, Scholastic Book Fairs Transitions to Oracle PBCS
3:40 PM - 4:20 PM Cameron Lackpour, Oracle ACE Director, Making the Administrative Transition: On Premises Planning to PBCS
4:20 PM - 4:30 PM Break
4:35 PM - 5:15 PM Lakshmi Balusu, VP of Financial Systems at Perry Ellis, A Journey to HCM Cloud
5:15 PM - 5:25 PM Closing Announcements: ODTUG Volunteer Opportunities and ODTUG Kscope17
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Poolside Networking Happy Hour

One of things that was interesting was that the audience at this meetup (sorry again, summit) was a real mix of attendees:
  1. It actually was almost completely customers – a good thing as otherwise it is a consultant fest presenting to other consultants.  Boring.
  2. It actually was a real mix of levels – yes, it is an Executive Summit but there were both directors, real honest-to-goodness executives, and Hyperion admins, so again, a good thing and not the norm for meetups which trend towards the geek.

The presenters

For those of you unwilling to view the videos, here are some snapshots of the Best and Brightest as they present.

The ever ebullient, enthusiastic, and positive Jessica Cordova kicking it off


Jacques Vigeant giving the keynote (it was really good)

Doug Hahn, an honest-to-goodness executive and a very good speaker

Phil Bernhardt presenting on a truly successful PBCS implementation

Yr. Hmbl., Fthfl., and Obt. Svt. at work and OMG I hate looking at myself

Lakshmi Balusu talking about the Good, Bad, and the Ugly of HCM Cloud

What did you think about the event?

Here’s Ileana Ryan’s take on things:
Click on the snapshot or here:  https://www.pscp.tv/w/1OyKAoZdvQMJb

Thanks to all

None of this would have happened without the aid of:
and of course ODTUG.

Thank you sponsors and thank you attendees for coming together for such a great event.

Be seeing you.

06 April 2017

EPM 12c: Read 'em and weep

As that saying goes, read 'em and weep:

Are you on-premises people still here?  Good.  You have a strong will and constitution.

Initially I (like you I suspect) was stunned by this.  After promising and promising and promising us Planning functionality equivalent to PBCS (the release I heard was October 2016's) at Kscope after Kscope Oracle have now for all intents and purposes pulled the plug.  Yes, there will likely be PSUs in future, but I cannot see how that will encompass what Planning in particular (but Essbase Cloud as well) offers in functionality .  In essence, what you have today in on-premises is what you'll get – bar bug fixes and minor enhancements – for now and for the future.  Will this be what the audience come Kscope17's Sunday's symposium look like? 

http://theelusivefish.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/frankenstein_mob.jpg

Maybe.

Before you lose your minds -- and I am not playing the role of apologist for Oracle -- think very carefully about what you're trying to accomplish with your current install.  As John noted (and I'll add on), you have choices in the immediate future:
  • Make like the mildly upset (ahem) villagers and threaten to burn Redwood City (or Palo Alto or Sunnyvale or wherever Oracle EPM is) to the ground.  This ought to be good visceral fun.  <--John may not have suggested this approach.
  • Dump Oracle like a ton of bricks and switch to some other company. 
  • Move to the cloud whether you want to or not.  Even if you think it's not for you, it is now.  Enjoy.
  • Don't do anything at all for the short to medium term.  Be like the force of inertia.

All of these choices incur cost.  Only you can decide if that cost is worthwhile

Ordo ab hoc

Regardless of what you do, I urge you to think about what your next steps should be. 

In short:
  • Don't do the "When in danger when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout." routine.  Fun to watch; painful to be part of.
  • Do think about how you can (if you want it) put pressure on Oracle to change their mind.  Don't be subtle. 
  • Do think about what your alternatives are:  switch vendors, switch to the cloud, or stay put.  (There's always that fourth way of mob violence but I only recommend that as an exercise for the mind no matter how enjoyable it may be.)

Consider something else:  a major upgrade to 12c was going to be (as EPM on-premises major upgrades are were) expensive, painful, full of bugs, and yet a chance to reconsider what your system does and why and how.  Those precepts (and I suspect the pain) hold true no matter what your change in direction may be, only now the direction is something other than on-premises. 

On-premises customers would have faced that transition regardless of EPM 12c or no EPM 12c.  Would have this conversion been easier if 12c was released?  Undoubtedly yes.  But is this sort of break potentially good for you and your company to really think about what you'll be doing two or so years down the road?  Undoubtedly yet painfully yes again so there's some good mixed in with the pain and the rage.

That it will never come again, Is what makes on-premises EPM so sweet

What do you think you'll do once the shock wears off?  Dance with mad abandon whether that be with joy or with grief?  Head for the nearest bar to see how many boilermakers you can drink (bonus points if you are teetotal)?   Something else?

Comment care of this blog (or do it to me privately because you don't want to be identified).  Oracle read it.  I'm not sure they care about it, but they read it.  

Regardless, I'm going to take every single one of your comments and forward them directly to Matt Bradley, Mike Casey, Al Marciante, Shankar Viswanathan, and Rich Wilkie and anyone else I can think of in the EPM product management space. 

Good luck to all of us!

Be seeing you.