OOW16: Day 4 – Concert Night

Breakfast + Kscope17 Planning Meetings

It was a very quick sleep the night before, so I was up only a handful of hours after the previous late night. Luckily, the day started at Mel’s Diner with back-to-back Kscope17 planning meetings. Mel’s was the perfect breakfast joint after a night of heavy partying. Yum.


Booth Duty

Next up was booth duty. This is a requirement of almost all interRel employees at conferences. I haven’t really commented on this experience yet since I’ve had so much other important content to cover. However, Wednesday was the last day for booths. 

OOW is so large and broad-reaching that we found that most foot traffic did not relate to EPM. Monday was the busiest day, followed by Tuesday, Wednesday, and then Sunday. Having easily accessible swag seems to be the biggest motivator for attracting conference goers.

On Wednesday I saw groups of students from nearby high schools walking through and collecting swag with their teacher chaperones. They were so excited and it was amusing to watch them be so appreciative of our tchotchkes. I’ve never heard so many thank you’s.

Our booth was popular – our Marketing team always does a great job of creating highly interactive components and giveaways that are useful to industry geeks. There were lines of folks each day standing in line to play our games. We kept running out of swag and had to overnight more in or buy creative items locally.


World-Class Sales Performance Planning with Oracle Cloud with Shankar Viswanathan and customer Mann Packing

Glad to be able to make some sessions, I chose this one because it focused on use cases for PBCS that go beyond Finance. Mann Packing, responsible for the growing and distributing of 30% of the world’s lettuce, uses PBCS for Sales reporting, analysis, and budgeting. They cover Customer, Product, and Sales Representative detail by day. In addition, they store Revenue, Cost of Revenue, and Unit detail. Their metrics include top line sales data (revenue and case sales), in addition to a series of Profitabilty metrics (COGS, Average Selling Price, etc.). They had several goals, including wanting to be more alert to shipment trends so that they could be more proactive in volume planning and forecasting

Why did they go with Cloud?

  • No onsite infrastructure
  • Needed a quick deployment – they had 12 weeks
  • Minimal IT resources are available to rely upon
  • Wanted to access the data from anywhere in the world

Challenges

  • Limited resources (both IT and the business)
  • The 12-week aggressive timeline
  • 17 dimensions in their reporting cube – this added complexity to the data processing time
  • Attributes were not available yet in PBCS, which increased the number of cube dimensions
  • Their budgeting process requires both “top down” and “bottom up” features

Limited Insight Prior to PBCS

  • Limited access to customer trends
  • Limited access to customer level budget completion
  • Reactive volume Planning
  • Complex and fragmented annual budgeting process

Qualitative Benefits

  • Increased exposure to customer trends
  • Faster decision making on business building efforts
  • Improved vision to shipment trends
  • Ability to be more proactive in volume planning/forecasting
  • Reduced complexity in annual budgeting process
  • Increase top line accuracy

EPM Product Development Panel Q&A with Oracle

This was my favorite session so far at OOW. It featured a number of head product development folks (Doug, Kash, Prasad, Toufic, Rajesh, and Matt). They represented the Oracle EPM solutions, both on-prem and cloud, and answered questions from the audience. There were a good variety of questions from customers and a good variety of witty answers from product development. I especially enjoyed the interaction – it’s clear that Oracle Development knows their customers and partners well.


Here are some interesting tidbits learned from the Q&A, broken down by technology set:

Planning

  • Security: is there a way to pull down all of the users and their access rights in one list? Those reports are already available in PBCS. It’s in the Navigator system reports area. It’s also available on-prem.
  • On-prem dashboarding capability available? Yes – and the next version (which allows you to make editable dashboards) is coming in PS4 at the end of the year

Financial Consolidations

  • Is this available on mobile (both cloud and on-prem)? The interface is available for FCCS. EPM 12 is when the on-prem products will receive this support and that should arrive sometime in 2017.
  • FCCS intercompany matching available? Yes, and ARCS handles transaction matching well
  • Intercompany reporting built directly into FR? No plans to look into this now but they can investigate it.

Data Integration

  • Difference between DRM and DRG: On-prem DRM customers should buy the “governance user” to get DRG. DRG is a workflow that sits on top of DRM.
  • EPMA: alive and kicking. Will continue to be supported in an on-prem capacity and the feature set will be extended to support its future path.
  • Plans to integrate DMCS and ARCS? They are looking at on-prem use cases of this, but their primary goal is to release DMCS

Essbase

  • Licensing model that will be released for Essbase Cloud? Named user plus some other models will be available

OBIEE Integration

  • Direct access to Essbase from on-prem OBIEE is already available 
  • BICS support for the other EPM Cloud products is planned for 1st quarter 2017

Reporting

  • Office 365 compatibility: within a year (Smart View, PBCS forms, etc.) with mobile/iPad/Mac compatibility. How much Microsoft Oracle is exposing is the hold up. They partnered with Microsoft to build this in.
  • Related content in FR Web Studio will be available in the cloud in October and on-prem about a month later.
  • They are considering renaming EPRCS to a shorter name

Blogger Meetup

Every year at OOW, there is a blogger meetup. This year it was sponsored by Pythian. I got there late but enjoyed hanging out with the BI guys and meeting some new folks.

Pythian left some pretty cool swag. There were ball caps, OTN light-up ornaments, and Pythian-inspired M&M’s. I enjoyed my short time there.


Since most of the blogger crowd were Oracle ACE’s, we all stayed and then met up and walked together to the Appreciation Event so we could be seated in the section designated for ACE’s. We took this cool picture before the concert.


Appreciation Event

This event was, by far, the most impressive of its kind that I’ve seen at a technology conference. Oracle rented out the entire AT&T stadium and both Gwen Stefani and Sting performed. 


Free concession food was available, as well as soda, beer, and wine. There were various VIP areas too for special folks. OTN was kind to the Oracle ACE program and managed to secure an entire area for the their ACE group.

Danny, Stewart, and I started the night in the ACE section with our ODTUG and ACE buddies. Lumpy even made an appearance and decided to watch Gwen from my lap.

It was super chilly but fun.

After some time, our group decided to move closer so we took off towards the stage. It was crazy with an enthusiastic crowd (who was heavily drinking). We were all trying to stay warm and everyone was fighting to get up front. After some strategic maneuvers, myself, Stewart, Lillian, and Danny got all the way up the front of the non-VIP area.


From there we got much better shots and live video footage. Gwen was amazing – it was the first time I’d seen her live and I cut loose to her top hits from both No Doubt and solo career.


Then Sting took the stage. He played hits from both The Police and his solo career.

Gwen and Sting even sang together at one point.

They both played for about an hour each. Then we all made the long trek back to the ACE hotel. We decided to catch a drink up on the 46th floor with a bunch of our ODTUG friends and take in the beautiful nocturnal city skyscape.

Overall, it was an amazing night and I felt fortunate to be part of the madness. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the shock of being able to have a “private” concert with Gwen and Sting. I’m quite certain that I’ll never see them that close again in my life.

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