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27 June 2016

Kscope 16, day 2

Kicking it off

I interviewed fellow Oracle ACE Director Heli Helskyaho who is just absolutely brilliant:  multiple technologies, in a PhD program on Big Data, multiple book author, and oh by the way holds down a full time job and a family.  And also tremendously nice.  Thanks, Heli, for letting me interview you.

Hybrid tested the right way

Tim’s being bombarded with questions – Hybrid Essbase is on everyone’s minds.

Here’s the room.  It’s kind of full.

Just amazing stuff.  Whenever I have delusions of grandeur I need only think back to Heli and Tim and realize I’m quite the piker.

PBCS, On-Premises, Administration

Jason Jones and I gave a session on PBCS vs. on-premises from an administration-only compare and contrast perspective.  It will not surprise you that we advocated PBCS is the right answer beyond all of the gee-whiz features it offers.  From a practical, everyday, you-will-actually-use-it point of view, PBCS’ functionality far outstrips on-premises.  

We had a full house.

Keep checking back throughout the day
There’ll be more, more, more.

Be seeing you.

26 June 2016

Kscope16, day 1

Yes, it’s another Kscope, another round of incredibly busy madness, and another round of learning and fun.  I’ve bored many (all?) of you with my love and advocacy of this great organization and what it’s done for me and so many others.  

I’m going to try to again make the case with up to date, almost live, posts on Kscope16, assuming of course that my laptop batter makes it.  Failing that, it may be an update on a nightly basis.  We’ll see.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, now would be a good time to do so on @CameronLackpour as I’m going to be actively Tweeting as well as using Periscope to live stream events.  If you have a Twitter account, you’ll see these videos go out as Tweets – I believe you can view the video for 24 hours.  If you have an account (100% free), you’ll be able to watch it all in perpetuity or whatever passes for such in social media.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow

To give you a flavor of Kscope, yesterday was the volunteer day.  We helped with some cleanup and beautification at Cornerstone Community Outreach, a really fantastic place that tries so very hard to help the less fortunate.  It was humbling to see the need of their homeless clients and the incredible dedication of the staff to help them.  Making a difference, however small, by a bunch of people who have been extraordinarily fortunate, is what this day is all about.  

I wouldn’t miss the chance to do this for the world.

Volunteers were given the chance to self-select their area of work.  Yr. Obt. Svt. chose gardening, not because I hate plants and wanted to give my black thumb a chance to kill plants with neglect and ineptitude but because I knew the rest of this conference will almost certainly be indoors.

To give you an idea of what we did, have a look at the below.

Here are my copresenters Tim German and Jason Jones commiserating over the fact that I’ve suckered convinced them into working with me.  I believe Tim’s laughing because to not to do so would be to cry.  I rehearsed with both of them last night.  You see gallows humor at play.

On a happier note, here we are beginning to weed, plant, and water.

And lastly, here’s an example of the derring-do that Kscope volunteers evince:

Standing on a gas main to help weed Morning Glories.  Dedication or madness?  Probably the latter but in a good way.


There’s Natalie Delemar, Dan Pressman, and Celvin Kattookaran breaking bread.  It was pretty good grub.

EPM Sunday Symposium

This, alas, is the part of the conference that I can’t show much or share.  I can show the kickoff.   Want to see this stuff for real and for true, come to Kscope17.

The room – it was pretty croweded.

Tim German and Opal Alapat kicking off the Symposium.

Speaker reception

ODTUG telling us not to forget to prep for our sessions.

Chicago area meetup

We held a meetup in my suite (it’s my last year as an ODTUG board member and I thought it would be a good to use my space to host a meetup) for local Chicago Kscope16 and attendees.  It was quite the party.  I think I’ve almost recovered.

At its peak, we had 35+ people in the room.  Security only came once to tell us we had noise complaints.  EPM geeks party, but not too hard.

That’s all for now

For Day 1, I’m done.  

As I said, keep checking back.  I’ll tweet out today’s conference.

Be seeing you.

18 June 2016

Kscope16 sessions I want (and maybe even will) attend

Will I?  Will I?  Maybe.

Ah, another year, another Kscope, another series of missed session opportunities.   No, not your opportunity to see better content when you avoid my sessions, but instead my never-ending and quite-likely-never-to-be-fulfilled desire to see all of Kscope all at once.  

For real and for true, even for the technologies I know Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah about, I wish I could attend each and every session no matter the subject.  Kscope16 is the very best place there is to know everything there is to know in Oracle-land except of course for Kscope17 and Kscope18 and so on till the end of time (or at least until I retire – après moi le déluge).

Yes, yes, all Kscope sessions are recorded and yes, yes, you can watch them after the conference but while as wonderful as that may be, nothing beats actually being there.  And that is what I (or you) cannot do.  As I like to quote, Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?.  Robert Browning I’m not, but at least I can appreciate his work and reflect upon the irony of practically failing out of a class on William Blake (mandatory English “elective”, and the professor really did try) and then actually enjoying poetry as an ostensibly adult geek.  Appreciation is an inadequate term – I love Kscope – I will not fail out of Kscope (not actually possible, but you know what I mean), and I will enjoy it to the very best of my ability.

That’s all a very long way of saying:  Kscope is awesome, Kscope is cool, if you don’t go to Kscope then you’re a fool.  ←Yes, I just made that up, and based on the quality of that ditty I won’t be OTN’s ACE Director in the Poet Laureate area.  Alas.

What am I really interested in?  Carnac knows.

So, silliness aside, below are the sessions I’m most keenly interested in separated by topic.  If you’re not already going to them, give them some consideration.  I think they’re going to be the highlights of the conference.

Cool titles

When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 17, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Topic: EPM Applications - Subtopic: Planning

Coffee?  ‘Nuff said.

When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 18, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Topic: EPM Applications - Subtopic: EPM Reporting

PBCS and BICS – who would not want to be there?

Co-presenter(s): Nick Scott, SC&H
When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 16, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Topic: EPM Applications - Subtopic: Planning

Sandwiches, yum.


There are lots and lots of sessions on this, too many to note, and two of which I am co-presenting.  Okay, I lie:  there’s over 50.   Take your pick but know that Cloud is the future.


When: Jun 27, 2016, Session 4, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

Tim does brilliant, painstaking work which is just the sort of approach to figure this all out.  I’m particularly interested in his Hybrid session.

When: Jun 27, 2016, Session 2, 10:15 am - 11:15 am
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase



When: Jun 28, 2016, Session 10, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

People ask, “Is Hybrid for real?”  This panel ought to answer the question.

When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 15b, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

More Real World Hybrid.  Good stuff.

Data integration

When: Jun 28, 2016, Session 12, 4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

Focused aggregations for Planning, but far more dynamic and far cooler.

Co-presenter(s): Rodrigo Radtke de Souza, Dell
When: Jun 27, 2016, Session 6, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: EPM Data Integration

The two Crazy (Brilliant) Brazilians.  They love ODI and you will too if you attend their session.

Two unfortunate men

Will Jason and Tim ever learn?  

Cameron Lackpour, ARC EPM
Co-presenter(s): Jason Jones, Applied OLAP
When: Jun 27, 2016, Session 3a, 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
Topic: EPM Applications - Subtopic: Planning

This session is aimed at two different audiences:  on-premises Planning administrators who wonder what all the fuss is about PBCS from their perspective as well as PBCS admins who are looking to go beyond the in-built tools.  It’s a very practical and pragmatic approach to figuring out what the best way to manage your Planning apps and why PBCS is just better and easier to manage vs. on-premises. 

Cameron Lackpour, ARC EPM
Co-presenter(s): Tim German, Qubix
When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 17, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

If you’re in any way, shape, manner or form interested in Essbase in the cloud, you should come to this session.  You’ll hear Oracle’s take on EssCS at the Sunday Symposium.  Come to our session to see what it’s really like.


When: Jun 28, 2016, Session 9, 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

Dmitry is brilliant.  This is seriously good stuff when it comes extending Essbase.  

When: Jun 27, 2016, Session 5, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

My younger, smarter, taller brother from other parents keeps on teasing that this is cool stuff. The Calc Mgr team does sterling work with the developer community so I’m anxious to see what this is all about.

Co-presenter(s): Philip Hulsebosch, Trexco
When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 16, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

This is some cool $hit.  Yes, I really went there.  And yes it really is that awesome.

Smart View

The two G’s are the two Greats.  Or Geeks.  Or Great Geeks.  Or Geek Greats.  You decide.

When: Jun 28, 2016, Session 9, 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Topic: EPM Applications - Subtopic: EPM Reporting

I love it:  George is bending Smart View to his will for (hopefully) the Forces of Good.

When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 15b, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Topic: EPM Applications - Subtopic: EPM Reporting

Gary is a sucker who fell for my pitch valued and generous EPM Community leader.  Gary, strangely, loves Smart View and is dedicated to making it better and better.  I’ve heard about, but have not seen, this add-in.  It’s supposed to be The Berries.

See you there

It’s going to be GREAT!  Content, content, content is king and Kscope is the place to see it.  There’s tons more than I’ve outlined above.  

Join us, won’t you?

10 June 2016

Taking the Oracle Enterprise Planning Cloud Survey

Surveying the EPM Cloud landscape

NB – The below is a somewhat humorous repeat of what I wrote about the Hybrid survey.  This is in part because it’s much the same subject, in part because it’s (mildly) funny, and in large part because I am lazy.  Chuckle, or not, at the first two paragraphs.  It gets real after that.

If you read this blog, you know that PBCS is the future of Planning.  If you don’t agree with that you should read this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this  and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and buy this.  (Yes, I just recommended someone else’s book.  Why not?  It’s an excellent primer on the subject.  I await the same plug the other way round.)  Convinced?  You should at least be convinced that I and my guest bloggers think PBCS is the future.  There’s no reason to think that the same isn’t true for the rest of the EPM product stack.

Oh yes, if you doubt my commitment to the cloud, come see these sessions at Kscope16:
Cameron Lackpour , CL Solve
Co-presenter(s): Jason Jones, Key Performance Ideas
When: Jun 27, 2016, Session 3a, 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
Topic: EPM Applications - Subtopic: Planning

Cameron Lackpour , CL Solve
Co-presenter(s): Tim German, Qubix
When: Jun 29, 2016, Session 17, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Topic: EPM Platform - Subtopic: Essbase

And pity poor Jason and Tim for working with me.  Suckers. Fantastic volunteers the both of them.

What really matters

But as with so many things in my life, what I think really doesn’t matter.  I need only reflect on my 15 years of life with my cat as proof positive that what I think or want or need is 100% not important except for meal times and when it’s cold and I can act as the human furnace.  This harsh relationship has taught me to focus on what others need, not what I want.  See cat haters, felines are agents of self-actualization.  And hairballs.  

What really matters is where the EPM market is going.  Without shocking you too much, it’s clearly going to the Cloud as witnessed by PBCS, E-PBCS, FCCS, and who knows what else.

But how is that working out?  Seamlessly?  Painfully?  Somewhere in between?  What keeps you from using it?  Security?  Scaling?  Something else?

As with the Hybrid survey, we’re collecting your input – go ahead, rant or gush about PBCS anonymously or with your John Hancock – and forwarding it to Oracle.  Every voice really does count.  For those of you of a cynical mind (I fall into that category on any number of fronts), bear in mind that if EPM Cloud products are complete stinkers, Oracle will lose money, the EPM product management and development teams get laid off, they won’t be able to make their mortgages or college education funding or that dream vacation on the South African veldt or retire.  You see?  They have a lot riding on the product being what you need.  And yes, that outcome chain is a bit exaggerated -- money or no money figure out how to go to South Africa as it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  I anxiously await my check from SA Tourism  payable in Rand.

Case in point and the point of this post

You have an opportunity to tell world+dog at Kscope16 and an opportunity to send this feedback right back to Oracle product management via John Booth’s survey:  

Noting names

Fellow ACEs John Booth, Tim German, Mike Nader, and Yr. Obt. Svt. have all signed on for this.  We’re True Believers in this open relationship with Oracle.  We hope you will too.

Be seeing you.