Saturday, September 27, 2008

Notes from Oracle OpenWorld 2008

OpenWorld is over!!! As much as I enjoyed the event, I felt a sense of relieve when I stepped out of my last meeting at the Customer Visit Center at Moscone North on Thursday afternoon. One of my colleagues saw me and commented that I looked “dead serious”. I told him to leave out the “serious” part. I was just “dead”, after being sleep deprived for the whole week. I slept on my bus ride back to headquarters.

Friday was a regular workday (no vacation!). There was a product review meeting for the next release of Enterprise Manager, a planning conference call for field events, a brief chat with my boss, conversation with my team on the to-do list for this quarter, and reviewing of the notes that I took at the event and following up with a long list of people I met to keep me quite busy.

Speaking of notes, I took plenty of it from the interesting conversations at the event. Here is a sample.

Help us standardize – One of the pain points that I heard from customers was that operating silos have made it difficult to manage their applications. Different teams use different tools, which don't work well with each other. Different teams developed different practices, which in some cases conflicted with each other. Common tools, and common best practice recommendations from Oracle are highly desirable.

Help us manage changes – I heard this over and over throughout the week whether it was discussion on Sunday's OAUG Change Management SIG, conversations at Demoground, or on Thursday's application management roundtable. Change is hard even with tools such as iSetup and ADM, as they do not yet cover the complete change workflow. Another dimension in change management is access control, as different members of the team different authorizations for changing the different parts of the applications, and our software needs to be smart enough to enforce the separations.

Help us figure out the proper way to use your software – One particular example was whether people should set up a single Enterprise Manager Grid Control environment or multiple environments. Our default recommendation is single instance, but there are technical as well as organizational factors that might make it better to have multiple instances. I will write about this more in a future article.

Speaking of organizational factors, I believe that it takes more than just software to solve many of the problems that were discussed throughout the week. Ultimately, it takes a combination of people, process and technology to get things done. People refer to all of us working at Oracle, at partner companies and at customer organizations to overcome the various application management challenges, and we need to keep on talking amongst ourselves to exchange ideas. Do the issues above sound familiar? Summit your comments either on my blog or on discussion forums.

We have created several forums on to carry out our conversations. These groups include:

Oracle E-Business Suite Lifecycle Management

Siebel Install / Manage / Upgrade


If you are an architect or senior IT manager and wish to talk about more strategic or policy issues, here are the groups for you.

E-Business Suite Architects

Siebel Architects

PeopleSoft Architects

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