A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to attend the Oracle EPM Cloud partner training in Reston, VA. Product training on the docket this time: EPBCS and FCCS.
It was the best Oracle EPM partner training that I’ve attended to date. They really did it right this time. We received the standard training through PowerPoint presentations, but Oracle also chose to include EPM Cloud environments, hands-on exercises, a fully equipped training room, and breakfast and lunch. It was not free training, but the nominal fee per class seemed quite reasonable.
One of the coolest things about this partner training was that all the heavy hitters in Oracle Product Management (and even some folks from Oracle Product Development) were present from EPBCS and FCCS. Matt Bradley and Hari Sankar even made an appearance and addressed the group.
A handful of messages that were broadcast loud and clear in this partner training:
- At Oracle OpenWorld 2017, there were more partners and customers presenting on Oracle Cloud than ever before.
- Groovy is a standard coding language that you will need to become familiar with over time. This is currently available to EPBCS customers and those who have the special PBCS + 1 framework license. (Note that Oracle currently has no plans to release this to PBCS.) Groovy is here to stay. Groovy is the strategic direction. If you don’t know what Groovy is and what it’s capable of (which is a LOT), I urge you to check out Celvin Kattookaran’s blog for more information. He has done some pretty amazing things with Groovy.
- FCCS is making some major strides in the next year. This product has had notable hiccups in its first year of life, and Rich, Maggie, Rajesh, and team are doing their best to understand the product issues customers are facing and to respond to them. After this training, I can clearly see the commitment by their team and hope to see that passion transformed into strong product enhancements in 2018. There are a few great surprises expected to hit the first quarter of 2018.
- Customer Connect is where it’s at if you want to stay up to speed on the products and have a direct line of sight to the Oracle teams. The Oracle Product Management teams have been posting regularly there and have already started promoting public webcasts. (Note that you might have to be a customer or specially invited to join the portal.)
- EDMCS (Enterprise Data Management Cloud) – currently listed as “coming soon” – should be available to ship in January 2018.
- Machine intelligence has made its way into Oracle solutions. “Intelligent Performance Management” and “Intelligent Process Automation” use machine learning and predictive analytics to assist with the decision-making process and the automation of menial tasks. Predictive analytics have already been a part of the Planning fabric for some time. Other intelligence will be added in the near future. Financial Close tools will include the automation intelligence.
In addition, the Oracle Product teams were being very transparent with us. They have become more transparent over the years in general, but it was like having a conversation with a direct colleague. They answered all of our questions honestly (even the hard ones) and were open to new ideas. They are truly invested in their partners and I have seen this demonstrated time and time again over the past 2 years.
2018 is shaping up to be another strong year for Oracle EPM Cloud. I look forward to getting more hands on with EDMCS and seeing some of the roadmap promises come to fruition.