Can chatting make you more productive?

According to the CEB Corporate Leadership Council High Performance Survey, 2012, the average worker collaborates with 10 or more people to accomplish day to day tasks.  That is a lot of chatting.  We think that this chatting needs to be be tied to the business transaction you are working with and the best way to do that is by having the collaboration tool as part of your ERP application.  This is what you get with Oracle ERP Cloud.  I have discussed what social is in the ERP Cloud world in my earlier post Socializing the Finance Department that you can review to get a background.  The key message here is that the collaboration must be tied to a transaction.  Take a look at the video below to illustrate the point and see it in action.

I think you will agree this type of chatting, or as Alan Leposfsky (@alanlepo) of Constellation Research would call it, purposeful collaboration, clearly does make you and your organization more productive.

Heart Walk at Oracle HQ

Tomorrow Oracle is hosting a Bay Area Heart Walk at it’s HQ campus and it should be a huge event, not only raising valuable funds but also raising awareness of the importance of a heart healthy lifestyle.  Since the beginning of this year I have been doing regular walking meetings and have enjoyed the benefits to both my health and my productivity.  I also found many other people already doing walking meetings and others who have been inspired to start them.  I’ve really enjoyed the overwhelmingly positive responses and encouragement.

Highlights of the event include the Semi Official Oracle house band, Scope Creep, check out this YouTube clip, you may recognize some of the faces including my boss on drums, who I can confirm does not appreciate my joke – what do you call somebody with no talent who hangs with musicians? – answers in the comment section please.

I will be walking with ‘Team Erb’ led by the energetic and enthusiastic (except when it comes to twitter) Janine Erb, who is one of the singers in the YouTube clip above.  We have close to 100 people in the team and I’m looking forward to walking with and talking to people I have known and worked with for a long time and also making some new friends.  If you are there tomorrow, come and say hi.  I’ll take some pictures and probably tweet during the event.

Finally, if you want to donate you can follow this link, but probably more importantly spend some time educating yourself, the American Heart Association is one place to start.

Guest Post: Custom Balancing by 2 segments in EBS R12

Sangeeta

Sangeeta Sameer, IT Leader – Finance, Renewables ERP at GE Power & Water

This is a guest post from Sangeeta Sameer, who worked for Oracle for 6 years before moving on to work for GE where has held a number of senior positions.  She has also joined the board of the OAUG Multinational Special Interest Group.

At the Collaborate 2014 Conference, David Haimes and I presented a custom solution to enable balancing by 2 segments of the Chart of Accounts in Release 12.1.3 of Oracle e-Business Suite. The attached PowerPoint and Paper that we presented describes in detail the requirements and the custom solution.

So when David asked me to write a guest post about this topic, I thought about what else I would include in the paper if we were writing it again. While the paper talks about the requirement to create a balanced Trial Balance by 2 segments, it does not expand on why we need a balanced Trial Balance by 2 segments. Global corporations like General Electric (GE) need better granularity and accountability for the financial performance of their geographical divisions and lines of businesses by being able to create a Balance Sheet at both a Legal Entity/Statutory level and Business Unit/Management Entity level. GE is a Global conglomerate that has diverse businesses operating in a large number of countries. GE needs the ability to create a balanced Trial Balance by the Legal Entity (LE) and the Management Entity (ME) segments in the Chart of Accounts.

The ability to automatically balance by more than one segment is not a new requirement for GE, and I think it would be a requirement for other multinational companies as well. This requirement is explained quite well in Oracle Fusion Applications Enterprise Structures Concepts Guide 11g Release 5 (11.1.5) – Part # E22899-05. See the section titled “Legal Entity and Its Relationship to Balancing Segments”. While Fusion Applications are able to balance by up to 3 segments in the Chart of Accounts, Oracle e-Business Suite (EBS) Applications are able to balance by one segment only.

In prior EBS Release 11i implementations at GE, the requirement to balance by 2 segments was satisfied by developing custom solutions that needed to be re-visited for Release 12. For example, one of the solutions in 11i was for a custom program to bring balancing entries into the Interface Table. With the introduction of SLA in Release 12, this 11i solution was no longer a good one for R12. The solution described in the attached Paper and PowerPoint is a much more robust solution, and is live in Production for 2 different ERP Projects at GE.

The OAUG Multinational Special Interest Group (SIG) is organizing a webinar on June 11th at 10.30 am Pacific (1.30 pm Eastern) on this topic. David and I will repeat the presentation from Collaborate 2014, and look forward to sharing this solution again. The webinar will be one hour long, including 20-25 minutes for Q&A.

The link to register for this webinar is:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/790696327

Does my GoPro Qualify as a Wearable Device?

Is this small camera a wearable?

Is this small camera a wearable?

Last week I attended a Wearables Design Jam organized by Ultan (@ultan) from the Oracle UX team (a future post is coming on the event) and since then I have been thinking about what makes a successful wearable device.  The most successful devices in the marketplace seem to be the fitness trackers and I have had great benefit from my fitbit, not least of all the inspiration for walking meetings.  A fitness tracker is not a new idea (I joke that a fitbit is just a $100 pedometer), but the wearable devices today make tracking your fitness so much easier.  No need to keep diaries of your activities, everything is there for you in a dashboard with all sorts of interesting analytics, goal setting, alerts etc.

The GoPro has similarities, it is a small personal camcorder with only memory, no tape and no screen for viewing, similar to the Flip camera which Cisco bought and then killed and many other cameras.  However it takes action videos really well, with very little effort and is pretty much indestructible so you can take it  anywhere.  They produce professional quality video and photos including time lapse videos, fast frame rates for smooth slow motion and have an ultra wide field of view so you rarely miss any action.  You can also attach them to your body, bike and other helmets, cars and of course surfboards. My model (Hero 3+ Black edition) has WiFi so I can control it from my iPhone or iPad and grab content from it easily, although that does drain the battery fast.

If you haven’t already seen it, you must check out the Time Lapse video I took with the GoPro of the Team USA Americas Cup yacht being installed at Oracle HQ.  This was around 9,000 photos taken over 50+ hours compressed into a 2 minute video.  I have also strapped it to my car to capture a journey down the highway 1, strapped it to the outside of my car, strapped it to a remote control car, strapped it to myself and my kids in a swimming pool, to my Son’s bike and to my daughter’s wheeled shoes.  Now I am trying to think of some enterprise applications of this amazing device, watch this space.

Finally, I’m embedding a shot from my car, especially for Jake (@jkuramot) who always likes to know how my car is doing, plus a few other interesting (IMHO) shots.

Good for 100 mph plus

Good for 100 mph plus

 

UPDATE (5/28/14):

I was reading a post from my colleague John Cartan this morning about his experience with the the Narrative Clip which is a smaller device, intended to be used for life logging.  It is worn all the time and captures a picture every 30 seconds.  The experience did not seem to be great, but I think a GoPro, altho a little bigger would be much better for this purpose.  I could imagine wearing it all day at a conference say, or in a series of meetings, brainstorming sessions etc. it would give a really good replay of events.  I will probably try some of this in the coming weeks, just to see how interesting it is.

Maker Faire, Java and the Internet of Things

makerpassMaker Faire is a popular event here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve been going with my kids for several years now and all of us look forward to it every year.  I describe it as everything from embroidery to fire breathing robots, anything you can make is there and everyone is passionate about making stuff and everyone enjoys sharing their passion.

However this year I was there as staff with the Apps Lab who were providing a DIY activity for the Java team who are a big supporter of Maker Faire, Jake explains in detail in his blog.  My summary is we showed use of embedded java on a Raspberry Pis to control a variety of devices with input from other devices, for example I could use a motion sensor to turn on a fan, or send a tweet or send an SMS message.  It was an interesting experience showing this off to people, explaining what we mean by the internet of things and seeing people’s reaction.  There are a huge range of ages and types of people at Maker Fairs, so it was cool to see young and old alike enjoying making things happen.  The most interesting thing to see first hand is how young children (as young as 4 or 5) can just figure out how to do things with minimal guidance and in fact seem to prefer to explore on their own, older people are much quicker to get help or listen to me explain rather than do it.  I have no idea what this means, if anything, but it was interesting to me at least.

Report from Collaborate 14, Las Vegas

David in a Suit

Talking Fusion Accounting Hub in a suit

Last month I attended and presented at Collaborate, the largest Oracle conference outside of Open World and one where the agenda is determined by the user community.

I was well organized this year; before I attended the conference I had downloaded the mobile App and started creating a conference agenda, I was a little bit disappointed that I had to manually add sessions I was presenting to my agenda, seems like a missing feature and it did not create the best first impression.  However, I then found the mobile app really good, a lot of discussions, the ability to comment on sessions and all the good social features you would expect.  When the conference got started the gamification they had added (a simple leader board of activity) helped to drive adoption and also caused some controversy, I’ll stay out of that but I would recommend reading Debra Lilley’s thoughts on it.

Throughout the week many people were talking about how several sessions they wanted to attend seemed to be scheduled at the same time. My first thought about this was that they were just making a polite excuse for not attending some of my sessions, but then I did observe the same thing myself.  It is hard having to choose between two or often three very interesting and useful sessions which are on at the same time, it is also tough when attendance at some sessions is lower than they deserve.  However, as I thought more about it, I feel it should be seen as a positive that the quality of the sessions and the presenters was very high.

My session on Fusion Accounting Hub and GLobal Charts of Accounts and Consolidation was on Monday and I had a decent crowd, got through a lot of material and had some really good questions (and I hope the answers were good).  I mentioned on my blog that FAH was the talk of the town based on the number of sessions that were covering it, I certainly spent  lots of time discussing it with people over the course of the conference.  We had a good GL SIG group meeting, I did a few minutes about the management segment and Data Access Sets in EBusiness Suite GL Release 12.  I was surprised that more people were not aware of this very useful feature, maybe I should blog about it (he says, adding it to a long to do list).  My third session was co-presented with Sangeeta Sameer from GE, I have asked Sangeeta to write a guest blog post introducing it, sharing the paper and announcing a webinar repeat of it – watch this space.

Exciting that all the things were, probably the part I enjoyed most was talking to so many people who had implemented or were implementing Cloud ERP Apps.  I had a chance to hear the positive comments and excitement that customers and partners had, but equally chat about where the y had suggestions for improvements.  We have a lot of very experienced, motivated and very smart partners out there and I enjoy every minute talking with them and learning from them, hopefully helping them out with a few tips too.

So next up for me is Open World, I did not make KScope this year, but one day I would like to go there, but for my particular field Collaborate is a must conference and if you have never been I would highly recommend you consider it next year, I will certainly be submitting a paper.

 

 

 

America’s Cup Boat Installation Time Lapse Video

On Friday I realized the America’s Cup yacht was going to be installed at Oracle HQ over the weekend so I went home and got my GoPro camera and set it up to take a picture every 30 seconds.  For some reason it shut off on Saturday morning, when the helicopter brought the hull over the building, but I still think the footage came out pretty well.  Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments below.

(Pro Tip: It’s worth popping out the embedded video and going fullscreen to get the full effect)

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