Want to know The Truth About CPM?

28 September 2016

Want to vote in the 2016 ODTUG BoD election? Then you must become a full member no later than 30 September 2016.

Getting the vote out

No, no, no, not the current (if you are a Yankee) Presidential election.  A pox upon both of their houses.  This is something almost as important and quite a bit less fraught with baloney – the ODTUG Board of Directors election.  This doesn’t decide the fate of the United States or the Free World, but instead our beloved user group.

Per ODTUG’s blog post (and actually per Yr. Obt. Svt. as I am the ODTUG Secretary) the election, “…is for a two-year term – January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2018. Members of the ODTUG Board of Directors enjoy the opportunity to guide the direction of ODTUG as well as increased contact with Oracle Corporation’s upper management and other experts in the development community.”

There’s more to it:

This is important stuff for it determines our future direction.  If you love ODTUG, it behooves you to vote.

If you want to play, you’ve got to play

This election is not up for sale.  But voting is only open to full ODTUG members.  You must be a full ODTUG member to do so.  

Membership benefits include:
  • Access to recorded webinars
  • Access to Kscope presentations and recordings
  • Ability to run and vote for the ODTUG Board of Directors
  • Discount on Kscope and SP conferences

The math test

Although this is not noted, it also discounts the cost of Kscope by $150.  Do the math:  $150 - $99 = $51  overall savings.  If you attend what is surely the Greatest Oracle User Group Conference Ever, being a full member nets you $51.  Such a deal.

Go out and do it

If you care about ODTUG, oh Best and Brightest, you must vote for the candidate of your choice.  

Yes, the hard sell.  But only for ODTUG and the organization’s future.  I care.  Do you?

Be seeing you.

27 September 2016

Oracle Open World 2016, Day 3 & 4, social happenings, Essbase Cloud, and Groovy

The Road to Hell

Are paved with such high and alas obviously unrealistic hopes for myself when it comes to live blogging.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m lazy (‘natch, I am), or if it’s because I tweet so much nonsense and have thus shot my social media bolt, or if I come back to laziness.  I think I pick the first and the third option.

So what am I going to do?

I am not going to bore you with tales of talking with Oracle.  Yeah, yeah, oh Cameron you are so great, blah, blah, blah.  The fact is, Oracle product management hang out by their pods.  And they present.  

You want to meet the VP of Development for Essbase?  Kumar was right there.  You want to talk to Planning/PBCS/EPBCS’ product manager?  Shankar was right there.  Good grief, if I can talk to them, you can too.  I have no lock on talking to people although my father has said multiple times that I kissed the Blarney Stone.  However, loquaciousness as a personality attribute is open to all.  I encourage you to come to Open World just as I encourage you to come to Kscope as well as meetups.  Networking = access = knowledge = sharing = Success!  Boil in Bag!

With that, this post is going to be a mix of the social – networking face to face is the essence of a conference – and cool new product features.  

The Social

As I wrote, product demos and sessions are one half of any conference; the people are the other side of things.  One day all of this will be dust, but the relationships will abide.

ACEDs = geeks

I can no longer remember if this was the Wednesday before the ACED briefings or some time during.  It all begins to blur after a while.  

From left to right, Celvin, Yr. Obt. Svt., MMIC aka Glenn Schwartzberg, John Booth, Eric Helmer, and Tim Tow.  The geekiness (note that I did not write intelligence) emanating from that table was impressive, sort of.


Here’s my younger, smarter, taller brother from a completely different set of parents, Celvin Kattookaran.  Celvin differs from my other brother-from-another-set-of-parents aka Glenn Schwartzberg in that I think Celvin actually likes this not-familial connection.  Or he’s really good at lying.


Meetups are my real passion – lightweight, informal, fun, and grassroots.  The big conferences – Kscope and OOW – are great but the real opportunities to meet people and really make that connection come from the small events.  

Most excellent

Tim Tow and I hosted our fourth annual Tim and Cameron’s Most Excellent EPM Meetup.  It was the best ever this year and we got to look at the dodecahedron sculpture that leant its name to Tim’s flagship Essbase product, Dodeca.

SF Meetup

Two meetups in one week?  Yup.  Here’s Natalie Delemar, ODTUG president, and Jason Jones trying not to laugh at my inept photographic skills.

The meetup took place at SalesForce’s office, a mere 15 minute walk from the Moscone center.

Here’s the meetup panel:  Edward Roske, Tim Tow, Yr, Obt. Svt., and Natalie Delemar.

The same group but now with Michael Zazzera and Frank Chow bracketing us.


The madness that is the Wednesday night event was upon us.  This is not my kind of music but I suppose it’s a bit much to hope for someone of the likes of The Misty Miss Christy.  Right, there is a pretty low chance of that.

I found it telling that there were a thousand geeks recording Gwen Stefani but no so many with Sting.  Age of fans?  Relative popularity?  Beats me, cf. my taste in music.  

The food was immeasurably better this year.  Candlestick (I refuse to call it AT&T) Park is a far better venue than Treasure Island.  Whoops, a correction on the park name from Frank Chow:

Have a correction for your post... Candlestick park is a different park which was located near to south San Francisco and already got demolished. AT&T park was originally named as Pacific Bell Park, then later on got renamed to SBC park. Then got rename to AT&T park after AT&T acquired Pacific Bell (SBC).

That seems like a simple explanation.  :)  With that error corrected...

Okay, I’ve covered the social side of things.  Now on to the product demos.


All about Essbase Cloud née EssCS

I was very happy to see this.  I think these are the first extensive public pictures of Essbase Cloud.

Top drawer stuff.

OMG, we’re back to Excel.  App Man never died!

Build it in a spreadsheet, show it in a outline.  There is no need for a connection to the cloud.  Build anywhere.  OMG.

Oracle have really thought this through.  From the outline to the sheet.  And back.  Per ardua ad astra indeed.

Did I mention that Essbase Cloud will dynamically build the “load rule” sheets from a sample outline?

Build it here, build it there, build it anywhere, Essbase chases it everywhere.  I have now set back Anglo-French relations 200 years.  

Write formulas in the editor and write back to the sheet.

Did I mention this is cool?  And this is just the outline editor.  I’m not going to repeat (most of) Tim Tow’s recap on Essbase Cloud – Read The Whole Thing – but I am most excited about a true Java agent (no more cross dim limitations in Hybrid) and the above Excel->Essbase->Excel functionality.  Oh yeah, having it in the cloud is kind of cool, too.

Essbase and Groovy

I’d be remiss in not mentioning this session – Celvin gave an absolutely brilliant presentation on self-modifying Essbase calc scripts (actually Calculation Manager business rules so Essbase but not entirely) via Groovy.  Want to write a focused aggregation?  How about at the row level?  Column level?  Cell level?  Amazing stuff and OMG fast.  There's quite a bit of that OMG on my part but it was that kind of conference.

A few last thoughts

It was a great albeit exhausting conference as OOW always is.

The drumbeat of Cloud, Cloud, Cloud was and is impossible to ignore.  It’s a sea change in computing and at this point is impossible to ignore.  You may not be on the Cloud and perhaps it isn’t a fit for you, yet, but I guarantee that it will be.  Don’t be a King Canute.

Be seeing you.

19 September 2016

Oracle Open World 2016, Day 2

Oracle Open World 2016, Day 2

Today is the first “real” day of the conference in that today we’re seeing Oracle’s sessions.

I’m particularly excited because today is a day of roadmaps.

And with that, off we go.

CON6132: Oracle Business Analytics: Product and Technology Roadmap, Samar Lotia, Hari Shankar, and Ragu Venkatasubramanian, Oracle

Data Visualizer looks really, really, really cool and is Oracle’s answer to Tableau.  I have to, have to download this and play with it.  Gawd it’s cool.

Synopsis is being demoed right now.  ODTUG President, Natalie Delemar, is so cool it can’t be real.  It is as I saw it at the ACED briefing.  So cool.

Here’s their take on data sources.  In short:  everything.

Do not, ever, forget Essbase Cloud aka EssCS.  This is what Tim German and I presented on at Kscope16 and if the creek don’t rise and God willing, we will again at Kscope17.

CON7505:  Oracle Enterprise Performance Management On Premises and in the Cloud:  Taking a Hybrid Approach

Tony Scalese is talking right now on how to implement a cloud implementation (in this case PBCS) across multiple tools both on premises and in the cloud.  I have a three part post on Data Management and PBCS and will give you a teaser by saying that he is absolutely right in his approach.  It’ll be an epic rant but for now I’ll listen to Tony’s much calmer than mine voice.

Conclusion for now

I have more, much more, on offer today.  After this session I’m off to the EPM demo grounds.  Here’s hoping I’ve got something geekycoolawesome to share.

Be seeing you.

18 September 2016

Oracle Open World, Day 1

The real start of the conference

Saturday is fun day.  Sunday through Thursday are work days.  I can’t decide which I prefer.  Sadly, I think I prefer the sessions.  Get a life, Cameron
And with that, let’s begin the geeking.  I’ll take you through the sessions one by one and update throughout the day.

UGF6169: Swipe Your Way to Better Analytics in the Cloud with Senior Lifestyle, Sarah Katz, Huron Consulting

Oh dear, I really wanted to attend this one.  I plead poor adjustment to time zone changes and hence I overslept.  Bugger.

UGF6308: Oracle Hyperion Planning Interface:  Simplified, Cindy Eichner, Finit Solutions

Cindy spoke on the SUI and how it’s the future and in fact is the present.  It’s a good overview of the functionality within the SUI focusing on PBCS.

UGF6421: Why Finance and IT Love Oracle Hyperion in the Cloud, Alex Leung, The Goal Getters

Excellent overview of the different kinds of cloud:  IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS by Alex Leung of The Goal Getters.  This is really good stuff because these terms are flying around OOW and for some of this (read me) it sounds alike but mean very different things.
The other thing I like is that it is very focused on Hyperion/Oracle EPM.  Alex is really walking us through the features of on-premises/IAAS, PaaS, and SaaS.
Why does Finance love the Cloud? There are some fairly compelling reasons:  control both technical and cost, focus on app not infrastructure, better support, better uptime.
Why does IT loves the Cloud?  Ibid on the compelling reasons plus  no commitment for capacity planning, better technical agility and focus, better security, allows deviation from internal standards support.

UGF7494: Implementing the World’s Largest Oracle Exalytics Program, Gary Crisci, GE

Gary’s repeating his Best Speaker presentation from Kscope16 on Exalytics.
Big boxes.  Big.  And big implementation – the largest in the world.  And big savings.
I think I could fit one in my garage.  Maybe.
As always, Gary is a fantastic speaker.

Conclusion for now

I’ll leave it for now but have more to come.

Oracle Open World 2016, Day 0

Another year, another week of live blogging madness…

…that goes by the name Oracle Open World.  Yes, it’s here – here being San Francisco, the City By The Bay.
I struggled on numbering this post – is it day -1 (OOW opens tomorrow) or day -3 (I was here for the ACED briefings on Thursday and Friday last) – and reasoned that the whole number before 1 is 0 and as tomorrow is the 1st today must be day 0.  I know we’ve all enjoyed this lesson in 2nd grade math.
Unlike Kscope, OOW is in SF every year.  Beyond actually being able to find restaurants, coffee shops, etc. year over year, it is a fun place to be for a conference.  If one were to measure the suitability of a city based on the number of songs written about it – yes this is a strange metric but bear with me – the Great American Songbook proves it although they are all strangely downbeat.  Chicago it ain’t but I note ODTUG managed to have a conference there on the basis of only two songs.  Actually, this may not be a good criteria.  No matter.

I hear music

What are the (well at least my) songs about the city?  San Francisco Blues – Peggy Lee, Got My Gate on the Golden Gate – Mel Tormé, and of course I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Dean Martin, Perry Como, and of course Tony Bennett. Yes, three singers on the last song but is the iconic SF song and besides Dino in concert is hilarious, Mr. C is sooo relaxing,  and it’s Tony Bennett’s song.
There’s others as well.  On a slightly more positive note, but not really because it’s about the Big One:  San Francisco – Judy Garland.  And then a really cool police procedural one, The Streets of San Francisco.
Alas, while there are many songs about San Francisco, there are no songs about Oracle Open World.  Of course there is that Wednesday night event although I am likely hoping in vain for Anthony Dominick Benedetto as the star attraction next year.
No matter, the world+dog doesn’t share my taste in music, and this blog isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind.  But I have (maybe) encouraged you to open your mind to new horizons.

Speaking of new horizons

As noted, I attended the ACE Director briefing two days before the show and then the EPM Partner meeting yesterday (I’m sort of astounded that Yr. Obt. Svt. is invited to either one but I never argue with good fortune) and the NDA and even CDA is, to put it mildly, restrictive.  
Given that, I can’t really provide any details but I’ll give you the whole Magillah in a one word speech:  Cloud.
Yup, that was a tease.  Sorry.
Seriously, if you’re involved in EPM in any way, get your head around cloud, cloud, cloud.  Buy me a cup of coffee some time and I’ll give you my 2¢ on whether that’s a good, bad, or indifferent idea.  From a product perspective, funding coming to these products is beyond fantastic.
But what won’t be a tease will be what I’m going to try to do this year.  To wit: daily blogging, hopefully live, and lots of coverage on Twitter at @CameronLackpour.  With this kind of event, Twitter occurs as it happens, the blog happens at night.
Be seeing you.
P.S.  Be happy:  I have shot my bolt re musical links from your grandparent’s years.  
P.P.S.  I actually did write this yesterday but forgot about it.  Yes, the madness is upon me.